It’s taquito time! Vegan Baked Taquito Time, to be exact. Taquitos are just a fancy way to say rolled tacos, and these are packed with plants and just begging to be dunked in some fresh guacamole. Let’s get started!
This is a recipe built around leftovers on purpose.
Beth, WHAT? I hate leftovers. Why would I create them on purpose?
Ok, hear me out. In an omnivore diet, many meals revolve around the convenience of grabbing a pound of ground beef from the grocery store, right? There really isn’t a plant-based equivalent available, so I decided to make one. It’s called Vegan Ground Beef, and it’s made entirely of vegetables and seeds or nuts. In addition to being healthy and delicious, one batch can be stretched into three meals. Take, for example, these taquitos!
So you make one batch of the vegan ground beef, and then stash 2/3 of it in the fridge or freezer for future meals (with half of your work already done!). Then you take the last 1/3 of the batch and continue on your way to taquito tastiness.
Ah, the good old taco seasoning packet. I remember it well from my childhood. Can you make your own taco seasoning? Yes, of course, in fact I have a vegan taco meat recipe that calls for just that. But sometimes, it’s nice to be able to have something ready made. The problem is, a lot of taco seasoning mixes have hidden dairy, or weird unpronounceable ingredients. This Simply Organic mix has an ingredients list that is, well, simple! And I don’t have to use a dictionary to understand it. Add that in, along with a splash of water and a can of fat free refried beans (gasp! another convenience item!), and you’re good to go.
Next, we warm up some corn tortillas. A while back we ditched paper towels, so I fold mine up in a clean kitchen towel, sprinkle some water all over the towel, then microwave it for 2 minutes. Use hot pads to take it out, because it’ll be steamy, then you can get your roll on!
Spoon about two tablespoons of filling onto a warm tortilla, then tuck one end over the filling and roll it up tightly, pushing the filling towards the ends as you go. Place them seam side down on a rimmed sheet pan, and bake them for 20 minutes at 425F.
While the taquitos are baking, it’s time to whip up some dips and sides! I used the same pan I made the vegan ground beef in to make a batch of Mexican Cauliflower Rice (the perfect accompaniment), along with some guacamole, savory cashew cream, and a quick pico de gallo.
It’s time to eat! And you have a head start on two other meals! Winner winner, taquito dinner.
Vegan Baked Taquitos
- 2 cups Vegan Ground Beef (ingredients listed below)
- 1 15- ounce can fat free refried beans or pinto beans (check label to ensure it is vegan)
- 1 packet taco seasoning (see notes for which brands are vegan* and instructions to make your own**)
- 24 corn tortillas
Vegan Ground Beef
- 1 head cauliflower
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms (also called baby portobello), cleaned and trimmed
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), or walnuts
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I use these)
Make the Vegan Ground Beef
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- In a food processor fitted with the s-blade, pulse the pepitas and sun-dried tomatoes until they are finely crumbled and no large pieces remain. Set aside to a small bowl.
- Using the shredding blade for the food processor, shred the cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and carrots.
- Heat a large, deep skillet to high heat.
- Add the shredded vegetable mixture and cook until all of the vegetables are soft and the cauliflower is no longer white and opaque, about 8-10 minutes. If any liquid remains in the pan, continue cooking until it has evaporated and the mixture seems somewhat dried out and not mushy.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the pepita/sun-dried tomato mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to combine and warm through.
- Set aside 2 cups and transfer the rest to the fridge or freezer for future meals. (see notes for options)
- Add the reserved mixture back into the pan and add the taco seasoning along with a 1/2 cup of water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the refried beans and stir to combine.
- Warm the corn tortillas until soft and pliable. I like to wrap them in a clean kitchen towel dampened on all sides with a bit of water, then microwave for 2 minutes. The towel will be hot so use a hot pad to remove it from the microwave.
- Bake at 425F for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy. Check at the 10- and 15-minute marks to make sure they are not browning too quickly.
- *Taco seasoning packets often have hidden dairy ingredients. Two brands that I've found that are vegan-friendly are Simply Organic Southwest Taco Seasoning and Old El Paso.
- **To make your own taco seasoning, mix together 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch (optional).
- The remaining vegan ground beef will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge, or a minimum of 3 months in the freezer. It can be used in vegan taco meat, a vegan crunchwrap supreme, vegetable bolognese, vegan chili, vegan cheeseburger soup, vegan sloppy joes, the list goes on and on!
- Nutrition information is calculated based on using 2 cups of the vegan ground beef, without any additional sides or toppings.