These Vegan Taco Bowls are easy to make with a crunchy cauliflower walnut filling, homemade pico de gallo, creamy avocado slices and more, they’re a hunger-crusher that you’ll crave again and again. A healthy and veggie packed lunch or dinner to satisfy that veggie taco craving. Gluten-free, grain-free, low carb, dairy-free, keto vegan, paleo and Whole30 compliant.
Updated January 2021
Easy Vegan Taco Bowl Recipe
Need an easy dinner for busy weeknights? These Vegan Taco Bowls are full of healthy veggies, plant-based protein and perfect when you want a Mexican-inspired dinner but don’t feel like having tacos. They are so wonderfully fresh and flavorful, and they’re jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, plant-based protein and many other nutrients. Plus, they’re gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, low-carb/keto and Whole30 compliant!
You can get creative with this recipe by adding any taco ingredients you’re in the mood for. We like to make ours with a spicy walnut filling and a simple salsa fresca, which we highly recommend trying! But if you’re in a pinch, you can use leftover veggies and store-bought pico instead or try our Veggie Taco Bowls with a seasoned crumbled tofu filling.
Why we love this Vegetarian Taco Bowl
- Quick and easy to make: Tacos are something that my family says they can have on the regular since they take about 30 minutes to put together.
- Simple to customize: You can pretty much use any protein and veggies you like on hand to suit your family. T
- Lots of options for toppings and serving choices: You can even add some grain-free nachos for an added crunch or serve with your favorite rice if you’re not a fan of cauliflower rice.
- Suitable for multiple dietary lifestyles: Naturally gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, Whole30, low carb and keto.
- Works great for meal prep: Everything can be made ahead of time and stored in lunchbox or meal prep containers.
What You’ll Need
We really like to load our taco bowls up with the goods. Here’s what that looks like for us:
For the Cauliflower Walnut Filling
- Avocado Oil: Or extra-virgin olive oil.
- Walnuts: Very finely chopped.
- Cauliflower Rice: If you’re using frozen rice, make sure it has been thawed and drained.
- Taco Seasoning: Use your favorite brand (such as Primal Palate or Siete Taco Seasoning) or save money by making your own.
- Salsa: Taco sauce and enchilada sauce work great too.
- Garlic Powder: For depth of flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
For the Pico de Gallo
- Fresh Cilantro: Diced up into small pieces.
- Medium Red Onion: Dice this up finely too.
- Tomato: Finely diced.
- Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Fine Sea Salt: To taste.
For the Taco Bowls
- Cauliflower Rice
- Lettuce: Shredded.
- Avocado: Cut into thin slices.
- Persian Cucumber: Diced.
- Pickled Yellow Raddish: You can also use cooked corn kernels if you’re not keto, paleo or Whole30.
- Fresh Cilantro & Lime Wedges: To garnish the bowls.
How to Make Vegan Taco Bowls
Even though there’s a lot going on in these vegetarian taco bowls, they’re super quick and easy to put together. Just follow the instructions below!
- Make the Cauliflower Walnut Filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook until they’re toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower rice, taco seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper and salsa. Cook the filling for 7-8 minutes, then remove it from the heat and set it aside.
- Prepare the Pico de Gallo: Meanwhile, add all of the prepared salsa fresca ingredients to a bowl. Season the pico with salt to taste and set it aside.
- Cook the Cauliflower Rice: Cook the rice until it’s soft and prepare the vegetables by shredding the lettuce and cutting the avocado into slices.
- Build the Bowls: Divide the shredded lettuce, cauliflower rice, avocado, pico, cucumbers, pickled radish and walnut filling evenly among 2 large serving bowls. Top each bowl with chopped cilantro, lime wedges and any other garnishes of your choice.
Tips for Success
There you have it! Now let’s discuss some tips and tricks that will help you master the art of making vegan taco bowls.
- Use a Food Processor to Chop the Walnuts: If you have a food processor, you’ll definitely want to use it to chop up the walnuts – it’s much quicker than cutting them with a knife. Process them until the size of the pieces resembles that of ground meat.
- Save Time With Store-Bought Pico: When I’m in a rush to get dinner on the table, I’ll use a pre-made pico de gallo instead of whipping up my own. We like the one from Trader Joe’s, but you can usually find some in the produce section at your local supermarket as well.
- Don’t Overcook the Cauliflower: Your cauliflower rice will get mushy if it cooks for too long. Remove it from the stove as soon as it softens.
Add-ins are what tacos are all about! Just make sure everything works with your dietary needs whenever you’re tossing stuff in or swapping things out.
- Jalapeño Slices
- Red Pepper Chili Flakes
- Shredded Vegan Cheese
- Grain-Free Tortilla Chips
- Vegan Sour Cream
- Black Beans
- Mango Salsa
- Plant-Based Meat Substitutes
- Chopped Almonds or Pecans
Leftover taco bowl ingredients should be kept in airtight containers in the fridge. They will last for up to 3 days. Reheat the walnut filling over low heat, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water or oil to bring back lost moisture. You can also warm it up in the microwave at 50% power.
Can I Freeze These?
For longer storage, you can go ahead and keep your bowl ingredients in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to store everything in freezer-safe containers. Thaw out frozen taco fillings in the fridge before putting together the bowls.
When ready to serve, reheat in the microwave on 50% power, stirring occasionally, until warmed through (which should take a few minutes).
More vegan recipes you will love:
Every vegan needs these easy and healthy Taco Bowls in their life! Loaded with a crunchy cauliflower walnut filling, homemade pico de gallo, creamy avocado slices and more, they're a hunger-crusher that you'll crave again and again.
- 2 tsp avocado oil or avocado oil
- 1 cup walnuts very finely chopped using a knife or process in a food processor until it resembles the size of crumbled ground meat
- 1 1/2 cups riced cauliflower you can use fresh cauliflower rice or frozen riced cauliflower. For frozen, be sure it's been thawed and drained.
- 2 tsp homemade taco seasoning or use your favorite brand. We like Primal Palate or Siete Taco Seasoning.
- 3 tbsp salsa, taco sauce or enchilada sauce homemade or use your favorite brand. We like the Whole30 salsas from Trader Joe's, Frontera or Siete.
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt + black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh cilantro finely diced
- 1 medium red onion finely diced
- 1 tomato finely diced
- 1/2 lime juiced
- Fine sea salt to taste
- 2 cups cauliflower rice you can use fresh cauliflower rice or frozen cauliflower rice but be sure it's been thawed and drained.
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- 1 large avocado cut into thin slices
- 1/3 cup Fresh pico de gallo homemade or use your favorite store-bought. We like the one from Trader Joe's.
- 1 Persian cucumber diced
- 2 tsp pickled yellow radish or sub with cooked corn kernels if not paleo, Whole30 or keto
- Fresh cilantro
- 1 lime cut into wedges or slices
- 2-3 Jalapeno slices optional
- Red pepper chili flakes optional
- Vegan shredded cheese or grain-free nacho chips we like Violife and Siete. This is not Whole30
Make the vegan taco filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add walnuts and cook until toasted for about 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower rice, taco seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper and salsa and cook for 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the pico: Meanwhile, prep the ingredients for the salsa. Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
Cook the cauliflower rice until soft and prepare the veggies by shredding the lettuce, cutting the cucumber and avocado into slices.
Build your bowls: Add the cauliflower rice, shredded lettuce, avocado, pico de gallo, cucumber, pickled radish and walnut filling. Top with some chopped fresh cilantro and red pepper chili flakes.
- To Store & Reheat: Refrigerate leftovers in airtight containers for up to 3 days. Reheat walnut filling over low heat, adding a splash of water or oil and stirring occasionally. Alternatively, warm it in the microwave at 50% power.
- To Freeze: Store everything in freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in fridge before putting together bowls.