Grilled Vegetarian Tacos with Chile-Lime Marinade

June 25, 2020

Grilled vegetarian tacos usually follow a simple recipe: Grilled vegetables, an array of vegan-friendly taco toppings, and plenty of soft tacos to soak everything up.

The seasoning for this veggie taco recipe is what sets it apart. After dry grilling the vegetables, they’re tossed in a smoky, zesty marinade of ancho chile, cumin, fresh lime juice, olive oil, and a handful of cilantro.

Marinated vegetables for tacos will take your regular Meatless Monday vegetarian taco bar one step further. It’s not just a simple weeknight dinner— it’s truly something special.

How to make grilled vegetarian tacos

First, whisk together the marinade so that you don’t have to worry about it once the grill gets hot.

Next, grill all of the vegetables that another member of your household diligently cleaned and chopped for you. Flip the vegetables every 5 minutes or so until deeply charred in spots and tender. Check for tenderness by using your tongs to slightly squeeze on the vegetables. Do not flip the mushrooms, keep them stem-side up while grilling. Their umami-rich juices will pool into their caps; save this liquid gold for later.

Once cooled slightly, slice the vegetables and add to a large bowl, along with any accumulated juices from the mushrooms. Toss the vegetables in the marinade; taste and season with salt.

Just before serving, grill the tortillas on low heat until just warmed through and pliable, about 30 seconds per side. Good options for grocery store corn tortillas are desperately lacking, but Maria and Ricardo’s brand is the best I’ve tried. Flour tortillas are easier to get right, so most brands of grocery store flour tortillas are passable.

The toppings are up to you. Purists like a spoonful of fresh salsa and nothing more, maximalists pull every jar from the refrigerator, and sour cream is exclusively for the fun friend.

If you’re extra, you’ll whip up a batch of Vegan Cashew Queso (my favorite vegan taco topping!). If you’re prepared, you’ll already have some.

To make these even more filling, heat up a can of black beans to spoon into the tacos. For the most part, I feed a bean-hating family so this isn’t an option for me.

The ability for this easy dinner to be customized is one of the reasons I love to serve it. Everyone at the table gets to eat something that suits their taste, and you get the credit for pleasing every palette. And for the home cook, that’s what really makes this recipe special.

3 Grilled-Vegetarian-Tacos with lime, guacamole, feta, cilantro, and queso

Grilled Vegetarian Tacos with Chile-Lime Marinade

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.43 out of 5)
Dinner American
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Marinated grilled vegetables tossed in a kicked-up marinade, plus an array of hearty taco toppings, makes an easy, colorful vegetarian taco bar that the whole family will love.


  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 whole lime), plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon agave, honey, or sugar
  • 1/2 cup parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 red onion, cut in half through root, each half cut into 3 wedges (keep root in tact)
  • 1 poblano chili, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
  • 2 bell peppers, quartered, seeded
  • 4-6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 zucchini, halved crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick planks
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Suggested toppings: lettuce, salsa, avocado, sour cream, feta, lime wedges, hot sauce



Prepare grill for medium heat. Whisk together first 6 ingredients, season with ½ teaspoon salt. Set marinade aside.


Grill the onion, poblano, bell peppers, portobello caps, and zucchini, turning every 3-5 minutes, until charred and tender, about 15-20 minutes total. Keep the portobellos top side down on the grill, do not turn. Portobello juices will accumulate in the face-up caps, be sure to save these umami-rich juices! You'll use them in the next step.


Once cooled slightly, slice the root from the onion so the layers separate, add to a large bowl. Pour any accumulated juices from the mushrooms into the bowl, then slice the mushrooms, poblano, and peppers into ¾-inch wide strips. Keep the zucchini as they are, and add all of the vegetables to the bowl with the onion. Pour marinade over; toss to coat. Taste and season with additional salt.


Just before serving, grill the tortillas on low heat until just warmed through and pliable, about 15 seconds per side.


Fill tortillas with vegetables; serve with toppings.


  • 404 Calories


Choose a red wine with heft to stand up to the bold marinade flavors. It's best to choose something straightforward that doesn't compete with all of your taco toppings. Try Monastrell from Spain, Malbec from Argentina, a Grenache-based red from the South of France or Zinfandel from California.

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    June 26, 2020 at 9:57 am

    That looks scrumptious!

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