These vegan tofu tacos with mushrooms are a satisfying and easy-to-make weeknight meal.
This is a recipe I originally developed for a virtual team-building cooking class (yes, I teach those!). The class was designed to demonstrate a plant-based weeknight dinner, as well as teach people an easy way to cook tofu. As I loaded up my taco with garlicky mushrooms and spiced tofu, doused everything in hot sauce, and took the first bite, I realized it had a fish taco vibe. Since then, I’ve come to think of these as vegan “fish” tacos.
At first glance, fish and tofu don’t have much in common. But since fish tacos are usually made with white, mild-tasting fish, tofu is not that far of a departure. Plus, the two have that soft, spongy texture in common.
What’s In These Vegan Tofu Tacos
These tacos are composed of 3 elements: crispy tofu, garlicky mushrooms, and creamy guacamole. They are hearty, savory, and easy to make. Everything is cooked in the same pan, so you don’t need to dirty up a lot of dishes. Plus, the tofu and mushrooms can both be cooked in advance, making this a great meal-preppable lunch/dinner.
How to Make These Tacos
Start by pressing the tofu for 15 to 30 minutes (instructions below). While the tofu drains, cook the mushrooms in a skillet. Then remove the mushrooms and reserve the skillet for cooking the tofu.
Cut the tofu into slabs and season with the spice blend (garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin). Cook the tofu over medium-high heat until it’s golden brown and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
Finally, while the tofu cooks, make the guacamole.
Tips for Making These Tacos
Tips for Cooking the Mushrooms: Mushrooms are like sponges – they absorb water. Thus, you should avoid washing them directly under the tap. Unless your mushrooms are literally covered in soil, wipe them with a damp paper towel instead.
Resist the urge to stir mushrooms too much when they’re cooking; it’s prolonged contact with the hot pan that creates those golden brown edges.
Tips for Making Crispy Tofu: There are 2 main factors that contribute to crispy tofu: pressing the tofu before cooking it + not touching it while it sears.
To press tofu [without a designated tofu press], place the block on a plate, then top it with another plate or cutting board, and weigh it down with something heavy (like a couple of cans/jars). Let this contraption stand for 15 to 30 minutes, periodically draining off the water that pools at the bottom of the plate. Getting rid of this excess moisture is key to getting that golden brown crust.
Avoid moving or flipping the tofu before it’s brown and crispy on the bottom – this takes at least 8 minutes. Again, it’s continuous contact with the hot pan that creates caramelization.
Other Latin-inspired favorites…
- Enoki Mushroom “Carnitas” Tacos
- Baked Yuca Fries with Creamy Cilantro Dip
- Plantain Nachos
- Tempeh Taco “Meat”
These vegan tofu tacos with garlicky mushrooms and guacamole are a satisfying and easy-to-make weeknight meal.
For the Tacos
- One 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
- About 4 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, like avocado, refined coconut, or organic canola
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 8 taco-size corn tortillas, warmed (see note below)
For the Guacamole
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
- 1 medium vine tomato, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
- 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro
- Drain the tofu and gently press the block between your palms to squeeze out some of the water. Place on a plate then top tofu with another plate or cutting board and weigh it down with something heavy (like a couple of cans) to squeeze out as much water as possible (or use a tofu press if you have one). Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes, periodically draining off the excess water that pools in the plate.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the mushrooms with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until softened and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last 30 seconds of cooking, stir in 2 pressed/minced garlic cloves. Set the mushrooms aside and reserve the skillet.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, make the tofu spice blend. In a small bowl, mix together 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
- Cut the tofu into 8 slabs. Arrange in a single layer on the cutting board and sprinkle one side with half of the spice blend.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in a single layer, seasoned side down. Season the other side with the remaining spice blend. Cook for about 8 minutes, until the underside is nicely browned, then flip and brown the other side.
- Lastly, make the guacamole. In a medium shallow bowl, mash 2 avocados with a fork until smooth. Then add 1 diced tomato, 2 tablespoons diced red onion, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon minced cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- To serve, cut the tofu slabs in half lengthwise, creating 16 batons total. Divide the guac among the tortillas and top with the mushrooms and tofu. Garnish with extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
For a gas stove, warm tortillas one at a time directly on the grates over medium-low heat until warmed through and charred in spots, 30 to 60 seconds per side. For an electric stove, warm one at a time in a heavy-bottomed skillet (like cast iron) over medium-high heat.
- Serving Size: 2 tacos
- Calories: 500
- Carbohydrates: 36.3 g
- Fiber: 11.4 g
- Protein: 15.2 g
Keywords: tofu, mushroom, tacos, guacamole