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Tempeh Vegan Taco “Meat”

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Hands down THE BEST vegan taco meat made of tempeh that is as close as possible to the real thing. You just need 3 essential ingredients and 20 minutes to make this tried-and-true vegan meat recipe!

Tempeh Vegan Taco Meat on a Plate with a Wooden Spoon
As much as I love my go-to 5-minute vegan tacos, I think they could be even better if they had this tempeh vegan meat in them.

Make it once and you’ll never look back. I’ve tried many vegan meat recipes, but this is hands down THE BEST vegan taco meat I’ve ever tried.

No more puzzling over how to make vegan meat, so that it tastes like meat. Along with my smoky vegan pulled pork, this recipe is as close to the original as you can get.

What Is Vegan Taco Meat Made of?

You can make vegetarian taco meat from tofu, quinoa, lentils, mushrooms or walnuts and there is nothing wrong with these.

But this tempeh vegan ground beef recipe is as close as possible to the real thing.

Besides, tempeh is very nutritious and protein-rich. As it is made of fermented soy beans, tempeh is an excellent source of vegan probiotics, vitamins and dietary fiber, among other things.

The Best Vegan Taco Meat

Tempeh gives this vegetarian taco meat a chewy texture and excellent soaking abilities that allows it to absorb the taco seasoning perfectly well. It is firmer than tofu and is considered healthier.

You can find tempeh in your local grocery store near tofu or order it online.

Tempeh is worth adding to your everyday diet, as you can make so many delicious dishes with it, including vegan Bolognese sauce, vegan sloppy Joes, vegan bacon, etc.

Besides, it is super easy and quick to make. You will need 15 minutes and the following ingredients:

Crumbled Tempeh for Vegan Tacos on a White Plate

How to Make Vegan Taco Meat from Tempeh

There are two ways to process tempeh before you cook it to make vegan ground beef out of it.

You can either break it with your fingers into little crumbles or simply grind it. I usually prefer to have more texture in my taco meat, so I crumble it with my fingers (see the video below for instructions).

Once you have it crumbled, sauté some onion in olive oil, add the tempeh crumbles and let them slightly brown for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add taco seasoning and water and let cook for 10 more minutes or until water is mostly adsorbed. Enjoy on vegan tempeh tacos, grilled zucchini and corn tacos, tostadas, in burritos, enchiladas, fajitas or salads.

Tempeh Taco Meat on a Plate Surrounded by Tortillas, Jalapenos, Corn Salsa, Avocado, Pico de Gallo and Lime

Cook’s Tips

  • This tempeh taco meat can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for about 3 days.
  • You can freeze the taco meat in an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months.
  • Add more water if your taco meat looks too dry. If you added too much water, you can always evaporate the excess letting it cook it for a minute or two longer.
  • For more creative recipe ideas check these 20 best tempeh recipes.

Recipe Variations

  • For this tempeh meat, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning, which is an equivalent to one store-bought packet.
  • Add ½ teaspoon cornstarch to create a saucy consistency for your taco meat. Mix the starch into the seasoning and add 4-5 tablespoons of water before adding the mixture to the skillet.
  • Avocado oil or other neutral oils can be substituted for olive oil. If you don’t want to use oil, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the skillet instead.

Vegetarian Taco Meat in a Black Skillet

Make sure to check the recipe video and the full recipe below for instructions. If you can’t see the video, disable your AdBlock for this page by clicking on the AdBlock button and selecting Don’t run on this page.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please let me know how you like it. I would really appreciate you giving it a star rating! Your comments and ratings really help me improve!

Make sure to check my ultimate guide on how to cook tempeh that I put together and discover more delicious ways to cook tempeh!

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4.85 from 26 votes

Tempeh Vegan Taco "Meat"

Hands down THE BEST vegan taco meat made of tempeh that is as close as possible to the real thing. You just need 3 essential ingredients and 20 minutes to make this tried-and-true vegan meat recipe!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword tempeh taco meat, vegan taco meat, vegetarian meat substitute
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 149kcal
$6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Break tempeh with your fingers into little crumbles (see the video above for instructions) or simply grind it.
  • Heat olive oil a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sautée for one or two minutes, then add the tempeh crumbles. Let them slightly brown for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add taco seasoning and water and let cook for 10 more minutes or until water is mostly adsorbed. Enjoy on tacos, tostadas, in burritos, enchiladas, fajitas or salads!

Notes

Enjoy on vegan tacos, tostadas, in burritos, enchiladas, fajitas or salads.

Cook’s Tips

  • This tempeh taco meat can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for about 3 days.
  • You can freeze the taco meat in an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months.
  • Add more water if your taco meat looks too dry. If you added too much water, you can always evaporate the excess letting it cook it for a minute or two longer.
  • Enjoy on vegan tempeh tacos, grilled zucchini and corn tacos, tostadas, in burritos, enchiladas, fajitas or salads.
  • For more creative recipe ideas check these 20 best tempeh recipes.

Recipe Variations

  • For this tempeh meat, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning, which is an equivalent to one store-bought packet.
  • Add ½ teaspoon cornstarch to create a saucy consistency for your taco meat. Mix the starch into the seasoning and add 4-5 tablespoons of water before adding the mixture to the skillet.
  • Avocado oil or other neutral oils can be substituted for olive oil. If you don’t want to use oil, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the skillet instead.

Equipment

Skillet or frying pan

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1.7mg
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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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