A vegan taco salad is an easy and delicious way to add a healthy and flavorful lunch or dinner to any menu. The combination of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, beans, corn, and homemade dressing makes it such a nutritious meal and so tasty! Whether you’re vegan or not, this salad is sure to be a hit with everyone. Serve your vegan taco salads with some cut-up veggies on the side, and you have a complete meal that everyone will love. Not only does it taste amazing, but it is affordable and so simple to make.
Why You'll Love This Vegan Taco Salad Recipe
Quick To Make- This vegan taco salad takes about 10 minutes to make. All you have to do is chop up the vegetables, prepare the dressing, and combine everything together in a bowl.
A Great Summer Recipe- This vegan taco salad is a perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. The fresh ingredients and light dressing make it the perfect choice for a refreshing meal.
Flavorful- The combination of lettuce, tomatoes, corn, beans, and onions makes this a flavorful vegan taco salad that will satisfy your taste buds. The homemade dressing adds an extra layer of flavor to the mix that you won’t want to miss out on.
Nutrient-Rich- The ingredients used in this vegan taco salad are all natural and nutrient-rich. They provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.
What Is A Taco Salad?
Taco salads are a classic Tex-Mex dish that combines flavors from both Mexican and American cuisines. It typically consists of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, beans, salsa, and other veggies topped with crispy fried tortilla strips or chips. These ingredients are usually served over a bed of lettuce and dressed in a Mexican dressing like ranch or avocado cream. There are many variations of taco salads that can be made to suit different tastes and dietary requirements, like this vegan version.
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Large Bowl
- Large Spoon For Tossing
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Vegan Sour Cream or Yogurt- Adds a creamy and tangy flavor to the dressing that complements the other ingredients.
- Lime Juice- Gives the dressing a zesty and bright acidity that balances out all of the flavors.
- Onion Powder- Adds depth to the dressing without being overpowering.
- Garlic Powder- Enhances the savory flavor of the dressing.
- Chili Powder- Offers a nice hint of spice to the dressing.
- Salt- Helps to bring out all of the flavors in the dressing.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- Adds a tart kick that helps to cut through the richness of the dressing.
- Maple Syrup- Sweetens the dressing and helps to offset some of the acidity from the lime juice.
- Shredded Lettuce- A great base for the salad that serves as a mild and crunchy backdrop.
- Canned Sweet Corn- Canned corn adds a subtle sweetness and hint of texture to the salad.
- Tomatoes- A juicy pop of flavor that adds vibrant color to your taco salad. Roma, grape, and cherry tomatoes will all make excellent options.
- Canned Black Beans-A great source of plant-based protein that also adds a bit of creaminess and body.
- Taco Tofu or Vegan Meat Substitute- For a meat-like texture and flavor without animal products.For a meat-like texture and flavor without animal products.
- Red Onion- A sharp and pungent flavor that adds a nice contrast to the other ingredients.
- Tortilla Chips- Crunched for garnish.
How To Make A Vegan Taco Salad
Begin by making the dressing. Whisk together your vegan sour cream, lime juice, onion, garlic, chili powder, and salt, along with the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, in a medium mixing bowl and set it aside.
Then, start making the salad by combining lettuce, corn, tomatoes, black beans, taco tofu, and red onion in a large bowl. Then, pour the dressing onto the vegetable mixture and gently toss or stir everything to ensure that the salad is coated in the dressing. Chill the salad briefly before serving, and add some crushed tortilla chips on top as a garnish.
How to Make Tofu Taco Meat
Drain smoked tofu and chop it finely or crumble it with your fingers until it's broken into ground meat-like pieces. Heat vegetable or olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan on medium heat. Add the crumbled tofu taco "meat" and taco seasoning. Cook the mixture for 5-8 minutes or until the tofu has achieved your desired consistency.
Popular Substitutions And Additions
This vegan taco salad is extremely versatile and can be customized to suit your taste. Some popular substitutions and additions include:
- Avocado- A creamy and nutrient-dense addition that adds healthy fats to your salad.
- Lettuce- Although iceberg lettuce is the most popular option, romaine lettuce
- Beans- Swap out the canned black beans for pinto beans,
- Fresh Cilantro- Freshly chopped cilantro bring a bright, herbaceous flavor and beautiful pop of color.
- Sliced Jalapenos- For some extra spice and heat.
- Nutritional Yeast- To give the salad a cheesy flavor without any animal products.
- Bell Peppers- For a crunchy texture and vibrant color.
- Cucumbers- Cool and refreshing flavor with a nice crunch.
- Olives- Adds an earthy, salty flavor to the salad.
- Dairy-Free Cheese- For a cheesy vegan topping.
- Nuts and Seeds- For a little crunch and plant-based protein.
- Additional Toppings- Vegan sour cream, pico de Gallo, dried oregano, salsa, and dairy-free chipotle sauce.
No matter how you customize it, this vegan taco salad is sure to be a hit! Enjoy!
Can I Freeze A Vegan Taco Salad?
No, it is not recommended to freeze this vegan salad. The lettuce and other vegetables can become limp, and the dressing may separate. It is best to enjoy this salad fresh.
Vegan Taco Salad Recipe FAQs
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can use a gluten-free tortilla chip or omit them altogether to make this salad gluten-free.
What is a good vegan taco meat?
There are many vegan meat substitutes available on the market these days. Some popular ones include walnut taco meat, tempeh, mushrooms, and jackfruit. You can also make your own taco "meat" by mixing together a taco seasoning and a blend of spices with beans or cooked lentils such as green lentils, brown lentils, or red lentils. Experiment with different flavors and see what you like best!
Can I use a store-bought dressing instead?
Yes, you can definitely use a store-bought vegan dressing instead. A creamy southwestern dressing would be amazing on this taco salad! Just make sure to check the label for any animal products or allergens before using it.
What is the best lettuce to use in a vegan taco salad?
Iceberg lettuce is the most common type of lettuce used for a taco salad, but you can also use romaine lettuce, leafy greens, or even spinach if you want something with more nutrients.
Can I make a vegan taco salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the salad up to 1 day ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. The dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in a separate container in the refrigerator.
Vegan Taco Salad
For the dressing
- 1 cup Vegan sour cream or yogurt
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
For the salad
- 3 cups shredded lettuce I used Iceberg
- 1 cup canned corn rinsed, drained
- 1 cup tomatoes seeded, chopped
- 1 ½ cup canned black beans rinsed, drained
- 1 cup Taco tofu* or cooked Vegan meat substitute
- ½ cup red onion
- Crushed tortilla chips for garnish, optional
- Make the dressing; whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
- Make the salad; add lettuce, corn, tomatoes, black beans, Taco tofu, and red onion into a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad.
- Toss or stir gently to coat the salad with the dressing.
- Chill briefly before serving.
- Serve with some crushed tortilla chips on top.
- 1 block of smoked tofu
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 ½ tbsp Taco seasoning