Grilled Veggie Tacos

IMG_4401A couple weeks ago when my brother requested grilled veggie tacos for dinner, I did what I always do when I begin to develop a dish: I searched the internet to see what sort of vegetable taco recipes were out there. I was super disappointed by the stuff I found. Most of the recipes have you simply grill vegetables and then toss them in a tortilla.

Now don’t get me wrong, I grill vegetables all the time and throw them in salads and sandwiches and pastas, however, for these tacos I wanted to do something more to the vegetables. I wanted to treat them like meat, essentially. If I’m making chicken or fish or steak tacos, I always marinade or spice rub the protein before cooking it. Why not do the same thing with vegetables? And so, this recipe was born.

IMG_4396It’s incredibly filling — even my carnivore father was satisfied by these meatless tacos — and spicy, not in a hot way, but in a flavorful Tex-Mex way. Use whatever mixture of vegetables you want; just be sure they won’t get mushy when grilled. I’ve made these tacos once with mushrooms, corn, and chilies and another time with red pepper, onion, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Yes, I’ve made them twice in the past couple weeks! These tacos are that good. Both vegetable variations worked, but I think I preferred the pepper zucchini tacos better than the corn poblano ones. Whatever combination you choose, be sure to serve with all the classic taco accompaniments: crunchy green lettuce, salty queso fresco, pureed salsa, and cool guacamole.

Grilled Veggie Tacos

2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups mixed vegetables (cremini mushrooms, red pepper chunks, zucchini rounds, corn, poblano chunks, quartered onion, etc.)
12 corn tortillas
Chopped green leaf lettuce
Crumbled queso fresco
Lime wedges
Salsa and guacamole, optional for serving

  1. In a large bowl, combine the spices with the garlic and olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk everything together to form a thick spice mixture. Place the vegetables in the bowl and toss everything to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and up to an hour.
  3. Remove the veggies from the marinade and skewer them onto metal skewers taking care to separate each vegetable. Put the peppers on one skewer, the mushrooms on another, the zucchini on another and so forth. Each vegetable will cook for a different time. Reserve the bowl and the remaining marinade.
  4. Grill the zucchini for 4-8 minutes, the peppers and onions for 8-12 minutes, and the mushrooms for 15-18 minutes.
  5. When all the veggies are cooked, let cool slightly, then rough chop them.
  6. Add to the bowl with the remaining marinade and toss the vegetables to combine them evenly.
  7. Grill the tortillas until charred, soft and pliable, about minutes and flipping once.
  8. Serve the tacos immediately by filling the warmed corn tortilla with a spoonful of the vegetable mixture. Top with lettuce, queso fresco, a squeeze of fresh lime, salsa, and guacamole, if desired.

Serves 6.

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