Yes indeed, you read that right. These tacos are made with a vegan macadamia nut filling that's satisfying, high-protein, and absurdly easy to make. Because macadamias are rich and buttery, this taco filling has a delightfully crumbly texture with a little bit of chew and subtle crunch. I just can't get enough of it!
In my opinion, these are the perfect tacos for summer. They're almost entirely no-cook; the only "cooking" involves a minute or two of toasting the spices and then heating up the tortillas. They're also bursting with tropical flavors thanks to a spicy pineapple salsa and they'll put you in an instant summer mood.
Make Them Your Own
There are a lot of ways you can tweak this recipe and make it work for you. Most importantly, the toppings!! Feel free to top these tacos with whatever toppings you love best. You'll see I've suggested pineapple salsa, some shredded cabbage, and avocado slices, but anything with a tropical leaning will work great. Mango salsa? Guac? Salsa verde? Hot sauce? The options are endless! You could also use this filling (or leftover filling the following night) in a burrito bowl.
Additionally, you have a lot of control over the heat level, especially with regards to the salsa. If you don't want much heat, use a poblano instead of a jalapeño. If you want no heat, just use half of a sweet bell pepper. For any hot pepper, leaving the seeds and ribs in will add more heat; stripping them out will minimize heat.
These tacos are very make-ahead friendly! You can make the macadamia taco filling and the pineapple salsa the day before; just store them in separate, tightly sealed containers in the fridge. You can also cut the cabbage, jalapeño, and limes the day before to save even more time. Wait to cut the avocado and to assemble until just before serving.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Macadamias. Mauna Loa, of course; I'm their #1 greatest fan! I like to use their Hawaiian Sea Salt Macadamias in this recipe because they have so much amazing flavor. If you opt for unsalted macadamias instead, add a few generous pinches of sea salt to the filling recipe.
Lime. You'll use the zest in the taco filling, then cut it up and serve the wedges alongside the tacos.
Jalapeño(s). Feel free to use a poblano instead if you want less heat, or two jalapeños for extra heat. If you like spice, you can also serve some extra jalapeño slices alongside the tacos for topping.
Small tortillas. I love corn tortillas, but use whatever you like best. This would work great as a lettuce wrap too!
Red cabbage. For topping! Or you can use romaine if that's more your speed. If you use cabbage, make sure to cut it into very fine ribbons so that it has a more delicate texture and flavor.
Aren't these taco just the best? They're vegan, protein-rich, and loaded with nutritious produce, plus they come together in less than 30 minutes. Most importantly, they're delicious and so darn fun! They contain all my favorite Hawaiian ingredients in my favorite package: a taco! What could be better?!?
I really can't wait for you to try these. So say goodbye to heavy, boring tacos and aloha to these colorful, island-inspired beauties.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Disclosure: This recipe has been developed through a paid partnership with Mauna Loa. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.
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These tacos celebrate fresh, Hawaiian flavors with sweet pineapple and nutty macadamias. Instead of traditional taco meat, this plant-based version uses macadamias blended with toasted, aromatic spices for a satisfying, high-protein, delightfully crunchy filling that comes together in minutes.
6 oz (one jar) Mauna Loa Hawaiian Sea Salt Macadamias
Zest of a lime
For the Spicy Pineapple Salsa
2 c finely-diced fresh pineapple
1 jalapeño, with or without seeds, very finely diced
Small handful of coarsely chopped cilantro
Small tortillas of choice
Small wedge of red cabbage, very finely sliced (or romaine)
Jalapeño slices, optional
Measure the spices for the taco filling (chili powder, cumin, and coriander) into a dry skillet. Toast the spices over medium heat for a minute or two, just until they become fragrant.
Add the macadamias, toasted spices, and lime zest to a small food processor. Pulse the food processor 5-10 times until the nuts evenly combine with the spices and make a coarse, crumbly mixture. Be careful not to over-process!
To make the pineapple salsa, combine the pineapple, jalapeño, and cilantro, then mix well. You can control the heat level of the tacos by removing the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño if desired, or by using a milder pepper (e.g., a poblano) instead.
When ready to serve, warm the tortillas in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in a very slightly damp cloth in the microwave.
Fill each tortilla with a few spoonfuls of the macadamia taco filling, a small handful of red cabbage shreds, a big spoonful of spicy pineapple salsa, and avocado slices. Serve with lime wedges and jalapeño slices for garnishing individual portions.