Mexican food is renowned for its vibrant flavors, rich spices, and diverse ingredients. Having grown up near the Mexican border in South Texas, I was able to enjoy an array of authentic Mexican dishes thanks to my Indigenous roots and Mexican American heritage. While some Mexican dishes traditionally include animal-derived meat and dairy, the ever-evolving plant-based movement has sparked creativity among chefs and food enthusiasts, resulting in a delightful range of vegan options.
Understanding the origin of our food is essential for maintaining good health, preserving cultural heritage, and reducing animal suffering. The American Heart Association warns that U.S.-born Hispanic people may be more likely to suffer from several chronic diseases than those born elsewhere. Many of these diseases are related to our food choices. As a Hispanic Latina, I found this information alarming. But through my vegan journey, I have found joy in transforming traditional Mexican dishes into tasty vegan meals. This shift helps me connect further with my ancestors and aligns with my spiritual connection to animals.
Whether you are a dedicated vegan or simply curious about exploring plant-based eating, we can embrace our heritage and show compassion toward animals by incorporating more plant-based foods into our meals. Let’s discover the most delectable Mexican dishes reinvented with plant-based ingredients—all while preserving authenticity and promoting kindness. Share your cherished favorites with us. ¡Buen provecho!
A taquito or flauta is a small tortilla rolled around a filling and fried until crispy. Try filling your flautas with beans or plant-based meats and topping them off with vegan sour cream and guacamole for extra flavor.
If you want a delicious, comforting vegan meal, try making enchiladas! Fill corn tortillas with roasted veggies, beans, plant-based meat, or vegan cheese. Then bake them in a tasty sauce, like smoky tomato or tangy tomatillo. Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans for a complete and satisfying meal.
These irresistible peppers can be stuffed with various delicious ingredients, including corn, beans, veggies, and vegan meats and cheese. Bake them with a plant-based batter and top them off with a tomato-based sauce to achieve the ultimate flavor explosion.
Did you know that tamales were originally made without animal products? These delicious corn-husk wraps, filled with various ingredients and perfectly steamed, have been a beloved dish among communities for many years. Authentic vegan fillings are jam-packed with beans, vegetables, and herbs, showcasing the ingenuity of our ancestors. You can add vegan cheese or meat for a unique twist and to tantalize your taste buds like never before.
If you’re looking to make Mexican street tacos vegan, you have plenty of options for fillings. Try sautéed mushrooms, marinated tofu, plant-based steak or chicken, or seasoned jackfruit. To add some extra flavor, top your tacos with fresh salsa, guacamole, and a squeeze of lime.
Tacos al Pastor
Tacos al pastor, a popular Mexican street food, can be made with marinated seitan or jackfruit. These tacos are seasoned with a blend of achiote and other spices, pineapple, and aromatic herbs, which results in a burst of flavor.
If you’re seeking a vegan version of classic Mexican soup, pozole is an excellent choice. You can use chickpeas; hominy (dried corn kernels); plant-based proteins, such as tempeh and jackfruit; and plenty of vegetables, like cabbage, radishes, and diced avocado. To achieve the authentic taste, add cumin, oregano, and chili powder to the broth for an extra kick.
Enjoy the savory taste of tortillas filled with plant-based cheese, sautéed veggies, vegan meat, and a blend of delicious spices, all grilled to perfection.
One of the most celebrated dishes is grilled corn on the cob, elote. You can slather it with a creamy vegan mayo, add some dairy-free cheese and tangy lime juice, and finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
To make this crispy tortilla chip dish, smother tortilla pieces in a zesty homemade vegan salsa, top with vegan cheese, and garnish with diced avocado and cilantro.
A hearty burrito can be stuffed with seasoned plant-based protein, rice, beans, fresh veggies, and a drizzle of flavorful vegan sauce.
These soft, pillowy corn pockets can be filled with a delectable mixture of plant-based protein, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a dollop of dairy-free sour cream.
The popular birria can be made vegan with slow-cooked plant-based protein marinated in a rich blend of spices and served with warm tortillas, diced onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
Breakfast anyone? Try a tofu scramble or vegan egg seasoned with bold spices, served on a crispy corn tortilla, and topped with a zesty tomato-based ranchero sauce and sliced avocado.
Enjoy tostadas topped with vegan steak or chicken, refried beans, shredded lettuce, plant-based cheese, diced tomatoes, and a tangy vegan crema drizzle.
You will love this—we promise. Try a melty, gooey blend of plant-based cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and aromatic spices. Served it with warm tortillas for dipping.
Tortas made with vegan ingredients are a tasty sandwich option. You can add various vegetables, such as avocado, tomato, lettuce, and onion, and protein-packed components, like beans, tofu, or vegan meat. These sandwiches can be served warm or cold and are a fantastic choice for lunch, dinner, or even a quick snack.
By making traditional dishes with plant-based ingredients, we can enjoy the flavors and essence of Mexican dishes while fostering a compassionate approach to food. Continue your journey by learning about some of the accidentally vegan Mexican foods cherished and preserved for generations.
Note: Recipes and variations can vary regionally, so it’s always a good idea to double-check the ingredients used in specific dishes if you’re dining out or trying a recipe.