Vegan Chorizo Tacos made with chickpeas, mushrooms, chiles, and spices. Ready in just 30 minutes, you’ll never believe how hearty (and healthy!) these vegan tacos are. Serve with your toppings of choice and watch even the most devout carnivores swoon over them!
Why You’ll Love these Vegan Chorizo Tacos
Find these flavor fiestas right at the intersection of hearty and healthy. The filling delivers the same robust flavor and smoky edge as the classic cured meat, yet is completely plant-based.
The vegan chorizo is made of a mix of mashed chickpeas and walnuts, which are infused with loads of spices and dried herbs. Chipotle chiles offer a peppery punch, while dried oregano and cumin lend earthy undertones. A mix of chili powder and smoked paprika give it extra spice and smoky dimension.
Not only is vegan chorizo a more nutrient-dense alternative to the classic cured meat, it’s also super versatile. Beyond adding it in tacos, you can also use it in tostadas, breakfast burritos, or even spoon it over nachos. The chickpeas offer dietary fiber and plant-based protein to make it a hearty and satiating alternative to ground meat.
Kid-friendly, and hearty enough to win the approval of vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Chickpeas: For a one-two punch of protein and fiber, chickpeas create the bulk of the vegan chorizo. Their mild flavor acts as a great blank canvas for taking to bold, smoky spices.
- Mushrooms: Cremini (baby bella) mushrooms add meatiness and umami to the filling. You can also use shiitakes here, which are even more savory, however cremini are less expensive and easier to find.
- Red Onion: Sautéed red onion lends an aromatic backbone and subtle sweetness to the vegan chorizo. You can also use shallots here, if desired.
- Walnuts: Walnuts have the most ALA (plant-based omega-3 fatty acid) out of the nine tree nuts. They’re also a good source of magnesium, vitamin E, and polyphenols (plant antioxidants). I love the texture, richness, and crunch they add to the filling.
- Chipotle Peppers: You’ll find chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce (typically in the international aisle of most grocery stores). They can pack quite the spicy-smoky punch, so if you’re spice adverse, I suggest only using one. If you can handle the heat, feel free to bump it up to two.
- Spices: A mix of cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, and garlic powder create a similar taste profile to what you’d experience with classic chorizo.
- Toppings: A mix of cooling, crunchy toppings can sooth the spice of the filling and create a fresh finish. I love a mix of salsa (homemade or store-bought), sliced red onion, shaved radishes, and creamy avocado.
Step 1: Sauté Mushrooms and Red Onion
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add mushrooms and red onion; cook until mushrooms are golden and onion softened; about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor.
Step 2: Pulse Ingredients in Food Processor
Add chickpeas, chipotle chiles, spices, and vinegar to food processor with mushroom mixture. Pulse until finely chopped, about 8 times, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
Step 3: Cook Vegan Chorizo until Crispy
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high in the same skillet you cooked the mushrooms in. Once hot, carefully empty contents of food processor into skillet. Spread chickpea mixture in an even layer and cook without stirring for 2 minutes.
Stir and continue cooking 5 to 7 more minutes, stirring only occasionally, until mixture is browned and slightly crisp.
Step 4: Serve Tacos with Toppings of Choice
Heat the corn tortillas in a cast iron skillet or over a gas flame until warm and slightly charred. Divide the vegan chorizo evenly between the tortillas, and add toppings of choice.
More Ways to Use the Vegan Chorizo Filling:
- Vegan Enchiladas: Roll inside flour tortillas and line up side by side in a 13×9-inch baking pan. Top with red enchilada sauce and shredded cheese, then bake in a 350ºF oven until hot and bubbly.
- Mexican Casserole: This recipe uses a similar vegan chorizo filling, and is a must-try!
- Chorizo Breakfast Hash: Top with a fried egg and/or sautéed peppers and onions, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese.
- Nachos: Spread tortilla chips on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle the filling overtop. Sprinkle generously with shredded cheese, then place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with toppings of choice and a dollop of sour cream (Tofutti sour cream for vegan/dairy free) or Greek yogurt.
- Vegan Burrito Bowl: If you haven’t tried my copycat Chipotle Burrito Bowls, this vegan chorizo would be a fabulous addition. They’re perfect for weekday meal prep, and even more flavorful than the famous fast-casual bowls.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:
- Make-Ahead: You can sauté the mushrooms and red onion up to 2 days ahead and store in the refrigerator. You can also pulse the whole mixture in the food processor 1 day in advance, and wait to sauté it until ready to eat.
- Store: Place leftover filling in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Place filling in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Reheat: Filling can either be reheated in the microwave or in a skillet. I prefer adding a drizzle of olive oil to a hot skillet, and reheating the mixture until warm and crisp (about 3 to 5 minutes depending on amount).
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More Vegan Tacos to Try:
Vegan Chorizo Tacos
- Food processor
- Large skillet
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 oz. baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, quartered
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (1 for mild-medium heat; 2 for medium-hot)
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
- For serving: Thinly sliced red onion, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, salsa (optional)
- For serving: Cashew Chipotle Cream (optional, however these definitely benefit from a sauce!)
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add mushrooms and red onion; cook until mushrooms are golden and onion softened; about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor.
- Add chickpeas, chipotle peppers, and next 7 ingredients (cumin through vinegar) to food processor with mushroom mixture. Pulse until finely chopped, about 8 times, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high in the same skillet you cooked the mushrooms in. Once hot, carefully empty contents of food processor into skillet. Spread chickpea mixture in an even layer and cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Stir and continue cooking 5 to 7 more minutes, stirring only occasionally, until mixture is browned.
- Serve vegan chorizo in warm tortillas with toppings and sauce of choice.