Walnut and Tempeh Vegan Tacos

Two different ways to make vegan taco “meat”

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Making awesome vegan tacos is super easy – I actually alternate between two different recipes for the “meat” and both are fabulous. The first is to use walnuts – it sounds weird but it really works. (Even my meat-eating friends enjoy these tacos.) And it doesn’t get much easier – just blend walnuts, olive oil and spices together in the food processor and put it in a taco shell! It’s even raw, which is always nice.

The second recipe is a marinated tempeh – if you crumble up tempeh it has a similar texture to ground beef. Then you just marinate it for an hour or two and heat it in a skillet on the stove (recipe below.)

In this instance I made both and mixed them together and that was fabulous too! Once you’ve got your “meat” just put a spoonful into some corn tortillas, top with chopped tomatoes and cilantro, maybe some lettuce and avocado…you probably know what you like to put on your tacos! Serve with a side of corn or beans for a super quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Vegan Tacos, two ways (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Each recipe makes enough filling for about 8 tacos

Raw Walnut “Ground Beef”


  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. olive oil (or flaxseed oil)


Blend ingredients together in a food processor until nuts are chopped fine. Serve.

Marinated Tempeh “Ground Beef”


  • 1 12 oz package tempeh
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
  • Sprinkle of Tabasco sauce (to taste)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 c. water


Mix all ingredients except tempeh together in a medium bowl. Crumble tempeh into the marinade and let sit for at least one hour and up to overnight. When you are ready to make it, heat a medium skillet over medium heat and pour in the tempeh and the marinade. Heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and tempeh is heated through. Serve.

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8 thoughts on “Walnut and Tempeh Vegan Tacos”

  1. Hi Jessica! I found your website and this recipe by searching for something “different” to make with tempeh. It’s the best dish I’ve made so far with tempeh. This totally beats tempeh bacon and tempeh piccata! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love the idea of using walnuts! I was looking for a vegan taco recipe and I’m really excited to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  3. These look fantastic! Definitely bookmarking for dinner this week – I’m on a huge tempeh kick right now.

    Congrats on the FoodBuzz! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Always looking for easy vegan recipes. Will try the walnut filling tomorrow. Tempeh is not easy to come by in this rural area; will get some on a trip to the big city. Thanks for sharing.