Cheer-Me-Up Tacos! | Low Calorie & Vegetarian Recipe

hard taco shells upside down on a food tray fresh out the oven

The full, detailed low calorie vegetarian taco recipe is a the end of the post, if you’d like to skip past my rambling!
This wasn’t the post I’d planned on sharing today; I’d actually written up something else entirely, but then life happened, and my day took a bit of a nose-dive – small, silly things, that feel a lot more serious at the time than they actually are. But still, my mood sank a little, and I was in need of a bit of a pick-me-up, and so I figured I’d share my favourite comfort-food recipe, my go-to whenever I’m feeling a bit blue. A low calorie, vegetarian taco recipe that’s so yummy that it tastes far unhealthier than it actually is; enter cheer-me-up tacos, a super-healthy treat that never fails to restore smiles, probably largely do to the complete mess that stacking your crisp, warm tacos full of gorgeous barbecued peppers, onions and Quorn (or meat, if you prefer), salsa and chunks of mature cheddar, creates. This is a recipe for the rebel in all of us, who still gets the occasional urge to play with their food.

freshly chopped red onion, red pepper, and green pepper, with old el paso salsa, quorn chicken style pieces, old el paso original smoky bbq fajita mix, and old el paso taco shells, along side a knife on a chopping board

The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s really simple to throw together; the only ingredients required are the ones pictured, and you’re pretty much good to go! I use Quorn for mine since, but you’re more than welcome to substitute for chicken, pork or beef, depending on your preference, and you can mix and match with whatever veg you have in the house.

quorn chicken style pieces in their container
quorn chicken style pieces cooking in a frying pan

Pour just under half the fajita seasoning on your ‘meat’ of choice, and brown it in a frying pan/wok until it’s just cooked through.

chopped red onion, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers, freshly seasoned on a cutting board

I like to keep my vegetables quite chunky; I’m a creative soul, and something about seeing all those gorgeous colours sizzling in the same pan is quite pleasing. Plus, for those very bad days, too much exposure to onion, and the inevitable eye-watering they encourage, does nothing to help your emotional stability.
It’s then the same treatment as for your ‘meat’, coating them well in your fajita seasoning and a couple of spritzes of oil (I use Fry Light 1 calorie per spray oil to keep things a little lighter, but vegetable oil would work just as well), and throwing them into the pan.

freshly cooked vegetarian fajita mix in a frying pan

Doesn’t that look delicious? I like to serve mine up with hot taco shells, some spicy salsa, and some hefty hunks of mature cheddar – and the recipe below serves four, so grab three friends and let the good food & company boost your mood, or throw some in a tupperware for a rainy day; either way, it’s certainly improved mine!


Cheer-Me-Up Tacos:

Serves 4, with 2 taco shells each.

  • 1 pack of Quorn chicken-style pieces (chicken/turkey etc would work just as well).
  • 1 red bell pepper. 
  • 1 green bell pepper.
  • 1 red onion.
  • 1 sachet of fajita seasoning (I swear by Old El Paso’s smoky bbq flavour mix).
  • 8 taco shells.
  • Spray oil.
  • Optional: cheese & salsa, to serve.
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 5). Empty the Quorn (or meat pieces) into a bowl, and spray 5-6 times with oil, before emptying just under half of the fajita mix over the pieces, and mixing well. Empty into a pre-heated frying pan or wok.
  2. Whilst the ‘meat’ is browning, cut the bell peppers and onions into coarse chunks, spray with another 5-6 shots of oil, and sprinkle the remaining fajita mix over the top, mixing well. Once the meat’s brown, throw the vegetables in and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on the desired texture.
  3. As the vegetables are cooking, place your taco shells upside-down (folded side up) onto a baking tray and place in the now hot oven for 3-4 minutes, or until warm throughout.
  4. Once everything’s warm, you’re ready to serve; I generally like to yell ‘careful, it’s hot’, and place the steaming frying pan on the dining table (forever conscious of health & safety, me!) alongside some salsa and a block of cheese, give everyone a plate with two tacos on it each (more on the table if boys are present), and let everyone get stuck in!

What’s your go-to impromptu recipe for when life’s being a little difficult? 

The complete fajita mix (minus shells, cheese and salsa) clocks in at around 157 calories per serving.

You can find more low-calorie, veggie friendly recipes in my archives.

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