Tempeh Tacos with Cashew Queso

Californian Tempeh Tacos with Queso

  • Author: Allison
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x


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.



Tempeh ‘Meat’

  • 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

Cashew Queso

  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Warm the tortillas, if desired. Prepare any additional toppings: tomato, cucumber, avocado, pickled jalapenos, red onion, and salsa.
  4. 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.

  • Category: tacos, dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, West Coast

Keywords: tempeh tacos, tempeh taco meat, vegan taco meat, cashew queso, vegan mexican