Flavor-packed vegan Tempeh Taco Meat with smoky spices and the perfect texture (and it’s ready on the stove in under 15 minutes)!
Life is too short for bad tacos. I wish past-Sarah was aware of this, back when she would throw the contents of her fridge onto a tortilla and call it a taco. But now that present-Sarah knows how to make the best ever vegetarian taco meat using tempeh, there will never be a bad taco again.
And I’m not exaggerating when I say just how good this taco meat is. I mean you can make taco meat out of anything…quinoa, walnuts, tofu, it’s all been done. But tempeh is my favorite for it’s slightly chewy texture, flavor absorbing power, and ease of use.
Grated tempeh lays the base, giving this vegan taco meat the perfectly chewy texture (unlike tofu, which tends to fall flat in the texture department). It’s seasoned with a quick blend of spices (including smoked paprika for that addictive smoky flavor), and tied together with tomato paste!
What goes into this tempeh taco meat?
- Tempeh: Grated using a box grater to create the perfect vegan “ground meat”. More on the wonders of what tempeh is here.
- Oil: We’ll brown the tempeh slightly in oil, but you can leave out the oil if you need to. Just be sure to use a nonstick skillet!
- Spices: Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika lay down some serious flavor. Adjust as needed to suit your taste!
- Tomato paste: Tomato paste is the glue holding it all together, giving a rich color and umami flavor.
How to serve this tempeh taco meat
- In place of the “pulled pork” on these vegan nachos
- In these burrito bowls
- Mixed into this Mexican Street Corn Salad
- With corn ceviche in these tacos
- On these kimchi tacos
- 1 8-oz package tempeh 226 g
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- 1 tsp each cumin and chili powder
- 1/2 tsp each salt and smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste 30 g
- 1 Tbsp water 15 mL
- Cook Tempeh: Roughly grate tempeh using a box grater. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium/high heat, then add tempeh. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Flavor: Stir in remaining ingredients. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, until the sourness from the tomato paste cooks out.
Thanks so much for dropping by and for making easy vegan recipes like this Tempeh Taco Meat possible! Be sure to snap a photo and tag #liveeatlearn on Instagram is you give it a go.