Vegan taco salads include everything you need for a filling lunch or dinner in a bowl you can eat! There’s spicy black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and a generous dollop of guacamole. Crack some of the shell into the salad while you eat for extra crunch.
One word makes everything better. Taco.
Walking is nice. Walking tacos are better.
Breakfast is great. Breakfast tacos are greater.
Think pizza can’t be improved upon? Make taco pizza.
Even salad, which has its fare share of detractors, come around when it’s taco salad.
It has all of the flavors of everyone’s favorite Tuesday night meal in a crispy tortilla bowl.
That’s why vegan taco salad should be on your regular lunch or dinner repertoire.
Not only is it super easy to make, it’s also a great way to repurpose leftovers. (Yesterday’s black bean tacos make today’s taco salad a breeze.)
Let’s talk about that tortilla bowl
While restaurants often use the deep fryer for the tortilla bowl, baking is less messy, healthier, and easier.
If you have a tortilla bowl maker, obviously, use that. You can find them online or in the kitchen section of most home goods stores.
But if you don’t have them, use any oven safe bowl. I have a stacking set of glass oven safe bowls that I’ve used many times in a pinch.
Simply place the tortilla into a bowl, and press it against the sides. Depending on the material of the bowl, and size of the tortilla, the cooking time may vary a little bit. So it’s good to keep an eye on it, and check for when the edges are browning.
To easily pull out the tortilla bowl without burning yourself, grab your trusty toast tongs.
How to make a vegan taco salad
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put tortillas into metal taco bowls or oven safe glass bowls. Bake for 10 minutes (or less if the tortillas are small).
Bring a skillet to a medium heat with oil. Sauté onions and garlic. Once fragrant, add the following:
- Drained black beans
- Ancho chili powder
- Lime juice
Combine everything fully with a spatula. Let any excess liquid cook off while the beans heat.
Put the black bean mixture into the tortilla bowls along with the following toppings:
- Red bell peppers
- Pickled jalapeño peppers
Make it your own
Change the ingredients and fillings to make this easy lunch or dinner your own.
Swap out the black beans with one of the following:
- Walnut taco meat
- Vegan refried beans
- Seitan chorizo & black beans
- Lentil & black bean mixture
- Chickpea filling
For a gluten-free option, use corn tortilla chips or vegan nacho chips instead of a tortilla bowl.
Swap out the lettuce for baby spinach.
Add a dollop of non-dairy sour cream, a sprinkling of shredded vegan cheese, and/or a handful of black olives.
Instead of or in addition to all of the raw vegetables, use grilled vegetables from this veggie fajitas recipe.
Vegan taco salad with spicy black beans
- 4 large wheat tortillas
- 1 teaspoon organic canola oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ cup onion chopped small
- 1 ½ cups black beans 1 15 oz can, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- ¼ cup water
- Salt to taste
- 4 cups chopped romaine or green leaf lettuce
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 batch guacamole
- Creamy cashew dressing optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place each tortilla in a metal tortilla shell pan or glass oven safe bowl. Put them into the oven for 10 minutes or until crisp. (If you're using smaller tortillas, they may require less time in the oven. Check on them after 5 minutes.)
- While the tortilla is cooking, heat skillet to a medium heat and add oil to the heated pan. Sauté garlic and onions in pan until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add drained black beans, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, lime juice, water, and salt to the pan. Use a spatula to fully combine the beans and spices. Once the bean mixture has warmed and any excess liquid has cooked off, remove from heat.
- Remove the bowls from the oven. Fill tortilla bowls with a scoop of spicy black beans, lettuce, tomato, red bell pepper, and guacamole. If you like, drizzle creamy cashew dressing on each salad and serve.
Content and photos updated September 2020. Originally posted September 2013.