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
Stuff our Mexican Lasagna with a few layers of this spicy taco filling.
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.
Stay tuned for our version of Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme, coming soon. You guys, crunchwraps are dangerous, because we’ve become obsessed, and we’ll be honest, it’s not something that should be eaten on the regular. But, it’s definitely worth making on occasion, because it’s so incredibly good!!
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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- ½ large cauliflower
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt or more or less to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 15 oz 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.
The Nutrition Facts are and estimate only. If you don’t cook with oil you can use a few tbsp of water or vegetable broth to cook the onions and jalapeno. Add more as it evaporates, but don’t add so much that it becomes watery. Add a few more tbsp once you add the cauliflower mixture. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat.