Walnut Taco Meat


  • 2/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes (preferably packaged dry, not in oil)*

  • 3 c. raw walnuts

  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (plus more to taste)

  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp. chili powder

  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar (omit if avoiding sugar, or sub a little stevia)

  • 1 - 2 small habanero peppers, deseeded and chopped, optional

  • 1 - 2 tsp. nutritional yeast, optional

  • 1/4 c. water as needed (plus more as needed)

  • Tortillas, for serving

  • Cilantro, for serving

  • Avocado, for serving

  • Radish, for serving


  1. Add sun-dried tomatoes to a small bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside and allow to soak for at least 5 minutes.

  2. To the bowl of a food processor, add walnuts and pulse into a semi-fine meal (some larger chunks are okay. Be careful not to churn into a butter). Transfer walnuts to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

  3. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes (reserving the water in a small bowl to add back to the sauce later on) and add to the bowl of the food processor. Add garlic, sea salt, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, coconut sugar, habaneros, and nutritional yeast (optional) and blend until a smooth paste is formed. Add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of reserved water at a time until a thick but pourable sauce is formed (see photo).

  4. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, garlic for more “zing,” peppers for heat, cumin for smokiness, or coconut sugar to balance the heat.

  5. Add mixture to walnuts and stir to combine. At this point, you can taste and adjust flavors as needed once more. We added a bit more salt.

  6. Enjoy in any setting one would use taco meat: tacos, salad, nachos, burritos, and more. Leftovers can be stored up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer.