Vegan Tofu Tacos (Tempeh vs Tofu)
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Easy Vegan Tofu Taco Recipe – Load these healthy, delicious, satisfying tacos with your favorite plant-based toppings for a winning vegetarian dish that everyone will enjoy!
Why We Love This Vegan Recipe
Vegan Tofu Tacos are the perfect quick and easy dinner for #MeatlessMonday or #TacoTuesday or, really, any night of the week. That’s right folks, you can enjoy delicious Tex-Mex tacos even on a plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan diet!
With our amazing crispy tofu tacos recipe, you get all of the flavor and texture of meat-filled tacos. Yet this lighter version is made mean and lean with extra firm tofu, plus tons of spices and veggies! Best of all, everything comes together in under 30 minutes. So I highly suggest keeping these simple ingredients on hand for any time you need a healthy and satisfying meal in a snap.
Tempeh Vs Tofu: Which is Best for Tacos?
The key to make the best veg tacos is to use the right meatless protein. When it comes to tempeh versus tofu (two of the most popular soybean-based meat replacements), tofu is definitely the right choice here.
Tempeh is great for dishes like Vegan Stir Fry because of how hearty it is and how well it stands up to high heat. Pieces of tempeh are very dense and almost tough, which makes them great for soaking up sauces. However, we like tofu best for tacos due to its soft texture that sears well on the outside.
Ingredients You Need
- Olive oil – or other high-quality and high-heat oil, like avocado or canola oil
- Tofu – extra firm works best for its fry-ability
- Spices – chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pinch of salt, and pepper
- Tortillas – your choice of corn tortillas or flour tortillas; we use flour here
We top this tofu taco recipe with alfalfa sprouts, pico de gallo, diced avocado, and a dash of hot sauce.
Keep reading for more suggestions on the best taco toppings below!
How to Make Vegan Tacos with Tofu
Place the tofu on a cutting board. Gently press with a paper towel on all sides, to absorb any extra liquid. Dry tofu equals a crispy texture on the outside when frying in a pan!
Chop the tofu into ½ inch cubes.
Set out a small bowl. Combine the chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix well.
Then sprinkle the taco seasoning mixture over the tofu cubes and gently toss to coat.
Get the Complete (Printable) Vegan Tofu Tacos Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the skillet. Once hot, place the tofu cubes in the skillet in a single layer. (You may need to work in small batches if you only have a small to medium size skillet.) Cook the tofu cubes, flipping every 2 to 3 minutes until browned on all sides.
Once the tofu cubes are seared on all sides and warmed through, build your tacos.
To assemble: Sprinkle alfalfa sprouts or shredded lettuce over each tortilla. Top with seared tofu cubes.
Taco Toppings Ideas
In our version, we add pico de gallo, chopped avocado, and hot sauce. Feel free to add any additional topping you like!
Here are some more of our favorite vegan taco toppings to get you started:
- Sliced radishes
- Chopped cilantro
- Cashew cream (or sour cream for vegetarian but not vegan tacos)
- Avocado Crema
- Salsa Verde or Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Crumbled cotija cheese (or veg cheese for vegan)
- Black beans
Pair this vegetarian taco recipe with your favorite Mexican cuisine-inspired side dishes!
We love to make it a complete meal and serve it with hearty sides like Crispy Patatas Bravas, black beans, Pinto Beans, or Refried Beans. And a bowl of fluffy rice is always a great idea! Try our delicious Arroz Verde (Mexican green rice), Spanish Rice, or Fluffy Yellow Rice recipes.
And can you ever really have too many veggies? We think not! Add even more goodness to the table with a Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad or Crunchy Bell Pepper Salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use just the right amount of oil and cook over medium heat to get the best crunchy tofu. The key is making sure that the cubes are well-dried and don’t stick, so let the oil get nice and hot first.
Also, do not overcrowd the pan. Too many cubes in the skillet at once will release a lot of moisture, which will result in sad soggy tofu. So it’s best to work in batches with dry cubes.
Cook the cubes per the recipe, and set them on pieces of paper towel to drain the oil and cool. Meanwhile, load your choice of fresh greens and taco toppings into a large salad bowl. Then add the tofu, drizzle on salad dressing (like this spicy tomato ranch dressing!), and toss to coat.
For tofu burrito bowls, place the spiced tofu crumbles over a bed of cooked rice and beans. Then add your favorite vegan taco toppings.
Yes, you can freeze cooked tofu for up to 2 months. However, freezing does cause tofu to become more dense and chewy when thawed and reheated. I suggest reheating it in an air fryer or briefly bake in a 350-degree oven to make it crispy again.
This vegetarian tofu taco meat recipe is great for meal prepping! Leftover cooked tofu will keep well for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Cool completely and transfer to an airtight container before storing in the fridge.
Looking for More Delicious Vegetarian Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Panang Curry Recipe with Crispy Tofu
- Zucchini and Crimini Street Tacos
- Black Bean Sweet Potato Skillet Enchiladas
- Belizean Garnachas (Salbutes)
- Roasted Vegetable Tostadas
Vegan Tofu Tacos Recipe
For the Tofu –
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
- 2 teaspoons chili powder or ground ancho chile
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper
For the Tacos –
- 10 flour or corn tortillas
- 1 cup alfalfa sprouts or shredded lettuce
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1 ripe avocado chopped
- Hot sauce
- Place the tofu on a cutting board. Gently press with a paper towel on, all sides, to absorb any extra liquid. Chop the tofu into ½ inch cubes.
- Set out a small bowl. Combine the chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix well. Then sprinkle the taco seasoning mixture over the tofu cubes and gently toss to coat.
- Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the skillet. Once hot, place the tofu cubes in the skillet in a single layer. (You may need to work in small batches if you only have a small to medium size skillet.) Cook the tofu cubes, flipping every 2 to 3 minutes until browned on all sides.
- Once the tofu cubes are seared on all sides and warmed through, build your tacos.
- To assemble: Sprinkle alfalfa sprouts or shredded lettuce over each tortilla. Top with seared tofu cubes, pico de gallo, chopped avocado, and hot sauce. Feel free to add any additional topping you like! Serve immediately.
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This is definitely a new comfy food! This vegan tofu tacos are so delicious and addicting! So impressive!
I dont usually eat tofu but this recipe made me try it and I loved it! thank you for sharing this recipe!
My family LOVED this recipe! Seriously so yummy! Definitely going to be making this again.
I’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into our diet, and these meatless tacos are a great introduction! My cautious eaters were won over by the flavorful taco fillings and have requested to have more of these soon. As a newbie, I really appreciate your information about what kind of tofu to get, that was so helpful!