This vegan taco meat is packed with flavor and protein! Made with homemade taco seasoning and prepared in less than 15 minutes, this tempeh taco meat is great for tacos, burritos bowls, tofu scrambles, and so much more!
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If you're wanting to substitute tempeh for your favorite crispy tacos, then you've come to the right place. This veggie taco meat is a great option for anyone looking for a quick and simple dinner recipe. Perfect for whenever you're wanting to get dinner on the table within minutes!
Pair this vegan taco meat with nachos, quesadillas, stuffed peppers, and burrito bowls for an outstanding Mexican-inspired dinner! Flavors of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and tomato paste are mixed with firm tempeh: a combination that yields dreamy results the whole family will enjoy.
The homemade taco seasoning is made with pantry-friendly ingredients you may already have in the kitchen. You are going to want to keep this recipe around for future dinners! Whether you're a seasoned vegan or someone who is new to veganism, this recipe is fitting and easy enough for anyone!
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
The ingredients list for this recipe is so simple! Who knew it could be so easy to create such dreamy vegan taco meat? You can find all these ingredients at your local grocery store!
Here is everything you need.
- Tempeh – You can find tempeh at almost any grocery store these days in the refrigerated food section. There is a variety of types of tempeh. I like multigrain the best. My go-to brands are Lightlife and Trader Joes. Or, if you prefer, you can easily make your own.
- Soy sauce – The soy sauce is a prime ingredient in this recipe because it gives the taco meat some savoriness and depth. For a gluten-free option with more umami, use tamari isntead.
- Olive oil – I like to use olive oil, but any type of neutral-flavored oil can be used here.
Step One – Crumble the Tempeh
First, heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. While the oil heats, prepare the tempeh.
With your hands, crumble the tempeh into small pieces and add to the heated pan. Sauté the tempeh while frequently stirring until the color is golden brown.
Pro Tip: Alternatively, you can chop the tempeh in a food processor however, I prefer using my hands because it's less to clean up and you have more control over the tempeh crumbles.
Step Two – Combine Ingredients
Next, add the tomato paste, water, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir well to evenly coat the tempeh crumbles. Cook for another five minutes and remove from heat. Taste and adjust flavors.
Serving and Storing
Serving – There are so many ways to enjoy this recipe! Serve this vegan taco meat with your favorite burritos, tacos, inside taquitos, mixed queso, and crumbled over nachos. This recipe is highly versatile and is the perfect addition to any Mexican-style meal.
Storing – Store the veggie taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Tips and Tricks
Frequently Asked Questions
Tempeh meat is tempeh, a soybean-based product, that has been crumbled for taco meat. Tempeh is highly versatile and takes on any flavor.
Yes, tempeh is a soy product. For a soy free alternative, try this lentil walnut taco meat.
Sure! You can make vegan taco meat out of all sorts of things such as quinoa, ground walnuts, pecans, soy crumbles, lentils, quinoa, cauliflower, and much more!
Tempeh is more nutty and coarse where tofu is more silky, neutral, and absorbent.
Vegan Taco Recipes
Get all my Mexican-inspired recipes for more inspiration!
Vegan Taco Meat
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan and heat over medium heat.
- Crumble the block of tempeh with your hands into small pieces and add to the heated pan. Saute stirring frequently until the tempeh starts to golden-brown.
- Add tomato paste, water, and all the spices. Stir well to evenly coat the tempeh crumbles. Cook for another 5 minutes, until everything is well incorporated and hot. Remove from heat and taste and adjust seasonings.