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A hardshell TexMex vegetarian taco with lettuce, tomato, and cheese on a plate.

Vegetarian Tacos with TVP

Ready in less than 15 minutes, this easy recipe for vegetarian tacos using TVP will have dinner on the table in no time!
INGREDIENTS AT A GLANCE

Taco "Meat"

  • 2 tbsp safflower oil (or vegetable)
  • 1/4 small onion chopped fine
  • 1 batch taco seasoning (recipe here)
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce (vegan)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 package taco shells

Taco Toppings

  • 1/4 lb cheddar cheese shredded
  • 3/4 small onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño sliced
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 leaves lettuce chopped
Total Time:
15 minutes
Serves:
10 tacos

Vegetarians! Don’t give up on tacos! Sure you could use expensive crumbles and sad substitutions like mushrooms or beans. But to get a fix for an authentic TexMex taco, you need that flavorful loose meat texture that we all know and love.

And I know I love tacos! I have easily made them a thousand times (maybe more) and never grow tired of them. I’ve had them in all varieties, shapes, and sizes. At one point, I wanted to give up eating meat but I just couldn’t give up tacos. I tried everything but there was just no substitute that really filled that meaty void in a taco shell. That is, until textured vegetable protein (TVP) came into my life.

TVP is by far the best solution to vegetarian tacos that I’ve found. If you get some with large flakes, it plays the role of ground meat perfectly. By using textured vegetable protein, you get the soft loose meat texture that you’re looking for.

A hardshell TexMex vegetarian taco with lettuce, tomato, and cheese on a plate.

Vegetarian Tacos with TVP

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serves 10 tacos

Ingredients  

Taco "Meat"

  • 2 tbsp safflower oil (or vegetable)
  • 1/4 small onion chopped fine
  • 1 batch taco seasoning (recipe here)
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce (vegan)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 package taco shells

Taco Toppings

  • 1/4 lb cheddar cheese shredded
  • 3/4 small onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño sliced
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 leaves lettuce chopped

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a small sauce pan. Add the onions and sauté. Once the onions are translucent, add the taco seasoning and mix well until a paste is formed. Stir and heat for 15 seconds.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and water. Mix thoroughly into the spices, then bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat, add the TVP, and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust any spices before serving.
  • Cut toppings and serve alongside the taco meat. Layer some taco meat, then some of each topping in a taco shell. Rejoice—you've made tacos!
Course: Main Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: taco tuesday, tacos, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Making Vegetarian Tacos in a Tiny Kitchen

This recipe is completely painless! As a matter of fact, I think it’s better to make TVP tacos in a tiny kitchen than it is to make meaty ones! You don’t get all that grease spatter from browning meat and you don’t have to use a large frying pan! (When it comes to washing dishes in my tiny sink, I like to avoid big objects whenever possible.)

Clean up consists of a small pot, a cutting board, measuring cup, and knife. Chop a bunch of vegetables and 15 minutes later and you’re eating tacos!

What is Textured Vegetable Protein?

TVP (a.k.a. textured vegetable protein) is dried soy protein that can be rehydrated and used as a substitute for ground meat in many different kinds of recipes. When buying it at the grocery store, try to find the largest flakes you can get. This will get you the closest texture to ground meat. TVP by Bob’s Red Mill consistently has the largest flake size that I’ve found. I recommend their brand and I use it frequently. It’s also pretty easy to find in the grocery store in either the organic/natural food section or in the baking aisle.

Check out my article What is TVP if you’re interested in how to prepare and store it for use in other recipes or want to experiment with some of my other TVP recipes.

Worcestershire!

Yeah, yeah… Worcestershire sauce is not usually considered vegetarian. There are, however, several brands that sell vegetarian or vegan Worcestershire sauce and I recommend that you find one of those. You could also completely omit it. If you don’t often cook with Worcestershire sauce, you probably won’t even know what’s missing. So get a vegetarian/vegan version or don’t use it.

For me, I like to cook with it. It’s a good addition and adds a lot flavor. There’s a particular je ne sais quoi that lends to dishes that makes them taste more like meat. All of my recipes are good with or without the Worcestershire sauce.

That’s it!

Make up a batch of these vegetarian tacos and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to come back and give me your rating. If you have any questions or find other substitutions that are yummy, feel free add those in your comments! As always, if you like this recipe, please share it on social media so other people know about it too. Let’s eat!

That’s it!

Give this recipe for Vegetarian Tacos with TVP a shot and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to come back and give me your rating. If you have any questions or find other substitutions that are yummy, feel free to add those in your comments! As always, if you like this recipe, please share on social media so other people know about it too.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Tacos with TVP
Amount Per Serving
Calories 269 Calories from Fat 145
% Daily Value*
Fat 16.1g25%
Saturated Fat 5.6g28%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 362mg15%
Potassium 142mg4%
Carbohydrates 24.9g8%
Fiber 2.1g8%
Sugar 1.6g2%
Protein 7g14%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values based on a 2000 calorie diet.
First Published On: June 1, 2018
Last Modified On: May 10, 2024
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Tell Me About Your Results

3 responses to “Vegetarian Tacos with TVP”

  1. 5 stars
    This is spiced right.

    I don’t even use taco sauce just eat it the way it is.

    Great and easy to make recipe

  2. Thank you for taking the time share your experience with this recipe. Heavy spices like the ones used here can easily become overpowering for people with a sensitive palate. You can adjust the quantity of spices by preparing the seasoning mix in a small bowl and then add according to your preference. Start slow with only a 1/2 of a batch. Right before you add your TVP to the spiced water, dip a spoon in it and give it a taste. With TVP, what you taste in the liquid is what you get when rehydrated. Add more seasoning until you reach your desired strength then stir in your TVP.

    You can also substitute my taco seasoning recipe for another or even a package of mix from the grocery store. 1 cup of TVP equates to 1 lb of meat, so use a quantity that will season 1 lb of meat.

    I really appreciate your feedback and hope this helps. Have a fantastic day!

  3. 1 star
    There is a problem with this recipe. The whole batch of spices is clearly TOO MUCH, it ruined my tacos! I had to rince my TVP to be able to eat them…

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Valerie is the author of Tiny.Kitchen. With mouthwatering recipes and useful techniques, she combines her experience living in an RV with her professional cooking skills and love of food to address the unique concerns of those who want to make delicious meals in their tiny kitchen. Learn more »

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