Sometime in the last month, for some strange reason, my roommates (and boyfriend) would always make late-night trips to Taco Bell. We went from never going to Taco Bell, at least within the last 3 years, to going multiple times a week. And for what? Because Lui insisted he try their fresca-style crunchwrap…
Taco Bell’s fresca crunchwrap is essentially just tomatoes, guacamole, lettuce, and beans with the tostada in the center. Even though, yes, it is technically a vegan option, it’s pretty bare bones. Nothing too special. Unsurprisingly, that Taco Bell mania calmed down and we stopped going…And started getting Del Taco! We all try not to eat out too much — it’s expensive, not super healthy-feeling, and not nearly as satisfying as a home-cooked meal. But we just got into this funk and if we weren’t going to Taco Bell, we were getting California burritos from Del Taco.
Luckily, that craving ended too and we’d been making burritos from home. I use Pinterest a lot, for myself and my blog, and there are always really cool and tasty-looking copycat recipes for fast food meals. Although we stopped going to Taco Bell, Lui’s love for a vegan-style crunchwrap remained, and I thought it’d be fun to try and recreate the dish at home.
On Instagram, I follow so many amazing vegan bloggers who inspire me every day. One of them, @rainbowplantlife, happens to have a droolworthy take on the Taco Bell crunchwrap! I adapted her recipe, made a plant-based taco meat from scratch, and tried it out. People — this is SO good and SO easy! Not only was Lui excited to have a crunchwrap made right in our kitchen, but even I was looking forward to something I’ve never even ordered before.
Fast food does have a reputation of being unhealthy and artificial, but in being able to try this recipe at home, I was able to control exactly what I put in it. I didn’t want to use any frozen meat substitutes (something I use in a lot of dishes, like for a quick pasta), nor did I want to have to make every single component from scratch. All I needed were some tortillas, store-bought vegan sour cream, some lentils and nuts, and a hefty appetite.
If you love the convenience of a drive-thru, but aren’t too happy with the hole it leaves in your wallet, this is a perfect recipe for you to try. It’s also great if you want to be more mindful of the food you’re putting in your body. But at the end of the day, who doesn’t love a homemade meal that’s fun and delicious?
Vegan Crunchwrap Copycat Recipe
Vegan Crunchwrap Copycat
- 4 mini corn tortillas
- 4 burrito-sized tortillas
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup dry lentils
- 1 cup pecans finely chopped
- ½ onion diced
- 1 cup mushrooms diced
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 avocado
- 1 roma tomato
- ½ cup shredded lettuce or your preferred leafy greens
- ½ cup vegan cheddar shreds
- ¼ cup vegan sour cream
- ¼ cup salsa
- chili powder
If Making Your Own Tostadas:
- Preheat the oven to 375º. On a lined or greased baking sheet, spread out 4 mini corn tortillas
- Bake for 10-15 min, flipping every 5 minutes to avoid burning. Set aside and let cool
For Homemade Vegan Taco Meat
- Boil the water in a pot. Very carefully rinse the lentils, removing any stones or discolored lentils
- Boil for 20 minutes, then let simmer for 10 until soft, but not mushy
- While the lentils boil, chop up the pecans, onion, and mushrooms. Saute in a pan with about 1 tsp each of the seasonings
- Once the lentils are cooked, drain and save a little bit of the water. Add the lentils to the saute pan and another tsp of each seasoning.
- Add some of the reserved water to the mixture as needed (it will be dry, so this allows for a sauce to form — just make sure it's not dripping as that will make your crunchwrap very soggy)
- Cook the mixture until everything is browned and fragrant. Adjust seasoning as needed, then set aside
- In the still warm oven, warm up 4 large tortillas
- Dice your tomato and prep the avocado and greens
- Take the large tortilla and spread vegan sour cream on the surface, until about an inch from the edges
- Add the vegan cheddar shreds. Then, layer on the vegan taco meat and sprinkle the greens on top
- Put a tostada on top of the greens, and on the tostada add your tomato, avocado, and salsa
- If your tortilla isn't that big, you may need a small piece of tortilla to place on the toppings. Start folding the sides of the tortilla down — it will naturally form a pentagon-like shape
- Take the crunchwrap and place in a pan, folded side down and fry until crisp and browned. Flip and do the same on the other side. Repeat the process on the remaining 3 crunchwraps.
- Cut in half or eat as is, and enjoy!
- If you have steamed or pre-cooked lentils, you can skip the boiling step. Just add those to the nut and veggie mixture
- If you don’t have pecans, you can use almost any other nut. Just opt for the harder nuts like walnuts or almonds. Cashews or peanuts might get too soft when cooked
- This doesn’t have to follow a traditional crunchwrap recipe at all — it can be so easily customized and would be delicious with grilled peppers, vegan mozzarella, guacamole. Like with most other recipes, make it your own and add what you like!