Ground Tofu Filling Tacos

These vegan tacos have the same taste and texture as Old School hamburger tacos!


If you think these look like classic ground beef tacos, I have done my job. (( Smiles smugly to self. ))

This filling is fabulously flavorful and has a texture similar to classic ground beef taco filling, but is 100 per cent vegan. If you are like me and are making resolutions for the New Year to eat less meat, this is a perfect recipe to start with. I like it even BETTER than the traditional spiced hamburger taco filling. It is softer and has less of that ground beef “gristle” taste. I promise: Even the most dedicated carnivores will love this healthy substitute for ground cow! Try it out on your favorite carnivore and go ahead and TRY to prove me wrong!

There are countless benefits, say the Mayo Clinic researchers, to eating less meat. But let’s just all admit right now that Americans eat much more meat than they need to. Enough said.  Amen! to the Meatless Monday folks, who point out that less meat consumption reduces heart disease, lowers risk of cancer and helps fight obesity.

The combination of soy sauce, peanut butter and spices, mostly chile powder and cumin, turns crumbled tofu into one of those “I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Meat” kind of recipes. It is a magical concoction.

This is a great thing to have on hand to make a quick Desperation Dinner – so I like to keep some small zip lock baggies of this magical stuff in my freezer. This stuff makes great sloppy joes and last-minute spaghetti sauce!

Happy Meatless New Year to all!


3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce (I use Frank’s)
16 ounces frozen and then thawed extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix first seven ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Drain water from tofu block. Wrap tofu in a thin kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels. Place wrapped tofu between two plates. Press gently and evenly with hands to remove water from tofu. (You can also place a wieght on top of the top plate and let tofu sit for 20 minutes or so.) Unwrap tofu and crumble into small bits into mixing bowl. Toss with sauce in mixing bowl.

Spread oil on a 12 by 18 inch baking sheet. Sprinkle crumbled tofu on top of oil in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir tofu. Return to oven and cook for about 20 mor minutes, until tofu is crispy.

Use as you would any spicy ground beef filling.

Other food bloggers use tofu in fabulous ways:
Red Curry Tofu, The Perfect Pantry
Tofu and Green Bean Stir Fry, The Perfect Pantry
Tofu Scramble, Healthy Happy Life
Soy and Sesame Baked Tofu, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Crispy Rice and Tofu Balls, Just Bento
Tofu Tacos, Former Chef
Tofu Celery Salad, Use Real Butter
Grilled Tofu and Peppers Tacos, Herbivoracious

And, check out some of FFF’s other tofu-licious recipes:
Babymoon Bake
Mango Avocado Crispy Tofu Salad
Sun-dried Tomato Tofu Spread
Anne’s Food-Network Worthy Veggie Chili!
Tofu Mac-‘n’-Cheese

— posted by Donna


  1. says

    Thanks for the great recipe! I just made it and can’t believe how good it came out. I’ll be mixing it into veggie chili tonight. I will double the recipe next time.

    So glad I discovered your blog. :)

    • Ruby says

      OMG!!! This is insanely good, looks and tastes like Morningstar crumbles fake ground beef only better! This is the best recipe for veggie taco meat filling by far!! I added chopped onion to the recipe and baked with it, soooo good!!

    • says

      Hey Angie – Did you use LOW SODIUM soy sauce? If you happened to use regular soy sauce, which I have done – this will be much too salty. The low sodium soy sauce is the key!

  2. Tim Z says

    Thanks for a great recipe. My our family is off the red meat and this is a great recipe we use it for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. I shared this with several other co-workers and they love it.

    Question: Do I have to use peanut butter? Was going to use for a potluck but there is peanut allergies at work.

    Thanks again

  3. tim price says

    wow, I was pleasantly surprised on how great this came out. A little spicy but fantastic. My wife loves spicy I am going to make this for the next family reunion, lol, never tell them until after it is all gone. Simply Great!

  4. says

    I am making a vegan lasagna tomorrow for my father-in-law’s birthday and this is going to be perfect in it! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I did make a note to use Italian seasonings instead of cumin and chili powder. ;)

  5. Tony says

    Hi! I’ve tried this before and it was great! Can I easily form the mixed tofu into patties for burgers? Will it hold together? Thanks!

    • says

      Yes! I would use a binder, such as flaxmeal (1 tablespoon stirred into 3 tablespoons water) or an egg, plus some bulking like breadcrumbs or almond meal, but I think with some experimentation they’ll be delish.

  6. Rachel says

    These sound awesome. However my son is allergic to peanuts and was wondering what I could use instead of peanut butter. Oh also my mom has the other nuts allergies.

    • says

      Hi Rachel – I am thinking almond butter would be a great sub for the peanut butter. As to other nut allergies – not sure – I’ll have to think on this, but I might try some mild curry paste. . . . it would be interesting to see how that works. Come back and share your variation with us!

  7. Becky says

    I am just exploring the use of tofu for the first time and was curious on how to make my own “crumbled meat” because the stores in my area barely carry the tofu blocks. This sounds like a great thing to try but I was wondering why the peanut butter? I was going to try to create my own “crumbled meat” to use in my spaghetti sauce but I am not sure about the use of some of the listed spices for such a thing. Any advice?

    • says

      Hi Becky – the taste and texture of the tofu in this recipe is truly delicious. If you’re going for a filling to use in Italian dishes, I would use garlic powder and other Italian spices in place of the cumin and chile powder. But, the combo of soy sauce and peanut butter gives the tofu a rich “meaty” taste. The soy sauce for flavor and the peanut butter for thickness and richness. If you do try this recipe, come back and let me know what you think!

  8. Monica says

    Why must the tofu be frozen first and then thawed? Is this step completely necessary? I usually buy shelf-stable tofu, it requires no refrigeration or freezing…

    • says

      Hi Monica – It is not an absolutely critical thing – you can skip this step if you’re in a rush. BUT. It is mostly a texture issue. The freezing and thawing of the tofu creates a whole different texture of tofu. The frozen water inside the tofu leaves holes when thawed, and the water drains out much better and the resulting sponge-like texture of the tofu holds up better and absorbs the sauce much better. If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out!

  9. says

    Okay. I am comin’ over to the tofu side with this recipe! It looks too delicious, I’m gonna pull a fast one on the husband and I have zero doubt it will be a hit!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>