Top view of fully loaded crispy vegan tacos on a wooden table

Low-Fat Vegan Taco Meat (Made with Whole Foods)

This low-fat vegan taco meat is like no other you've seen before! It's made of whole foods, but with a texture that is spot on to the traditional taco!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 130 kcal
Author Sophia DeSantis


Taco meat:

  • ½ cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight (measure before soaking)
  • ¼ cup short grain brown rice (see note)
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt (see note)
  • 5 tablespoons taco seasoning (store bought or homemade)
  • ¼ cup veggie broth , low sodium if needed (you can also use water if you don't have broth)
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs , gluten free if needed


US Customary - Metric


  1. Put the rice in a medium sized pot and fill it with water, make sure you have plenty of water so that when you add the chickpeas it will cover them.
  2. Partially cover and bring to a boil (about 7-8 minutes, depending on stove top).
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and cook partially covered an additional 10 minutes (should be about 17-18 minutes total rice cooking time). The texture of the rice should be just beginning to get chewy, not hard but not fully cooked.
  4. Add the soaked chickpeas and cook an additional 8 minutes.
  5. Drain and rinse and immediately put the mixture in a food processor. Make sure you have drained it well so there isn’t any residual water in the food processor.
  6. Add the taco seasoning into the food processor and pulse once or twice to combine. Adding the taco seasoning in right away when the mixture is hot, allows the flavors to meld together well.
  7. While the rice and beans are boiling, you can cook the onion in a separate pan, or you can wait until they are done cooking and use the same pot to cook the onion in.
  8. Saute the chopped onion with salt and veggie broth over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, until it is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  9. Transfer onion mixture into the food processor.
  10. Pulse until you get a nice crumble. Add breadcrumbs and pulse 2-3 more times to incorporate.
  11. Put into a bowl, give it a good mix and allow it to settle in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This helps the flavors and texture fully develop. If you are eating it that day, you can also let it settle on the countertop so that you don’t have to reheat it.

For easy oven baked crispy tacos:

  1. Fill hard tortilla shells with a little bit of the taco meat, top with 1-2 tablespoons of cheese sauce, if using. Then cover with more taco meat. This helps the cheese sauce stay away from the taco shell so the shell does not become soggy when baking.

  2. Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 12-15 minutes or until the shells begin to brown.

  3. Allow to cool 5 minutes, then add your favorite toppings and dig in!

For traditional tacos:

  1. Bake tacos according to package directions, make your own crispy taco shells or use soft corn tortillas.
  2. Fill the tortillas with taco meat, top with cheese sauce and any of your other favorite toppings and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Tips to prep ahead:

Baby/toddler food idea:

Nutrition Facts
Low-Fat Vegan Taco Meat (Made with Whole Foods)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 270mg11%
Potassium 276mg8%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 10IU0%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.