This walnut meat is made with a flavorful combination of seasoned walnuts, quinoa, and black beans for extra protein. It's the perfect plant-based filling to use for tacos, burritos, or quesadillas!
Walnut meat! It's all the rage on tik tok right now and rightfully so! It's delicious, easy to make, and it's the perfect filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or a taco salad. Most recipes for nut meat are only made from walnuts, but walnuts are expensive!
I try to make my recipes as affordable as possible, so I always try to look for ways to stretch meals to make them be more filling and to feed my family for longer. That's why I added quinoa and a can of black beans to the walnut mixture. It adds more texture, lots of flavor, extra protein, and it easily doubles the size of the dish.
Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- The filling is naturally high-protein, fiber-rich, gluten-free, and oil-free.
- It's easy to make and ready to eat in about 30 minutes!
- It's flavorful, filling, and so versatile!
- The recipe makes a large amount, so, hopefully you'll have leftovers for easy meals during the week!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This walnut meat recipe is made mostly with pantry items, so you might already have some of it on hand!
- Walnuts - This is the star ingredient of the dish! I used raw and unsalted walnuts for a neutral flavor. Roasted walnuts will have a stronger nut flavor. Make sure to use unsalted, so you can control how much salt is added.
- Quinoa - This helps to bulk up the recipe. You could also use rice, farro, or cauliflower rice (low-carb).
- Dried Seasonings - Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin add so much flavor to the recipe!
- Tamari - This adds color, salt, and flavor! You can also use soy sauce.
- Tomato Paste - This is my favorite tomato paste to use because it tastes great, it's organic, and it's in a glass bottle.
- Hot Sauce - A little bit of hot sauce doesn't make it spicy, but gives it a nice flavor. You could add more if you want it to be spicy.
- Beans - I used a can of black beans, but you could also use kidney beans, pinto beans, green/brown lentils, or whatever beans you have on hand.
- Lime - Fresh lime juice enhances the flavors and is the finishing touch!
How to Make Walnut Meat
Soak the walnuts in cool water for 20 minutes. Drain the water.
Combine all of the dry seasonings, tamari, tomato paste, hot sauce, black beans, chopped walnuts, cooked quinoa, lime juice, and water in a large pan. Mix it all together and let it cook until it's warmed through.
I mainly use this walnut meat as a filling for tacos or burritos. You can use flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or hard shells. Load up the tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, vegan shredded cheese, green onions, and any of the following toppings.
- Rainbow salsa
- Cilantro lime salsa
- Hot sauce
- Chipotle Mayo
- Dairy-free sour cream
- Smoky sweet potato salsa
If you want to make a side dish to go with the tacos, any of the following recipes would be delicious options!
Store leftover walnut filling in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or freeze it for 2-3 months.
When you're ready to defrost it, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw for 24 hours. Then you can warm it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add 1-2 tbsp of water so it doesn't stick to the pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don't have to soak the walnuts, but they are a little crunchy. I prefer the texture to be a little softer like ground beef would be, so I like to soak them first.
Nut meat is made from walnuts. This recipe has additions like black beans and quinoa. Mushrooms would also be a delicious addition.
Yes, it tastes delicious! It has a nutty, meaty, and earthy flavor that is perfect for tacos.
- Use pre-rinsed quinoa (I like this one from Costco). If the package doesn't say it's been rinsed make sure you do so to get rid of the bitter flavor.
- I like to use walnut halves or pieces (they tend to be less expensive than whole) for this recipe because you're going to blend it up anyways.
- A food processor is the quickest and easiest way to chop the walnuts into small pieces. However, if you don't have it you can also use a nut chopper or roughly chop them with a knife into small pieces.
- Be careful not to over blend the walnuts. The consistency should be chunky, not a smooth paste.
Want More Vegan Meat Recipes?
Quinoa Walnut Meat
- Food Processor
- Large Pan
- Medium Bowl
- Soak the walnuts in a bowl filled with water for 20 minutes. Drain the water.
- While the walnuts are soaking, cook the quinoa in a medium saucepan according to the package instructions.
- Put the walnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until the nuts are crumbly.
- In a large pan over medium heat, combine the cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts, tamari, tomato paste, hot sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, black beans, lime juice, and ¼ cup of water.
- Mix it all together and let it cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's hot. If the pan gets too dry you may need to add a little bit more water.