Quinoa Taco Meat

So, I've been struggling with transitioning back to Vegetarianism or even Pescatarianism since I moved back home from China. Even there, where vegetarian options were nearly nonexistent, I managed to find incredibly delicious vegan and vegetarian options wherever I visited. When I'm with family, it seems like I can't get away from it as they are and big meat-eaters and also great cooks. Without entirely putting the blame on them, I actually like the taste and texture of meat even though I completely understand the ethical benefits and have experienced the health benefits of vegan and vegetarian eating.

Here's an easy recipe I'm looking forward to trying and maybe even using the same concept for meat replacement in other dishes. This recipe is taken directly from Dana at minimalistbaker.com. I can't wait to try it for myself!

Pot of freshly cooked quinoa for making vegan Quinoa Taco Meat

This recipe is simple, requiring just 9 ingredients and simple methods.

Mixing together quinoa and spices to make healthy, easy Quinoa Taco Meat

Prepare quinoa, season with spices and salsa, bake until crispy, devour. 

Baking sheet with freshly baked crispy Mexican Vegan Taco Meat

Gluten-free corn tortillas stuffed with our Vegan Quinoa Taco Meat recipe

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 

Total time: 

Amazingly flavorful taco "meat" made with quinoa, smoky seasonings, and salsa! Baked until hot and crispy. A healthy substitute for ground beef (just 9 ingredients)!

Recipe type: Entrée
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired

Serves: 3 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup (184 g) tri-color, white, or red quinoa
  • 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable broth*
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (128 g) salsa (slightly chunky is best - I love Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 Tbsp (3 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive or avocado oil
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add rinsed quinoa and toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add vegetable broth and water and bring back to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to low, cover with a secure lid, and cook for 15-25 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then crack the lid and let rest for 10 minutes off heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  4. Add cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients (salsa, nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oil). Toss to combine. Then spread on a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-35 minutes, stirring/tossing once at the halfway point to ensure even baking. The quinoa is done when it's fragrant and golden brown. Be careful not to burn!
  6. This quinoa taco meat goes extremely well in crispy taco shells and soft taco shells, and I also think it would be perfect on nachos, taco salads, tostadas, and in enchiladas. Dream big!
  7. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven, or in a skillet on the stovetop.

*The vegetable broth infuses more flavor into the quinoa. But if you don't have it, just sub water and adjust spices/salsa as needed.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of roughly 6 (1/2 cup) servings.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ~1/2 cup Calories: 147 Fat: 4.5 g Saturated fat: 0.6 g Carbohydrates: 21.4 g Sugar: 0.8 gSodium: 415 mg Fiber: 2.6 g Protein: 5.7 g

Read more from the original post at  minimalistbaker.com.