Vegan Taco Salad topped with jalapeños parsley and tomatoes.

Vegan Taco Salad

One of my favorite dishes at a Mexican restaurant in my hometown is the taco salad. It comes in a large tortilla shell, and I always get black beans as the protein and ask for no cheese (I cannot have dairy). It is loaded with veggies, protein, and flavor, so I decided I wanted to recreate something similar. I left out the tortilla shell in this recipe and used tempeh as the protein. Due to all the flavor in the salad, I don't think it needs an elaborate dressing, so I just do a light drizzle of lime or lemon juice, vinegar, and some salt and pepper.

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients for vegan taco salad

  • 2 cups of your favorite salad mix, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup corn, canned, frozen or fresh
  • 1/2 cup crumbled tempeh or tofu
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 tsp taco seasoning
  • Oil for cooking


  • A few sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • A few slices of pickled jalapeno

Directions for vegan taco salad

  1. If using frozen corn, measure out 1/4 cup and let defrost first.
  2. Chop onion. Heat pan on the stovetop on medium heat. Add a small splash of olive oil or whatever oil you like to cook with to the pan. Add onion to the pan.
  3. As onion cooks, crumble 1/2 cup of tempeh or tofu. After the onion has cooked for about 3-4 minutes, add tempeh or tofu to the pan. Stir.
  4. Add sunflower seeds and taco seasoning to the pan. Stir. Taste mixture to determine if the seasoning level is to your liking. If more seasoning is desired, slowly add a bit more, and taste as you go.
  5. Cook the mixture for a total of around 8 minutes, until the mixture starts to look golden brown and onions are translucent. Take the pan off the stove to cool.
  6. Assemble salad. Fill a bowl with around 2 cups (tightly packed) of salad greens.
  7. Chop bell pepper and tomato, add to the salad. Add corn. Add tempeh/tofu, seed, and onion mix on top of salad.
  8. Cut avocado in half, slice, and add to salad. If a guacamole texture is desired (like what is depicted in the photo), mash avocado in a bowl with lemon/lime juice, salt, and pepper. Add on top of salad.
  9. If using cilantro, destem, and chop leaves. Add on top. If you like a little kick, I recommend adding the pickled jalapenos!
  10. If a dressing is desired, I recommend a simple drizzle of citrus juice like lime or lemon, a splash of apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper.

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Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 422
  • carbohydrate: 29g
  • cholesterol: 0mg
  • fat: 28.9g
  • fiber: 9.3g
  • protein: 20.7g
  • saturated fat: 4.5g
  • sodium: 24mg
  • sugar: 6g
Photograph by Ashlen Wilder. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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