Beefless Vegan Tacos


Take taco night in a new direction with these healthy vegan tacos. We've swapped crumbled tofu for the ground beef, without sacrificing any of the savory seasonings you expect in a taco. You can also use the filling in burritos, bowls, taco salads and to top nachos.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
8 tacos

If you're craving the flavors of a classic ground beef taco but you'd rather nix the meat, you need to try our beefless vegan tacos, which call for crumbled tofu instead of ground beef, without skimping on any of those savory Mexican seasonings you expect in a taco filling. The tofu crumble is super-versatile-try it in burritos, bowls, taco salads and stuffed peppers and on nachos.

Tips for Making Beefless Vegan Tacos

1. Choose the Right Kind of Tofu

Many people say they don't like tofu, but maybe that's because they haven't had it prepared in a delicious way. Tofu is made from soybeans much like cheese is made from milk. Soybeans are soaked, then pureed and drained into soymilk. From there, the soymilk is separated into curds and whey. Then, just like with cheese, the curds are put into molds and pressed. Depending on how long the tofu curds are pressed, the firmer the resulting tofu. Our recipe calls for extra-firm tofu, which works the best for making crumbles.

Season the Tofu Well

2. Season the Tofu Well

Because of its mild flavor, tofu is very versatile and takes well to all sorts of spices and flavor profiles. To get those classic taco flavors, we combine extra-firm tofu with tamari (or soy sauce), chili powder and garlic powder and then cook the tofu in a little olive oil to infuse the seasonings.

Add a Creamy Topping and Great Garnishes

3. Add a Creamy Topping and Great Garnishes

The perfect taco is about more than just the filling, of course. Something creamy is a must, so instead of a dollop of sour cream, our tacos are topped with a simple combo of mashed avocado, vegan mayo, lime juice and a little salt. This vegan crema is sort of like thinner guacamole. You can easily mash the avocados for the crema (and for guac) using a potato masher. Pico de gallo or salsa, pickled radishes and shredded lettuce are other nice additions, but feel free to mix it up with your favorite taco toppings.

Check Your Wallet: Beef Tacos vs. Vegan Tacos

For a price comparison on vegan vs. beef tacos, we turned to vegan celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli (aka Chef Chloe on Instagram and YouTube). She explains that vegan beefless tacos cost about $1 less to make and are 23 cents less expensive per serving than beef tacos. "If you compare only the protein [for the whole recipe]—ground beef to tofu, the vegan option costs $2.25 while the beef version costs more than double at $4.79," says Coscarelli. "And if you decide to go with grass-fed or organic beef, that'll cost you even more—up to $10 per pound! So, any way you look at it, vegan tacos are the cheaper way to go."

Beef Tacos vs. Vegan Tacos

Environmental Impact: Beef Tacos vs. Vegan Tacos

Beef tops the list from the Natural Resources Defense Council as the worst food to eat for climate change because of the emissions associated with beef production. So switching to plant-based protein—like our beefless tacos—can help reduce the environmental impact of your diet. A typical nonvegetarian diet uses 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more energy and 13 times more fertilizer than a vegetarian diet.

Nutritional Comparison: Beef Tacos vs. Vegan Tacos

When it comes to nutritional differences, a serving of two vegan beefless tacos has 87 fewer calories than two traditional beef tacos. Vegan tacos have 4 grams more fiber per serving and 3 grams less saturated fat per serving. Our vegan taco recipe will also save you sodium, clocking in with 320 milligrams less per serving than traditional beef tacos.

Tofu is a good source of iron, so these vegan tacos have 20 percent of your daily iron needs, just like the beef ones.

Even if you enjoy meat, these vegan tacos are a great alternative to add to your repertoire—for Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday or anytime you want those savory taco flavors without the beef.


  • 1 (16 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained, crumbled and patted dry

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

  • Pinch of salt

  • ½ cup fresh salsa or pico de gallo

  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed

  • Pickled radishes for garnish


  1. Combine tofu, tamari (or soy sauce), chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, mash avocado, mayonnaise, lime juice and salt in a small bowl until smooth.

  3. Serve the taco "meat" with the avocado crema, salsa (or pico de gallo) and lettuce in tortillas. Serve topped with pickled radishes, if desired.



To make ahead: Prepare through Step 1 and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Learn more about how to make these vegan tacos.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

360 Calories
21g Fat
33g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 2 tacos
Calories 360
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 17g 33%
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Vitamin A 556IU 11%
Vitamin C 8mg 9%
Folate 64mcg 16%
Sodium 610mg 27%
Calcium 375mg 29%
Iron 4mg 21%
Magnesium 93mg 22%
Potassium 553mg 12%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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