Vegan Walnut and Quinoa Quesadillas

I’m a huge lover of Mexican food, as you might have gathered by now 🙂 So I’m on a mission to veganise all my old favourites, and trust me when I say these are way more delicious than any meat stuffed quesadilla I’ve ever had! Its a healthy meal filled with all the nutrients you need when following a plant based diet, and I hope you love eating them as much as I enjoyed creating them!

I was so happy when I got the balance of flavour and texture just right for my vegan “taco meat”, its a recipe I’ve been really excited to share with you guys! The filling consists of a very easy and flavourful homemade salsa, walnuts and quinoa, which all go into the oven to cook and get nice and toasty.

I like folding in some beans, freshly chopped coriander and grilled mielies once the taco meat is out the oven, but it’s just as great on its own, with all the cheese of course, the cheese is our glue that will keep these sticking together! I’ve given you step by step instructions for the most fuss free way to assemble these below. Serve with some fresh guacamole or extra salsa to finish off, and enjoy!

Vegan Walnut and Quinoa Quesadillas (serves 4)

Taco meat:

  • 100 g walnuts
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (use parmesan if not vegan)


  • 1 can peeled tomato, drained.
  • half red onion
  • hand full coriander
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small chilli (I use mild, but its up to you)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked chipotle powder

*Use your favourite store-bought tortillas to make these.

*Head over to the link below for a great vegan cheese sauce, or simply use your favourite vegan/non vegan cheese and grate that over instead.


  1. Roughly chop the onion, coriander and chilli, add to food processor or blender.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until everything is chopped up well and you are left with a liquid ( it doesn’t have to be hundred percent smooth)

Taco meat:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 c, line a large baking tray with foil and spray with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Combine quinoa and vegetable stock in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until all the stock has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool and add to mixing bowl.
  3. Pulse walnuts in food processor until you’ve achieved a chunky crumb, add to quinoa with nutritional yeast and mix to incorporate.
  4. Add 1 cup of salsa (reserve the rest for later) and mix to coat taco meat.
  5. Spread taco meat out onto prepared baking tray in an even layer.
  6. Place tray in oven to bake for 15 minutes, remove and mix everything to make sure its browning evenly .Repeat this process two more times after the 10 minute mark ( better safe than sorry)
  7. After the 35 minutes have passed, remove tray from oven and pour over the reserved salsa, mix to combine and Taste for extra seasoning.
  8. I like adding some beans, charred corn and coriander to the mixture, but its just as delicious on its own!

Assembly and cooking:

  1. Lay down a tortilla, spread cheesy mixture/grated cheese over in an even layer.
  2. Top one half of the tortilla with taco meat and fold over so you have a sandwich ( if your using grated cheese, top with more cheese) Repeat with remaining tortillas
  3. Lightly oil a pan big enough to fit tortillas, place 2 in the pan side by side and flip after about 2-3 minutes, to cook reverse side until browned.
  4. Cut into thirds and enjoy with some extra salsa and guacamole!