Everybody loves tacos! Even in my house, with two small children, tacos are always a winner. Today I’m bringing you this completely plant-based version to add to your weeknight rotation! Quick Plant Based Tacos are easy, fast, heart healthy, and (best of all) 100% delicious!
These delectable morsels come together in about 20 minutes, so no more relying on those high sodium fast food tacos with questionable ingredients. Don’t be scared by the tofu – lots of people are! But in this recipe, we treat the tofu just like ground turkey, and it doesn’t let us down! It turns out saucy and meaty, with just the right amount of kick.
How to Make These Plant Based Tacos
For this recipe, you’ll want to make sure you start by making some DIY Salt Free Taco Seasoning. It only takes a few minutes of mixing together spices you already have.
Now let’s talk tofu. I love Trader Joe’s High Protein Super Firm Tofu here. The reason is because it’s already drained and pressed, so all I need to do is open the package and crumble. But I know not all of you live near a Trader Joe’s. Get the firmest tofu your store has. The firmer it is, the more like ground meat it will seem. If your tofu is packed in water, you’ll need to press it. Now you can crumble it up so it looks sort of like cottage cheese (see picture below). Congrats! You just completed the hardest part of this recipe!
Now you’ll saute some onions until they’re soft and add tomato paste. Get no added salt tomato paste if you can find it. Hunt’s brand has one. Probably other brands do, too. Make it saucy by adding some water, the taco seasoning, and apple cider vinegar. (Here’s a little heart healthy secret: acids like vinegar and lemon/lime juice can mimic some of the qualities of salt. So when you want to lower the salt, try adding some acid!)
Once you have a thick sauce, add the crumbled tofu and combine. Now you’re ready to assemble your tacos! I like to use either guacamole or a simple avocado mashed with lime juice and some Quick Pickled Red Onions from Cookie and Kate. Finish with some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Maybe some jalapeno slices if I’m feeling spicy! Enjoy!
How to Press Tofu
I like to use my tofu press (affiliate link), but you can also stack some slightly heavy, flat items on top. Here’s how:
- Get a plate big enough that the tofu lies completely flat.
- Line the bottom of the plate with several paper towels to soak up the water, and keep the tofu from sliding around.
- Place the tofu on the paper towels.
- Put another paper towel on top of the tofu, followed by another plate.
- Add something slightly heavy and flat to the top of the plate, making sure the stack is balanced. Note: if the item is too heavy, it will crush your tofu! Something like a skillet or a few cookbooks will work great.
- Allow the tofu to sit for about 10 minutes. If you want to let it drain longer, put it in the refrigerator for up to overnight (or the whole day while you’re at work).
Are Tacos Healthy?
You probably guessed that most tacos aren’t that healthy. Which is a shame because it doesn’t have to be that way!
The flavors used in Mexican cuisine are out of this world! I use them often. There’s no need to cover everything in cheese with an extra layer of salt. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese, but there’s a time and a place. I love to let spices shine through and for the ingredients to stand on their own.
These tacos come in around 300 calories for two of them. That’s with guacamole, so if you’re leaving that out it will be lower still. The avocado provides some amazing monounsaturated fats (the good-for-your-heart kind!), though, so consider keeping it!
Here’s where my tacos really set themselves apart. Two tacos come in at 180mg sodium. One basic soft taco at a certain fast food taco chain packs 500mg of sodium! ONE TACO. Yikes.
Quick Plant Based Tacos also boast 10 grams of protein, 23% of your daily value of fiber, and 33% of your daily iron needs. Score!
Heart healthy tacos for the win! Taco Tuesday, here we come!
Quick Plant Based Tacos
Everybody loves tacos! Even in my house, with two small children, tacos are always a winner. This is a completely plant-based version to add to your weeknight rotation! They are easy, fast, heart healthy, and (best of all) 100% delicious!
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 Large Onion, chopped
- 4 Tbsp No Added Salt Tomato Paste
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2 1/2 Tbsp No Salt Taco Seasoning (see notes)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 16 oz (about) Firm or Extra Firm Tofu, drained and pressed
- 10 Corn Taco or Fajita Shells
- 1 cup Guacamole (or avocado mashed with lime juice)
- Pickled Onions
- Fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges, salsa, etc.
Make the Taco "Meat"
Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium heat.
Add the onion, and saute until translucent.
While the onion is cooking, crumble the drained and pressed tofu. Use your hands to break it up and crumble it into a texture resembling cottage cheese.
Add the tomato paste, and cook for another minute or two, stirring continuously.
Pour water into skillet, along with taco seasoning and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine into a thick sauce.
Add the crumbled tofu to the skillet, and stir to combine with sauce. Cook for another few minutes, until hot throughout.
Assemble the Tacos!
I recommend a few scoops of taco "meat," a couple tablespoons of guacamole, a few pickled onions, a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices, and a squeeze of lime. Customize as desired!
Use my recipe for Salt Free Taco Seasoning!