Switching over to a vegetarian diet or a plant-based diet can seem intimidating, but there are limitless options for your meals. Restaurants have also been expanding their vegetarian and vegan menu options, and Mexican restaurants are no exception. Tasty vegetarian Mexican food is not hard to come across, especially when you consider that most dishes are primarily vegetarian anyway – save for meat added later.
You’ll generally have two options for vegetarian food at Mexican restaurants. The first is to order regular dishes with no substitutions but without meat. The second is to seek out restaurants that offer vegan options or replacement dishes. Either way, check out this list of vegetarian Mexican food and try something new the next time you head out to eat!
How many times have you sat down at a Mexican restaurant and had a plate of chips and salsa brought out to you? This option is great as a starter and as a side order to your main dish. Of course, you can also have guacamole instead of salsa – or both.
Nachos have been modified and changed up so many times with more additions than you can count, but in their vegetarian form, they’re still packed with ingredients and extremely tasty. You can load your nachos up with jalapeno peppers, cheese (Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar both give you delectable flavor combinations), sour cream, green onions, pico de gallo, black beans, and more.
If you’re looking to make nachos at home, simply prepare a tray, pour your bags of chips out, and start adding ingredients before you throw the whole collection in the oven. You might find that experimenting will give you some delicious results!
A veggie burrito can be customized into a lot of different meals, and many restaurants offer numerous options. Some even offer spinach tortillas instead of the traditional flour tortillas!
A standard vegetarian burrito usually just contains rice, beans, and guacamole with the option to add cheese. While this is a good meal on its own, you can also consider breakfast burritos. Breakfast burritos feature eggs, cheese, onions, hashbrowns, and avocado.
More specialty vegetarian burritos will make wider use of the produce section. A lot of Mexican restaurants have put their own personal spin on a garden burrito; it’s common for these burritos to have grilled zucchini, grilled mushrooms, colorful bell peppers, spinach, avocado, beans, and rice in them. For a spicier kick, you can usually ask for jalapenos to be thrown in as well!
A veggie quesadilla consists of cheese, peppers, beans, onion, and more. Picture quesadillas like grilled cheese – you can do a lot to modify the recipe, and it seems like no matter what you put inside, it’ll taste heavenly. At a restaurant, you can likely ask for a few vegetable additions.
Of course, a great dessert option is usually vegetarian. Churros are made of fried dough and covered in sugar – simple, right? Snag one with a horchata and your post-dinner meal will be complete.
If you’re feeling more adventurous and want to try some substitutions, you can consider these options. When these veggies are cooked properly, it’s hard to tell the difference between them and the meats they’re meant to emulate!
Hibiscus flowers, or Jamaica flowers, can be used as a carne asada substitute. You’d need to buy them dried before you boil and steep them until they’re soft and tender, though. Some vegan Mexican restaurants serve hibiscus with their tacos, as well as a vegan substitution for cotija cheese.
Soy products are widely used in vegetarian and vegan dishes, and one of the most popular choices is soyrizo as a substitution for chorizo. Chorizo is a pork sausage that is served as a crumble; the soy version is served identically and has the same texture. However, soyrizo generally does not have a casing that is edible, so it has to be removed – unlike traditional chorizo or other sausages.
Seitan is a wheat gluten that is a popular alternative to soy products. It’s a great option to substitute seitan in place of al pastor, which has a very unique flavoring. Different restaurants will prepare al pastor differently; some may marinate it, others may keep it on a vertical spit in front of a flame, and still others will slow-cook it over a period of time instead of outright grilling it. Seitan can be used to mimic al pastor in many cases.
Some restaurants and cooks use red cabbage instead of seitan for their al pastor replacement, which can also be delicious.
Jackfruit is an interesting fruit, not least because of how it can so closely emulate pork when it’s cooked appropriately. This is why a lot of vegan restaurants use jackfruit to replace carnitas, or pulled pork. Jackfruit tacos are one popular option, as are jalapeno peppers stuffed with jackfruit.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable. It can be mashed and served as an alternative to mashed potatoes, fried up and served as an alternative to chicken nuggets, or simply used in tacos as a sideways substitute for pollo. Restaurants tend to roast their cauliflowers and season them up, serving them when they’ve got just the right amount of crunch.
If you want some of the most delicious veggie Mexican food in Los Angeles, Benny’s Tacos is the place for you! We offer a number of vegetarian dishes, from our breakfast burrito to our nachos. Our Southwestern salad is the perfect appetizer to accompany our grilled veggie tacos, which have squash, poblanos, peppers, mushrooms, corn, pickled onions, and more.
Of course, our vegetarian burrito options are sure to fill you up. Our Avocado Supreme burrito is creamy and delicious, while our bean and cheese trio burrito delights your taste buds with three different kinds of cheese. Of course, our Veggie-Veggie burrito gives you everything you could want together! And if you don’t want the tortilla, you can opt for the grilled veggie burrito bowl instead!
Feeling hungry yet? Give Benny’s Tacos a call today or order online. We can make sure you’re filled for lunch or dinner!
And if you need catering services, we’ve got you covered!