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Need plant based dinner ideas? Try this Vegan Taco Salad recipe! It stars walnut taco meat and a zingy chipotle dressing.

Vegan taco salad
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On the lookout for plant-based dinner ideas? Vegan Taco Salad to the rescue! This genius recipe comes to you by the magic of Walnut Taco Meat: a tasty way to make a plant-based version of ground beef. Turns out, walnuts, mushrooms and spices do a spot on job of simulating the savory goodness of meat crumbles. Add to that fresh veggies and a zingy sauce, and you’ve got a hearty meal that everyone will enjoy: including meat lovers!

Walnut taco meat actually tastes like…meat!

The key to a vegan taco salad is the taco meat. It’s just not a taco salad without it, right? Using black beans makes it more like a burrito bowl. This vegan taco salad shines because of the genius that is Walnut Taco Meat. When we created this recipe, we were blown away by the way the spices simulated the real thing. Here’s the basic idea of how it works:

  • Chop walnuts and mushrooms very finely to the texture resembling ground beef.
  • Add savory seasonings to amp the “umami” flavor of these ingredients.
  • Saute the mixture until it is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in a little olive oil to approximate the richness of ground beef.

You can make up a skillet in just 15 minutes! It’s fast and easy, making this recipe a great easy vegan dinner idea.

Vegan taco meat

Components in this vegan taco salad

What else fills out this vegan taco salad recipe? Here’s what you’ll need to make it into a meal:

  1. Taco meat: Make the vegan walnut taco meat and prepare to be amazed.
  2. Dressing or sauce: If you’re lazy, simply top wtih salsa. Or mix up our Chipotle Sauce or Taco Sauce (see below).
  3. Veggies: You’ve got to have romaine lettuce, canned corn, and either tomatoes or pico de gallo.
  4. Optional toppers: Beans, cheese, avocado, etc are all optional! Add Easy Black Beans or Vegan Refried Beans for an extra filling salad. You could so try our quick Black Bean and Corn Salad.
  5. Tortilla chips: Chips are absolutely required for a taco salad recipe: both for the crunch and the corn flavor. Do not omit!
chipotle sauce in small bowl with spoon

Top it with a vegan sauce or dressing!

Our Classic Taco Salad recipe features our Taco Salad Dressing, a genius mix of salsa and sour cream that forms a super fast dressing. You could always make this with vegan sour cream or cashew cream, but here are a few other options we prefer!

  • Chipotle sauce: This fast and easy Chipotle Sauce is quick to whip up and vegan by way of tahini.
  • Salsa: If you’re in a rush, simply top the salad with salsa. It actually does the job and tastes great!
  • Taco sauce: You can also use purchased or homemade taco sauce.
  • Cilantro sauce: A favorite sauce of ours is this Cilantro Sauce! It requires soaking cashews so is easiest to make in advance: but it’s absolutely worth it for the creamy, tangy flavor.

What to serve with vegan taco salad

Making a filling vegan meal can be difficult. This vegan taco salad is pretty filling on its own, but even more so with a side dish! Here are some ideas:

Vegan taco salad

More go-to vegan dinner recipes

It can be hard to find vegan dinner recipes that are filling and satisfying. (We know from experience!) This vegan taco salad is one of our all time favorites! Here are a few more favorite recipes you might enjoy:

This vegan taco salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Easy Vegan Taco Salad

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Need plant based dinner ideas? Try this Vegan Taco Salad recipe! It stars walnut taco meat and a zingy chipotle dressing.




  1. Make the Walnut Taco Meat.
  2. Chop the romaine, drain the corn, half the tomatoes and dice the avocado. Thinly slice the onion. Prep any additional toppings. 
  3. Make the taco salad dressing by stirring together all ingredients. 
  4. To serve, place romaine in a bowl or on a plate. Top with veggies, taco meat, crushed tortilla chips, and drizzle with salsa or the Chipotle Sauce, Taco Sauce or Cilantro Sauce.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. kanchu10 says:

    I love it. very delicious and healthy, this is the best recipe for vegan taco salad.

  2. William Patton says:

    This recipe goes incredibly hard! I almost got it to look exactly like the photo. Delish!