Vegetarian Taco Boats

September 10, 2023mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Vegetarian Taco Boats

Vegetarian Taco Boats are easy to make, delicious and excellent as a meal for Taco Nights or as appetizer or starter option for any get together parties. What I like about this recipe is that it comes together in a matter of few minutes as the boat shells are ready. Make the filling with canned beans and corn and ready salsa or homemade one.


I had first shared this recipe with the group FoodieMonday/Bloghop. The theme was Mexican Food. At that time I was in Montreal visiting my son. Hubby and I went to the local supermarket Metro to buy some tortilla. The plan was to make enchiladas. I put a packet of tortilla in the cart. As I walked down the aisle, looking for black beans, I came across these interesting boat shaped soft tacos. Immediately picked them up and then and there the plan changed.

I was very excited to try out a new ingredient. Coming from Mombasa, these boats were a novelty to me. Whenever I want to make Mexican dishes, I have to make the tortilla at home. So you can gauge my excitement. For 3 of us the pack of 12 boats was a filling meal.

Subsequent trips to Montreal and taco boats featured on our menu.

Fast Forward

I simply love these El Paso Boats. I prepare them often as a starter option whenever hubby and I have guests over. It allows me to prepare the filling a day ahead to save time. Also, I prefer to bake the empty boats for a bit to make them a bit more crispy and sturdy.

Sharing This Recipe With Sunday Funday

Amy a member of Sunday Funday suggested we share dips, wings, chex mix, finger foods, appetizers, etc for the NFL Football Season which starts today. Hubby and I are not football fans except the World Cup one and that too Soccer. However, I love watching the Twenty20 and World Cup Cricket.  However, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share this Vegetarian Taco Boat recipe. Am sure my football fan niece and nephew will find this recipe useful.

Updating this recipe with better photos. I had first posted it on 11/07/2016. Updated on 10/09/2023

What Is Mexican Cuisine?

The basic Mexican cuisine can be traced back to 7000 BC when Mexico and Central America areas had not been colonized.Mexican cuisine is one of the most historic cuisines. Back then the people in this region were nomadic hunters and gatherers. Animals were scarce so beans and chillis were used. Corn entered the scene much later. Besides cooking the kernels, it was used to make flatbreads, what we call tortillas. Other ingredients available were tomatoes, cocoa beans, avocado and honey.

The Spanish arrived in this region and brought with them other ingredients and their cooking methods. They introduced meats from domestic animals like beef, pork, chicken, mutton. Dairy products too were introduced. Wheat, rice, herbs and spices too were introduced. During the slave trade era the cuisine was influenced also by African and Asian elements. Traditionally Mexicans did not cook in an oven but over open fires, using skillets and ceramic wares. They also steamed their food by wrapping it in banana or cactus leaves and suspended over boiling water.


Modern Times Mexican Food

Over time as the cuisine spread far and wide, newer versions were created. The Mexican food as we experience in US and other countries is mostly known as Tex Mex, for example cheesy nachos.  Mexican cuisine can be heavy on spices if eaten in the Indian Sub Continent. Traditional Mexican food does not use processed ingredients. Mostly fresh products are used and sauces too are prepared at home. Nowadays it is easy to open cans, packets and bottles. More meats and cheese are used today.



Check Out What Other Members Of Sunday Funday Have Made

Some More Appetizer/ Snack/ Starter Ideas

Caprese Skewers make a fantastic, easy to make, healthy and super delicious starter or appetizer recipe. With syrupy balsamic vinegar drizzled over it, caprese skewers are simply irresistible.
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Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast is simply baby potatoes roasted in a pan with freshly ground Chettinad Masala or Spice Mixture. It easily can be enjoyed as a starter dish, a snack or as a side dish which is usually served with rice or roti and a lentil curry. Hubby and I decided to enjoy it as a starter.
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Vegetable Seekh Kababs are so delicious,gluten free and fun starter or snack, loaded with a variety of vegetables, shaped on skewers and grilled.
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Cajun Stuffed Mushrooms, an easy to make and satisfying appetizer or starter dish where the filling has added flavour from homemade cajun seasoning.
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Baked Lentil Kebabs
Baked Lentil Kebabs with flavours from the Middle East and the Indian Sub Continent are soft, delectable and easy to make. In brief, these kebabs make a wonderful starter and are easy to make. Also nutritious and best part is that they are gluten free and vegan. Serve them with any chutney or dip of your choice.
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Beetroot Vada is a delicious, crunchy, spicy take on the traditional Sabudana Vada. Vada is fritters and in this case roasted or boiled beetroot is added to the traditional mashed potatoes, spices and soaked tapioca pearls mixture.  Ideal as a starter or a snack.
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Tandoori Gobi is delicious spicy cauliflower floret dish that can be enjoyed as a starter or even as a snack. Marinated cauliflower florets are baked and served with sliced onion and a green chutney.
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Healthy, steamed, fluffy, soft, delicious veggie bao buns. Perfect as a starter or as a light meal. Use a filling of your choice.
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Baked kurkuri bhindi is a guilt free, gluten free and vegan snack or starter. Served with a dip, it is a tasty crunchy snack to nibble on.
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Phyllo Cup Salad is a fun and innovative way of serving an appetizer or starter. While, one can choose any filling of their choice, I have used mung bean sprouts, enoki mushrooms, spring onion and carrots as a salad filling. And as the dressing have used homemade Peanut Sauce.
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Paneer Tikka and Naan Bites is a different way to serve up paneer tikka. Spicy grilled paneer cubes are served on a bed of spinach and naan. It is a fun way to serve this starter dish at parties or even for a BBQ get together.
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Sweet Potato Tikki/Patties is a delicious snack with a balance of flavours, sweet, salty and sour. Enjoy them as a starter, or serve as a part of a main meal.
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Vibrant green because of the peas and spinach, these kebabs are healthy as they are not deep fried. Shallow fried in a bit of oil, they are best served as a starter/appetizer.
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Chilli Garlic Mogo is a lip smacking, spicy, starter dish made using cassava or yucca. Made in the style of the famous Indo-Chinese Chilli Paneer, it goes really well with chilled beer.
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Honey Chilli Potatoes is a crispy, spicy, sweet and delicious snack or starter dish. A dish from the Indo Chinese Cuisine, it is very easy to make this  dish. Sprinkled with a generous amount of sesame seeds, it is finger licking good.
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Mashed Avocado & Tomato Bruschetta is a delicious, easy to make, refreshing and healthy appetizer or starter.  Small bread slices are topped with garlicky mashed avocado and chopped tomatoes, onion and fresh herb of your choice.
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Fresh, crunchy, sweet, just enough saltiness, tangy, a wee bit chilli, aromatic. Lettuce Cups/ Lettuce Wraps is a wonderful party starter.
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Ingredients Required For Vegetarian Taco Boats

Taco Boats – I have ready made ones. The only brand I have seen so far are the Old El Paso ones.

Beans – either red or black cooked beans. Can use canned ones too. If you dried beans then you will have to soak them in warm water for at least 6-8 hours before cooking them. Using a pressure cooker is a good idea.

Sweet Corn – use frozen, canned or fresh. Frozen and fresh need to be boiled before adding to the filling.

Onion – peeled and finely chopped. Can use red, white or yellow one.

Bell Pepper – add some diced. I have not used as hubby is allergic to them.

Mushrooms – I added them as we like them. This is an optional ingredient. If not using mushrooms replace them with another vegetable or more of corn/beans.

Olives – use sliced ones either green, black or red ones.

Olive Oil – required for preparing the filling.

Cumin Powder – jeera powder.

Chipotle Pepper – or red chilli powder. Can use  paprika.

Salsa – ready made tomato salsa or homemade. Need the cooked version which is actually called Salsa Roja to add to the filling and to serve on the side.

Salt – add according to your taste.

Cheese – use cheddar, Monterey Jack or the Mex Tex mix.

Fresh Cilantro – also known as fresh coriander. Finely chopped.

Sour Cream – for serving. Can also use guacamole.







Vegetarian Taco Boats are easy to make, delicious and excellent as a meal for Taco Nights or as appetizer or starter option for any get together parties. What I like about this recipe is that it comes together in a matter of few minutes as the boat shells are ready. Make the filling with canned beans and corn and ready salsa or homemade one.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Meal, Snack, Starter
Cuisine TexMex
Servings 12


  • 12 ready made mini taco boats
  • cups black or red beans cooked
  • 1 cups sweet corn cooked
  • ½ cup mushrooms chopped
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup olives sliced
  • cup tomato salsa
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp cumIn powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro/coriander chopped
  • ½ cup cheese grated
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup salsa or gucamole



  • Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  • Arrange the boats on a baking sheet or tray.
  • Bake them for 10 minutes or till they appear golden brown.
  • Remove them from the oven. Cool the boats on a wire rack.
  • Store them in an airtight container if you are not using them immediately.


  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium low heat.
  • When it is hot, add chopped onion and bell pepper if using any.
  • Stir fry them for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped mushrooms.
  • Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add beans, corn, olives, cumin, chipotle powders and salt. Mix well.
  • Add ⅓ cup tomato salsa.
  • Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should not be runny.
  • Add  cilantro and mix well.


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Arrange  the mini boats on a baking tray.
  • Fill the boats with the prepared filling.
  • Add grated cheese on top.
  • Bake the boats for 7-10 minutes or till the cheese melts.
  • Serve the boats with sour cream, tomato salsa and/or guacamole on the side.


  • Add filling ingredients of your choice.
  • You can use ready made salsa sauce if you like.
  • For softer taco boats don't bake them without the filling. However, they are easier
  • to hold without making any mess especially if served as finger food.
  • Prepare the filling a day ahead and store in a container in the fridge.
  • Can make the boats crispy a day ahead. Store them in an airtight container.
Keyword how to make taco boats, mini taco boats, vegetarian taco boats

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  • priya satheesh

    July 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Looks very tempting and yummy !

  • alkajena

    July 11, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    These mini taco boats are simply irrestible

  • Pushpita Singh

    July 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Loved these taco boats Di. Indeed no messy fingers and hands relishing the salads right with these taco boats.

  • Sujata Roy

    July 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Beautiful share Mayuri. Boat looks so lovely and yummy too.

  • Dannii Martin

    July 11, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    These are so cute! We are Mexican food obsessed, so they sound perfect for us!

  • NIsa@ Flavour Diary

    July 12, 2016 at 9:08 am

    simply wow boats to feed the crowd…lovely share dee

  • Tazz

    July 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Sure looks delicious……..

  • Saswati Hota

    July 13, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I am in love with those boats Dee…lovely share…enjoyed reading the write up too.

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Thank you Priya

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Thanks Alka. We loved them.

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:14 am

    so true and very easy to make.

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Thank you Sujata.

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Thanks Danii… we too love Mexican food.

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Yes Nisa and I'm sure you get them where you live.

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Thanks Tazz.

  • Mayuri Patel

    July 14, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Thank you Saswati.

  • Jolly M

    July 15, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    WoW !! These cute taco boats looks so creamy and delicious 🙂

  • krispykadhai

    July 15, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    They look so beautiful and delicious… 🙂 Will definitely try!

  • Preethi Prasad

    July 17, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Love these cute Taco Boats. I am sure my kids will love it. Bookmarking this recipe.

  • Wendy Klik

    September 10, 2023 at 8:23 am

    A perfect quick, easy, and delicious meal.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 10, 2023 at 5:13 pm

      It sure is, thanks Wendy

  • Amy’s Cooking Adventures

    September 10, 2023 at 11:05 am

    THese sound amazing!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 10, 2023 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks Amy

  • Karen’s Kitchen Stories

    September 10, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    I’ve seen those taco boats at the store but have never bought them. Must try!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 10, 2023 at 5:13 pm

      Karen, they are good for quick snacks. Try them.

  • Sneha Datar

    September 14, 2023 at 1:53 am

    So tempting and delicious taco boats!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 27, 2023 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks Sneha.

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