Fire-Roasted Vegetarian Tacos with Avocado
These vegetarian tacos are seasoned with a vibrant blend of spices, then topped with avocado, shredded cabbage, and cilantro on a fire-roasted tortilla.
I was inspired to create this recipe after a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and ever since I just can’t get enough of them. These vegetarian tacos got me through college and I still make them on at least a monthly basis as part of my regular rotation.
You can’t beat how cheap they are to make and they’re packed with so much flavor from the sauces and spices. They’re quick to make too once you get the process down, you can crank them out from start to finish in twenty minutes, or in just a few minutes if you keep a bowl of the prepared tofu taco crumbles in the fridge, that’s usually what I do.
What To Use For Tacos Instead Of Meat
If you’ve ever asked yourself “What can I use for tacos instead of meat?” the answer might surprise you. There are a lot of different plant-based meat alternatives that work great for tacos instead of meat. You can use crumbled tofu, shredded jackfruit, cooked lentils, thinly sliced seitan for al pastor-style tacos, roasted chickpeas, or any plant-based alternatives that you enjoy.
For a vegetarian taco that more closely resembles a classic Tex-Mex style taco, I recommend using Impossible or Beyond ground beef seasoned with store-bought or homemade taco seasoning.
How Do I Cook Tofu For Vegetarian Tacos?
If you’re not used to cooking with tofu, tofu is typically sold packaged in water. There are many different techniques for cooking tofu and lengths of time that people recommend to press tofu for different recipes to remove this water. To get as much water as possible out of the block of tofu so you can crumble it and pan-fry it into crunchy seasoned taco crumbles, the tofu should be pressed overnight in the fridge. Tofu can be intimidating and maybe seem complicated at first because there are different types and methods of preparing it, but pressing and cooking with tofu can actually be pretty easy.
There’s a gadget you can buy called a tofu press where you put the tofu inside and it pushes down on the tofu to squeeze out the water. Or, if you don’t want to use a tofu press, you can wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel and place something like a heavy pot or pan on top. I wouldn’t recommend you use a cast iron pan to press the tofu though, as it may cause the pan to rust.
Once your tofu is pressed, you can crumble it with your hands into a bowl and you’re ready to fry it for these delicious fire-roasted sweet sriracha tacos. When you pan-fry it, if possible, use a non-stick pan because tofu has a tendency to stick to pans that aren’t. This recipe uses my homemade taco seasoning recipe, but if you don’t have the ingredients to make it you can substitute it with seasoning from a packet from the store.
How Do You Cook Tortillas On The Stove?
It depends on your stove. For a gas range, turn the flame to medium and place a tortilla directly over the flame using tongs. Once the tortilla is fire-roasted to your liking, flip it and do the same for the other side. If you have an electric stove, heat a non-stick pan or lightly-oiled skillet over medium heat until hot, then place the tortilla in the pan, cooking both sides until nicely heated. If the tortilla sticks to the pan, just let it cook a little longer and it should unstick easily once it cooks a bit more.
Store-bought corn tortillas can also be fried into hard-shell tacos using tongs made specifically for holding tortillas to fry them in oil. These uniquely shaped tongs hold the tortilla in that classic taco shape we all know and love. To fry tortillas, just heat several inches of oil in a pot to 350-365 degrees Fahrenheit, then submerge the tortilla in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy, about 15-20 seconds.
How Can I Make These Tacos Vegan?
This recipe is very vegan-friendly. The only non-vegan ingredient should be the sharp cheddar cheese. I say should because corn tortillas are sometimes made using lard, but most times you’ll find that the corn tortillas in the grocery store use vegetable oil. To make these tacos vegan, just swap the sharp cheddar cheese with your favorite vegan cheese substitute, or just leave it out completely. Everything else, including the Herdez Avocado Salsa, is vegan.
At A Minimum, You’ll Need:
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- A cheese grater for grating the cheddar cheese.
- A tofu press to squeeze all the water out of the block of tofu. This tofu press by TofuXpress is the one that I use and I’ve had it for at least five years. I recommend it.
- Tongs for fire-roasting your tortillas so you don’t risk burning yourself. Just plop the tortillas right on the stove over the flame, 20-40 seconds for each side until they are done to your preference as shown below.
- A pan to fry the tofu.
Instructions with photographs
Press your tofu overnight either using a tofu press or a heavy pan with the tofu wrapped in a towel, then pat dry and crumble. If you’re in the market for a tofu press that will last you a long time and quickly press your tofu without damaging the structure of the tofu block, look no further. I’ve had this tofu press for over five years now. It gets regular use and has no signs of wear and tear except some slight discoloration, but that’s to be expected from clear plastic.
You should always start every recipe by gathering your ingredients. This is called “mise en place,” which is a French culinary phrase for having everything in its place and ready for when you start to cook. If you don’t have your ingredients ready, you end up running around the kitchen wild trying to measure or chop ingredients before your recipe burns. If you have everything ready, you can add ingredients as you need them because they’re already prepared.
Heat the oil in the pan, add ground cumin, and heat until fragrant, a few seconds. Then, Fry the crumbled tofu until golden brown and crispy.
Add the taco seasoning, salt, and 1/4 cup of water then stir until the water has evaporated and the seasoning has coated the tofu.
With tongs, roast your corn tortillas over an open flame. About 45 seconds to a minute for each side.
Add cheese and tofu crumbles on top of the roasted corn tortillas in a pan over a medium-high flame, then cover with a lid and cook until the cheese melts.
Add a slice of avocado; a drizzle of sriracha, agave nectar, and guacamole salsa; a heaping teaspoon of pico de gallo, a small handful of shredded cabbage, and a sprinkle of cilantro to assemble the vegetarian tacos.
Serve with lime wedges and enjoy these fire-roasted sweet sriracha vegetarian tacos.
Fire-Roasted Sweet Sriracha Vegetarian Tacos with Avocado
Makes 4-6 servings, or 10-12 tacos.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed overnight, patted dry and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- Corn Tortillas
- shredded aged white cheddar cheese, optional
- agave nectar
- guacamole salsa
- avocado slices
- pico de gallo
- shredded cabbage
- chopped cilantro
- lime wedges
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add the cumin, cooking for a few seconds until fragrant.
Add the crumbled tofu then cook, stirring every few minutes, until the tofu crumbles are crispy and golden brown. Reduce the heat to low; then add a tablespoon of taco seasoning, half a teaspoon of salt, and a quarter cup of water and stir, cooking until the seasoning evenly coats the fried tofu crumbles and the water has evaporated.
When the water has evaporated and the crumbles are seasoned, transfer the crumbles into a bowl and set aside.
If you have a gas range, turn your smaller burners to a low flame and carefully place a corn tortilla over each flame with tongs. After about 45-60 seconds, you’ll see the edges of the tortilla begin to char. When that side of the tortilla is lightly charred, flip it over and cook the other side similarly. Repeat this process until you’ve fire-roasted all your corn tortillas.
Place the empty pan on a burner and turn the flame to medium. Add a few of the fire-roasted corn tortillas to the pan and top them with a small handful of shredded cheddar cheese and a heaping spoonful of the seasoned tofu crumbles, then cover the pan with a lid to melt the cheese. When the cheese is melted, transfer the tacos to a plate. Repeat this process until you’ve made however many tacos you’re serving, and store any remaining tofu crumbles in the fridge for leftovers.
Drizzle a thin line of agave nectar and sriracha down the middle of the tacos, add a thin slice of avocado on one side, a teaspoon of guacamole salsa, a teaspoon or two of pico de gallo, then top with a small handful of shredded cabbage and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the vegetarian tacos. Enjoy!
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