The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad

The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad recipe { @beardandbonnet }

I am so excited to be celebrating Emily of The Pig & Quill’s virtual baby shower! That lady totally cracks me up on a weekly basis and makes some scrumptious food to boot. I spent a lot of time debating what exactly I would take to Em’s shower if I had the chance to go celebrate her baby and stuff her face with amazing food in real life and after some deliberation I decided on this – the ultimate vegan taco salad!

It’s so good even the meatiest of meat lovers are going to ask for it again and again! Besides the fact that it’s REALLY GOOD, I knew that if I was bringing Em a dish I would want to share recipes that could be made in bulk and used an infinite amount of ways. This salad is the culmination of 3 of my favorite recipes all mixed together and is something we eat quite often in our home. 

The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad recipe { @beardandbonnet }

I have been making my own vegan taco “meat” for years! Since processed soy is not my friend I have found some pretty creative ways to recreate meat without it. This vegan taco “meat” is a blend of 3 kinds of raw nuts, sun-dried peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and spices it’s fast, easy, and delicious! I always keep a big bowl of it in my fridge for salads like this, tacos, nachos, and burrito bowls. It’s THAT good! 


The dressing for this ultimate vegan taco salad is an avocado and cilantro dressing that does double duty in my kitchen as a creamy drizzle on tacos, and a schmear on my sandwiches. It’s crazy good and my kids love dipping raw veggies in it. Total winner!

The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad recipe { @beardandbonnet }


Lastly, this salad is sprinkled with a healthy helping of my favorite lime roasted pepitas. They are great on just about everything, but also they are perfect for simply snacking. 

I want to send a great big virtual hug to my girls Sherrie of With Food + Love and Gina of So…Let’s Hang Out for organizing this amazing shower! Alright so, now the really fun part!! I am celebrating this day with some seriously talented folks that are all enamored with Emily and can’t wait for the arrival of her sweet little piglet! Be sure to hop around and check out tehir sites for more brilliant recipes today.

Lime Roasted Pepitas

  • Author: Beard And Bonnet
  • Prep Time: 3 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x



  • 1 cup raw pepitas
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • zest of 1 lime


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the pepitas with the olive oil on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 12-14 minutes, stirring twice. (Listen for pooping noises to know when the seeds are almost done)
  3. Remove the toasted seeds from tehoven adn immediatley toss with the olive oil, criander, cumin, salt, pepper, and zest.
  4. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving and store in any uneaten pepitas in an airtight container.


Refresh stored pepitas by popping them in a 325°F oven for 2-3 minutes before serving.


Raw, Vegan Taco “Meat”

  • Author: Beard And Bonnet
  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x



  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried peppers, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Place the walnuts , cashews, and almonds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are broken down into small pieces.
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried peppers olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, gluten free soy sauce, salt, and cilantro to the food processor. Pulse until the tomatoes and peppers are broken down and incorporated with the rest of the ingredients. The mixture will look a lot like ground beef.


Avocado & Cilantro Dressing

  • Author: Beard And Bonnet
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 8 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x



  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and rinsed.
  • 1/2 of 1 large avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water or more if needed to thin out the dressing


  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process on high, until smooth and creamy. Add more water until you have reached the consistency of a creamy dressing. Tweak flavors with salt, pepper, and more lime if you want. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


This dressing is also great as a spread on sandwiches or a dip for chips!


The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad

  • Author: Beard And Bonnet
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x



  • 5 ounces sweet greens salad mix
  • 2 large carrots, shaved into ribbons with a peeler
  • 1 (15-ounce ) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup raw taco “meat”
  • 1/2 cup lime roasted pepitas
  • 1 avocado, sliced thin
  • Avocado & Cilantro Dressing


  1. Place the salad mix on a large platter, and arrange carrot ribbons across teh top. Sprinkle with black beans, cherry tomato halves, taco “meat” , pepitas, and avocado slices. Serve with avocado and cilantro dressing.


OPTIONAL: For presentation purposes you can use lettuce leaves (ie: baby Romaine leaves) to hold the taco meat on top of the salad.

The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad recipe { @beardandbonnet }



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  7. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) March 30, 2015 at 8:40 am

    You have totally convinced me to try this and vegan taco meat for the first time. It looks so good!

    1. Meg March 30, 2015 at 8:43 am

      OMG Jocelyn, I swear you will love it! I hate fake meat replacements, but cannot get enough of this one. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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  10. renee (will frolic for food) March 30, 2015 at 10:19 am

    that vegan taco meat! IT SOUNDS DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to try it! this is right up my alley, recipe wise. snaps to you!

    1. Meg March 30, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Thanks Renee!!! That taco meat is crazy good.. You are going to love it! Thanks for the snaps;) totally made my day!

  11. Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish March 30, 2015 at 10:52 am

    a) that dressing… OMG, yes!! b) I love the walnut/cashew based taco meat. PERFECTION!!!

    1. Meg March 30, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Thanks so much Kelly!!!

  12. Ileana March 30, 2015 at 11:36 am

    So creative!! And great party food. 🙂

  13. Nicole March 30, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    This looks delicious and so fresh! If we were really having a baby shower, this would be such a hit and you’d be going home with an empty plate for sure! I made my own vegan taco meat once and loved it, so I must try your recipe!

  14. Sherrie March 30, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    This is one bomb ass salad Meg!! Pretty sure if it is very Emily approved. Thanks for celebrating with us today, so much love all around, xo!!

  15. Gaby March 30, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    This salad is gorgeous! It looks so, so delicious!!!

  16. stephanie March 30, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    woot!!! this salad is ultimate! what an awesome way to celebrate em!

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  18. cynthia March 31, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Oh my gosh, this salad looks SO, SO good! The vegan taco meat sounds so incredibly delicious, I’m not sure I ever need regular taco meat again. So amazing, Meg!

    1. Meg March 31, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      You are the sweetest, thank you so much!! I tweak the taco meat recipe a lot for different hings, but the addition of sun-dried peppers is my new favorite.

  19. Em @ the pig & quill March 31, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I’ma be totally real and tell you that the word nutmeat really weirds me out — but shockingly, the idea of nut meat (separate words…) sounds pretty dang divine! Your recipes are always so freaking creative, Meg — I’m absolutely honored to have such a talent at my little party! 🙂 Thanks for hanging out and helping to celebrate our piggy-to-be! <3 xoxo Em

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  21. Whit @ Jewhungry April 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    This is a beautiful idea! Of course, please forgive me, but this pregnant lady will have to smother this gorgeous salad in hunks of cheese. But, since it’s vegan, then my kosher-self can go crazy with the cheese. I’m loving this recipe and it’s freshness. So glad to be a part of this shower with you! xo

    1. Meg April 8, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Haha! Don’t think I wouldn’t have shown up to an actual baby shower with a bowl of Cotija or wedges of Manchego for those of us that love a little dairy with our greens! I love me some cheese. So great to have met you through the shower 🙂

  22. Nina April 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    This was incredibly delicious! The meat was especially gorgeous, and everyone agreed they wanted to try it in other dishes. Used lime juice (with extra tbsp.) instead of the ACV in dressing. Toasted a little less than 1/2 cup of pepitas since that is all we needed for the salad because we found it really just needed a sprinkle over each salad. Those lime roasted pepitas were very tasty! We didn’t use any olive oil in dressing because the cashews were enough. Used about 4-5 oz. of lettuce per person! Thanks so much!

    1. Meg April 22, 2015 at 10:16 am

      This is so great Nina!! I am glad you enjoyed the recipes and loved the salad. That taco meat is our favorite!

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  28. Nicole Smith May 3, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Question…Can I use blanched almond flour instead of almonds? I don’t have any and I see they are being processed anyway? Thanks!

    1. Meg May 3, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      I would definitely mix the flour in at the end if you give it a try. The nuts in the taco “meat” are a bit chunky so the texture may change a bit with the flour, but it will still taste great. 🙂


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