Vegetarian and Vegan Tacos

[social_buttons] One of my favorite things to cook for dinner parties are tacos. Tacos are fast, easy, and lighthearted. Plus, there are plenty of healthier and more environmentally-friendly filling options than cheap, greasy, ground beef!

Here are some of my favorite vegetarian and vegan taco fillings:

Sweet Potato and Black Bean (vegan)

  • Canola oil
  • 3 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 1-3 tablespoons minced fresh green chile
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic
  • 4 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 4 1/2 cups of cooked black beans (or 3 15-oz cans)
  • 5 cups of cubed, cooked sweet potatoes (or 3 15-oz cans pureed sweet potatoes)
  • 2/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt

Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute onions and chile. When the onions are tender, add garlic and saute until fragrant. Then add ground cumin and ground coriander. Cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside. In a food processor, combine black beans, sweet potatoes, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a dutch oven or large pot and mix in the cooked onions and spices. Keep warm on the stove-top or in a 350 degree oven before serving time. Serves 10. (Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.)

Roasted Corn and Poblano Chile (vegetarian)

  • 6 ears of corn
  • Canola oil
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 3 roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced poblano peppers
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh marjoram
  • 3/4 cup of half-and-half
  • Juice of one lime
  • 6 oz of grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 3 oz of Mexican cotija cheese

Roast or grill corn in their husks until just tender (or substitute 3 1/2 cups of frozen, fire-roasted corn kernels), cool, husk, and slice the corn off the cobs. Set the corn aside. Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute onion until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add poblano peppers, corn, salt, and marjoram. Stir to combine and add half-and-half. Reduce liquid by half, stirring often. Add the lime juice and cheeses. Heat through until bubbly. Serves 8. (Adapted from Salsas and Tacos: Santa Fe School of Cooking.)

Roasted Wild Mushroom (vegan)

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 4 cups of thickly sliced and stemmed wild mushrooms (any combo of morel, shiitake, chanterelle, oyster, or portobello mushrooms)
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 roasted, peeled, seeded, and minced serrano chiles

Puree garlic with olive oil in a blender. After letting the mixture sit for 10 minutes, strain and discard the garlic. Toss mushrooms with the garlic-infused oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Spread the mushrooms on a cookie sheet or cast-iron skillet. Roast at 425 degrees until browned on the edges, about 8 -10 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with serrano chiles. Serves 8. (Adapted from Salsas and Tacos: Santa Fe School of Cooking.)

I suggest making several taco fillings ahead of time, reheating them in the oven or on the stove-top before dinner, and then letting your guests assemble their own tacos. Some serving suggestions:

  • Flour tortillas
  • Corn tortillas
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Spicy coleslaw
  • Microgreens or shoots
  • Goat cheese
  • Queso Fresco

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Image courtesy of norwichnuts via a Creative Commons license.

Written by rachelshulman

7 Comments

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  1. Oh, my! These look delicious! The vegetarian one would be super duper easy to veganize, just subbing faux cheese or avocado for the cheese mix. You can be we're having taco night at my house sometime very soon!

  2. Oh, my! These look delicious! The vegetarian one would be super duper easy to veganize, just subbing faux cheese or avocado for the cheese mix. You can be we’re having taco night at my house sometime very soon!

  3. What delicious looking and sounding vegan recipes–thank you!

    If you and your readers would like to see such plant-based meal options made available to school children and teens across the country, please visit http://www.HealthySchoolLunches.org. There, you can learn about the HSL campaign and the bill that’s emerged from the campaign, the Healthy School Meals Act (HR 4870)–and how you can support both by contacting Congress.

  4. I think 4-5 mashed avocados with a splash of lime juice would be a great substitute for cheese in the vegetarian recipe. Great idea! Sliced okra might be an interesting substitute as well…

  5. I never thought of putting sweet potatoes in tacos but it sounds delicious! Thanks for the easy and healthy recipes! Keep them coming!

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