Mushroom Carnitas Tacos are made with oyster mushrooms, pickled onions, and a delicious cilantro sauce. These gourmet tacos are packed with delicious vegetarian carnitas flavor and are ready in just 35 minutes!
Have you ever used oyster mushrooms in any of your recipes? If not, you’re in for a treat! These mushrooms are the perfect substitute for meat, and in our case, carnitas. They’re chewy but crisp and have a texture that’s eerily similar to actual pork carnitas. In other words, I love them.
I was feeling a strong taco craving, and knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate my oyster mushroom stockpile. I decided to go for mushroom carnitas tacos, a savory mix of cooked oyster mushrooms, pickled onions, jalapeños, and a delicious cilantro sauce. Oh, and we can’t forget the splash of lime!
These tacos are seriously mouth watering and have quickly become one of my favorite throw-it-together style meals. They’re tangy, slightly sweet, and mega filling.
Here’s what you’ll need
Mushroom carnitas make up the bulk of the filling. And while some vegetarian “meat” substitutes are filled with foreign, fancy ingredients, we’re keeping it simple here:
- King Oyster Mushrooms: The oyster mushrooms are the star of these tacos. We’ll be shredding them with a fork and then sticking them in the oven. Once sautéd, they’ll have a texture (and flavor) just like pork carnitas! (Find them in most health food or asian super markets.)
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to coat the mushrooms for baking. This will help crisp them up a bit.
- Worcestershire Sauce: We’ll be using vegan Worcestershire sauce to add flavor to the mushrooms.
- Spices: A quick blend of common spices take this mushroom carnitas to the next level.
- Orange Juice: Lastly, orange juice gives these carnitas a tangy, bright flavor. It’s an interesting ingredient to use, but one that I strongly stand behind!
The second major component in these tacos? The sauce! And while you’re free to use whatever sauce you like, the cilantro lovers should definitely give this one a try. It has:
- Cilantro: To create the sauce, we will of course need fresh cilantro!
- Greek Yogurt: We will use plain Greek yogurt to add a tangy yet creamy flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar adds an interesting twist that you’ll love!
- Olive Oil: We will use olive oil to thicken the sauce and add a bit of texture.
- Honey: Honey adds a little something sweet that tastes delicious, balancing out the sour vinegar.
- Mustard: A small amount of mustard (1 tsp) goes a long way and tastes perfect in this sauce.
- Garlic: Gotta have the garlic! We will use 1 clove.
- Spices: Finally, we have to add some spices! We’ll be using smoked paprika, cumin, and black pepper.
To assemble, you will need flour or corn tortillas (make your own flavored or plain tortillas), ¼ cup picked red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice! As an added option, you can include avocado slices.
How to make these vegetarian carnitas tacos
Carnitas tacos are simple to make, especially when we’re using mushrooms instead of pork. These tacos require just five steps and involve shredding, baking, and sautéing the mushrooms, creating the sauce, and assembling the tacos!
- Shred the mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Using two forks, shred the stems and caps roughly into pieces. Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the mushrooms: Next, add 1 tbsp of oil, Worcestershire, and spices to the mushrooms, and toss around evenly to coat. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are a bit crispy and brown on the edges.
- Create the sauce: Then, while the mushrooms are baking, add the Cilantro Sauce ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Sauté the mushrooms: Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a sauté pan and set over medium/high heat. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and orange juice. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms become slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Assemble the tacos: Finally, spoon the mushrooms into the tortillas, topping with pickled red onions, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, and a squeeze of lime.
Extra topping ideas
I don’t know about you, but I love to load on the toppings. It’s not unlikely to see me with a plate full of tacos so full that the tortillas will barely close! There are some toppings included in this recipe that I mentioned above (pickled onions, jalapeños, lime juice, and avocado slices), but why stop there?
If you’re like me and love extra toppings, here are some ideas that you can consider.
How to store leftovers
Pro Tip: Don’t store chipotle oyster mushroom tacos pre-assembled! They’ll turn into a soggy mess. Instead, store any extra ingredients individually in securely sealed containers. When you’re ready to dig in to your leftovers, heat up the desired ingredients, and assemble!
Enjoy leftovers within 2 days to maximize on the freshest flavors.
More ways to use oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are so versatile, which is why they’re one of my favorite ingredients! For more delicious mushroom recipe ideas, try these:
- Oyster Mushroom Philly Cheesesteak
- King Oyster Mushroom Pulled Pork
- Buttermilk Fried Mushrooms
- Corn Pulled Mushroom Vegetarian Tacos
Or for a fun twist on carnitas, try our jackfruit carnitas!
- 4 to 6 king oyster mushrooms 2 mushrooms per person, or sub 3 cups regular oyster mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp olive oil divided, 30 mL
- 1 tsp vegan Worchestire sauce 5 mL
- ½ tsp each garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup orange juice 60 mL
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt 60 g
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 1 tsp honey 5 g
- 1 tsp mustard 5 g
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ tsp each smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper
- Shred Mushrooms: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Using two forks, shred the stems and caps roughly into pieces. Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake: Add 1 Tbsp of oil, Worchestire, and spices to the mushrooms. Toss around to evenly coat the mushrooms, then bake for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are a bit crispy and brown on the edges.
- Sauce: Meanwhile, add all Cilantro Sauce ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Saute: Transfer cooked mushrooms to a saute pan and set over medium/high heat. Add remaining 1 Tbsp of oil and orange juice. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms become slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Assemble: Spoon mushrooms into tortillas, topping with pickled red onions, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno, and a squeeze of lime.