Sheet Pan Tofu Taco Meat (Gluten-Free)

August 11, 2021

Entree

By: Jasmine Briones 

Perfect vegan taco meat made from tofu! This delicious gluten-free recipe is easy to make, full of flavor, and is ready in less than an hour. Plus, it only requires one bowl, one sheet pan, and no pressing of the tofu is required!

vegan tofu tacos on a white plate with onions and cilantro

In our house, we LOVE tacos. When we were living in Los Angeles, it would be a weekly ritual to go to one of our favorite local taco spots, Cena Vegan. Since living in the Pacific Northwest, the taco options are definitely not the same, so we’ve been opting to make our own.

If you needed a sign to make taco meat out of tofu, this is it! This recipe only requires one bowl, one sheet pan, and some pantry staples you may even already have on hand. The best part is, it’s gluten-free and ready in under an hour.

Why Firm Tofu?

For this recipe, we are using firm tofu, which is one of the most versatile varieties. It’s perfect for scrambles, battering, baking, pan-frying, etc. This tofu taco meat recipe is most similar to a scramble, however, it is seasoned differently, and is baked instead of pan-fried. The more firm the tofu, the more water that is pressed out. With less water, the fat and protein content in the tofu will also be higher.

ingredients for tofu taco meat on a gray board

Here’s What You’ll Need for This Recipe:

  • Firm tofu: As mentioned above, firm tofu is ideal for this tofu taco meat. It’s the perfect consistency to crumble and is great for absorbing the flavors we are adding to the dish. If you don’t have firm tofu on hand, extra firm will work well too. We like to use tofu from either House Foods or Nasoya.
  • Onion and garlic: The foundation of flavor in this recipe, onions and garlic add both a burst of aroma and taste to this recipe. We like to use fresh onion and garlic, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can also use powdered.
  • Tomato sauce: We like to add tomato sauce to our taco meat for a variety of reasons. First, it helps thicken up the meat and make it nice and hearty. Secondly, it helps the spices stick to the tofu better. And lastly, it adds a nice splash of flavor that we really like.
  • Tamari: To keep this recipe entirely gluten-free, we like to add tamari instead of soy sauce. If you’re not familar with tamari, it’s a sauce made from feremented soy beans and is very similar to soy sauce with the main difference being that it’s made without wheat. Soy sauce can be used in its place if you are not gluten-free.
  • Apple cider vinegar: I guess you can consider this a “secret” ingredient since it’s not always found in taco meat, vegan or not. We’ve found that apple cider vinegar helps boost the flavor in this recipe and makes it more well rounded.
  • Spices: To season this tofu taco meat we need just a few simple spices — chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper, and oregano.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Not only does nutritional yeast add flavor, but it is also packed with B vitamins and protein. Believe it or not, there are 3-4 grams of protein per tablespoon!
  • Oil: To add a bit of fat and body to our taco meat, we added a bit of oil. If you prefer not to use any oil, you can also leave it out!
vegan tofu tacos on a white plate with onions and cilantro

Fun Facts About Tofu!

  • Tofu is made from the curd of soy milk. It’s made in a similar process to how cheese is made from milk.
  • Tofu is believed to have been accidentally discovered by a chinese cook 2,000 years ago.
  • Soybeans are the only vegetable to have complete protein, which means it contains all 8 essential amino acids.
  • Freezing tofu changes the texture and makes it much more spongy. We use the freezing method in our vegan KFC fried chicken recipe found here.
  • There are many different varieties of tofu include silken, soft, medium, firm, extra firm, and super firm.
close up photo of tofu taco meat in tortilla

Looking for More Tacos Fillings? We’ve Got You Covered:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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vegan tofu tacos on a white plate with onions and cilantro

Sheet Pan Vegan Taco Meat (Gluten-Free)


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Perfect vegan taco meat made from tofu! This delicious gluten-free recipe is easy to make, full of flavor, and is ready in less than an hour. Plus, it only requires one bowl, one sheet pan, and no pressing of the tofu is required!


Ingredients

  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano

Equipment


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and prepare a half baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or a light layer of oil.
  2. Open the package of tofu and drain out the excess liquid. Use your hands to crumble the tofu into a medium bowl.
  3. Add in all of the remaining ingredients (onion, garlic, tomato sauce, tamari, apple cider vinegar, oil, nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper and oregano) and mix through until well-combined.
  4. Transfer the tofu mixture (and all of the liquid) to your baking sheet and use a spatula to spread it out into a single layer.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until golden.
  6. Serve your taco meat as desired and enjoy!

Notes

  • Firm tofu: If you don’t have firm tofu on hand, extra firm will work well too. 
  • Onion and garlic: We like to use fresh but if you don’t have any on hand, you can also use powdered. 
  • Tamari: Soy sauce can be used in its place if you are not gluten-free.
  • Oil: If you prefer not to use any oil, you can also leave it out!  
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Oven

Keywords: tacos, entree, tofu tacos, taco meat, baked, sheet pan, 1 hour, dinner

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Matty says:

    My wife discovered you on youtube and decided to make this recipe tonight, and all I can say is that it was OUTSTANDING! She has always been very consciencious about eating healthily using alternative sources of food rather than the usual meat, fish, or poultry product. The taste was absolutely perfect, and she will definitely be using this recipe for years to come. Thank you for making your version available to us, it is greatly appreciated.

  2. Bethany says:

    So good and flavorful! I’ve made quite a few tofu taco recipes and they’ve all been okay but this is the first one that I’ve really loved and is worth making again regularly. I used it in tacos last week and I’m going to make it again for burrito bowls this week.

  3. Adrianna says:

    This was so easy to make and it is my new favorite way to eat tofu. I didn’t even think tofu could taste this good. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!! I can’t wait to try more from you.

  4. Julie Monserrate says:

    We made this last night and devoured it. Was so surprised by the crumbly meat-like texture and smoky flavor. Will definitely make this again!

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