How To Make Walnut Taco Meat – Step By Step Guide, Video & Recipe

A bowl with sun dried tomato walnut meat

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Ohhhh Emmmm Geeee.

Are you ready to make your own walnut meat that is both tasty and healthy!? If so, read on, in this blog post we will show you easy step by step guide on how to make delicious walnut meat with a food processor.

This is a great substitute to regular "meat" and is a great addition to your diet.

This walnut meat goes great with tacos, cauliflower rice, nachos and more!

Easy Step By Step Guide To Make Homemade Walnut Meat

Step 1 (Optional): Soak The Walnuts & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The first step is to soak 1/2 cup of walnuts and about 5 to 6 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes in water for about 20 minutes. This step is optional but highly recommended. The reason that we recommend that you soak the walnuts is that if you were to process them dry they have less of a meat consistency and don't taste as good. However, if you are pressed for time you can skip this step.

Soaking the walnuts makes them softer and gives it more of meat-like texture.

The reason for soaking the sun-dried tomatoes is that they are really hard if not soaked. If you don't soak them then you end up with larger chunks in your final product. By soaking the tomatoes you make them softer and easier for your food processor to break down. This way it mixes in better.

Step 2: Gather Ingredients & Use A Food Processor

Get all the ingredients below together. I like to do this after I start soaking the walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes to save on time...

  • 1/2 cup of walnuts (soaked for 20 minutes)
  • 1 cup of DRY almonds
  • 5 to 6 Oil free Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked for 20 minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea miso *OR* 2 tsp of tamari sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each = garlic powder and onion powder
  • dash of = salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

Once you have all your ingredients together it's time to put them in your food processor. I like to use the regular standard blade that comes with the processor.

Next, you should use the pulse mode on your food processor. The reason for this is that you don't want your walnut meat to be overly processed and turned into walnut butter. So make sure to stay on top of the blending and check in often. Remember that all food processors have different strengths.

I find that it takes about 10-20 seconds before the walnut meat consistency is complete. So how do you know when your walnut meat is ready? It has to pass the eye test. Make sure all the ingredients have been mixed well and that your texture kinda looks like ground meat but made of out walnuts.

Step 3: (Optional) Bake The Walnuts To Slightly Toasted

Now, this step is also optional because some people like to eat this recipe raw. I honestly like the toasted walnut meat the best. Again, if you are tight on time, it is totally OK to eat this raw. They are walnuts after all!

Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees. Place your walnut meat on a baking sheet inside your oven. The total baking time will be 20 minutes. What I like to do is set the timer to 10 minutes and then when the alarm goes off, I go ahead and move around the walnut meat for the 2nd half of the baking. This way you get more of consistent baking throughout the walnut meat.

Keep an eye out on the walnut meat because it can burn easily. Usually, 350 degrees is fine but remember that different ovens and using different racks inside the oven can drastically change the recommended 20-minute baking. So use that as a guide but make sure to be on top of your walnut meat, at least the first time you make this walnut meat.

Like I mentioned earlier, I like the toasted walnut meat version better than the raw walnut meat version. Luckily for you, you can have both. Just taste test the raw version before putting the rest in the oven. Some people like to go half and half.

The raw walnut meat is softer and chewier. The baked walnut meat is crunchier and tastes more like meat in my opinion. Let us know which version you liked best below.

If you've been hanging around Sprouting Zen for some time now, this vegan walnut taco meat recipe might look familiar to you... and you caught me! I used this exact same recipe in my delicious colorful raw vegan romaine lettuce tacos recipe and I've got no shame in my game. This 'meat' is so so good that I use it frequently and as often as I can!


10 ingredient vegan walnut meat served in a bowl

reasons why I love this vegan walnut taco meat

There are few reasons why I *don't* love this recipe. Actually I can't think of one. Okay, maybe cleaning the food processor is a pain sometimes but seriously once you're stuffing your face with this scrumptiousness, it won't even matter to ya! I pinky promise!

So why do I love this vegan walnut taco meat recipe?

  • It's sooo easy to make and only requires 10 ingredients (including salt, pepper and cayenne so really it's like 7 ingredients), which I almost always usually have at home already. I make sure to always have almonds, walnuts and sun dried tomatoes at home for this specific recipe. Yes. It's *that* serious between us.
  • Only requires ONE kitchen tool - a food processor. This means I get to spend more time eating and less time worrying about a gigantic pile of dirty stuff in my sink.
  • It's flexible! If you want it to be more garlicky, Add more garlic. If you're going for spicy, add more spice! You can tweak it, pinch it, change it. The fact remains the same = it's gonna be super tasty.
  • Takes your 'blaaa' vegan dishes to another level. I don't have more of an explanation than that.
  • It beats all other supermarket 'vegan meats' (in my humble opinion), simply because it's free of any chemicals, fillers, refined oil and refined sugars.


walnuts, almonds, sun dried tomatoes in a food processor

Now a days there are a bunch of "vegan" alternative meats in the stores but it's important to pay attention to WHAT is in them. Many of those store bought products are filled with chemicals, sugars, refined oils, and other heavily processed ingredients. Just because it's 'vegan' doesn't automatically make it 'good-for-you'.

What you want to look for is artificial ingredients like added sugar (yes even if its organic sugar). Added sweeteners like stevia are a lot better.

Also try to avoid vegetable oils that are horrible for your health. Stay away from canola, corn, sunflower and other vegetable oils. Instead opt for extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and guess which other type of oil is good for you? Yes, that's right, walnut oil.


Processed walnut meat in food processor

ways to use this vegan walnut taco meat 

My favorite ways to use this "meat" is inside tacos, like I did in my raw vegan romaine lettuce taco recipe. I've included a picture of the tacos below, so that you can picture it. The first layer is the 10-ingredient vegan walnut taco meat and then I added the pico de gallo and guac on top. SOOOO good!


raw vegan romaine lettuce tacos

I also love this 'meat' on top of these vegan loaded nachos, or even served on the side in a bowl with rice and Red Kidney Beans. Obviously this is not 'real' meat, but it is a nice and tasty crunchy addition to many meals and will bring your taste-buds to a place of bliss.

Just check out these nachosss for a sec. 


A dish served with nachos

Now doesn't that look ahhhmaazinggg!? And it's vegan. And it's oil free. And it's good for you. So go, go, go make yourself some vegan walnut taco meat, and sprinkle it over anything and everything you boss-chef-person. <3

If you haven't already noticed, walnuts are my favorite. Not only because of their many benefits but also because they are sooo versatile. You can make so many things with walnuts - from walnut meat to homemade walnut butters! To learn more about how to make homemade walnut butter make sure to check out that recipe post!

Benefits Of Walnuts

There is a whole host of benefits behind walnuts. The great thing about this walnut meat is that it is cholesterol-free. So for those that have high cholesterol and want to bring it down, this is a great alternative to regular meat.

Walnuts are full of omega 3s that have been shown to be great for your brain. Do you think it's a coincidence that walnuts look like brains? I think not!

The usual American diet is full of omega 6's and not enough omega 3's. What this does is throw off the optimal omega 3 to omega 6 ratios that nature intended. So what does a bad ratio cause? Inflammation! Inflammation is something you want to avoid at all costs. That is why we get a lot of diseases nowadays in our world of fake food. The irony that fake walnut meat is actually healthy for you and helps balance your omega 3 to 6 ratio and helps lower inflammation.

All in all, walnuts are a superfood and a key staple in my diet. I hope that the taste of this taco walnut meat tastes good for you too and you can incorporate this healthy alternative to your diet soon.

The great thing about this homemade walnut meat is that it fits almost any healthy diet you might be trying at the moment. Whether that be keto, plant based vegan diet, whole 30 diet or any other diet that urges you to eat REAL foods.

Do you like walnuts just as much as I do? Let me know below. Cheers to a healthier you and tasty walnut meats!


with love + gratitude,

Jen ♥


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10-Ingredient Vegan Walnut Taco Meat

  • Author: Jen
  • Total Time: 45 min, if roasting
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x


10-Ingredient Vegan Walnut Taco Meat Recipe that is tasty and so easy to make. Use it to take your vegan dishes up a notch. Stuff in tacos or sprinkle over nachos.


  • 1/2 cup of walnuts (soaked for 20 minutes)
  • 1 cup of DRY almonds
  • 5 to 6 Oil free Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked for 20 minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea miso* (read notes about omitting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each = garlic powder and onion powder
  • dash of = salt, black papper, and cayenne pepper to taste


  1. Begin by soaking: Soak walnuts and sun dried tomatoes for at least 20 minutes. You can probably get away with soaking them for less time if you’re in a pinch.
  2. Begin prepping your food processor: Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and once 20 minutes have passed, add walnuts and sun dried tomatoes to food processor and process until crumbly. Try not to ‘over-process’ because then you will have more of a paste rather than a crumbly consistency. See picture for guidance.
  3. If you want to keep the meat ‘raw’ – you’re finished! Serve and enjoy. If not ‘raw’ – you can go ahead and roast it in the oven at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes for an extra layer of yumnesss! Try not to be hypnotized by the delicious aroma that will surely immerse your kitchen.


  • My left overs usually last up to 3 days in the fridge stored in a glass airtight container. However, very rarely does this goodness last *that* long.
  • If you don’t have access to chickpea miso, you can add 2 tsp of tamari sauce instead.
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: Vegan
  • Cuisine: Vegan

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About Jen

A former registered nurse turned stay-at-home-mama, yoga teacher, and holistic health + wellness enthusiast. I share my homemade healthy recipes + natural living content to help women and moms live healthier and happier lives.


  1. Ilana on February 17, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    There is, indeed, a completely new level! Not all vegan ‘meats’ are tasty but would love to try this one very soon!

    • Jen on February 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      Yea over the years I tried many vegan meats and I wasn’t a big fan of many of them… But this one’s good I promise!! 🙂

  2. Jere Cassidy on February 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    We have a local eatery that makes taco meat from walnuts and there is always a line to get these. Always glad for the meat alternatives.

    • Jen on February 18, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      That is so cool that you have access to a local eatery that actually sells the taco meat! Good to hear that there’s always a line, must be tasty! I hope you give this one a try, I think you’re going to loveeee it, and then you won’t have to wait in line anymore 😉

  3. Elinor aka Beach Hut Cook on February 19, 2018 at 1:11 am

    This looks so tasty. What a great recipe. I am not a vegan but with such a great recipe list, I’d really like to try it.

  4. fiona saluk on February 19, 2018 at 3:19 am

    I’ve actually never heard of walnut vegan ‘meat’ so you’ve given me a bit of inspiration today! Will definitely be making this for vegan dinner party!!

  5. Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day on February 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    This walnut meat looks delicious! Unfortunately I’m allergic to almonds, but hopefully I can sub them with another nut.

    • Jen on February 19, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Awww man. Well, I’m certain you can sub them for another nut and it’ll be just as tasty! Maybe use 1/2 cup soaked walnuts, and 1/2 cup dry walnuts .. and I’ve also seen some people use cauliflower!

  6. Jasmine on February 19, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    This looks so hearty and tasty, thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Mairi on February 20, 2018 at 8:04 am

    This looks and sounds AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing. Definitely adding it to my list of recipes to try – yum!

    • Jen on February 22, 2018 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks Mairi, let me know how it turns out.

  8. Bobbi | Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen on February 20, 2018 at 11:20 am

    WOW that totally looks like taco meat! I live with a die-hard carnivore so I could never sneak this in on him but I have a friend that is vegan so I will share this with her

    • Jen on February 22, 2018 at 11:41 pm

      Haha! Yea, the die hard carnivore would probably laugh at us calling this “meat” 😛 but your vegan friend would sure enjoy it!

  9. Jasmin // VeeatCookBake on February 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I didn’t use walnuts as a meat alternative. Such a great idea. Love it. 🙂

    • Jen on February 22, 2018 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks Jasmin!

  10. Linda from Veganosity on February 20, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Nuts are so versatile! I love walnut meat and your recipe looks delicious.

    • Jen on February 22, 2018 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you Linda! Yes nuts are the best. I love using them in my cooking.

  11. Gina Marie on February 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Lord that looks good! I would just sit there and eat the whole entire batch without even bothering to make the tacos LOL

    • Jen on February 22, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Gina!! Hahha. Your comment cracked me uppp. Yes, I am guilty of doing just that. Sometimes I need to hold myself back because it’ll run out before I make the actual tacos!!! 🙂

  12. Andreanne on February 27, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Wow, this was fantastic! Super tasty and loved the texture. Will definitely be making many more times and served in lots of different ways. Made burritos last night but I’m already thinking of nachos and salads 🙂 Thanks for this awesome recipe Jen

    • Jen on February 27, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you Andreanne!! Makes me so happy that you loved it. Warning, it is slightly addictive! Hahaha. OMG and inside burritos?! I can only imagine how good that must have been. Keep me posted on how the nachos and salads turn out. 🙂

  13. Michelle Stelly on March 1, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    This looks so delicious! I had no idea you can make walnut into taco meat! How did you think of this???

    • Jen on March 1, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      Hahaha! You HAVE to try this ‘meat’. I’m sure even hubby will love it inside some tacos. I can’t take all of the credit for ‘walnut meat’, I sure as heck didn’t invent it hahaha but whoever did deserves a PRIZE! I learned about it from my raw chef cooking course and this recipe I created myself with influence from that course. 🙂

  14. Leila on April 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I’ve just died, went to heaven and am still there! I’m eating this scrumptious, perfectly spiced “meat” with my right hand, while writing this with my left hand. I want to eat this all! What will my husband and daughter have for lunch?! (They loved it too, Jaja!)

    • Jen on April 9, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Leila, I am so happy that you loved this recipe! It is also one of our personal favorites. SO good! Thanks for sharing such a lovely and funny comment! <3 Have a beautiful Week.

  15. Holly on August 9, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Jen, I found your website because I was looking for info on making vegan tacos with soaked nuts. We aren’t raw but we have to soak our nuts to get rid of phytic acid etc or we will have digestive issues. What is the purpose of soaking for 20 minutes? I usually soak overnight. You don’t offer an explanation so I’m wondering if it’s for the purpose of the recipe, meaning to get the proper texture. How do you think your recipe would work if the walnuts (not using almonds just the walnuts) were soaked overnight and then used directly in the recipe (not dehydrated or dried first…too much work ). I will wait for your answer in the meantime will have a lot of fun looking around your website. Thanks in advance!

    • Jen on August 9, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Holly! Welcome! So glad to have you here 🙂 So the purpose of soaking the walnuts for only 20 minutes is to achieve a certain texture. If the walnuts are not soaked, and instead are used dry, the end result would be less ‘meaty’ and moist, and more crumbly and dry. However if you soak them too long (for example overnight) then the end result will turn out more like a dip consistency (think hummus) especially without the dry almonds in place. Without dehydrating the walnuts first (and then resoaking for 20 minutes), I think the only other way to make this recipe work is to let the walnuts drain really well (after soaking overnight), and processing the rest of the ingredients BEFORE adding the walnuts into the mix. So, process all the ingredients until broken down, and then add the walnuts last and pulse them in gently to combine all the ingredients and break down the walnuts a bit, but not enough to completely turn it into a puree. Then, you can eat as is or you can also roast them up a bit afterwards to give it a crunchier texture. I hope that makes sense? If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!! 🙂

      • Holly on August 10, 2018 at 9:31 am

        Great idea….Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try it.

  16. Nancy F on January 23, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    This taco meat recipe was awesome! Used the tamari because I couldn’t find the chickpea miso. Will definitely save this and use it often… So good!!

    • Jen on January 24, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Yay! So glad you liked it! It’s definitely a favorite at our house – it’s perfect for tacos, nachos, bowls!! So yummy. I appreciate you taking the time to leave some feedback! Have a beautiful day. <3

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