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Ideas for interesting vegetarian taco fillings?

enjilico Dec 8, 2009 08:51 AM

I've been invited to a taco party and I volunteered to bring a vegetarian taco filling. What would be something great that's not just refried beans? I live near enough to Sunset Park, Brooklyn, that I should have access to interesting ingredients. Thanks, hounds!

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  1. ChristinaMason RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 09:05 AM

    -mushrooms, peppers, onions, and zucchini, cut into strips, prepared as fajitas (cumin, lime/OJ, cayenne, garlic, splash of soy)
    -marinated portabella mushrooms
    -something with seitan or smoked tofu?
    -omelet strips?
    -crispy-fried polenta strips
    -veggie crumbles with taco seasoning
    -firm tofu pressed and drained, spiced and breaded in panko, as per this recipe (but cut into strips): http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

    1. goodhealthgourmet RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 09:10 AM

      - sauteed corn, black beans, red onion, diced zucchini & bell pepper, topped w/queso fresco or cotija & a squeeze of lime
      - mashed butternut squash with chipotle and green onion, topped w/cheddar and/or jack & fresh cilantro
      - soy- or wheat-based veggie crumbles sauteed with tomato sauce, onion and chopped sun-dried tomato
      - you could also get creative with a masa-based mixture similar to tamale filling

      1. h
        HillJ RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 09:11 AM

        In no particular order or combination:

        Avocados, cooked whole black beans, spanish rice
        grilled corn, cheeses, onions, mango, tomatoes...you get the picture!

        1. helenahimm RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 09:46 AM

          chilli (rice and beans together, topped with cilantro goes so well...) if you make onion ceviche with tomatoes and serve it with queso fresco.. really good =)

          1. nevra RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 10:00 AM

            - roasted tomatillos with swiss chard sauteed with onion, queso fresco (and boiled potatoes)
            - sauteed mushrooms with garlic, cilantro, and paste made from driet chiles that are toasted and soaked in hot water, roasted tomato
            - roasted garlic, roasted poblano peppers, fresh ricotta cheese, avocado, and cilantro

            1. mrbigshotno.1 RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 11:01 AM

              I've been to the interior of Mexico and they putjust about anything in tacos, my favorite non meat were breaded/fried zuchini, homefried style potatos with green chilis & onion. Also you can top them with finely shredded cabbage or a half and half mixture of chopped green onion & cilantro instead of the standard lettuce all the time.

              1. f
                fourunder RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 11:06 AM

                How about a a chili sauced TVP...textured vegetable protein......it has the same texture of ground meat. I'm not a vegetarian, but I've had it in dishes and it fooled me.

                1. shanagain RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 11:58 AM

                  I make these lentil tacos for my non-vegetarian family (complete carnivores, in fact) all the time - they're awesome - just use vegetable stock and you should be all good.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: shanagain
                    toveggiegirl RE: shanagain Dec 8, 2009 07:00 PM

                    That lentil taco recipe is very good as is this one:
                    Crispy Black Bean Tacos With Feta & Cabbage Slaw

                    1. re: shanagain
                      whitneybee RE: shanagain Oct 15, 2013 04:31 PM

                      These lentil tacos are great as well


                      1. re: whitneybee
                        debclark RE: whitneybee Oct 25, 2013 07:15 AM

                        My whole family loves those lentil tacos. I use the lentil filling in enchiladas, too. Great, easy and fast weeknight meal.

                    2. m
                      MazDee RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 12:58 PM

                      Sauteed poblano chili, onion and corn mixed with mashed potatoes. Could add some chipotle chili with a bit of the marinade from the can for a smoky flavor and extra heat.

                      1. Cherylptw RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 01:35 PM

                        Pan cook cubes of sweet potato, shredded chard, chopped onions, poblano chiles and chopped garlic, sprinkle with cumin & ancho chile powder; topped with a tomatillo & roasted lime salsa & cotija or queso fresco cheese..delicious & pretty

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Cherylptw
                          Emme RE: Cherylptw Dec 8, 2009 08:22 PM

                          i was going to suggest a sweet potato base as well, except with onion, black beans, roasted peppers, cilantro, curry powder, jack and cotija cheeses.

                        2. j
                          Junoesq RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 04:37 PM

                          I would steer away from these self conscious Americanized uber-veggie concoctions and simply go with classic Mexican fillings that happen to be all vegetable: rajas (poblano chili strips sauteed with onions and crema); mushrooms; squash blossom and cheese (though not very seasonal); potato and chili (or make it with soy chorizo).

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Junoesq
                            RetiredChef RE: Junoesq Dec 8, 2009 07:09 PM

                            I like that idea the best.

                            If you want more suggestions check out this menu from a non-trad. taco place that has qutie a few vegetatian tacos.


                            1. re: RetiredChef
                              j mather RE: RetiredChef Dec 8, 2009 07:51 PM

                              Huitlacoche is a great and authentic veggie filling for Mexican foods. I don't know if they'll have it fresh in NY but the canned is pretty good.

                              1. re: j mather
                                RetiredChef RE: j mather Dec 9, 2009 04:50 AM

                                After people have eaten some and ask what is this? I love saying

                                “Raven's Excrement.”

                                They usually get a strange but shocked look on their face so I quickly say:

                                “It’s not really excrement that’s just it’s name”

                                Look of relief and usually a “ohhhhh”

                                I then say “it’s corn smut”

                                Another bewildered but decidedly unhappy look and then I laugh and say:

                                “In reality it’s Mexican truffles” and leave it at that.

                                1. re: RetiredChef
                                  MazDee RE: RetiredChef Dec 14, 2009 06:03 PM

                                  JaJa, Thanks for the laugh! I love huitlacoche. I think it is kind of a luxury to put in tacos, but I think of tacos as a quick snack, not a meal. Years ago, I was working in a restaurant kitchen in California and when the corn came in, a few ears had the smut on them. Everybody, including the chef, went eeuw, and were going to throw them out. I said No, Please, that's huitlacoche! Let me take them home. The whole staff thought I would be in the hosp the next day, but I cooked them and brought a little back to the restaurant. The chef was impressed. Here in Mazatlán they are on a number of menus. Stuffed into crepes with a light cream sauce is my favorite.

                                  1. re: RetiredChef
                                    DavidA06488 RE: RetiredChef Oct 25, 2013 04:47 AM

                                    It reminds me of when I was young and we had a garden with corn. When we found corn ears with the smut, our mother cooked them for us and we thought she was trying to poison us, at least until we tried the huitlacoche. I have loved it ever since.

                                  2. re: j mather
                                    kattyeyes RE: j mather Dec 9, 2009 07:15 AM

                                    Second huitlacoche. Have eaten and enjoyed that in the past in an enchilada. Definitely interesting and different!

                                    And another second to the roasted vegetable taco idea. I have done that in the past with onions, peppers, mushrooms (I think tomato, too!), drizzled in olive oil and tossed with chili powder in the oven. I love the sweetness you get from roasting the veggies.

                              2. p
                                PhillyA RE: enjilico Dec 8, 2009 08:58 PM

                                - Simple Sauteed Vegetables (zucchini, peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc)
                                - Cheese
                                - If you have a Trader Joes, my vegetarian roommate and I (non-vegetarian) both like the soy chorizo for tacos
                                - Corn, although it's pretty out of season
                                - Avacado - either plain and sliced, or as guacamole

                                1. e
                                  enjilico RE: enjilico Dec 9, 2009 06:50 AM

                                  These are all fantastic suggestions, thank you so much! I think I am going to go with a sweet potato/black bean/chipotle combination, although I am feeling very swayed by the potato/soy chorizo idea. However, I have about 30 sweet potatoes sitting in my house and this would be a great way to deal with them. I have some dark kale that i might shred and add in as well. If it were summer I would no question go with the squash blossoms. Also, I do love me some canned huitlacoche - maybe next time.

                                  Thanks again for the amazing responses!

                                  1. m
                                    mommainternet RE: enjilico Oct 14, 2013 04:48 AM

                                    Made some flour tortillas last night and then filled them with a spoonful of black beans, along with some sliced sweet potatoes and red potatoes, onions and peppers I cooked. Then I thinly shredded some zucchini and fried that up and added that to the top. My husband said they were the best tortillas he'd ever eaten. Loved all the great ideas here. Adding sweet potatoes made the tortillas terrific!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: mommainternet
                                      Emme RE: mommainternet Oct 14, 2013 07:06 PM

                                      Pretty close to my night tonight ;) Made some flour tortillas... cooked some onions and garlic, added some diced almost cooked sweet potatoes (with a little veggie broth), then instead of black beans tonight (only because i had to use it up...) added some cooked ground turkey. ground together a chipotle in adobo sauce, some adobo sauce, a little lime juice and honey. added that and let it simmer while i cooked the tortillas. served tortillas with the sweet potato mixture, jalapeño slices and queso fresco... no reports from the gallery yet.

                                      1. re: Emme
                                        Ttrockwood RE: Emme Oct 14, 2013 07:26 PM

                                        Since the thread is about vegetarian fillings i assume you mean you used "tofurkey"..... ;) ?

                                        1. re: Ttrockwood
                                          Emme RE: Ttrockwood Oct 15, 2013 07:12 PM

                                          i noted that i normally use black beans not turkey... vegetarian.

                                    2. Beach Chick RE: enjilico Oct 14, 2013 05:20 AM

                                      I know this taco party has come and gone but as one of the best veggie taco chicks in the world, I have to put my two cents in..
                                      Veggie crumbles..garlic and jalapeños sautéed.
                                      Fry up some flour and corn tortillas.
                                      Sliced avocados
                                      Sharp cheese or vegan cheese
                                      Red onions
                                      Radishes sliced up and whole with some green onions
                                      Heirloom tomt's halved
                                      Sour cream
                                      Good spicy hot sauce

                                      Beyond delicious..

                                      I also make black bean, garlic, jalapeño enchiladas with El Pato enchi sauce and smothered in cheese.
                                      Topped with sour cream and avocados.. Serve with Spanish rice.

                                      1. alkapal RE: enjilico Oct 14, 2013 05:29 AM

                                        eggplant is a chameleon, and a lovely, meaty one at that.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: alkapal
                                          Cherylptw RE: alkapal Oct 15, 2013 01:50 PM

                                          Great idea; I'm going to have to try that....

                                        2. m
                                          mommainternet RE: enjilico Oct 14, 2013 05:44 AM

                                          Will have to try the eggplant next time along with some tomatoes and maybe a white sauce with a little bit of garlic. Thanks!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: mommainternet
                                            alkapal RE: mommainternet Oct 14, 2013 07:54 AM

                                            you can toss the cubed, peeled (though you don't have to peel) eggplant in a little olive oil and then in a taco seasoning or rub of your desire, then roast.

                                            definitely include cumin and garlic in the seasoning! also ground coriander seed and…if you like spicy…some ground chile peppers or red pepper flakes.

                                            1. re: alkapal
                                              mommainternet RE: alkapal Oct 14, 2013 08:20 AM

                                              I like all those suggestions, didn't think about the coriander seed will have to try that one time, too.

                                          2. DoobieWah RE: enjilico Oct 14, 2013 06:35 AM

                                            Whatever Jack in the Box uses.


                                            1. boogiebaby RE: enjilico Oct 15, 2013 05:14 PM

                                              I cook Indian food, and for a different twist with leftovers, I make tostadas with leftover Chana Masala (spiced garbanzo beans) and Rajma (kidney beans). Just mash them slightly with the back of your spoon, and put on your tostada shell. Top with your usual toppings (lettuce, salsa, etc). The Indian spices go really well with the flavors. :)

                                              1. s
                                                sandylc RE: enjilico Oct 15, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                black beans, steamed sweet potatoes or winter squash, roasted poblanos, sautéed sweet onion petals, cumin, queso fresco or goat cheese, walnuts or pepitas, lime, cilantro.

                                                1. alkapal RE: enjilico Oct 25, 2013 06:21 AM

                                                  i made a veggie combo a couple of days ago that would be good as a taco filling: fresh corn kernels cut off the cob, yellow bell pepper, green onion, and eggplant all sauteed in butter with salt and some trader joe's 21 seasoning salute. (i had been reminded of doing something like this because of the confetti corn dish). http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/co...

                                                  i made an omelet filling with the leftovers.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                    Beach Chick RE: alkapal Oct 25, 2013 07:08 AM

                                                    That sounds fab sista!
                                                    I'd walk the plank for those tacos. .

                                                    I made my world famous Boca veggie crumble tacos last night with sliced avocado, xsharp cheese, heirloom tomt's, halved, shredded romaine lettuce, red onions and a dollop of daisy..of course, some super hot kick ass salsa..

                                                    Fried up lightly the corn and flour tortillas and had the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life and watched the World Series...Sublime

                                                  2. t
                                                    tkkordic RE: enjilico Oct 25, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                    When it comes to veg tacos, I like to keep it simple and traditional. I like "tacos de papas" or potatoe tacos. I make the potatoes in advance (a day or two)... you can use whatever you want (I like redskin potatoes). Place in large pan with some chopped onions, little garlic, and some chili pepper (your choice... I like pablano or jalopeno). Cover with just enough water to cover and boil.. let water eventually evaporate out as it cooks and then do a rough mash. Place in refrigerator to set. Take corn tortillas and put the potatoe mixture in the taco and fry in pan with some oil (both sides). Now you can then eat like this with a little bit of salsa (most traditional). I like to take up a notch. So, once they come out of the grill pan I toss the tacos with contija cheese and seasoning (your choice, you can even use Lawry's if you want or some spicy seasoning). Let them cool slightly. I open the tacos as much as I can and stick some peppered purple cabbage, some chopped tomatoes and some authentic fresh salsa and top it off with a another sprinkling of grated contija seca.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: tkkordic
                                                      DavidA06488 RE: tkkordic Oct 25, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                      Sounds like my kind of thing.

                                                    2. j
                                                      Jet RE: enjilico Oct 26, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                      Interesting ideas offered, but I like mine best; For a meat substitute, I always use "Gardein" either ground or in strips, and either the simulated Chicken version or the simulated beef version. Although sometimes I use the Indian Cheese known as "Paneer" as the Umami substancial item. I chop fresh Garlic & ground fresh Ginger into sizzling Olive Oil along with possibly Garam Masala, fresh Cumin Seeds, and variously either Tandoori Powder, Sumac, or Sweet Hungarian Paprika. Sometimes I also sizzle a Bay Leaf. In this I cook yellow onions until near caramelized and some sliced red bell peppers. I then put in the Gardein or Paneer & some sweet corn. Sometimes I will add a little Marsala or Voignier to deglaze the pan, and finally I will add about a tablespoon of Major Grey Chutney. I enjoy the mixture most of all in corn Tortillas with some Mango Salsa & either grated White Cheddar or grated Whole Milk Mozzarella. MY only regret ever is that Corn Tortillas are only sold commercially in a relatively small size. Enjoy! JET

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Jet
                                                        sandylc RE: Jet Oct 29, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                        Wow, that's an interesting hodge-podge of ingredients!

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