Vegetarian Tacos - Purebread

Vegetarian Tacos

March 1, 2019

This was inspired by finding (finally!) a packet of actual corn taco shells in my local supermarket, rather than the wheat ones that are almost always the only kind available.

The recipe on the box suggested a mince filling but since I had a tin of black beans in the cupboard, and had recently been reading about their nutritive value, I thought I’d mess about and see what happened.

The end result was remarkably tasty, and roughly equally as messy to eat as the meaty version, so there were no serious losses at all!

Tacos tend to be a matter of putting out all the component parts and letting people assemble their own, so you need quite a lot of bowls to accommodate the salad, the vege mix, any sauces you might like, a bit of grated cheese, and maybe some chopped avocado for good measure.

Oh, and plenty of paper towels to catch the bits that would otherwise bounce off the plate and fall straight in your lap.



1Fry the onion and garlic in about 2 to 3 Tbsp cooking oil until softened

2Add the kumara and pumpkin and stir fry for a few minutes

3Add the carrot and spices and stir for a minute or two to coat the vegetables evenly

4Add the beans, water, tomato sauce or tomato mix, and pesto, and mix well

5Bring to the boil then reduce to a very low simmer

6Cook, covered, around 20 minutes, stirring regularly to stop things sticking to the pan, until the vegetables are cooked through.


1While the vegetable mix is cooking, throw together a modest salad with any ingredients you enjoy

Nacho spice mix

1Place all ingredients in a small jam jar with a screw-top lid and shake thoroughly. Use as required.

Assembling the tacos

1We found that inserting the vege mix into the base of the taco shell, followed by cheese and sauce and topping it with salad was one of the less messy options, but probably any order will do!


Vegetable Mix

1 onion, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium kumara, peeled and chopped into approximately 1 cm cubes

200 g pumpkin, peeled and seeded and chopped into roughly 1cm cubes

2 tsp nacho spice mix (see recipe below)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp Greggs Chilli spice mix (which has quite a low level of chilli – if you want things hotter, go right ahead and add actual chilli powder)

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 400g tin of black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained

2 tbsp basil pesto

1/4 cup water

1 cup home-made tomato sauce, or 1 cup of tinned tomatoes with onion and basil or onion and oregano flavouring

Salt to taste

Nacho spice mix

4 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp mixed spice


Chopped fresh lettuce, finely chopped radishes, chopped baby cucumbers, chopped tomatoes and perhaps some finely chopped celery – whatever you like best will work fine

Taco shells

Mine were commercial ones in a packet, and they just needed heating in the oven at 180°C for about 5 minutes prior to use. They were the crunchy kind, essentially like big, folded over corn chips. They come in packs of twelve and we found two or three each was plenty, so a box will happily serve 4 hungry people or 6 with more modest appetites


A bit of finely grated parmesan or other cheese is nice, as is a sour-cream based sauce. You can just use straight sour cream, or you might enjoy a 50:50 mix of sour cream and tomato sauce. If you prefer to keep it vegan, cashew nut sour cream will also work well. Chopped avocado is also nice if available and affordable