It’s so easy to substitute vegan crumbles to make super-easy plant protein tacos (and other dishes) these days. Choices abound, from making your own easy “beefy” vegan crumbles with a few simple ingredients, to using one of the many prepared products on the market. For these simple tacos, I started with a 2-ounce package of Longéve™ Plant-Based Protein Crumbles, which contains exactly one ingredient — pea protein.
These pea-protein based crumbles are in a sense similar to TVP, aka TSP (soy-based texturized protein) in that they offer a blank canvas on which to add your own flavorings and seasonings. The easy BBQ sauce in this recipe adds all the flavor the pea protein needs, and these crumbles have a lovely texture.
That said, feel free to use other brands of protein crumbles or vegan “chorizo,” in which case you can cut back on the amount of homemade BBQ sauce given here. There is altogether more BBQ sauce in this recipe than you’ll need no matter what protein you use, because once I open a can of tomato sauce, I like to use the whole thing. No worries, you’ll use up this tasty sauce!
These tacos have plenty of eye appeal, and the contrast between the BBQ-flavored protein and the cool coleslaw is fantastic. My family breathed these in, and I hope yours will, too!
- Plant-based protein crumbles (see options in Notes)
Easy BBQ sauce
- 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons barbecue seasoning (see note)
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (mix a little red cabbage in if you’d like, or use pre-shredded slaw)
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and finely diced
- Coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, as desired
- 8 to 10 soft taco-size flour or corn tortillas
- 1 lime, cut into eighths, optional
- Choose one of the options for crumbles in the notes. If using pea protein crumbles or TVP, rehydrate as directed.
- Combine the ingredients for the easy BBQ sauce in a bowl and stir together.
- Heat a medium skillet and add the rehydrated or prepared crumbles. Depending on what you’re using, you’ll need between 1/2 cup and 1 cup BBQ sauce. If using pea protein crumbles or TVP, you’ll want to use a full cup, since they need to absorb lots of flavor. If using any of the commercially prepared crumbles or Amy’s California Burger, start with 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and taste; then add more to your liking. In either case, store the extra sauce in an airtight container in the fridge and use within a few days (otherwise, pop in the freezer).
- Cook the protein of your choice with the BBQ sauce over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it begins to brown lightly. Stir often.
- Meanwhile, combine the cabbage with the vegan mayo in a bowl and stir together. Prepare the avocado and cilantro, as well.
- To assemble the tacos (everyone can assemble their own!), spread the tortillas with coleslaw, followed by the BBQ-flavored protein. Top each with avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges if you’d like, to add a final burst of flavor.
- Serve at once to eat out of hand.
For the crumbles, use one of the following options:
- 2-ounce package Longeve™ Plant-Based Protein Crumbles (shown in these photos): rehydrate with 3/4 cup hot water
1 cup dry TVP (texturized vegetable protein): rehydrate with 7/8 cup hot water
- 12- to 14-ounce package vegan crumbles or vegan chorizo of your choice
- Amy’s California Burger (great flavor, natural ingredients), crumbled
About barbecue seasoning: Look for these yummy seasonings in the spice section of your supermarket. One of the major brands is McCormick Grill Mates®. These seasoning blends give huge bursts of flavor to whatever you’re preparing and come in varieties like Smokehouse Maple, Chipotle, Mesquite, and the original Barbecue.
Disclaimer: I received a sample of Longéve™ Plant-Based Protein Crumbles from the company, though this is NOT a sponsored post. My opinions are my own, and I only recommend products to readers of The Vegan Atlas that I enjoy.