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Vegetarian Taco Bowl

This one-pot vegetarian taco bowl is ready in under 15 minutes and the perfect balanced one-pot dinner. It’s packed with vegetables and high in protein thanks to black beans and vegan chicken, with plenty of Mexican-inspired spices.

a shot of the one pot vegetarian taco bowl topped with creamy jalapeno sauce and avocado

This delicious vegetarian taco bowl is a recipe I’ll fall back on time and time again when I want something with loads of flavor, packed with good nutrients, a quick cooking time, and minimal washing up!

Other Mexican-inspired recipes you might like include these one-pot Mexican pinto beans, this black bean burrito, and these Mexican potatoes with avocado crema.

Ingredient Notes

The exact quantities of the ingredients you need for this recipe are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Here, I’ve added a few notes on the ingredients you need, plus a few potential substitutions you could make if you can’t eat/find a certain ingredient.

  • Vegan Chicken: To give this vegetarian taco bowl lots of protein, I used vegan chicken chunks in this recipe. If you prefer not to eat meat substitutes, you could omit the vegan chicken or use tofu or tempeh.
  • Vegetables: For this recipe, I used white onion, red and green peppers,  fresh tomatoes, and sweetcorn. You could also use red onion, sweet potato, spinach, or whatever else you prefer.
  • Salsa: A generous helping of salsa acts like chopped tomatoes would in this recipe, giving it some much-needed moisture and loads of Mexican-inspired flavor. If you don’t have salsa, use tinned chopped tomatoes or passata instead.
  • Vegetable stock: I tend to use vegetable stock cubes (Kallo brand) mixed with boiling water, but you could also use a pre-made stock mix.
  • Black beans: Black beans also up the protein contents of this recipe, and add a great texture and flavor to the recipe. You could also use pinto beans in this recipe.
  • Rice: For convenience and to cut down on time, I used a packet of Mexican rice for this recipe. It only needs to cook in the pan for about three minutes, so it is a great quick addition as well as adding lots of flavor. You could use dry white rice, but be aware you’ll need to add more stock and the cooking time will be longer.
  • Seasonings: The seasonings used in this recipe are oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
  • Toppings: Finally, this recipe is best topped with cheese, cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and some gorgeous creamy jalapeno sauce if you have the time!

Substitutions & Variations

  • To Make This Vegetarian Taco Bowl Vegan-Friendly: Aside from the cheese added at the end of this recipe, this taco bowl is completely vegan as is!
  • To Make This Recipe Gluten-Free: This recipe should also be naturally gluten-free, although I’d recommend double-checking your vegan chicken as this can sometimes contain gluten!
  • Other variations: You could opt to cook your rice separately for this recipe, or omit the recipe altogether and use the mixture in burritos, quesadillas, or enchiladas.
overhead shot of finished vegetarian taco bowl

If you don’t want to use vegan chicken in this recipe, how about tofu? This tofu ground “beef” recipe would be delicious stirred into the taco bowl.

How To Make This Vegetarian Taco Bowl Recipe

Again, the exact step-by-step instructions and ingredient quantities will be in the recipe card at the bottom of this page. Below is an overview of making this recipe, plus some process shots to help you visualize how this recipe should turn out.

Step 1) Fry The Vegan Chicken

Heat your oil in the pan then tip in your vegan chicken and all the seasonings. Mix to coat the vegan chicken in all the spices, and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove the vegan chicken from the pan.

Step 2) Add The Vegetables

Add the white onion, red and green pepper, and sweetcorn to your pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add a drop more oil if you need to. Then, you can add your chopped fresh tomatoes, salsa, vegetable stock, and black beans. 

Allow everything to cook and simmer for 5 minutes or so until the sauce reduces slightly.

Step 3) Add The Rice And Return The Vegan Chicken To The Pan

Add your Mexican rice to the pan and add the cooked vegan chicken back in. Stir and simmer everything for 3 more minutes, then sprinkle over the grated cheese (if using), cover the pan with the lid so the cheese melts.

Top with chopped cilantro, avocado or guacamole, and creamy jalapeno sauce (optional but recommended!)

Storing Your Leftovers

This is important: packet rice should only be reheated once. So, if you’re using the packet of Mexican rice like I do in this recipe, you should only make enough food to eat in that sitting – you should not make enough to have leftovers as the rice should not be cooled and then reheated again.

Some ways around this are:

  • If you would like to prepare a batch of this recipe for meal prep or to have enough for lunches the next day, you can either prepare the rice separately from this dish – cooking what you need when serving or,
  • You could use dry white rice to cook in this recipe, which you can then cool and reheat.

Reheating rice is a common cause of food poisoning, so make sure you’re cooling and reheating your rice safely.

close up of veggie taco bowl topped with fresh avocado and jalapeno sauce


What can I use instead of vegan chicken in this recipe?

If you don’t want to use vegan chicken, you could use tofu or tempeh instead. Cook it the same way you are instructed to cook the vegan chicken in this recipe.

Alternatively, you could omit the vegan chicken altogether and double up the quantity of black beans used. Add the seasonings when you are cooking the vegetables instead.

What brand of vegan chicken do you use?

I used the Vegan Butcher “What The Cluck” vegan chicken pieces in this recipe. Any brand will work though, use your favorite!

Is this recipe spicy?

This vegetarian taco bowl is mildly spicy. You could add more chili powder and some chopped jalapenos for a little more kick to your bowl.

Why shouldn’t you reheat packet rice twice?

Packet rice has already been cooked once, which is why it’s so quick to reheat. It’s only safe to reheat packet rice once (i.e. when you’re adding it to the recipe).

Other One-Pot Recipes You’ll Like:

a shot of the one pot vegetarian taco bowl topped with creamy jalapeno sauce and avocado

Vegetarian Taco Bowl

Yield: 3 portions
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This gorgeous vegetarian taco bowl is a one-pot, easy dinner recipe packed with veggies, protein, and Mexican spices. Ready in under 15 minutes.


  • 300g (10.6 oz) vegan chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whited onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 100g (3.5 oz) sweetcorn
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 400g 14 oz tinned black beans, drained
  • 1 cup (250ml) salsa
  • ⅗ cup (200ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 packet 220g (7.8 oz) Mexican rice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 0.5 cayenne chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • 30g (1 oz) cheddar cheese or mozzarella
  • 20g (0.3 cup) chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado


  1. Heat your oil in a pan and add the vegan chicken and all the seasonings. Stir to coat the vegan chicken in the seasonings, and fry for 3-5 minutes until it’s golden and crispy.
  2. Remove the vegan chicken from the pan and set it to one side.
  3. Add the onion, peppers, and sweetcorn to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes before tipping in the fresh diced tomatoes, black beans, salsa, and stock. 
  4. Stir the ingredients together and allow to simmer for 5 minutes unil the sauce has thickened and reduced. Then, add the rice and return the vegan chicken to the pan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle over the cheese.
  5. Place the lid on the pan for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted, then top with the fresh cilantro, avocado, and some of this creamy jalapeno sauce.


If you are using packet Mexican rice as suggested, keep in mind that it should not be reheated again so is not suitable for storing as leftovers.

If you want to make a bigger batch and have leftovers, I would recommend using dry white rice and doubling the amount of stock you use - or cooking your rice separately.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 618Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 1031mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 21gSugar: 11gProtein: 30g

Nutritional information is not always 100% accurate.

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