Tempeh was one of my favorite proteins when I was vegetarian. It’s nutty, it’s chewy, it’s all around more interesting than tofu any day. It soaks up less oil when frying, it never needs to be pressed or frozen or coddled or massaged or flattered before you can cook it, and it’s kind of expensive. That last one isn’t really a selling point, I realize, but just an FYI. You can buy it in all sorts of flavored marinades, too, and that’s when it gets real pricey. For this recipe, you can just buy the plain old tempeh, save a little money, and make some really good vegetarian tacos with it.
Like I mentioned in the video, if you don’t do soy, you can swap out about 2 cups of cooked, drained beans for the crumbled tempeh. I like kidney beans or black beans for their firm texture.
Top these with whatever taco toppings turn you on: avocado, lettuce, cabbage, tomato, pico de gallo, salsa verde, sour cream, you get it. I personally prefer these in a flour tortilla, but corn is good, too. Or serve them in crispy shells! See my crispy beef tacos recipe to learn how to bake your own low-fat crispy taco shells at home.
Vegetarian Tacos Video
Vegetarian Tacos Recipe – Printable!
- 1 tablespoon oil, plus a little more later
- ½ cup minced onion
- 1 package (8 ounces) tempeh
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 carrot, minced
- 1 ear corn, kernels cut (or 1 cup frozen thawed corn kernels)
- ½ poblano pepper, diced
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms, chopped (or ¼ cup diced fresh mushrooms)
- ½ cup water or stock
- 1 tablespoon liquid amino acids or soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- For serving: Tortillas, salsa, avocado, pico de gallo
- Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat a few minutes until softened.
- Crumble in the tempeh and cook, breaking up into small chunks, for a few more minutes until beginning to brown. (You can also dice it finely)
- Add a little more oil if you need to, then the tomato paste and spices and fry 60 seconds.
- Add the vegetables, water, and seasoning and stir.
- Simmer uncovered 20 minutes until carrots are tender and seasonings have blended.
- Squeeze lime juice on jest before serving