This is the best vegan taco salad. It is filled with wholesome ingredients and easy homemade Catalina dressing and is sure to please a crowd!
I love tacos. There are so many different taco combinations.
I could eat tacos multiple times a week if the small children in my life allowed it.
But unfortunately, they get weird about having tacos every day, weird, right?
However, this vegan taco salad is just as good as tacos.
That's a bold statement, but for real, it is delicious!
Everyone I have made this salad for absolutely loves it, and I am pretty positive you will also.
It has a homemade Catalina dressing that is amazing and easy to make.
You throw everything in the blender, and in return, you get the perfect dressing for a taco salad.
We have served this alongside tacos, burritos, taquitos, or had it by itself for dinner.
What's the best vegan taco meat?
The best storebought vegan ground beef is Beyond beef, Impossible meat, and Gardien.
However, there are new brands constantly popping up that I've never tried, and I'm sure they are excellent as well.
If you want a more natural taco salad. You can use vegan lentil taco meat which uses brown lentils and taco seasoning.
If you prefer no vegan meat, you can make this a black bean taco salad.
The best vegan taco salad recipe Q&As
What's the best way to serve this for taco salad night?
You can serve it on a plate, or another great way to serve it is in crispy tortilla bowls, essentially like a tostada.
But a plate or bowl works excellent with broken-up crunchy chips served on top.
I treat this like a main dish, but it can be a side dish or serve sides with this.
How do you build a taco salad?
- Start with your base, which is lettuce
- Now start layering your toppings; there is no wrong way to do this
- Add your crunchy chips if you're using
- Drizzle with your creamy dressing
Can I use a different salad dressing?
You can, but I wouldn't.
Because this delicious dressing is a part of the flavor profile, this is what makes the taco salad pop.
But if that's not enough to convince you, then you can use whatever dressing you like. Or a store-bought Catalina dressing; some people like vegan ranch dressing on their taco salads.
Can I use different kinds of greens?
If you prefer to use something more nutritious than iceberg and romaine lettuce, then go for it. I sometimes mix spinach in with this.
Whatever you choose, make sure you like it because it does make up the base of this salad.
Is this vegan taco salad a gluten-free meal?
Yes, make sure your store-bought vegan meat is gluten-free (a lot are) and that your taco seasoning doesn't have any hidden wheat in it.
Do you serve taco salad warm or cold?
You can serve taco salad warm or cold.
This will depend on your preference and taste buds.
I like the vegan meat to be room temperature but not fridge cold, just my preference.
What are some good taco salad toppings?
- red onion
- bell peppers
- green onions
- vegan cheese
- vegan sour cream
- chipotle peppers (spicy)
- cherry tomatoes
- pico de gallo
- avocado or guacamole
- fresh corn or canned
- black olives
- hot sauce
- crunchy tortilla chips
- whatever your favorite taco flavors are, feel free to add
Can you make the homemade salad dressing ahead of time?
Yes, the salad dressing can be made a day or two ahead of time and will still taste great. Just store it covered in the fridge.
What ingredients do I need for this vegan taco salad recipe?
For the full salad ingredients and amounts, check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- vegan ground beef or taco lentils
- taco seasoning (check to make sure it's vegan)
- black beans
- black olives
- romaine lettuce
- iceberg lettuce
- Tortilla chips or crispy tortilla strips
- white sugar
- red wine vinegar
- chopped onion
- smoked paprika (or regular)
- Worcestershire sauce (make sure it's vegan, can omit if needed)
- olive oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
How do you make this easy vegan taco salad?
Start by cooking your vegan beef crumbles.
Put them in a large skillet with the ¾ cup of water and 3 TB of your taco seasoning ( this will vary based on your taco seasoning, this is the instructions on mine for 1 pound of "beef").
Cook until water is absorbed and the "beef" crumbles are cooked. Set aside.
Drain your black beans, corns, and olives and set them aside.
Chop up your lettuces and put them in a large bowl.
Chop your cilantro and add it to your lettuce.
You can add the strained black bean mixture to your lettuce and mix. Set aside.
Make your dressing.
Chop up your onion, add all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into your desired serving container for the dressing.
You can now add your "beef" mixture to the salad.
If you are going to eat all the salad in one sitting, you can add the dressing to the whole salad and mix, or let people add their own amount.
Top with chopped avocados, crushed tortilla chips, and whatever colorful veggies you like.
How do you store taco salad?
It's best to store the components separately in the fridge in airtight containers for up to 4-5 days.
If you want to meal prep this, I would add everything together except for the dressing. Salads are always best dressed at the time of eating.
Can you freeze it?
You can freeze everything but the lettuce. Freeze in freezer bags or airtight containers.
When you want to defrost, do so in the fridge or at room temperature for a few hours.
Want some more Mexican vegan dinner ideas?
Vegan Taco Salad
- 1 package vegan ground beef optional, My favorite is simple truth
- ¾ cup water
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning check to make sure it's vegan
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 15 oz can corn
- 1 6 oz can chopped olives
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- ½ head iceberg lettuce
- 2-3 whole avocados chopped
- Tortilla chips
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or regular
- ¼ teaspoon worcestershire sauce make sure it's vegan, can omit if needed
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1. Start by cooking your vegan beef crumbles. Put them in your skillet with the ¾ cup of water and 3 TB of your taco seasoning ( this will vary based on your taco seasoning, this is the instructions on mine for 1 pound of "beef"). Cook until water is absorbed and the "beef" crumbles are cooked. Set aside.
- 2. Drain your black beans, corns, and olives and set aside.
- 3. Chop up your lettuces and put them in a large bowl. Chop your cilantro and add it to your lettuce. Now you can add the strained black bean mixture to your lettuce and mix. Set aside.
- 4. Make your dressing. Chop up your onion, and add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into your desired serving container for the dressing.
- 5. You can now add your "beef" mixture to the salad. If you are going to eat all the salad in one sitting you can add the dressing to the whole salad and mix, or you can let people add their own amount. Top with Chopped of avocados, and crushed tortilla chips.
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