Two Taco Night Recipes with a Plant-Based Spin

Mealtime traditions are common among many families, from taco Tuesdays to weekend favorites. You can add a special touch to one of the most popular traditions — taco night — with a plant-based twist.

With a nutty, smoky and truly meaty taste and texture, pecans offer a perfect plant-based protein to incorporate in favorite dishes like tacos. However, great taste is just the beginning — pecans pack a nutritious punch with a unique mix of health-promoting nutrients while shining in a wide range of flavor profiles.

To help make your next taco night all the rage among loved ones, the American Pecan Promotion Board recommends serving up authentic vegan taco recipes using pecans in place of meat in dishes like Smoky Chipotle Pecan Burrito Bowls and Vegan Pecan Al Pastor Tacos. Their texture makes them uniquely suited as a meat alternative that doesn’t sacrifice flavor so it can taste like the original and leave your family clamoring to keep taco night on the weekly menu.

Learn more and discover delicious plant-based recipes at

Smoky Chipotle Pecan Burrito BowlsSmoky Chipotle Pecan Burrito Bowls

Recipe courtesy of Dominique Williamson on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-3


Pecan “Meat”

  • 2 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1⁄2 cup portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 pineapple, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1⁄4 cup lime juice
  • Salt, to taste

Chipotle Crema

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt


To make pecan “meat”: In bowl of boiling water, soak pecans, covered, at least 30 minutes, or overnight in room temperature water for softer texture.

Drain pecans and place in food processor with mushrooms. Pulse mixture to texture resembling meat crumbles. Avoid overpulsing.

In pan over medium heat, add pecan mixture, taco seasoning, tamari sauce, minced garlic, liquid smoke and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Cook 7-10 minutes then add chipotle in adobo. Cook 3 minutes.

To make pineapple salsa: Combine pineapple, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, red onion, lime juice and salt, to taste.

To make chipotle crema: Combine chipotle peppers, vegan mayo, garlic, vinegar, milk, agave and salt.

To assemble bowls, place pecan mixture in bowl followed by pineapple salsa and chipotle crema.

Vegan Pecan Al Pastor TacosVegan Pecan Al Pastor Tacos

Recipe courtesy of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6


  • Water
  • 2 pounds chopped pecans
  • 1 cup onion
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 dried guajillo peppers
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 7 ounces (1 can) chipotle peppers in adobo
  • Toppings and Garnishes:
  • Flour or corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • Cilantro
  • Diced onion
  • Lime
  • Pineapple


In a bowl of boiling water, soak pecans, covered, at least 30 minutes, or overnight in room temperature water for softer texture.

Drain pecans. In food processor, pulse pecans to meat-like crumbles. Do not overprocess to pecan butter.

Finely chop onions, garlic and guajillo peppers.

In skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and saute onions until transparent, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.

Add chipotle peppers in adobo and cook 1 minute. Add crumbled pecans and stir well to combine.

Remove from heat and serve on tortillas. Serve with cilantro, onion, lime and pineapple.