Corn Tortilla Tacos

It never fails to amaze me how great corn tortillas work as tacos. They rarely fall to pieces on me when I bite into them, and they stay solid while holding “wet” toppings, like salsa or cheese sauce. The downside is how small they are, so you need to make more taco shells per person, or have more side dishes to serve along with the tacos. I make about 4-5 tacos per person (they really are pretty small), but adjust things around however you want to.

This recipe is pretty easy, and the directions are mostly for explaining how to make the taco shells. I usually make meatless tacos (I use a mashed black bean mix to hold veggies together, then pour salsa and cheese sauce over the top), but I’ve provided some meat options in case you want to add any to yours!

Ingredient Options:

Servings: about 5-6 small tacos, maybe a little more? depends on how much of each topping you add in

  • at least 6 corn tortillas (adjust the recipe for however many tacos you’re using)
  • Meat options:
    • Neat taco meat (I use this because it’s quick, it’s not bad!): prepare according to package directions using flax-eggs or Neat-brand Egg Replacer
    • Tempeh: Crumble tempeh in a small pan, season with your own taco seasoning to taste. Either use the taco seasoning combination I give in the directions below, or Google your own taco seasoning recipe
    • Your own favorite wfpb meat option with taco seasoning (crumbled cauliflower, mashed-baked-crumbled black beans, etc.)
    • Or leave off your meat option!
  • Topping options:
    • Guacamole: Mash 1-2 avocados (I like to add a spritz of lime juice, and a dash of pepper and garlic powder, but make it to your own taste)
    • Spinach or other leafy green – shredded, chopped, or whole
    • Salsa (oil-free)
    • Cheese sauce of your choice (I like to use my cheese sauce recipe from Black Bean Quesadillas)
    • Jalapeños
    • Diced tomatoes, drained (fire-roasted or with green chilies is good!)
    • Diced bell pepper
    • Cilantro
    • Hot sauce (wfpb-friendly)

Directions for making taco shells:

Heat oven to 375°F.

Rip sections of parchment paper into small strips. Place the parchment paper strips over 2 bars on the oven rack, leaving 2 bars of space in between each parchment paper (to allow the tortillas to bend properly). Place the tortillas over the parchment papers, poking the edges of the tortillas under the empty bars on either side. If you’re confused, just look at the picture below.

Bake the tortillas for 7-10 minutes, until visibly browned and no longer completely soft to the touch. They should feel crisp, like a regular taco shell. Do note that the longer you leave them in the harder and crispier they will become, so if you prefer the tacos to still have some give make sure to take them out by 7-8 minutes (or possibly earlier, if your oven is nicer than mine).

While the tortillas are cooking, assemble all your other toppings, whatever you choose to put on. 

The parchment paper goes over two bars with at least 2 bars of extra space on either side. You can see how the tortillas need the extra room until they start bending. If you cram the tortillas too close together they won’t properly bend into a taco shape.

When they’re done they’ll be a little tricky to pull out of the oven. I prefer using tongs to carefully coax them off the oven rack. The tacos will have bent around the bars so be careful about yanking them off or you may break them.

The picture didn’t pick up the brown color of the shells very well, but you can see how they curl around the bars of the oven rack. Make sure you are careful not to burn yourself when you remove them!

Put your taco shells on a plate and assemble them however you like!

Directions for making Tempeh taco “meat”:

Crumble the tempeh block, using your hand, into a medium-sized pan. 


Put in about a quarter cup of water and turn the stove to medium heat. Let the tempeh heat up for several minutes, then add your spices.

These are the spices I used for my tempeh in the picture below: 1 tbs. chili powder; 1 tsp. each: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, cumin; ½ tsp. sea salt; dash of cayenne pepper, to taste.

Mix the spices with the tempeh thoroughly for another few minutes, then you’re done!

You can add other things in with the tempeh, like mashed beans or tomato paste, to thicken it up into more of a refried beans+meat kind of combination

Taco Filling/Topping Ideas

Guacamole, Neat-brand taco meat, cheese sauce (linked below), Mateo’s-brand salsa
Tempeh with taco seasoning (directions below), Mateo’s salsa, cheese sauce (linked below), chopped spinach, Cholula hot sauce

2 thoughts on “Corn Tortilla Tacos

  1. Pingback: Quick & Easy Lentil Tacos | My Whole-Foods Plant-Based Kitchen

  2. Pingback: Thai Tacos with Cabbage Coleslaw | My Whole-Foods Plant-Based Kitchen

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