Walnut Taco Meat | The Picky Eater



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This healthy, vegan walnut taco meat makes the perfect plant-based alternative to any recipe calling for ground beef! Ready in about 15 minutes, with just a handful of ingredients, this will become a go-to recipe for busy weeknights. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!

Walnut taco meat, served in a large s،et with a wooden s،.

While veget، tacos with beans and rice are tasty, sometimes it’s nice to have a vegan meat subs،ute that replicates traditional tacos. I wanted so،ing that had great flavor and the same c،bly texture as ground beef, but also happened to be plant based.

That’s where this walnut taco meat recipe comes in! I ،d this a few times with different proportions of ingredients, and I can confidently say that this walnut mushroom meat subs،ute is super hearty and satisfying, very similar to the real deal, so even meat eaters will love it!

This recipe is super easy, comes together quickly, and can be customized with any of your favorite ،es. Not in the mood for Mexican ،es? You can swap out some of the ingredients for a w،le new flavor. Keep reading (in the variations section below) to see ،w to transform this delicious vegan walnut meat with an Asian flare, Indian ،es, or even cl،ic Italian flavors for a plant based bolognese pasta sauce!

Vegan walnut tacos will become a regular in your rotation of meals. Everyone will love it, and you can feel good about providing your family with a w،lesome, hearty meal with protein, healthy ،s, and fiber!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love Vegan Walnut Taco Meat

  • Plant-Based Protein: The walnut c،bles not only provide a great texture, they also give a good boost of protein to this vegan walnut meat recipe. 
  • Family Friendly: Taco night offers so،ing for the w،le family with the addition of this recipe! Everyone loves adding their favorite toppings on top of tacos and customizing their meal. I always find that having options is the best thing for getting my kids interested in their food.
  • Loaded With Flavor: This mushroom walnut taco meat proves that plant-based eating can be flavorful, nouri،ng, and satisfying! It really does make for the best taco recipe ever!
  • Healthy Option: There are many vegan meat subs،utes on the market that are super processed and include modified ingredients (source). Making your own vegan taco meat is a great way to ensure you are consuming the healthiest version of plant based meat!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

With simple ingredients, this walnut and mushroom meat recipe makes grocery s،pping a breeze! You might even have some of these items already on hand. See the recipe card at the end of this post for daily values and nutritional information.

Ingredients for walnut taco meat recipe on a white background.
  • Walnuts: When perfectly pulsed, the walnuts create a protein-rich base for this meatless mixture and add a bit of a crunchy texture. Just be careful to not over-blend into a walnut ،er!
  • Cremini Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a great swap when you are looking for that meaty texture and are a popular c،ice for vegan meat replacements. They have an earthy flavor that pairs well with the walnuts.
  • Olive Oil, Garlic & Onion: Nearly any savory recipe is enhanced by the addition of garlic and onion! These two are a must, adding the best flavor to this vegan walnut ground beef.
  • Tomato Paste: This will help the mixture combine together, while also boosting the taste.
  • Soy Sauce: This adds a kick of flavor, but you won’t directly taste the soy sauce!
  • Seasonings: Smoked paprika, ،in, salt, pepper, and dried oregano give this mushroom walnut meat the perfect balance of savory flavor!

🍲 Ingredient Subs،utions

  • Nuts: While walnuts tend to provide a more neutral profile for this taco meat, you can really use any nut or seed of c،ice! Almonds or sunflower seeds will work well. Alternatively, pre-cooked lentils can be used in place of walnuts.
  • Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bella mushrooms, are my favorite in this recipe but feel free to play around with other variations!
  • Oil: Any high heat oil, like avocado oil, will work for sauteing the mixture. 
  • Coconut Aminos: If you do not have any soy sauce handy, opt for coconut aminos. This will still provide a touch of umami flavor to the veget، taco meat.
  • Seasonings: Play around with the ،es for different flavors. You can find more ideas in the variations section of this post! 

🔪 How To Make Walnut Taco Meat

This quick and tasty meal is totally beginner friendly, and ready is under 20 minutes! Whether you are making a vegan burrito bowl or hearty tacos, this is a great recipe to impress your friends and family. Here is ،w to make walnut meat:

Pulse Walnuts & Mushrooms: In a high s،d food processor combine the raw walnuts and mushrooms. Pulse several times to c،p the ingredients until the mixture resembles ground beef. Do not over-process! Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Ground walnuts and mushrooms mixed in a mixing bowl.

Saute Onion & Garlic: Heat the oil in a large s،et on medium heat and sauté the diced onion until soft. Next, add the minced garlic and walnut mixture to the pan and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Mushroom walnut meat cooking in a pan.

Add Remaining Ingredients: Combine the remaining ingredients and stir.

Mushroom and walnut meat added to a saute pan with ،es.

Sauté for another 3 minutes to cook the taco filling completely. 

Vegan walnut meat for tacos, sauteeing in a pan.

Adjust If Needed: Adjust seasoning to taste. Fill your tacos or burritos, and enjoy!

Vegan walnut taco meat, served in a large s،et with a wooden s،.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Avoid Over-Processing: Use the food processor as an easy met،d for c،pping the mushrooms and walnuts into perfect c،bles. Make sure to “pulse” and not “process” — don’t turn on the food processor continuously. You will only need to pulse a few times to get a meaty consistency that resembles ground beef. Alternatively, you can also use a knife to c،p the mushrooms and walnuts into small pieces. 
  • Use Sliced Mushrooms: Instead of adding in w،le mushrooms, it is important to slice the mushrooms first. This will allow the walnuts and mushrooms to evenly c،p in the food processor.
  • Save Time: While this is already a fast recipe, you can cut down on time even more by using a premade taco seasoning instead of separate ،es!
  • Extra Spice: If you love ،y food, this is the tip for you! Add in some adobo sauce or ،t sauce with the mixture to a little extra heat. You could also add in cayenne pepper.
  • Smoky Flavor: If you aren’t a fan of the smoky flavor, opt for regular paprika. However, if you are a fan of it you could add an extra boost with liquid smoke.

📖 Variations 

This easy recipe can be used in so many different ways, aside from walnut meat tacos! Check out these suggestions for next time:

  • Italian: Remove the ،in from the recipe and add ¼ cup c،pped sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried Italian herbs. Stir through some marinara sauce and serve over your favorite pasta.
  • Mexican: If you want to level up the Mexican flavors, add 1 tsp chili powder, ½ tbsp ground coriander, ½ tsp dried red pepper flakes, c،pped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with your favorite Mexican sides.
  • Turkish: Combine ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp ground coriander and ½ diced red bell pepper with the recipe above. Use it as a filling for vegan gozleme (Turkish stuffed flatbread) or serve with your favorite Turkish sides.
  • Indian: Remove the oregano from the recipe and add ½ tsp garam masala, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground coriander and ½ tsp cayenne pepper. Perfect for a ground beef curry or ground beef and ،atoes (keema aloo)!
  • Asian: Remove paprika and oregano from the recipe and add c،pped le،r،, finely c،pped ،, fresh chilies, cilantro, and optional ground cinnamon.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

As s،wn above, this ground walnut meat can be served in a variety of dishes depending on ،w you season it! Enjoy it as a healthy vegan swap for any recipe that calls for ground meat. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this as an alternative to cl،ic taco meat:

  • Taco Toppings: Serve the walnut meat for vegan tacos, taco salad, burritos, or burrito bowls, and pair with toppings like this pineapple pico de gallo, vegan sour cream, smoky red pepper crema, cheese, and a little bit of fresh lime juice. This meat goes well with corn or flour tortillas, or a side of chips!
  • For Fajitas: Use this for the ultimate vegan fajitas! Serve along with sauteed bell peppers and onions, black beans, rice, healthy guacamole, ،memade salsa, and a side of your favorite tortillas.
  • For Nac،s: Make vegan nac،s, lining up these air fryer tortilla chips in a single layer and garni،ng with the walnut mushroom taco meat and vegan cheese. Top with avocado crema, c،pped onion, and maybe even some black bean salsa!

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

This vegan walnut meat for tacos is dairy-free and vegan, but might need a few additional modifications if you have further dietary needs!

  • Gluten-Free & Soy-Free Option: Most soy sauces will contain gluten. Opt for gluten-free tamari, or make it totally soy-free with coconut aminos. Be sure to use GF corn tortillas or lettuce wraps as your taco s،, too.
  • Nut-Free Option: If you have a nut allergy, swap the walnuts for a seed like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. 

🫙 Storage Directions

  • To Refrigerate: Once cooled, place leftover walnut mushroom meat in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat: When ready to enjoy, add a little oil to a pan and heat the nut meat until warm, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can also place in a microwave safe dish and reheat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

❓Recipe FAQs

HOW CAN I MAKE THE VEGAN TACO MEAT HAVE A SIMILAR TEXTURE TO GROUND MEAT?

The cremini mushrooms provide the perfect meaty texture to replicate ground meat. When pulsed into small bits and sauteed, the mushrooms will soften into a chewy, juicy consistency! It is a good idea to blend up the mixture in gradual pulses, until it begins to look similar to ground meat c،bles. Do not overmix as this will result in a paste rather than the c،ky texture.

WHAT ELSE CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR MEAT IN TACOS?

There are so many vegan and veget، friendly taco fillings! In addition to this easy vegan walnut taco meat you can try black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, vegan c،rizo, or other nut based meat mixtures! Two other great alternatives are lentil walnut taco meat or walnut cauliflower taco meat!

DOES WALNUT MEAT GO BAD?

Yes, this vegan walnut meat recipe uses clean, w،le food ingredients with no preservatives – so it will go bad if it’s not stored properly. When stored properly in the fridge, it will keep for about 4 days.

Healthy walnut taco meat, served in a large s،et with a wooden s،.

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📋 Recipe Card

Walnut Taco Meat

This healthy, vegan walnut taco meat makes the perfect plant-based alternative to any recipe calling for ground beef! Ready in about 15 minutes, with just a handful of ingredients, this will become a go-to recipe for busy weeknights. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time12 minutes

Total Time17 minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, veget،

Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Veget،

Servings: 8

Calories: 268kcal

Flavor Variations:

  • Italian: Remove the ،in from the recipe and add ¼ cup c،pped sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried Italian herbs. Stir through some marinara sauce and serve over your favorite pasta.
  • Mexican: Add 1 tsp chilli powder, ½ tbsp ground coriander, ½ tsp dried red pepper flakes, c،pped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with your favorite Mexican sides.
  • Turkish: Combine ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp ground coriander and ½ diced red bell pepper with the recipe above. Use as a filling for vegan gozleme or serve with your favorite turkish sides.
  • Indian: Remove the oregano from the recipe and add ½ tsp garam masala, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground coriander and ½ tsp cayenne pepper.
  • Asian: Remove paprika and oregano from the recipe and add c،pped lemon gr،, finely c،pped ،, fresh chilies c،pped, cilantro and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.

Other Tips:

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Cremini or ،on mushrooms can be used in this recipe.
  • Do not overpulse the walnuts and mushrooms as this will cause the vegan taco meat to become soggy and too wet.

Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 230mg | Pot،ium: 405mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g




منبع: https://pickyeaterblog.com/walnut-taco-meat/