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bowl of vegan taco meat with toppings

Cauliflower Pepita Vegan Taco Meat

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 9 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Cauliflower pepita vegan taco meat is an easy plant based substitute for ground beef.  Learn how to make this homemade meat alternative that is soy free, gluten free, nut free, and dairy free.  Its a healthy, high protein dinner idea that is perfect for tacos!


  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (821g)
  • 1 pound baby bella mushrooms (454g)
  • 2 cups sunflower seeds, shelled, roasted, and salted (312g)
  • 1 1/2 cup pepitas, roasted and salted (227g)
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered (211g)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (120 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Soak the sun dried tomatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften them.
  2. Pulse the cauliflower, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and pepitas in a food processor until they are finely chopped and have a meat-like texture.  It's best to pulse each ingredient separately, as each one needs a different length of time in the processor.  Put the pulsed vegetables and seeds in a very large bowl.
  3. Finish off by pulsing the onion and sun dried tomatoes, then add to the same bowl.  Mix everything together until well incorporated.
  4. Pour the olive oil onto the mixture and mix together, then sprinkle on the spices and stir until well combined.
  5. Evenly spread the mixture out on two foil lined baking trays.  Bake one tray at a time for 15 minutes.  Take out the tray and stir to mix up so it browns evenly.  Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.  Repeat with the second tray.
  6. Serve warm with your favorite nachos, tacos, or taco salad toppings.


  • Pulse the cauliflower and mushrooms in batches to get the texture right.
  • Adjust the seasonings to your tastes, after 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Vegan Taco Meat, Cauliflower meat, Vegan Mexican recipe