Vegetarian Taco Salad

Sometimes you really just need tequila. And sometimes you need food to go with it. Here’s my favorite taco salad for tequila-necessary days. It’s pretty simple, but you can make it more complicated if you want to by adding more variations.

Vegetarian Taco Salad and Sotol

Recipe: Vegetarian Taco Salad


  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 package veggie crumbles (equivalent to 1 lb ground beef)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 serrano peppers, stemmed and chopped (seeds removed or not, depending on desired spiciness)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder (Penzeys, or some other high-quality brand)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • tortilla chips (or taco shells)
  • fresh chopped lettuce, preferably green or red leaf
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • roasted corn (optional)
  • roasted bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • avocado, sliced or chopped (optional)
  • salsa (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the onions, garlic, and peppers for a few minutes, until the onions just start to caramelize.
  2. Add salt, chili powder, black pepper, and cumin, stirring briefly to let the spices cook a bit. Then add veggie crumbles and water. Mix well, and reduce heat to a simmer. If adding additional ingredients that need heating (roasted corn, roasted bell pepper, etc.), now’s the time. Simmer for five minutes or so, until the veggie crumbles are heated through and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. To assemble, layer tortilla chips and lettuce on individual plates, followed by cooked mixture and fresh toppings as desired.


I’ve tried many veggie ground beef substitutes, and my favorite for this recipe is Morningstar Farms. Regarding spiciness, I usually leave all the seeds in the peppers, but it sometimes verges on a little too much heat if the peppers are particularly potent. If you don’t like things very spicy, serranos are pretty mild if you remove all the seeds.


I like to add whatever Southwesterny food I might have on hand, like some roasted bell peppers and fresh or roasted corn, both of which add some sweetness to counterbalance the spicy peppers. Fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado are always nice, or guacamole…yum…

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 4

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One Response to Vegetarian Taco Salad

  1. Pingback: Pad Thai | Saporific

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