These vegan Californian tempeh tacos with cashew queso will transport you to a surf-side taco shack on a sunny beach. A tempeh ‘meat’ forms the base of these tacos, and gets topped with cashew queso, avocado, jalapenos, and salsa.
It’s October! My favourite month. Not too hot, not too cold, plus the fall colours are jaw-droppingly beautiful. My long run route takes me through some of the prettiest semi-rural parts of the city, and I finished yesterday with a heart filled with gratitude and joy at all the beauty I had run through. That’s why I run, I think–to be reminded that despite it all, there is still beauty in this world.
Depending on where you live, one thing that might have you feeling a bit down at this time of the year is the increasing number of grey days and rain (I’m part of the 2 percent of the population that prefers cloudy and rainy days to sunny ones, mind you). If that’s you, then this tempeh taco recipe will fill your rain-weary soul with sunny Californian vibes. Keep it in your back pocket for the coming winter months, too–there’s nothing like meaty tempeh and a sunny-looking cashew queso sauce to brighten your mood when the season has you down.
These are the tempeh tacos that I envision the surf-side taco shack of my dreams slinging on some beach in California. Not that I’ve ever been, but it’s always been a dream of mine to travel to Venice Beach or Huntington Beach, not least for the vegan food that people keep raving about!
A meaty tempeh preparation forms the base of this taco recipe. To make it, you’ll saute some onions and garlic, then add cubed tempeh, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, tamari, balsamic vinegar, and hot sauce. This combination of flavours and textures is reminiscent of taco meat!
You’ll portion out some tempeh taco meat onto a tortilla and top it with a homemade cashew queso, diced tomato, cucumber, sliced red onion, pickled jalapenos, salsa, and avocado.
Overall, this recipe is extremely easy to make. You’ll just need to soak the cashews in boiling water for about 45 minutes to soften them, but once that is done, the entire meal comes together in about 30 minutes.
I hope you love these tacos. They’re:
-Packed with protein
If you’re hungry for more, check out my other taco recipes:
If you make this recipe, leave a comment and rating below–it helps more people find the recipe, and it helps when others know how it turned out for you. And don’t forget to take a photo and tag it #upbeetkitchen and @upbeet.kitchen on Instagram! 🙂Print
Californian Tempeh Tacos with Queso
These Californian tempeh tacos with cashew queso will transport you to a surf-side taco shack on a sunny beach. A tempeh ‘meat’ forms the base of these tacos, and gets topped with cashew queso, avocado, jalapenos, and salsa.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 tacos 1x
- Category: tacos, dinner
- Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, West Coast
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (8-oz) package tempeh, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- Sea salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 45 minutes and drained
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (for colour)
- 1/3 cup water, plus more as needed to thin
- 1 batch of taco meat, above
- 1 batch of queso, above
- Diced avocado
- Pickled jalapenos, homemade or store-bought
- Diced tomato
- Diced cucumber
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Red or green salsa
- Make the tempeh taco ‘meat’: Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the diced tempeh and cook for two minutes. Then add the smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt, pepper, tamari, balsamic, and hot sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and cover until ready to serve.
- Make the cashew queso: Place the cashews, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed. You want the texture of a creamy cheese sauce.
- Warm the tortillas, if desired. Prepare any additional toppings: tomato, cucumber, avocado, pickled jalapenos, red onion, and salsa.
- Assemble tacos by spooning some taco meat onto a tortilla, followed by avocado, pickled jalapenos, tomato, cucumber, salsa, and cashew queso. Makes 8 tacos, enough for 3-4 people.
Keywords: tempeh tacos, tempeh taco meat, vegan taco meat, cashew queso, vegan mexican
Pin this to your boards for later: