Vegan Zucchini Taco Boats
Vegan Zucchini Taco Boats- chopped walnuts and mushrooms give these plant-based taco boats a hearty texture that’s packed full of protein and healthy fats. Drizzled with a cheesy nacho cashew cream for ultimate taco bliss! (vegan, grain-free and gluten-free)
It’s the return of the zucchini boat! You guys remember these zucchini burrito boats? Well this time it’s zucchini taco boats. Big difference, I know.
It might seem silly to recreate a recipe so similar but I felt like I needed a plant-based version. Of course the shredded cheese on the burrito boats can easily be exchanged for vegan cheese but in all honesty I don’t like vegan shredded cheese. All of them are made with starches and oils that have very little nutrition. Plus they kind of taste like crap.
Miyoko’s is by far the best vegan cheese I’ve found. It’s on the pricey side but so worth it. She has yet do cheddar-style shreds though so to solve this YOOGE dilemma I thought I would make taco boats with a homemade cheesy nacho cashew cream that you can drizzle on top…oh yeah, baby.
For the filling we’re leaving out the beans and the rice for a combo of chopped mushrooms and walnuts. I personally love beans and rice and think they are super healthy foods but I know not everyone likes to get down with them. So we have options. Low carb options. Actually, I think this recipe might even be paleo…but what do I know?
I like to use the food processor to speed up the prep work. Plus it’s easier to get more of a meaty texture when the vegetables are finely chopped.
Once we’ve got the veggies ready to go, you cook them in a skillet with tomato paste and a mixture of flavorful spices like cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika. My personal favorite trio. Then we stuff the boats with the filling, bake for about 20 minutes and drizzle with the cheesy cashew cream.
Feel free to add black beans for even more protein! Normally I would do this but I wanted to have a low carb option for those who like to avoid carbs. I’m team carb, all the way, as long as they’re right carbs.
The filling would also be great in wraps, (real) tacos or salads. I’m excited to try more recipes with it soon!
Vegan Zucchini Taco Boats
Yield: 4 servings (2 boats each)
Prep Time: 45
Cook Time: 25
Total Time: 1 hr 10 min
For the Taco Boats
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion
- 1 bell pepper, cored and roughly chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms (I used cremini), roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 6 ounces corn kernels
- 4 medium zucchini
- diced tomato and fresh cilantro for topping
For the Cheesy Nacho Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked*
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a food processor (or a chef’s knife), finely chop the walnuts. Add to a skillet over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring intermittently until light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Next use the food processor and finely chop the garlic, onion, and bell pepper by pulsing for about 10-20 seconds. Transfer them to a lightly greased skillet, sprinkle with salt, and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the food processor and pulse for another 10 seconds to finely chop. Transfer them to the skillet and cook for another 2 minutes then add the tomato paste and seasonings. Stir together and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Add the corn, stir and cook until heated through, for about 2 minutes.
Chop of the stems of each zucchini and slice in half. Use a metal tablespoon or scooper to scoop out the center of each zucchini. Add the filling to each one then place in a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Once they are all filled, bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
Meanwhile prepare the cashew cream by combining all of the ingredients in a high speed blender with 1/4 cup water. Add more water as needed to thin and salt to taste. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or plastic bag with a corner cut off for piping.
Serve zucchini warm with chopped tomato, fresh cilantro, and cashew cream drizzled on top. Enjoy!
*Soak cashews in a large bowl covered with a few inches of water for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. For a faster option, bring a small pot of water to a boil then remove from heat and add cashews. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain and rinse before using in recipe.
Nutrition Facts are for 1 serving or 2 boats