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Vegan Taco Meat Recipe

A meatless substitute for ground taco beef used to make basic soft or crunchy tacos.


Single Burner


Very Easy

Picture of the taco meat substitute in a bowl.

This vegan taco meat recipe is a easy and fast dinner idea for quickly making tacos or burritos.

If you have ready-made vegan ground beef, then you can get tacos on the table in less than 30 minutes. While the meat is cooking you can dice tomatoes and green onions, chop lettuce, mix up some vegan sour cream, and open a jar of salsa. Then all you need to complete the meal is tortillas or crunchy taco shells.

Meatless taco beef is perfect for an easy weeknight meal!

This recipe is versatile because you can use it to make many other dishes or easy dinners. Another nice things is that Mexican food easily lends itself to the addition of veggies or beans, making Mexican food both an easy and also healthy food genre.

Why is is there no chili powder in this recipe?

This recipe doesn't use chili powder because chili powder is basically just a different mix of these same ingredients.


Substitute for smoked paprika: Ultimately you can leave it out, but you'll be missing some depth of flavor.

Substitute for garlic powder: You can either use onion powder or add minced garlic to whatever you're cooking.

Substitute for Mexican oregano: You can use regular oregano instead, but be aware that the flavors are more different than you would think, so it's definitely worth trying to find Mexican oregano.

I think it will be too spicy for me! If you are sensitive to spicy foods you can cut some of the cayenne and replace it with sweet paprika.

I think it isn't spicy enough! No problem! Add more cayenne!

Picture of the ingredients including the vegan ground beef, tomato puree, oil, and spices.

Gather the ingredients.

Picture of a hot pan with oil in it.

Heat a pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot add the 3 Tbs oil.

Picture of vegan ground beef cooking in the oil.

When the oil is hot add the 2 cups vegan ground beef. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. If using my ground beef recipe now is the time to add 1 Tbs soy sauce, 1/2 cup of water, and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Picture of the fake ground beef after it is finished being sauteed.

 If using my ground beef recipe now is the time to add 1 Tbs soy sauce, 1/2 cup of water, and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Picture of the fake beef with the spices added.

Add the taco seasoning (1 Tbs cayenne powder, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano, 1/8 tsp smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper) and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, until the spices are well distributed and aromatic.

Picture of the ground beef with the tomato puree added.

Add the 1/3 cup pureed tomatoes and sauté until hot, about 2-3 minutes.

Picture of the finished taco meat in the pan.

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Picture of the cooked taco beef plated with some tomatoes and sour cream.


How to use meatless taco beef?

Here are some vegan meal ideas that use this vegan taco meat recipe:

  • Tacos

  • Burritos

  • Enchiladas

  • Mexican Pizza

  • Mexican Stuffed Baked Potatoes

  • Taco Salad

  • Mexican Chef Salad

  • etc!


This vegan taco recipe can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days.

How to reheat it? It can be reheated in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.

Can it be frozen? Yes! You can freeze it and then thaw it overnight before use. It will be good in the freezer for 1-2 months.

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