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Meatless Monday just got a lot more delicious! This Walnut Taco Meat is made with only 7 ingredients and is a vegan alternative to your favorite taco meat recipe.
I can't believe it's taken me this long to share this walnut taco meat recipe! I used a similar mixture in my kale taco salad, and again in my ultimate taco salad, but this walnut taco meat is my FAVORITE of them all.
See, in my household, we're huge fans of "Meatless Monday". It's a great way to get out of your comfort zone while trying new and delicious food. This walnut taco meat fits the bill, and is a plant-based alternative to traditional meat.
- Made with walnuts + shiitake mushrooms for the ultimate texture
- Seasoned with easy-to-find ingredients
- An awesome way to trick your family (in my case, my husband) into eating mushrooms 😉
- Walnuts: When blended/chopped, walnuts create a meat-like texture that other nuts, such as almonds or cashews, do not. Because of this, I don't recommend substituting for any other kind of nut!
- Mushrooms: Ok, so you can technically use any kind of mushrooms, since you're going to be dicing them up. I love shiitake mushrooms because they get slightly crispy (read: not mushy) when you sauté them with oil.
- Spices: The combination of smoked paprika, garlic, cumin, and soy sauce creates a delicious taco seasoning (trust me!!). But, if you want a substitution, you could use regular, store-bought taco seasoning, though you'll still have to add the soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos).
Step 1: Blend the walnuts. Start by adding the walnuts, along with the spices, to your food processor and pulse for 5 seconds or so. Then, with the motor still running, pour the soy sauce in through the top and pulse for 10-15 more seconds until everything is combined.
Step 2: Sauté the mushrooms. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium, then add the diced mushrooms and salt and sauté them for 3-5 minutes until they're soft.
Step 3: Combine. Last, scoop the walnut mixture out of your food processor and transfer it to the skillet with the mushrooms. Stir to combine and heat until the walnuts are warm.
Tips and FAQs
-Be careful not to over-process the walnuts; otherwise, they'll be too mushy when heated and the texture won't be correct. You want them to resemble ground beef crumbles.
-Make sure to dice the mushrooms up really well, similarly to how you'd dice an onion.
-If you want the mushrooms to get crispy (my favorite!), simply sauté them for a little bit longer until they're golden brown.
-California Walnuts wrote about the versatility of walnuts -- be sure to check it out if you love this recipe!
Nope! If you absolutely hate mushrooms, you can use chickpeas (drained, rinsed and patted dry) or cooked lentils instead.
Yes! Prep this ahead and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, add it back into a skillet and heat over medium-low until it's warmed, or reheat in the microwave.
More vegan dinner recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Walnut Taco Meat
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 oz. shiitake mushrooms diced
- 1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste
- Add walnuts, paprika, garlic, and cumin to your food processor then pulse for 5 seconds. With the motor still running, pour the soy sauce in through the top and pulse until mixture resembles meat (be careful not to over-mix -- the mixture should come together in 20 seconds or so).
- Next, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium, then add the mushrooms and salt and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Then, add the walnut mixture to the skillet and stir to combine until the walnuts are warm. Add more salt to taste and enjoy!