- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium or no salt added Mexican taco seasoning
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 wedge lime or lemon
- 6 hard taco shells
- Vegan sour cream
- 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1/2 cup vegan cheddar shreds
- 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
- cilantro leaves, to garnish
- 1 large russet potato, cut into small 1/4-inch cubes (skin on)
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon Mexican seasoning mix
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch black salt (optional)
- 1/2 fresh lime
I know this may sound wild coming from a vegan chef, but I absolutely love fast food tacos. Well, it's not actually that crazy since Taco Bell actually has a lot of options for vegetarians! I wanted to recreate that drive-thru experience at home in a totally vegan way. These veggie taco su-primes are an ode to my childhood spent going to Taco Bell and indulging in fully loaded crispy, crunchy tacos. The awesome part is that my version still packs in a ton protein thanks to the magic of chickpea flour.
Another thing I love about fast-food taco places? The very nontraditional sides. I'm serving my tacos with crispy, spicy potatoes that also double as a hearty filling.
Swap option: Swap in vegetarian refried beans for the chickpea flour "meat."
Special equipment: Air fryer.
For the vegan taco "meat" filling:
Add olive oil to a nonstick skillet and place on medium heat. Once hot, add cumin seeds, allowing them to become fragrant and pop for 30 seconds. Next, add the onions and garlic. Saute for about 4 to 5 minutes until translucent and the edges start browning. Add in the chipotle peppers and saute.
Then add the chickpea flour, mixing it into the onions and peppers, breaking down any lumps. Once it smells toasty after about 2 minutes, slowly mix in the water, a tablespoon or so at a time, and taco seasoning. The chickpea flour will begin to clump so break it down into crumbles to resemble ground meat. Do not add too much water or the mixture will become gummy.
Keep toasting flour mixture in the skillet for about 7 to 8 minutes until it is cooked through and the color of the mixture is a dark reddish-brown. Reduce heat and add salt, black pepper and a squeeze of lime (or lemon) juice. Taste and adjust salt or seasoning if necessary. Remove from the heat before serving.
For the crispy potatoes:
Dice potatoes into small cubes, leaving the skin for extra fiber.
In a large bowl, toss the diced potatoes with all seasonings and olive oil until well coated.
Add potatoes to an air fryer basket and spread in an even layer. Cook at 350 F for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the outside is crispy and the inside is fork tender. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Garnish with a dollop of vegan sour cream, scallions and cilantro, if desired.
To assemble tacos:
Assemble the hard-shell tacos by layering in the chickpea filling, vegan sour cream, lettuce, cheddar shreds, diced tomato and cilantro. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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