Our taco "meat" filling is so crumbly and chewy, spicy and savory, and hearty, exactly what you'd expect from a taco filling recipe. Best of all, it's made from whole plant-based foods. You won't find one bit of processed food or crazy ingredients in this gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free recipe.
Back in the day, I only liked my tacos with ground turkey filling and crunchy taco shells. Oh how I've grown.
Back in the day, I didn't like cilantro (foolish me), I didn't love spicy food (what?!), and I only ate tacos about once a month.
Thank goodness those days are over.
Now that I'm older and so much wiser, Mexican food graces my table at least three days a week, and the spicier the better. Come to dinner at my house and you'll find vegan black bean enchiladas, loaded vegan nacho bowls, spicy black bean and shiitake street tacos, even black bean taco burgers. There's such a big variety of meals that you can make when you're in the mood for Mexican, but sometimes, you just want to go old school, and that's where this taco filling with cauliflower, sunflower seeds, and black beans comes in.
VEGAN TACO FILLING IS EASY TO MAKE AND HEALTHY
I've made taco filling quite a bit since I went vegan, and each time the ingredient list varies. Sometimes I use tofu to make a sofritas filling, like this one. Sometimes I make a mushroom tinga, like this one, and sometimes I fill them with black beans, like these. Then there are the times when I crave that crumbly, chewy, spicy ground meat like filling, and that's when I make this.
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY AND PROTEIN RICH VEGAN TACO FILLING
First - Crumble the cauliflower in a food processor, or you can finely chop it with a knife, until it looks like pebbles. Once the cauliflower is almost completely broken down, add the sunflower seeds and pulse until they're crumbly.
Second - Cook the onion and jalapeno pepper in a large skillet until the onion becomes translucent, then ad the cauliflower and the sunflower seeds, as well as the garlic and spices. Stir to combine.
Third - Add the black beans and cook on a low heat until the cauliflower starts to soften, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Squeeze in a tablespoon of lime juice and stir well.
Fourth - Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Turn off the heat so it wilts but doesn't cook. You'll want that fresh and vibrant flavor to shine through, unless you don't like cilantro, then leave it out.
That's it, four easy steps and you'll have enough filling for tacos for at least two nights for the week.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH TACO FILLING?
The possibilities are endless.
Here are some recipes that would be great with this delicious recipe.
Add it to the filling for our Grilled Vegan Dirty Rice Stuffed Peppers
Liberally sprinkle it on our Loaded Nachos.
Definitely pile it on our Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato.
Of course, it's always a welcome addition to any taco, such as our Avocado Potato Tacos.
Make this and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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Healthy Vegan Taco Filling
- ½ large cauliflower
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 15 ounce cooked black beans
- ½ lime juiced
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- Crumble the cauliflower in a food processor or with a knife. Once the cauliflower begins to crumble, add the sunflower seeds and pulse until they’re broken down.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil (see note) on medium heat and add the onion and jalapeno, cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and sunflower mixture and the spices and stir to combine. Add the beans and stir to combine. Squeeze the lime juice over the filling. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, not mushy. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro. It will wilt, but shouldn’t cook. If you don’t like cilantro, leave it out.
Barbara Hart says
This is my very favorite recipe.
I live in Mexico and I invite people to my house and they cannot believe it’s not meat. The only modification I made the recipe is like out of town from 3 tablespoons of chili powder to one because even with my Mexican friends they all thought it was way too hot and spicy. Are use the stuff and everything are you have breakfast burritos with it I stuff it on top of pizzas I make tacos out of it I love everything about it
Linda Meyer says
Hi Barbara! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know how much you and your friends enjoy our recipe. It totally made our day. 🙂 LOL, yes, we love spicy food, and try to tone it down when we write our recipes. I wonder if the chili powder in Mexico is significantly spicier than what we get here? I will go back into the recipe card and make a note about that. Thanks again.
Thank you for this recipe. My granddaughter is allergic to chickpeas, lentils, nuts and soy and it seems every vegan recipe has those ingredients. We need a filling for vegan relatives during the holidays that wouldn’t end us up in the ER. Cant thank you enough
Linda Meyer says
Hi Magaly, you're so welcome! Nothing makes us happier than helping others. Have a wonderful holiday season.
Linda and Alex
Christine @ Run Plant Based says
This looks wonderful, love that it's cauliflower based and can't wait to try it. Thanks!
Linda Meyer says
Thank you! Cauliflower has such a great texture and makes a great meat substitute.