Vegan Tacos with Tempeh Meat

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These easy vegan tacos are made with a perfectly spiced tempeh meat, providing quality plant protein. Nut free, gluten free. 100% delicious!

Three vegan tacos jam packed with colourful grated beets, herbs, avo and tempeh meat

Tacos are so much fun. Messy, delicious fun. They can make for an extremely healthy meal if you do them right.

The anatomy of a good taco should include:

  • Something hearty
  • Something fresh and crunchy
  • Something creamy
  • Something tangy

So in today’s recipe, we have:

  • Perfectly spiced tempeh taco meat
  • Freshly grated beets, fresh coriander
  • Avocado, hummus
  • Quick pickled onions, fresh lime
Vegan Tacos with a perfectly spiced tempeh 'meat' - find them here! Click To Tweet

The recipe for the tempeh taco meat was a real winner with my man.

He was just a little merry on wine when he sat down at the dinner table, so I thought I’d share a snippet of his meal-time monologue with you for a laugh before we get stuck into the recipe…

Mmmm it’s good!
Tell people, you can find this (tempeh) in the refrigerated section of most good supermarkets, that will be helpful for them.
Mmmm this on spaghetti – look out!
With cheese it’s delicious.
This could go on lettuce cups.
Did you write the recipe down?
You have made me VERY happy my love.
You need to tell people about this.
Tell people about all the crappy things in beef mince.
No more beef mince!
So you wrote the recipe down?
Best way to have tempeh.
Vegan mince all the way. Don’t fuck around.
Good healthy dinner aye. Shiiiiet.
Who needs to kill a cow, when you have fermented soy, that tastes just as good!
Is there leftovers?

Dying. He’s too much (and also, not vegan, not even vegetarian!).

Ok, let’s get into it shall we! Let’s start with this infamous vegan taco meat!

Close up of freshly cooked vegan taco meat in a bowl

Vegan Taco Meat with Tempeh and Mushrooms

Vegan tacos need something hearty in there to provide substance. I’ve made an insanely delicious walnut meat for tacos in the past, but nutritionally, tempeh wins as it’s such a great source of plant protein.

The taco meat is relatively simple to prepare, as you’ll see below. It contains a rich mix of spices, tomato paste, and mushrooms to thicken it up further.

How to make Vegan Taco Meat

Start by boiling the tempeh block in a saucepan for about ten minutes. This helps soften the texture, and reduces cooking time later on.

Remove with tongs, then slice it super ridiculously fine in one direction, then again in the other, until you have what legitimately looks like beef mince!

Making vegan taco meat - boiling the tempeh and slicing it very thin

Transfer it to a bowl and add a generous tablespoon of olive oil, toss to coat.

Making vegan taco meat - slicing tempeh into fine strips and coating with olive oil

Next you want to fry a finely diced yellow onion till golden, then add garlic and spices (cumin powder, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, chilli seasoning).

Making vegan taco meat - frying the onion and adding spices

Add finely sliced mushrooms, tempeh and tomato paste, then cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture looks uniform in colour and texture.

I’ve found an extra glug of olive oil during this part is helpful.

Making vegan taco meat - adding the mushrooms, tempeh and tomato sauce to the pan

That’s it! Your tempeh and mushroom vegan taco meat is good to go! Doesn’t it look cool?

Vegan Taco Meat in a bowl ready to serve

How to make Vegan Tacos

Really it’s a matter of prepping your toppings and assembling from here on in, however I have an easy recipe to share for quick pickled onions you may like to try.

To make quick pickled onions: finely slice a large red onion and arrange over a plate.

Pour over equal parts umeboshi vinegar and brown rice vinegar, then cover with a plate and rest a heavy weight over the top. Ideally leave them like this for a couple of hours, then drain and enjoy.

A plate of quick pickles for vegan tacos

To prepare the tortillas: heat a cast iron skillet (or a fry pan if you don’t have one) and toast on each side.

Now you’re ready to fill your vegan tacos up with the good stuff:

  • A layer of hummus over the tortilla
  • A few spoons of tempeh taco meat
  • Freshly grated beets/carrots
  • A sprinkle of fresh coriander
  • Sliced avocado
  • Squeeze of fresh lime

A wooden board full of ingredients used to make vegan tacos with - hummus, fresh beets, avocado, pickled onions, tempeh meat, tortillas!

Hope you enjoy! The taco mince is epic simply served with steamed vege and a fresh salad.

More Vegan Taco Recipes:

Close up of vegan tacos filled with tempeh mince and fresh vegetables

If you make and enjoy this recipe, please leave a rating below. And better yet – leave me a comment to tell me how you got on, or just say hi – I LOVE hearing from you. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest to see more of my everyday recipes and wellness tips.

If you’d like to chat with me about essential oils, or book in a class, you can do that hereIf you’re after a Naturopathic consult, read more here.

Vegan tacos with a perfectly spiced tempeh meat. #vegantacos #tacosrecipes #tacosideas #vegetariantacos #AscensionKitchen
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Vegan Tacos with Tempeh Meat

Vegan tacos filled with the most versatile tempeh 'meat' - protein rich, nut free, and absolutely delicious.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
Keyword: Vegan Taco Meat, Vegan Tacos
Servings: 8
Calories: 213kcal


Tempeh Taco Meat

  • 1 packet tempeh 250g
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano dried
  • ½ teaspoon chili seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme dried
  • 2 rounded tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups button mushrooms sliced (approx. 200g)

Quick Pickled Onions

  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

Tacos + Fillings

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/3 cup hummus
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 red beetroot grated
  • 1 yellow beetroot grated
  • ½ cup fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 2 fresh limes


Quick Pickled Onions

  • Make these a few hours in advance for best results – finely slice the red onion and arrange on a plate. Add the vinegar, then cover with a second plate and weight it down with a heavy object.
  • Leave for up to two hours to press and pickle, then drain ready for use.

Tempeh Taco Meat

  • Fill a fry pan/saucepan with boiling water and boil the entire tempeh block for about 10 minutes, then remove with tongs and tip the water out.
  • Slice the tempeh as thin as you can lengthways, then do the same in the other direction, to create ‘mince’ strips. Transfer to a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
  • In a clean, dry fry pan, heat a tablespoon olive oil, and cook a finely minced yellow onion until golden.
  • Add 2 sliced garlic cloves and all spice, cook for a few minutes.
  • Finely slice the mushrooms then add to the pan with the tempeh and tomato paste, cooking for a further 5-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are done and the mixture looks uniform in colour.


  • Heat a cast iron skillet or a fry pan if you don’t have one, and dry toast the corn tortillas on each side.
  • To serve, spread each tortilla with hummus, then add taco meat, grated beet, fresh coriander, avocado slices and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!


  • The vegan taco meat is incredibly versatile, you can serve as is with a garden salad and some steamed vegetables
  • The tortillas are best dry toasted over a cast iron pan till a little charred on each side
  • Mix up the fillings as you like
  • Nutrition panel is an estimate only


Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1.75g | Sodium: 63mg | Fiber: 4.6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 7% | Calcium: 6% | Iron: 11%
Vegan tacos filled with the most versatile tempeh 'meat' - protein rich, nut free, and absolutely delicious. #vegantacos #tempeh #tempehideas #tacos #tacorecipes #tacomeat #vegantacomeat #AscensionKitchen
Vegan tacos filled with the most versatile tempeh 'meat' - protein rich, nut free, and absolutely delicious. #vegantacos #tempeh #tempehideas #tacos #tacorecipes #tacomeat #vegantacomeat #AscensionKitchen
Vegan tacos filled with the most versatile tempeh 'meat' - protein rich, nut free, and absolutely delicious. #vegantacos #tempeh #tempehideas #tacos #tacorecipes #tacomeat #vegantacomeat #AscensionKitchen


Hi I’m Lauren, practising Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and essential oils educator in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m incredibly passionate about food as medicine, and helping people connect with the healing power of Nature. I’ve been sharing my recipes and health articles here since 2012.

BNatMed, AdDip NutMed, BCS, Certified FitGenes Practitioner.