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Taco salad on a plate

Vegan Taco Salad

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Prep Time: 14 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large salads 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Protein-packed and super flavorful, this Vegan Taco Salad is easy, delicious, and filling. This salad is made in a homemade taco shell bowl.




  • 4-5 cups lettuce, chopped (I used iceberg and romaine)
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • ½ cup pico de gallo (or tomatoes & onions)
  • ½ cup black olives
  • 1 cup vegan chorizo (see note 2)
  • ½ cup vegan shredded cheese (see note 3)
  • ¼ cup guacamole or diced avocado
  • ¼ cup vegan sour cream
  • Hot sauce to taste, optional
  • Cilantro, optional

Tortilla Shell Bowl, optional

  • 2 XXL large tortillas
  • 1-2 tbsp canned coconut cream or neutral oil


  1. Note: if you don’t want to make a tortilla bowl, skip to step 4.
  2. Air Fryer Method: depending on the shape of your air fryer basket, you may need to line it with some rolled up aluminum foil to get the ideal shape for your bowl. Grease the tortilla and fold it into the basket, folding the edges where needed. Put another layer of foil on top and place a ramekin or similar heat-safe object on top. Cook for 4 minutes at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Then remove the basket from the air fryer, and use tongs or an oven mitt to remove the ramekin (it’s really hot so be careful) and the TOP layer of foil. Put the basket back in the air fryer and cook for 2 more minutes to get the shell more crispy. Depending on how brown the edges are, you may want to adjust the temperature. My air fryer runs hot, so I set it at about 385 degrees Fahrenheit to do the remaining cooking. If your edges aren’t very brown, you might just want to keep at the same height. Let cool completely.
  3. Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and grease both sides of the tortilla either with canned coconut cream or a neutral oil like avocado oil. Invert the ramekin (or similar heat-safe object) onto your baking tray and carefully fold the tortilla over it, folding where needed. Cover tortilla with enough foil to cover edges, and bake for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Use tongs or an oven mitt to remove the top layer of foil, turn the tortilla bowl right side up, remove the ramekin, place the foil back on the tray and the bowl on top. Fold up the edges of the foil so it cradles the tortilla bowl, and covers the top edge. Bake for 7-10 more minutes, then flatten the foil back down and allow it to cook for 2-4 more minutes until fully crispy or solid enough. Let cool completely before filling. Need more instructions on the baking method? Try this guide to baking crispy tortilla bowls.
  4. Assemble the salad: In a cooled tortilla shell bowl or just a regular bowl, add the lettuce. Now add other veggies like diced peppers, pico de gallo or tomatoes and onions, and the black olives if using.
  5. Vegan meat and cheese: Next add the vegan chorizo and shredded vegan cheese (try my nut-free vegan cheddar).
  6. Be a little saucy: Finally, add any saucy toppings like salsa, guacamole (or diced avocado), vegan sour cream, or hot sauce.
  7. Soap herbs? Oh, and if you like cilantro (or soap herbs, as my husband calls them), add that here too or you can use green onion if you’d like.



  • Note 1: It’s optional, so don’t feel like you need to make a tortilla shell bowl. I often make this salad without one if I’m feeling like a lower carb meal or if I’m just being lazy (which happens more often than you’d think, I’ll admit). The only gluten in this recipe is the tortilla. Siete makes a gluten-free giant tortilla. I’ve eaten it and it’s really good, but I haven’t tried doing this to it yet!
  • Note 2: I love putting my homemade vegan chorizo in this salad. Vegan ground beef or meatless crumbles are nice too, and so is vegan shredded chicken, but I just love the spice of chorizo in a taco salad.
  • Note 3: I also put my homemade nut-free vegan cheddar cheese in there too. It shreds great and is high in protein and low in fat. But store-bought vegan cheese will also work well here.
  • Note 4: Use whatever toppings you like! Other things that would be good in taco salad: shredded cabbage (especially marinated in lime juice and a little salt, mmm), pickled red onions, jalapenos (raw or pickled), grape tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh lime juice, vegan queso... the list goes on.
  • Category: Entree, Salad
  • Method: Baking, Air fryer
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Can Be Gluten-Free, Vegan Taco Salad, Vegan Taco Bowl