These Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos offer major flavor, using all vegan ingredients, and is the perfect balance between savory and sweet from the roasted pineapples.
Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos
If you love the flavors of Jamaican Jerk, then you’ll surely love these delicious Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos, made with a flavorful walnut mixture, homemade jerk seasoning, roasted veggies, pineapple chunks, and an easy lime sauce. These little tacos have so much flavor and is a great meatless alternative for lunch or dinner.
Tacos are my thing and always will be my thing, so I couldn’t be more obsessed with these Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos!
I like to make tacos on Tuesdays, or any day of the week. Tacos are the perfect food that is filling, easily customizable, and always delicious. You can stick anything in a tortilla and top with a good cool, fresh sauce. It will likely taste good!
Of course, when it comes to using Jerk seasoning—-I’m always ready because Jamaican cuisine is a staple for me. As you may know, I enjoy sharing my Jamaican background and the foods that stem from it, therefore, these tacos are no different.
Overall, these walnut tacos are super easy to make, a great quick weeknight option, entirely meatless, includes bold flavors, balance between savory, spicy, and sweet, and just plain DELICIOUS.
These tacos are filled with a delicious walnut mixture and homemade jerk seasoning. Then, I top it with roasted herb tomatoes, roasted poblano peppers, pineapple chunks, and lime sauce. Everyone in my family loves these tacos and they’re sure to a real hit in your household.
What is Vegan Walnut Meat?
Walnut meat also known as “Raw Nut Meat” is a great healthy alternative to ground meat and is made with walnuts (soaked), mushrooms, and spices—generally. However, I chose to keep things simple by using solely walnuts and spices. Once you get the right texture, simply add your favorite sauce, seasonings, etc. and wallah! A delicious and quick option.
How to Make Vegan Walnut Meat
Vegan walnut meat is incredibly easy to make. You only need three ingredients for the actual “meat mixture” and the first step starts with soaking the walnuts. For a quick soak, simply add chopped walnuts to a bowl and fill it with boiling hot water until walnuts are covered. After about 10-15 minutes, drain, and rinse.
Then comes the step of adding the soaked walnuts and garlic cloves into a food processor and processing until fully broken down into a “crumble-like” texture.
For added flavor, you can always add in mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, or other nuts—processing them in with the soaked walnuts.
Ingredients in Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos
For the Walnut Meat:
2 cups walnuts, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
2 teaspoons vegan soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon browning, optional
For the Homemade Jerk Seasoning:
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Best Taco Toppings
Everyone is different when it comes to taco toppings, which is why I love using a variety of ingredients.
This is a great opportunity to teach children about what they like, how much to add, and helps to develop their palate—which is what I try to do with my son. Plus, maybe they’ll try something new on their own—who knows?!
Some of the most popular taco toppings in my house are:
Pico de Gallo
Vegan sauce of some kind (homemade)
Easy Vegan Lime Sauce
To top your tacos and tame the heat a bit, make a dairy-free lime dressing with:
Vegan mayonnaise. Use any kind you like.
Parsley or Cilantro. If you’re not a fan of either herbs, use basil.
Lime juice. Freshly squeezed!
Meal Prepping Ideas
This is a great recipe for meal prep. Simply prepare the walnut meat, dairy-free sauce and toppings ahead of time. Store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to four days. Then heat and assemble your tacos when you’re ready to enjoy!
Ingredient Substitutions and Swaps
This recipe is fairly easy to customize. If you don’t have every item on the ingredient list, here are some simple swaps and substitutions that won’t sacrifice flavor:
Substitute the lime juice in the vegan sauce/dressing with lemon juice.
Swap fresh parsley or cilantro for another fresh herb, such as basil or dill.
Try another fruit instead of pineapple. Mango will add a nice tropical spin and sweetness.
Switch things up by adding mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, pecans, or other nuts to the walnut meat.
What Kind of Tortilla is Best for Vegan Tacos?
You can choose either corn or flour tortillas for this recipe. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, corn is your best bet. Whichever option you choose, I recommend the small street taco-size. They’re easy to fill, hold and eat by the dozen!
Of course, in a pinch, larger tortillas will work too. You can also use hard taco shells if you prefer a crunchier taco. If that’s the case, skip heating the tortillas and simply fill your taco shells with the vegan walnut meat and toppings.
How to Store Leftover Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos
Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
10 INGREDIENTS TO KEEP HANDY WHEN MAKING JAMAICAN DISHES
Sharing my top 10 ingredients that are a must-have for making Jamaican dishes and these ingredients do not necessarily need to be gluten or dairy-free, but they are incredibly important in creating authentic and flavorful Jamaican dishes.
Other Tacos You’ll Love
If you are a fan of my Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos, you will also love these other tacos!
Soft flour or corn tortillas, any size + charred (See Notes!)
2cupsRoasted herb tomatoes
Roasted poblano peppers, chopped
Pineapple chunks, roasted or charred
EASY LIME SAUCE:
2Tbspschopped fresh parsley(You can also use fresh cilantro as well)
2Tbspsfreshly-squeezed lim juice
ROAST THE VEGGIES:
Be sure to roast your veggies in the oven at this point. See Roasted Herb Tomatoes recipe for instructions on how to roast all veggies.
SOAK THE WALNUTS:
In a bowl, add the chopped walnuts and cover it with boiling hot water, letting it soak for 10-15 minutes so that they soften a bit. Drain and rinse.
MAKE THE JERK SEASONING:
In a bowl, add together the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, thyme, brown sugar, allspice, parsley, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and cumin, stirring until combined. Set aside.
MAKE THE WALNUT TACO "MEAT":
Add the walnuts and garlic cloves into a food processor and process until combined and broken down---resembling "meat-like crumbles".
In a medium skillet (10-inch or so) over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once heated, add the processed walnut along with tomato paste, 1 Tbsp jerk seasoning, soy sauce, lemon juice, veggie stock, and browning (if using)---stirring until combined and the "meat" mixture looks brown in color and is moistened. Let cook for 2-3 minutes.
CHAR OR WARM TORTILLAS:
To lightly toast taco tortillas, preheat oven on 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place tortillas directly on rack. Turn off oven once heated and let tortillas warm for 2 minutes. Remove from oven. For char on a stovetop, pop one of the tortillas unto a gas burner until you begin to see a little smoke. Remove tortilla to rotate it onto opposite side until it’s lightly charred. Repeat until all tortillas are charred.
MAKE THE EASY LIME SAUCE:
Mix together the freshly-squeezed lime juice, vegan mayonnaise, and parsley in a bowl until combined and smooth.
To assemble tacos, add 1-2 Tbsps walnut "meat" atop a charred tortilla followed by: roasted herb tomatoes, roasted poblano peppers, pineapple chunks, and the Lime sauce. Repeat until desired amount of tacos are made.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
MAKE AHEAD: All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (excluding tortillas) and assembled when ready to serve.
BROWNING: Jamaican browning is used to add additional "color" to any meat or food. You can find this at your local grocer or specialty food store or via online at Amazon.
JERK SEASONING (STORAGE): You can keep leftovers in a small tightly sealed jar and at room temperature for up to 6 months like your other herbs + spices.