Don’t wait until Taco Tuesday to break out these brilliant, bite-sized meatless treats! No tortillas need apply for these crispy cups made from wonton wrappers that hold all the savory, spicy goodness within. Turn any meal into a fiesta, whether it’s a party, potluck, or weeknight dinner for the family. Vegan taco cups are the versatile snack or starter that will steal the show.
Whether you prefer crunchy shells or soft tortillas, you’ll get the best of both worlds here. Crispy edges give way to a warm, gooey interior for a wholly satisfying experience. Believe it or not, they’re even as much fun to make as they are to eat!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Tacos are incredibly popular in the US, and the numbers don’t lie. Americans eat somewhere around 4.5 billion tacos every year! With this recipe at your disposal, those stats might rise even higher. Here’s why you’ll be hooked:
- Finger food – Leave the utensils and plates in the cupboard! These morsels are completely self-contained, ready to grab and go.
- High in protein – Forget about mindless snacking with tons of empty calories. Depending on the brand you favor, meatless ground can have up to 20 grams of protein per serving.
- Scalable – After counting plus-ones, last minute RSVPs, and surprise visitors, did you guest list suddenly grow? No worries, you can double or triple this recipe with ease to feed everyone that drops by!
- Better for you – Compared to conventional beef, you’ll get much less saturated fat and no cholesterol.
Star Ingredients in these Wonton Taco Cups
Like standard tacos, the sky is the limit when it comes to garnishes and accompaniments. Anything goes, and there’s tons of opportunity for variation even in the base ingredients. You could make these every day of the year and never eat the same thing twice!
Vegan beefy crumbles
Fresh or frozen, made of peas, soy, mushrooms, or otherwise, myriad plant-based options are readily available in every market for all taste preferences! You can even find some that are pre-seasoned with Mexican spices, if you’d like another easy shortcut. I used a shelf-stable vegan taco crumble from Plant Boss.
For a sweeter, bolder, and richer tomato flavor, go for canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes instead of fresh or plain varieties. A light charred brings out the natural sugars in the fruit in perfect contrast to the smoky, umami flavor imparted by the fire.
Many wonton wrappers are naturally vegan. Eggless wonton wrappers are readily available at all Asian grocery stores and even many mainstream supermarkets. Look for them in the produce section near the tofu, although they may be hidden in the freezer aisle by the frozen vegetables, too.
Melty, mild plant-based cheese is ideal to go with a spicy filling, so a Monterey Jack, Cheddar-style, or blend would be your best bet. If you can find Mexican-style shreds, that will be perfect! Daiya, So Delicious, Miyoko’s, and Parmela are just a few of the options that exist today. Check out our Battle for the Best Vegan Cheddar Cheese video to see which brand won!
Vegan sour cream
Thick and lusciously creamy, dairy-free sour cream is a staple I always have on hand. Just add a dollop to pasta sauces, soups, and even salad dressings for next-level healthy indulgence.
Also known as scallions, they’re related to chives, leeks, and white onions but have a milder flavor, so they’re generally better for eating raw.
For a final pop of fresh flavor, nothing beats a tiny ripe tomato! Regular diced fresh tomatoes could work too, but they won’t be quite as pretty.
How to Spice Up This Easy Vegan Appetizer
Consider this recipe more like a guide, providing the basic inspiration and foundation to build upon. Use your imagination to create all new flavor combinations, tailored to your preferences. Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
- Bring the heat by seasoning the “meat” with chili powder, hot sauce, or chopped fresh hot peppers. A ready-made packet of taco season would work brilliantly here, too.
- Create your own version of Mexican fusion! Try mild Madras curry powder for some Indian flair or play with red or green curry paste for a Thai twist.
- Don’t worry about buying brand names. Save money by making your own meatless grounds from scratch with lentils, chopped walnuts, TVP, or crumbled tempeh.
- If tomatoes aren’t in season, either skip the garnish or top things off with diced mild peppers instead.
- Out of sour cream? In a pinch, you can substitute vegan Greek-style yogurt, vegan mayo, or even vegan cream cheese.
What to Serve with Your Vegan Taco Cups?
Although they’re perfect as is, you can turn transform this appetizer into an entrée with a few easy sides to round out the plate.
- Leafy green salad, to amp up the veggie quotient.
- Tortilla soup or pozole, to warm up on those colder nights.
- Guacamole, because everything is better with avocado.
- Pico de gallo or tomatillo salsa, for those who like to dip or drizzle.
- Pasta or rice pilaf, for a satisfying and filling carbohydrate base.
- Horchata or agua fresca, to wash it all down.
Party-Perfect Vegan Appetizers
These taco cups will be your next party’s BFF. They’re great at almost any event, especially:
- Holiday gatherings
- Christmas parties
- Super Bowl Sunday
- Vegan potlucks
- Football parties
- Cocktail parties
…shoot, these would even be divine serves up at as appetizers at a vegan wedding!
How to Make These Vegan Wonton Cups
Assembling your edible vessels is the most complicated part of this procedure, which is to say, it’s very simple! Don’t be daunted; you’ll be a pro after the first round.
- Keep you wonton wrappers covered with a moist (not damp or wet) kitchen towel. You don’t want them to dry out while they’re not in use, which will make them brittle and break when you try to press them into shape.
- Lightly oil the cupcake tins to make sure they don’t stick.
- Stack two wonton wrappers on top of each other, overlapping so that the corners alternate on top, forming a cute little crown.
- Let the weight of the filling press the wrappers down into the cups. If you use your fingers, you risk poking holes in the bottom or tearing them in the process.
- Bake until golden brown and remove from the pan as soon as they’re done to keep them nice and crispy. The longer they sit, the more they’ll steam and soften.
Equipment You’ll Need:Print
These delicious taco cups are an easy, fun, unique vegan appetizer you can make with wonton wrappers and your favorite vegan ground meat! Serve them up at a party, gathering, potluck, or as a snack for the family. They’ll be the talk of the party, guaranteed. Ready, set, BAKE!
- 1 package of vegan beefy crumbles (such as Plant Boss, Gardein, Beyond Meat, Boca, or Lightlife)
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (or jarred garlic)
- 16.5 oz of diced fire roasted tomatoes in a can, drained well (squeeze water out)
- 24 wonton wrappers
- ½ cup of vegan shredded cheese
- ½ cup of vegan sour cream
- 2 green onions, sliced, for garnish
- 3 cherry tomatoes, quartered, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a sauté pan, cook vegan meatless crumbles according to package instructions.
- Once cooked, add garlic and drained fire roasted tomatoes and saute until there is no liquid left in the pan.
- Lightly coat a 12-cup cupcake pan with vegetable oil. Place two wonton wrappers into the bottom of each pocket, shifting the top wonton layer slightly so the corners come up the sides of the cupcake tin and creates pretty taco cups. Spoon the cooked vegan meat mixture into each cup and top with a sprinkle of vegan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until wonton wrappers start to turn golden brown and vegan cheese becomes melty.
- Remove from oven and add a dollop of vegan sour cream to each wonton cup. Top with green onions and a fresh tomato slice on each and enjoy!
Keywords: vegan, vegetarian, appetizer, mexican, party, plant-based, dairy-free
More Vegan Mexican Recipes for Your Next Taco Night:
- Pulled Oyster Mushroom Tacos
- Meat Lover’s Beefy Vegan Tacos
- Vegan Buffalo Queso
- How To Make Your Own Corn Tortillas—From Scratch!
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Vegan taco cups photos by Michelle Cehn. Article written with support from Hannah Kaminsky and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this recipe for vegan taco cups may contain affiliate links which supports our work at World of Vegan.