Chipotle Quinoa Tacos

chipotle-quinoa-tacosIts no secret that I love Mexican food. And, based on the comments I have received, so do most of you!

Today’s Chipotle Quinoa Tacos are my new favorite dish.  Not only are they yummy, but they can also be (mostly) made ahead. 

As in make a double batch on Friday and not have to worry about cooking for the entire weekend.

We have had these three times in the last week.  I love them just that much.

Now, I’ve used tempeh in this recipe, which some of you may not be familiar with.  Tempeh is fermented soy (i.e. the good soy – as long as its organic) and it can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.  (Usually near the vegan foods in the produce department).  On it’s own its not so exciting but like quinoa, it takes on the flavors of marinades completely.  It is a great source of protein and I’ve used it here because I like the way it crisps up when cooked.  The quinoa/tempeh combo is my new obsession.

For those of you who are either soy free or just not interested in trying tempeh, I’ve given you substitutions at the end of the recipe.  This dish is really all about the marinade and I’m quite sure that whatever you use it will come out delicious.
quinoa tacos

Chipotle Quinoa Tacos

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 taco

Calories per serving: 145

Fat per serving: 6.2g

Chipotle Quinoa Tacos


  • 8 ounces tempeh ***see note for alternatives
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 chipotle chili peppers + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (You can make your own if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon agave, Organic Maple Syrup or brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 box taco shells (12) - I use organic
  • For serving: shredded lettuce, corn, chopped red onions, chopped tomatoes, salsa, cheese, sour cream


  1. Steam tempeh for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
  2. In a blender or food processor combine chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, taco seasoning, sweetener and garlic. Add liquid smoke if using and water. Process until smooth and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Place tempeh in a dry food processor and process until it is the consistency of ground beef. (You can also use a hand grater.) Place tempeh in the bowl with the marinade and stir well. Add quinoa and stir until well combined. Allow to marinade for one hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven and bake taco shells according to package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and spray well with olive oil. (If you want the mixture to get crispy, add a little more oil.) Add tempeh and quinoa mixture and cook for 7 to 9 minutes. (I actually added 1/2 cup Daiya cheese in the last couple of minutes of cooking.)
  6. Line warm shells with tempeh/quinoa mixture and top with desired fixings!
  7. Note: If you don’t want to use tempeh there are several other options to enjoy these tacos. One alternative is to use 3 cups of cooked quinoa. You could also use chopped chick’n and proceed as directed, making sure you cook long enough to get the chick’n cooked. Meatless crumbles would also work well. For you meat eaters, simply half the marinate and use it on the meat (ground beef or chopped chicken of your choice) Cook the meat through and then add the quinoa once your meat is cooked.


Calories per taco (not including fixings) 145, 6.2g Fat, 17.6 g Carbohydrates, 5.4 g Protein, O mg Cholesterol, 130 mg Sodium, 2.9g Fiber, 1.1g Sugar, Weight Watchers Points Plus 4, Old Points 3


This recipe is featured in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Foodie Friday!

  • glutenfreehappytummy

    What a great blog!! Those tacos look FABULOUS! such bright and fresh colors and flavors! and your photos are gorgeous. thanks for sharing!
    My recent post Mexican Fiesta Salad! GF, V & BED!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much! Loving your site as well! :)

  • Reg

    I don't have anything to say except, YUMMMMMM!!! I did use ground chicken breast in place of tempeh, and topped with salsa, lettuce, cheese, greek yogurt, and chopped avocado. Again, YUMMMM!

    • Wendy Polisi

      So glad you enjoyed it! I knew I forgot something on my list of what to serve with it – AVOCADO! Can't wait to try that next time.

  • Brenda

    LUV these! I skip the tempeh & go the full quinoa route. Not only do I use this for tacos, but anything that is a Mexican type dish (nachos, burritos, huevos rancheros, etc). I've made this several times & always make extra to put in the freezer. Like you, we are crazy about Mexican food & have it about once a week. I've put several recipes in my recipe box. Looking forward to trying them all!