This Vegan Taco Salad is packed with plant-based protein and makes for an easy dinner idea! Start with a bed of greens, and top it with a taco salad mixture of rice, pinto beans, and crumbled tofu, all seasoned with traditional taco spices!
The Best Vegan Taco Salad Recipe
I try to make just as many plant-based recipes for my family as I do recipes that contain meat. Plant-based meals are packed with lots of fiber, and can also contain a good amount of protein if you use plant-based protein sources like tofu and beans.
I love tofu because it is so versatile, you can really make it taste like whatever you want. In this case, I used lots of spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder to season it as you would a traditional taco meat mixture. I crumbled the tofu and browned it just like you would cook ground beef, and then I mixed it with rice and pinto beans for extra flavor, fiber, and complex carbs.
Ingredients You Need:
- rice – I like using brown rice for this, but any type of rice will work.
- pinto beans – This feels the most traditional to me, but black beans are delicious in this too! Make it easy and use canned beans.
- extra firm tofu – You need to make sure you get extra firm tofu for this, it will crumble much better and contain less liquid and moisture.
- greens mix – My favorite mix to use is a spring salad mix, the leaves are delicate and go well with the texture of the taco mixture.
- bell pepper – they add that crispy, crunchy texture.
- tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes are perfect on this.
- vegan sour cream – Of course you need sour cream! You can use regular if you eat dairy, or go with something like Tofutti (my favorite sour cream brand) if you want to keep the whole meal vegan.
- homemade guac – (or just sliced avocado)
Tips for Making The Best Taco Salad
- Brown the tofu until it is crispy, you will basically treat it as you would ground meat. This is important for getting a good texture out of the tofu, so cook it for longer than you think you need to.
- Use canned pinto beans (or black beans) to save time, but of course feel free to soak dried beans if you want!
- Use your favorite greens mix, it can be all spinach, or a spring salad mix.
- Don’t forget the sour cream and guac! They add so much flavor and creamy texture to the salad. My favorite dairy-free sour cream is from Tofutti.
- You can add extra salad toppings if you want! A few ideas would be charred corn, diced red onion, or salsa!
- serve it with your favorite tortilla chips and salsa! They add the perfect crunch!
You are going to love this simple and flavorful meal so much! It is a nice change up from the traditional taco salad, and just as delicious!
Vegan Taco Salad
- 1 8oz pkg extra firm tofu
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 (15oz) can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 avocados (sliced)
- vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
- To cook the rice, combine the dry rice with 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
- To cook the tofu, remove the tofu from the package and press it down with a towel to remove most of the water. Preheat a large skillet (I used cast iron) over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then add the block of tofu. Use a wooden spoon to start to break up the tofu into small pieces. Keep mashing the tofu until it is in small pieces that resemble ground meat.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until it is brown to your liking. I got mine very dark, I like the texture better that way. It took about 10 minutes.
- Once the rice and tofu are both cooked, add the rice and beans into the skillet with the tofu. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and stir everything together, and cook just long enough to heat the beans through. Then remove from heat and set aside.
- To assemble the salads, put 2 cups of mixed greens on a plate or bowl, then spoon about 3/4-1 cup of the rice/tofu mixture on top. Then top with tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, and sour cream.
- Enjoy with your favorite chips and salsa!