Tacos get southwestern-ified with a quick deep in the deep fryer followed by a smoky hummus and spicy root veggie filling.
vegan puffy tacos with cumin-spiced hummus

Sometimes I think I give off vegan vibes.

All too often I’ll tell someone I’m vegetarian and BOOM. All of a sudden milk is a dirty word, the cheese platter has been removed from my line of vision, and eggs are treated as if they’re a controlled substance.

Meanwhile there I am daydreaming about runny yolks and melty brie and occasionally shoving cream cheese frosting in my face. Which would kind of make me the worst vegan ever.

If I were. But I’m not.

(Did you hear that mom? I’m N.O.T.ย Just breathe.)


She gets kind of, um, emphatic/hyperventilate-y about my no meat status. So we might need a moment.

Okay? Okay.


You guys might have noticed this, but I’m really into stuffing everything-but-the-kitchen-sink into a taco shell.

Mostly because handheld foods make me squeal with glee.

Partly because that means I can smother whatever it is I’m eating in cheese.

And more than I’d care to admit because the.boy will almost certainly eat them no matter what’s inside.


I mean, if I said to him, “Hey babe, we’re having roasted parsnips, carrots and turnips with hummus for dinner tonight”, he’d respond with the look of a thousand deaths.

And put himself to bed without dinner.

But if I say “Tacos!!!”. He’s all like “YES. You’re the BEST.EVER.COOLEST.GIRFLFRIEND.EVER.”

Not exactly in those words, but basically.


So tacos it is. Done and done.

And they’re vegan. Not that you’d know it because they’re so BIG on flavor.

I won’t tell if you won’t.


This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.

When I was looking through The New Southwest trying to decide what to make for this week, pretty much every recipe popped out at me. Then I realized that I couldn’t possibly NOT make a big pan of chile-spiced roasted root veggies or smoky hummus or wrap them all up in a puffy crispy fluffy taco shell. So I did. And they were pretty great. Even sans cheese (though I do think they’d be even more perfect with a fried egg on top. But what isn’t?).

Vegan Puffy Tacos with Cumin-Spiced Hummus
Tacos get southwestern-ified with a quick deep in the deep fryer followed by a smoky hummus and spicy root veggie filling.
Yield: 6 tacos
For the taco shells
  • 1 cup corn oil, for frying
  • 6 corn tortillas
For the cumin-spiced hummus
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground oregano
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
For the taco filling
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 small turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ancho chile pepper
  1. To make the taco shells, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 350F on a candy or frying thermometer. Prick the tortillas with a fork 4-6 times. Add a tortilla to the oil and fry it for 20 seconds on each side. Only pierce any bubbles that take up more than half of the tortilla, leaving the rest. Using tongs, carefully fold the tortilla in half and hold it into the oil for 10 more seconds. Place the fried tortilla on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  2. To make the hummus, combine the tahini, chickpeas, cumin, salt, oregano, and white pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it is a paste. With the food processor still running, stream in the olive oil and the lemon juice, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Set aside.
  3. To make the filling, preheat the oven to 400. Toss the parsnips, carrots, and turnips in a large bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper and ancho chile powder so that they are evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer and roast for 30 minutes. Toss and roast for another 20 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender. Set aside to cool. Coarsely chop veggies into smaller pieces.
  4. To assemble the tacos, spread the bottom of the shells with a thick layer of hummus. Carefully top with the filling and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos


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72 Responses to Vegan Puffy Tacos with Cumin-Spiced Hummus #thenewsouthwest #cookbookspotlight

  1. Oh my gosh, Jo…those look ridiculous! Seriously, even sans cheese and egg…but I agree on that fried egg thought ;). I want these over the weekend…and so it will be. Fantastic choice this week.

  2. Emma says:

    haha, loved this! I am vegan so am pretty used to people saying “but what about cheese!” to me.
    These tacos just show that vegan food is not lacking in the flavour department! Love me some roasted roots ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. We are roasting root veggies so frequently these days. Love ’em! We have yet to put them in taco form, but now I’m thinking we definitely need to after seeing your great recipe!

  4. Simply Life says:

    haha, I think the boy and my husband would get along quite well ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Nice tacos! I like the use of the hummus in them!

  6. these honestly make me miss my vegan days. I love root veggies, they’re often overlooked but they are the most flavorful, because they’re filled with less water! thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Chewthefat says:

    I have a cold right now, so I am avoiding dairy until after I am well. But I usually eat quite a bit of it! When I saw puffy tacos, I have to confess I immediately thought of that Seinfeld episode about the puffy shirt–I really like ‘fusion’ cuisine and it is funny how Mediterranean flat breads and Mexican tacos are so similar.

  8. Johanna GGG says:

    Those tacos look so good and crispy and golden that I would eat them with anything in them – in fact why bother with a filling – ok fillings are great too and this sounds delish

  9. Barbara says:

    Oh my, don’t they look delicious? Wish you lived next door so I could run over and have them for lunch. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love my meat, but try to do vegetarian at least twice a week.

  10. patsy says:

    I SO need to make roasted veggies for our next taco night! The men in my house can have their meat-filled shells, while I’d be more than happy to indulge in spiced, roasted veggies in mine! Yum!

  11. Avoiding meat and meat products is one thing, but I totally get you on keeping cheese and eggs in your life. I mean, a life worth living and all that, am I right?
    I saw these on your instagram and was wondering about the “puffy taco shell”- so it’s just fried corn shells? I’m all over it.

  12. Your tacos are always so fun. I love all the fabulous flavours in here. Another great one friend!

  13. Oh man, those PUFFY TACO SHELLS. I can’t even deal.

  14. Monica says:

    You know it’s funny because I don’t think it ever registered to me that you’re a vegetarian. Your food is always colorful, flavorful and so diverse…I never even noticed we were missing the meat! I’ve come to appreciate vegetables so much more in the last few years and you showcase them beautifully. I’m really glad you’re into the runny egg yolks like I am though…

  15. You totally are the best girlfriend ever! I have only ever tried tacos once (I know..SAD) but I loved them, and I bet I would love your vegan version. YuM!!

  16. Really nice idea here, Joanne with these tacos!! It is amazing what can be done with vegetables, in lieu of meat. Great job!!

  17. Oh please please please can I come over for dinner?

  18. PL says:

    Lots of good vitamins packed in those tacos, and they are colourful, too! BTW, I made the cooked the cauliflower enchiladas, and my hubster buster enjoyed it very much. So thank you for the recipe.

  19. Lisa says:

    Glorious. I so adore your recipes.

  20. gloria says:

    always I love your tacos Joanne!

  21. Pinning.
    Seriously, they are so healthy and great looking. You are such a healthy eater my dear and you come up with great dishes.

  22. I love puffy anything and it’s so deliciously sinful that they’ve been flash fried and filled with such yummy things!

  23. Love, love, LOVE your take on these, Joanne! Simply gorgeous. People ask me if I’m a vegan whenever I serve these and I simply respond by shoving an entire wheel of Chihuahua cheese into my facehole. That usually clears things up pretty nicely.

  24. Tara says:

    Ha! It is so funny how tacos makes everything better. I totally know what you mean with the boy.

    Me: We’re going to eat a buttload of veggies tonight!
    Him: ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™
    Me: In a taco!!!!

    And all is right in the world again.

  25. Shannon says:

    i was just looking for a way to use the copious amounts of turnips I have gotten in my csa… do the other delicious veggies mask the turnips??

  26. I am on the situation as you when it comes to vegan status and boy situation..it only happened to me yesterday ๐Ÿ™

  27. Years ago when I was eating vegetarian, people were practically mortified when they’d see me inhale a rice krispie treat..because apparently when you cut out meat from your life, you have to cut out sweets too? Maybe you do, I don’t know! Regardless.. Um, these tacos have chickpeas in them? DONE.

  28. Kate says:

    I can (and do) do vegan meals, but I could never go without my cheese!

  29. Daniela says:

    Vegan Tacos? Yes please!
    First I was a bit cautious but looking at the beautiful pictures and reading the recipe convinced me completely!
    It just looks so good.

  30. John Hartil says:

    A real delightful snack you have there!!

  31. This is perfect! I am such a fan of putting just about anything and everything into a taco shell, especially if everything/anything is roasted. And btw I was a vegetarian for about 15 years, starting as a little kid, and boyyy the looks I got. Now (well I eat a little meat, but prefer not to) I just say “I’m a vegetarian, but I eat eggs and dairy” without skipping a beat. It’s so much easier that way.

  32. debbie says:

    Yes to another vegan recipe!! Looks so delicious and something tells me you will eventually be vegan….just have a feeling! And that is a GOOD thing!

  33. Teffy says:

    I love taco tortillas but I’ve never made them myself and store bought ones taste like cardboard. These make me want to venture into making my own, they look so good!

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

  34. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’m sure it’s difficult for any Italian mama to accept their daughter is now vegetarian. It reminds me of that scene in ‘My Big Fat Greek Meat’ – ‘He don’t eat meat? I cook lamb’. So funny. I’m certainly not vegan (I eat eggs and butter daily) but these tacos look so yummy with all those root vegetables that I just know this is a vegan meal I’d adore xx

  35. Oh my these tacos look GREAT Joanne! Yummmm! They look so very filling for a completely vegan meal!

  36. Eileen says:

    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a taco filled with hummus before! Roasted veg, yes, but hummus, no. This is going on the list of things that musth happen in the near future. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Beth says:

    These look awesome! And I sometimes think I could become a vegetarian, but I don’t think I could ever go vegan. The thought of no more cheese makes me very, very sad.

  38. Pam says:

    I could never be vegan because of my love for runny yolks and cheese too. I am thinking ONLY YOU can make a vegan taco looks so darn tasty!

  39. kl says:

    vegan tacos, woooohooooo! thanks!

  40. Jeanette says:

    I love the idea of combining hummus and roasted veggies into a wrap!

  41. Puffy tacos for the win! I don’t think I’d miss the meat in these delicious beauties. But you’re right, a fried egg on top would be good, too.

  42. If I doll up the name of the dish/snack I’m serving it makes the fam dig it more i.e. hummus/dip, green smoothie/monster smoothie, leftover mess/taco pie ;}
    I love these tacos! I can totally live without the meat!

  43. I was taken with these from the first ‘puffy taco’ description but the fact they are vegan and have such a wonderful filling mix – well, I think it might be love.

  44. rika@vm says:

    Mmmmmm, come to me! Smoky cumin-spiced hummus (love white pepper) & spicy veggie filling sound so tasty right nowโ€ฆand I would love to have some! The turnips look gorgeousโ€ฆ I havenโ€™t tried them in taco fillings before ๐Ÿ™‚ and yum on ancho chile peppers!

  45. Hannah says:

    Woah… I never even dared dream that puffy tacos might exist in vegan form, for fear of having my hopes crushed. I bet you could sell this recipe to some enterprising food truck and make a quick hundred or two, easy. Then I could have someone else make them for me, too! Perfect plan, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  46. Tracey says:

    Roasted root veggies for the win! And stuffed inside a fried tortilla to boot? You are killing me with these ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Susan says:

    I’m not vegan or vegetarian but this is just calling out to me! Those colors are just so stunning and you know what? When something is delicious and filling, you don’t even realize the meat or cheese or eggs are missing.

  48. I can sprinkle cumin on anything, I can’t get enough. These puffy tacos look the best!

  49. I’m actually not that big on tacos, usually – but I really want to try these! they sound so amazingly flavorful! and that puffy taco is to die for!

  50. I wish all the vegan dishes could have looked this beautiful and tempting!

  51. The root vegetables in this delicious dish really get me, they are my favourite, especially when part of rue crispy exterior ๐Ÿ™‚

    Choc Chip Uru

  52. I love roasted root veggies. With hummus and in a taco is perfection!

  53. We should put your mom and mine on the phone together for a “my-daughter-doesn’t-eat-meat support group! ” ๐Ÿ˜‰ These were on my shortlist of recipes to make this week so I am glad you tried them. They look amazing even without the fried egg! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  54. Veronica says:

    I’m such a fan of delicious vegan meals that don’t have weird stuff like tofu or fake meat in them. And your parsnips even manage to look like chunks of chicken! Fun!

  55. Megan says:

    I love puffy tacos and loved that you stuffed them with so many veggies!

  56. I keep seeing your awesome veggie creations and thinking I could totally trick my veggie phobic BF into trying them. These might be a win…

  57. Karen says:

    I’m with the boy… put it in a taco and I’ll eat it! I love cooked radishes.

  58. So need these in my life, preferably for dinner tonight. Love the idea of a fried egg and I think sweet potatoes would be great in them.

  59. Great looking tacos. Nice and healthy and so full of flavor.

  60. What a great idea Joanne! I love the part that you fry up the taco shell like that, never had anything like this before, but I would love to try making it for my friends who only eat Vegan! Thanks!

  61. Every now and then my mom tries to convince me to start eating meat again too. You would think that by this point she would realize that if it happens, it will be on my terms, not hers. Oh well…

  62. Reeni says:

    I’m just like him! Stick anything in a taco shell and I get way too happy! Love this fusion of flavors.

  63. sandra says:

    you inspired me to roast up some parsnip, beets, sweet potatoes and apples… yum!

  64. Kim Tracy says:

    So hummus is one of my all-time favorite things to eat and I can’t imagine anything tastier than this taco right now. This looks super delicious!

  65. sandra says:

    I didn’t lie – I made roasted veggies, placed them on a corn tortilla… added that proverbial fried egg (!) and some hot sauce. It was amazing – but not very pretty and eaten in total darkness, such is the bloggers winter lament – so no post for that dish. I’ll have the make it again when the sun is up… maybe for breakfast!

  66. Ashley says:

    I love all things taco! These look wonderful. And lord help anyone who ever tries to pull a cheese plate away from me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  67. Courtney says:

    I love hummus and also love to stuff things into taco shells. I’m so glad someone thought to put those things together!

  68. […] This is a fun way to spice up the classic hummus, making it a green chile lime hummus! […]

  69. […] 4. Vegan Puffy Tacos: Who says vegans don’t know how to deep fry? Inside this deep-fried shell is a mixture of roasted veggies — parsnips, carrots and, of course, turnips. All of that is topped off with a cumin-spiced homemade hummus which makes for a mixture of textures and spices that we could get used to in a taco. (via Eats Well With Others) […]

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