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Raw Tacos Recipe

Photographs by Devon Francis

I need you to be open-minded about this one. 😉  First off, by “raw tacos” I do not mean raw animal protein.  That would be ridiculous and awful.  I mean a raw, plant-based taco-like mixture that is super quick and easy to prep, healthy and, I think, delicious!

The ingredients are somewhat surprising, but once you taste this combo, you’ll agree that it all works.  Mushrooms and walnuts provide a savory, umami-ness and dates and sundried tomatoes round out the flavor.  You pulse everything in the food processor, but not too much since you want it to have texture and not resemble canned cat food.

My favorite way to eat this is in lettuce leaves or small cabbage leaves with all the taco toppings.  Because tacos are really about the toppings.  I made a quick cashew cream on the fly here with raw cashew butter + a little water to create a pourable consistency + a pinch of chipotle powder + a pinch of salt.  But you could also use a little lime juice in place of some of the water.

I have served this taco mixture as an hors d’oeuvres for a girls night with small lettuce leaves and tortilla chips and it was a huge hit.  And I have served it for a family meal with a full taco topping bar.  The walnuts keep the tacos high in protein, so you can serve these as an entree.  I continue to eat a varied diet, but I do believe plant foods should comprise the overwhelming majority of our diet.  You cannot get fiber or phytonutrients from animal products!  These tacos are not sizzling hot like meat tacos, but they’re a really different and tasty twist on a classic.  I can’t wait for you to try this recipe and let me know what you think.  As always, please tag me if you post this or any other recipe of mine on Instagram @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman.

For my LA and Orange County friends, I will be at Rogers Gardens this Sunday, March 17th at 10:00 am for a free cooking demonstration.  Rogers Gardens will also have my cookbook available for purchase and I will be staying after the presentation to sign copies!

Click the images below to shop the tools I used in this recipe!

Raw Tacos
Serves: 4 as a meal
  • 1 cup raw walnuts or pecans
  • 2 cups crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes (soaked for ½ hour to soften if not packed in oil)
  • 6 dates (pitted and soaked for ½ hour to soften)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle pepper (or less if you don’t want them spicy)
  • 1 Tablespoon shoyu or gluten-free tamari
  • Accompaniments: lettuce cups, guacamole/avocado slices, red cabbage, radishes, salsa, cashew cream or sour cream
  1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until coarsely chopped and well combined.
  2. Spoon mixture onto lettuce cups and top with desired accompaniments.


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  1. PS still making all my old Pamela Salzman faves, here on the other side of the world !

  2. Hi Pamela!
    This sounds delish. But, I made a similar version in one of your classes that had DATES in it. I’m in Bali and all my friends here are vegan – do you have the vegan version on your site somewhere? I can’t find it and my recipes and cookbooks are all packed away.

    • Hi! This recipe is the same one and has dates listed in the ingredients 🙂

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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