Make THE BEST plant-based Vegan Taco Meat with teff. This protein-packed grain is healthy, gluten free and easy to make into flavorful taco meat for tacos, bowls or salads!
Replicate the taste and texture of ground beef tacos with this vegan taco meat. It's the perfect recipe for those that are looking for more plant based options to add to their diet.
This vegan taco meat is made with the whole grain teff, vegetables and spices, and it captures the familiar flavor and texture your taste buds know and love!
Teff is naturally gluten free and a good source of plant based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Easily make a big batch of this meat substitute for meal prep. Use it throughout the week to make your favorite vegan tacos. You can also use it to make taco bowls, salads, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, or even add it to your tofu scramble for breakfast.
- Prepared teff - this whole grain is somewhat similar to quinoa. It's a very small seed that packs in a ton of nutrients. Cut down on prep time by having this already cooked and ready to go. This post about teff explains a lot more about the grain and how to cook it on the stovetop.
- Garlic - it is ideal to freshly mince whole cloves of garlic for the best flavor. Store bought garlic that has already been minced will work as well. In a pinch you can substitute garlic powder.
- Red onion - this type of onion will give you the best flavor, but you can also use a white, sweet or yellow onion. Just make sure it's finely minced so it mixes in well with the other ingredients.
- Jalapeño - remove the seeds from the fresh jalapeno and finely mince the pepper so that it can be evenly distributed throughout the taco meat. Feel free to use a spicier pepper like a serrano for more heat, or leave it out for a completely mild version of the taco meat.
- Taco seasoning - click the link to the left to learn how to make your own homemade blend. It's easy to do with simple ingredients like chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and a few other pantry staples. Otherwise use your favorite store bought mix. Just make sure to check the ingredients to confirm that it's vegan.
- Nutritional yeast - you can usually find this in the gluten free or health food aisle of your grocery store. It adds a salty, cheesy flavor to the mix that is so delicious! If you can't find it at your local store, you can always order it on Amazon.
- Olive oil - this will help to crisp up the vegan taco meat nicely in the oven. If you don't have olive oil you can substitute it with your favorite neutral cooking oil like avocado oil or vegetable oil.
Step by step instructions
- Season the teff. If you don't already have cooked teff, you'll want to start by preparing the teff on the stovetop using this teff recipe. Once the teff is prepared, add it to a large bowl with minced garlic, onion, jalapeño, taco seasoning, nutritional yeast and olive oil.
- Mix everything together. Use a spatula to combine all of the ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.
- Prepare it for baking. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil. Crumble the mixture so that it's spread out evenly across the baking sheet. The parchment paper or foil isn't required, but it makes clean-up a breeze!
- Bake. Place in a preheated 375°F oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir, and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
How to make it on the stovetop
Instead of baking the taco meat in the oven, you can also cook it on the stovetop!
- Once you've combined all of the taco meat ingredients, add it to a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Crumble and cook the vegan taco meat in the skillet for 10 minutes. If the taco meat ever looks dry during the cooking process, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
How to use it in recipes
- Make it into THE BEST vegan taco bowl! Serve it with cilantro lime quinoa, jalapeño cabbage slaw, avocado and creamy vegan chipotle sauce to make epic vegan taco bowls!
- You can also add it to a variety of burritos or burrito bowls like this Sweet Potato Burrito Bowl or Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl.
- Include it in a Veggie Fajita Taco Salad for extra protein, flavor and nutrition.
- Stuff this vegan taco filling in soft tortillas or crunchy taco shells with tomatoes, lettuce and Chunky Avocado Salsa or Black Bean Corn Salsa to make an epic vegan taco recipe.
- Add it to the filling of these Veggie Enchiladas, or mix it into Vegetarian Enchilada Bowls.
- Dress up this Elote Bowl with a scoop of the vegan taco meat.
- Serve over a bed of Mexican Cauliflower Rice with black beans and guacamole.
- Kick off your day by adding it to a Tofu Scramble Burrito Bowl or Breakfast Burrito Bowl.
Storing and reheating
Once you have seasoned and cooked the teff taco meat you can keep it on hand to make meals even easier. Seal it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Cooked vegan taco meat will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezing the teff could result in a change in texture. If you do want to try freezing it, first allow it to cool down, then seal it in an airtight freezer safe container. A vacuum seal bag is ideal, or a plastic zip-top bag will work by squeezing out as much extra air as possible. Vegan taco meat will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You can reheat refrigerated teff taco meat in the microwave in just 2 minutes. However, if you want to get a bit of that crisp back, I recommend heating it up in a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil.
If you want to meal prep the taco bowls entirely, place the quinoa and teff in one container, the raw toppings in another and the sauce in it's own. Wait to cut the avocado until you are ready to eat the bowls to avoid it turning brown. To serve, heat the quinoa and teff in the microwave, then add the toppings and sauce.
Teff contains a good amount of protein, fiber, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals.
One serving of this vegan taco meat contains 175 calories, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber. It also offers 108 milligrams of vitamin A, and 64 milligrams of calcium. One serving is ½ cup vegan taco meat.
The recommended vegan taco bowl recipe below is made with quinoa, cabbage slaw, avocado and chipotle sauce. Each bowl contains 334 calories, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat.
More Mexican-style plant based bowls
Fill up your menu for the week with all of these delicious and easy plant based bowls!
- Low Carb Vegan Fajita Bowl
- Chipotle Taco Bowls with Tofu Taco Crumbles
- Mexican Roasted Delicata Squash Bowls
- Chipotle Cauliflower Vegan Taco Bowl
Vegan Taco Meat
Vegan Taco Meat
- 3 cups prepared teff
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- ¼ cup red onion finely minced
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno finely minced
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups cilantro lime quinoa
- 1 cup shredded cabbage green, purple or mixed
- ¼ cup red bell pepper thinly sliced
- ½ jalapeno thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon lime juice fresh squeezed
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup creamy chipotle sauce
Vegan Taco Meat
- If you don't already have prepared teff, you'll want to start by cooking the teff on the stovetop using this teff recipe.
- Once the teff is prepared, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the prepared teff with the garlic, onion, jalapeno, taco seasoning, nutritional yeast and olive oil.
- Crumble and spread the taco meat out on a foil, or parchment paper, lined baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and stir. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
- While the vegan taco meat is in the oven, prepare the bowls.
- Add ½ cup prepared cilantro lime quinoa to 4 separate bowls.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, bell pepper, jalapeno and lime juice.
- Divide this mixture between the 4 bowls.
- Add ¼ sliced avocado to each bowl.
- Add the prepared vegan taco meat to each bowl.
- Drizzle the creamy chipotle sauce over the bowls and top with fresh chopped cilantro.
- The nutritional information provided is for ½ cup prepared vegan taco meat.
- The nutritional information for one bowl with the quinoa, cabbage slaw, avocado and chipotle sauce is:
- 334 calories
- 45 grams carbs
- 8 grams fiber
- 10 grams protein
- 14 grams fat
- 355 mg sodium
- 546 mg potassium
- 620 mg vitamin A
- 26 mg vitamin C
- 87 mg calcium
- 4 mg iron
- Leftover cooked vegan taco meat will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Vegan taco meat will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Please note that the texture will change once the taco meat is frozen. To freeze the taco meat, allow it to cool down, then seal it in an airtight freezer safe container. A vacuum seal bag is ideal, or a plastic zip-top bag will work by squeezing out as much extra air as possible.