Vegan Cheesy Gordita Crunch
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
The ICONIC Double Decker Taco by TACO BELL, but totally VEGAN!
That's right, we're veganizing this classic taco! I used to eat these by the handful along with Crunchwraps (well, I still eat Crunchwraps, but have to make a bunch of modifications to make it vegan) so I can tell you without a doubt these are just as good if not better!
They are pretty easy to put together too! For the Gordita, we are using some flatbreads that I found at Trader Joe's (UPDATE: these now have honey in them, so unfortunately I can't recommend them anymore!) You should be able to find something similar at most grocery stores if you don't have a TJ's near you, or you can make some yourself or even just use a flour tortilla, either way you'll be stylin'!
For the inner hard shell, I used an extra large "Super Stuffer" shell I found. Again, if you can't find these then a normal sized shell will be fine!
You have a few options for the Spicy Ranch. You can either make some from scratch like I did (I basically veganized THIS RECIPE and then added some spicy stuff) or you can get some store bought Vegan Ranch and then spice it up. Honestly, my favorite method was taking some Follow Your Heart Ranch and blending in some diced chipotles in adobo, so if you have access to those, I would suggest that!
For the cheese that holds it all together, we are simply gonna melt some vegan cheese and some plant milk, easy cheesy!
And lastly for the vegan beef, I'm using the beefless ground from Trader Joe's as well, but use whatever you like!
There's enough for about 4-5 Gorditas, or you can do like me and have leftovers and eat them the next day for breakfast!
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Makes about 4 Cheesy Gordita Crunches
4 Flatbreads (Gorditas)
4 Taco Shells
8 oz. vegan cheese (grated) plus more for topping
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
12 oz. vegan ground beef
3/4 cup vegan beefless broth (or veggie broth)
Chopped iceberg lettuce
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp MSG
1 Tbsp masa harina
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
*Shortcut - use a packet of vegan taco seasoning
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1/4 cup vegan mayo
2-3 tsp vinegar or lemon juice (or pickled jalapeno brine)
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash of MSG
Salt & pepper to taste
Cayenne to taste
*Shortcut - mix together store bought vegan ranch and chipotles in adobo (this was my favorite option)
Combine all the ingredients for the Spicy Ranch and set aside in fridge. Adjust seasonings to taste, more vinegar for zippy and more cayenne /chipotle for spice!
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the Taco seasoning.
In a pan over medium heat, add a bit of oil and brown the plant based meat for a few minutes. Then add in the seasonings and cook for an additional minute or two. Add in the beefless or veggie broth and reduce to desired consistency. Cover and keep warm on low.
To make the cheese sauce, combine your grated vegan cheese (reserve some for topping) and some plant based milk in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once cheese has melted, add more plant based milk if you want it to be thinner. Otherwise, cover and keep warm on low.
Heat up your flatbreads however you like (I just heat them directly on a burner on the stove top) then slather on a decent amount of the cheese sauce. Gently fold the flatbread around a taco shell. Then fill with the vegan taco beef, spicy ranch, lettuce and grated cheese. Top with hot sauce if you like!