Vegan walking tacos are a hit with kids & adults alike. They’re great for parties and potlucks. Plus, everyone can get in on the fun by adding whatever toppings they love most.
Can’t find snack-sized bags of chips? No problem! Visit your local craft store to make walking tacos without the bag.
This time of year, fairs are popping up all over the place. There are art fairs, jazz fests, state fairs… and all of them seem to have one thing in common – walking tacos. You may also know walking tacos by the name of frito pie, hay stacks, corn stacks, or taco in a bag.
For the uninitiated, walking tacos are similar to bagged nachos. They’re made by crunching corn chips or nacho chips in snack sized bags, and then topping them with all of the typical taco accoutrement.
Then you can grab a fork and walk around the midway, or stop and listen to a live band while noshing on bites of crunchy, savory tacos by the forkful.
Everyone loves a walking taco bar! People can modify their frito pies to fit their personal taste preferences. Needless to say, a meal that involves chips as a main component is a hit with kids.
As you’d probably guess, most of the hay stacks that you see in the concession area aren’t vegan. However, it’s easy to prepare them that way with a few simple swaps.
I make my vegan walking tacos with:
- Lentil & black bean taco meat
- Green leaf lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Shredded non-dairy cheese
- Easy guacamole
- Hot sauce (Here are my three top hot sauces!)
- Quick pickled jalapeños
But the options are endless! Here are a few more topping ideas:
- Vegan three bean chili
- Creamy cashew queso
- Vegan refried beans
- Dairy-free sour cream
- Tomato salsa
- Pickle salsa
What about the chips?
If you’re more of a Doritos fan, I hear that the spicy sweet chili flavor is vegan. Although, I’ve never tried them.
Walking tacos without the bag
Usually walking tacos are made in snack-sized chip bags. However, three natural grocery store visits later, I gave up on that idea. Instead, I picked up a full-sized bag of organic corn chips from Trader Joe’s, and used some kraft box french fry containers instead.
If you’d prefer to go this route, you can find french fry containers similar to these at craft stores or online. For an even easier solution, use bowls instead.
Individual snack bags usually come with about an ounce or two of chips inside. That’s basically one or two small handfuls.
As a bonus, since I wasn’t using pre-bagged chips, I was able to layer my walking tacos. That meant I could get a variety of tastes in every bite. I didn’t want all of the chips at the bottom and all of the guac at the top, because that’s a sure fire way to be eating dry chips at the end of it.
Instead I placed a few chips into the container, added some lentil black bean taco mixture, diced tomatoes, non-dairy cheese, guacamole, chives, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, and then repeated until I’d reached the top of the container.
Most people like to smash their chips for easier eating. They’re not as pretty that way, and so I didn’t do that for photo purposes. Plus, corn chips are small enough, it’s not really required. But if you go with a larger chip, crushing the chips makes it simpler to scoop up a forkful.
Add vegan cheese & taco filling
For the cheese, I grated a block of Daiya farmhouse cheddar since I still haven’t found a vegan pre-shredded cheese that I love.
(To see my favorite vegan cheeses for a variety of purposes, check out this post on the best vegan cheese for your every need.)
I used lentil & black bean taco filing as the meaty component of this dish. The lentils bulk out the filling and give it a texture that is similar to its meaty counterpart.
I also use this lentil & black bean filling in my vegan burrito bowls. So if you like to cook once and eat multiple times like I do, plan on eating burrito bowls one day. Then have Frito pie the next.
Of course, you can also put this filling in regular tacos, burritos, or even as a topping for air fryer baked potatoes.
Vegan walking tacos (a.k.a. frito pie)
- 6 snack-sized bags Fritos-style corn chips or one full-sized bag. Full sized bags are usually 8 to 9.75 ounces*
- 1 batch lentil taco meat
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 ½ cups chopped green leaf lettuce
- ¾ cup shredded non-dairy cheese
- ¾ cup guacamole homemade or store-bought
- Optional toppings: Jalapeno pepper slices, hot sauce, chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream, chopped onions or chives
- If you're using snack-sized bags of corn chips, gently crush the corn chips in the bag. Then cut an opening alongside the bag to create a bowl or pouch for your walking taco. If you're using alternative containers, gently crush the corn chips in your hands and put them into the container.
- Top the chips with spoonfuls of lentil taco meat, tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, non-dairy cheese, guacamole, and any of the optional toppings you like. Dig in with a fork!