vegan tex mex dish

Best Vegan Tex-Mex Dishes


Welcome to the tasty, spicy and wholesome world of Tex-Mex cuisine. Tex-Mex refers to recipes and meals that originated around the border of Texas and Mexico. These meals generally contain influences from the cultures of Texan natives with Spanish or Latin roots and those from Northern Mexico. 

The significant difference between Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican dishes is that Tex-Mex is typically heavier, less spicy, and contains ingredients like yellow cheese, cumin, and beef, which aren’t typical in Mexican dishes.

All the influencing cultures love meat from various sources, which is reflected in their cuisine. From fajitas to tacos and jerky to barbacoa, the common theme of Tex-Mex cuisines is a variety of meat options, making them a potential no-no for people on vegan diets. However, we can tell you for a fact that you can enjoy the best of both worlds by tweaking the recipes a little.

Now, let’s get into our favorite vegan Tex-Mex dishes. 

vegan hatch chili taco tex mex dish

Hatch chipotle tacos

Vegan hatch chipotle tacos are made using hatch chilies which give them their name. They can be made using various ingredients and toppings, including cilantro, black beans, fresh or charred corn, and avocado. 

The filling can be sourced from ingredients already familiar to existing taco recipes like nopales (cactus), mushrooms, or grilled vegetables, which, when done right, can still give the same flavor as non-vegan filling options. More options include plant-based meat substitutes like vegan jerky or jackfruit, which can also offer you that smokey flavor you crave in your tacos. 

Check out the full hatch chipotle taco recipe.

vegan enchiladas tex mex dish

Black bean enchiladas

Traditional enchiladas are a Tex-Mex favorite usually made using tortillas, onions, beans, cheese, toppings like avocados, red onions, sliced radishes, enchilada sauce, plus any choice of meat, especially chicken or beef. To make the recipe vegan, all we need to do is swap out the meat. Easy peasy. 

To replace the meat, you can choose broccoli or a small head of cauliflower (with its florets removed) sliced into small, bite-sized pieces. You can then combine it with baby spinach, vegan jerky, or another meat alternative to create a fully veggie-enchilada. 

vegan chipotle fiesta salad tex mex dish

Chipotle fiesta salad

To make a Chipotle fiesta salad, you need to consider the two parts of the salad and avoid any meat or dairy in both the dressing and the salad mix. 

For the dressing, use egg-free mayonnaise, chipotle sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chili powder. Whisk all ingredients into a fine paste and set over the salad mix. For the salad mix, use a head of romaine lettuce, fresh corn, rinsed black beans, chili powder, fresh lime juice, diced onion, diced poblano, diced tomato, vegan jerky, cilantro, and sliced jalapeños for garnish. 

Remember to wash the vegetables thoroughly except for the beans, which only need a rinsing. Add all the ingredients, including the chopped lettuce and squeezed lime juice, chili powder, and salt for taste. 

See the full chipotle fiesta salad recipe.

vegan queso dip tex mex

Vegan queso dip

Queso is extremely popular in Tex-Mex cuisine and is a creamy cheese sauce that can be made vegan by using fresh, raw cashew instead of using dairy. Blend the cashews into a rich cream by adding a little amount of water, lemon juice, salt, and nutritional yeast to form the base of the dip. You can also add the juice from the tomatoes and green chiles to give your queso so kick. 

To make your queso set the blender on high for a few minutes until smooth and without lumps. Add the base to the juice of the tomatoes and green chiles, stir well and warm the mixture gently over low-medium heat, so it doesn’t burn. Watch the mixture thicken slightly until it reaches a consistency that pleases you.

Find the easy recipe here.

vegan burrito bowl tex mex dish

Vegan burrito bowl

Inspired by the chipotle Burrito recipe, this vegan Burrito bowl contains romaine lettuce, cilantro-lime rice, avocado, black beans, and fajitas with fresh homemade salsa. Because it is a burrito bowl, it is also free of carb-containing burrito wraps, making for a very healthy alternative to the traditional burrito. 

To make this dish, gather your fresh ingredients. Next, cook the rice and black beans separately, plus mix up the pico de gallo. Leave for a few minutes to cool while making your guacamole and cutting up the veggies. Once they are at room temperature, it’s time to eat. Put a portion of each ingredient in your bowl, and store the leftovers separately in the refrigerator.

vegan fajitas tex mex dish

Vegan jackfruit fajitas

Fajitas are a delicious mix of spicy seasoning and smokiness, made to eat with tortillas or sour cream, or guacamole. Like other Tex-Mex meals, it has an equally delicious vegan option

The key to fajitas is the sizzling skillet with the aroma of chili powder, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin that give the bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, and other veggies their flavor. You can also use a meat alternative like vegan jerky, jackfruit or vegan chicken strips. The delicious recipe for vegan fajitas can be made to taste and altered with versions of yellow, red, orange, and green peppers depending on your favorite flavor profile. 

vegan bean dip tex mex dish

Vegan fiesta 7-layer bean dip

This delicious fiesta 7-layer bean dip is exactly how it sounds: multi-layered and rich with many different flavors exploding in your mouth. 

This dip includes avocados, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, jalapenos, or chili (depending on your preference and spice tolerance levels), refried beans, and black olives. Different aspects of the fiesta 7-layer bean dip are made individually and then layered over each other to create the magic of the 7-layer dip.

vegan quesadilla tex mex food

Vegan Quesadillas

Quesadillas are tortillas cooked in a pan with delicious filling inside and can be eaten with guacamole, salsa, or sour cream (vegan, of course). 

Filling for your quesadilla can include onions, cayenne pepper, vegan cheese, crushed garlic, black beans, corn, and seasonings like salt, ground black pepper, and ground cumin to give it flavor. They are cooked without oil in the pan, and the tortillas are allowed to toast on each side before you fold them to accommodate the filling. 

vegan tex mex rice dish

Vegan instant pot Tex-Mex rice

Beans, brown rice, bell peppers, garlic cloves, roasted tomatoes, and red peppers combine with some choice seasoning spices to create a delicious vegan and gluten-free recipe that you can make with or without cooking oil. 

When making instant pot Tex-Mex rice, chop vegetables and bell peppers and set aside while adding the uncooked brown rice into the pan with olive oil or vegetable stock as desired. Mix in the vegetables, onions, and peppers and season as required with cumin, salt, and other taco seasonings. Cook the mixture and stir constantly to spread the seasoning and prevent the rice from burning.

tofu rancheros vegan tex mex dish

Spicy tofu rancheros

Spicy tofu rancheros are not for the faint-hearted, but they are totally worth the heat. Traditional rancheros have a filling rich in beef and eggs, making a vegan option a bit tricky but not undoable. 

This is where tofu comes into play. Tofu, along with bell peppers, chili peppers, vegan cheese, diced tomatoes, and seasoned with cumin, turmeric, and cilantro, make an excellent topping for tortillas. They can be eaten with a side of sliced avocados as well, to add in those healthy fats.

Try these vegan Tex-Mex dishes

If you love experimenting in the kitchen and are craving some Tex-Mex delicacies, then consider one or more of these delicious, easy-to-make, vegan options that will leave you wanting more.