Artichoke Tacos (Vegan Fish Tacos)

These artichoke tacos will soon become your favourite pick for taco night! Mild and buttery artichokes are marinated, lightly battered, breaded and baked. They’re served in warm tortillas and topped with sliced avocado, tomatoes, quick pickled cabbage and a delicious dill mayo, for a wholesome vegan fish taco. 

Four artichoke tacos lined up on a chopping board with toppings

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What are artichoke tacos?

We love cooking Mexican food at home. It’s not been long since I posted my jackfruit enchiladas, and my Mexican inspired Buddha bowl is a firm favourite here on the blog. 

I know what you might be thinking- artichokes are a strange choice for a taco filling! This one is a little bit different, but I love what artichokes bring to the party. They make a tasty, whole-food alternative to vegan fish tacos.

Artichokes have a soft and mild flavour which means they don’t overwhelm the flavour of the marinade. They also have a meaty, tender and slightly flaky texture. When marinated, breaded and baked they go crispy on the outside and chewy and flaky on the inside.

To keep the artichoke tacos healthy, I’ve baked the artichokes for this recipe rather than frying. This also makes it super easy to follow, with only a small amount of hands-on time needed.

So what exactly is in vegan fish tacos?

The star of the show with these tacos is the artichokes. Canned artichokes are marinated until they take on a mild fishy flavour. They’re then lightly battered and breaded, and baked in the oven until they’re crispy and golden.

The artichokes are served very simply, in a soft taco shell with sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes (or pico de gallo), quick pickled red cabbage, green onion and a quick dill mayo.

What makes the artichokes taste like fish? 

As the vegan ‘fish’ is in a taco, we don’t want it to be too overwhelmingly fishy in flavour. To get that light ‘fishy’ taste, a marinade is made from almond milk, chickpea flour, caper brine and lemon zest and juice. Once the artichokes have been marinated, they’re battered and breaded in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, old bay seasoning, mixed herbs and seaweed flakes. 

Ingredients for artichoke tacos

What key ingredients are needed for this recipe?

Artichokes– For artichoke tacos, you need to use the kind of artichokes which have been cooked and frozen or canned. Those that have been marinated or stored in olive oil won’t be suitable for vegan fish tacos, as they will already have a noticeable flavour to them. Fresh artichokes are delicious but a lot of work, and I wanted to keep this one simple. With canned or frozen artichokes, all the work is done.

Taco shells– I’ve used soft wheat tacos, as I find them easier to work with. If you want to keep it a bit healthier, use wholewheat tacos. Alternatively, corn tacos would be more traditional and would be gluten free.

BreadcrumbsPanko breadcrumbs create the best crispy texture for the coating. You can buy these from the store to keep it easy. 

Seaweed– I use a product called Shony which is a mixture of red, green and brown flaked seaweed.  If you can’t get hold of this product, any kind of seaweed flakes would work- such as nori or dulse flakes

Quick pickled cabbage– Once the artichokes have gone into the oven, mix the sliced red cabbage with vinegar, and a pinch of sugar and salt. By the time the artichoke tacos are ready, your cabbage will be bright pink and lightly pickled.

For the mayo– For the mayo, simply combine your favourite vegan mayonnaise with chopped dill, lemon juice, and chopped capers. It’s the perfect accompaniment to vegan fish tacos and accentuates the fishy flavour.

Close up shot of contents of artichoke tacos

Best equipment to make artichoke tacos

The great thing about baking the artichokes for these vegan street tacos is that anyone with an oven can make them. They don’t require the use of a fryer or air fryer and are hands-off whilst cooking. If you want to use an air fryer for this recipe as a healthier alternative to deep frying, then you will need to cook them for around 7-8 minutes until golden and crispy. Alternatively, fry them in a skillet over medium heat, with half an inch of oil.

How to make vegan fish tacos

The process for making these breaded and baked artichoke tacos is really simple. Start by preheating your oven to 200c/390f.

To make the artichoke ‘fish’, start by making the marinade of almond milk, chickpea flour, caper brine and lemon zest and juice. It’s best to make a loose paste with the flour and a little bit of milk first, then gradually add the rest of the milk, followed by the caper brine and lemon juice (this stops the flour from going clumpy). 

You can batter and coat the halved artichoke hearts straight away, or you can leave the artichokes to marinade for 10 minutes up to a couple of hours, for a more pronounced flavour.

When you are ready to coat, set up a plate of chickpea flour and another plate of panko breadcrumbs mixed with seaweed flakes, mixed herbs and old bay. One at a time, lift the artichokes out of the marinade, roll them in the flour, then dip them back in the marinade. Tap off any excess batter, then roll them in the panko mix until coated.

Lay the breaded artichoke hearts out on a baking sheet. If you would like the artichoke ‘fish’ to be more crispy and golden in colour, spray them lightly with cooking oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

How to prepare the tacos

Once the artichokes are in the oven, prepare the artichoke taco toppings. Mix the sliced cabbage with the vinegar and a pinch of salt and sugar. Make sure you stir it well, then set it to one side.

Chop up the tomatoes or make a bowl of pico de gallo. Slice the avocado and squeeze half a lime over it to keep it fresh. Slice the green onion thinly.

To make the vegan fish taco sauce, spoon the vegan mayonnaise into a bowl, then stir through the chopped capers and dill, and lemon juice until combined. 

When the artichokes are ready, heat a small skillet over a medium heat. One at a time, add the soft taco shells to the pan and heat until warm through. To serve the vegan fish tacos, add 3 artichoke halves to each taco, followed by the cabbage, tomato, avocado, green onion and dill mayo. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Vegan fish tacos on a chopping board with sauce in a bowl in the background

Serving suggestions

These artichoke fish tacos are filled to the brim with different toppings, so I just like to enjoy them as they are. If you want to create a real Mexican feast, why not try serving them with some of the below:

  • Rice- a bowl of cilantro lime rice would be delicious on the side of tacos.
  • Some homemade sweet potato wedges
  • Chips and dips (how about a vegan queso?)
  • Vegan slaw
  • Refried beans
  • Vegan elote (Mexican street corn!)
  • A Mexican chopped salad
  • And of course, plenty of Margaritas!

Ingredient substitutes or additions

  • Artichokes– I know, this is a recipe for breaded artichoke tacos, the one ingredient you shouldn’t be substituting! However, if you wanted to try something different, or can’t get hold of artichoke hearts, this recipe would work really well with hearts of palm. If you were looking for a higher protein option, the marinade and batter would work well with firm tofu, but this wouldn’t have the same texture.
  • Keep it gluten free– Use corn tortillas and gluten free panko to keep this recipe completely gluten free. You can make your own gluten free panko if you can’t find it in the store.
  • Seaweed flakes– In some areas these can be a little bit hard to get hold of. Seaweed is important for the vegan fish taco flavour, so shouldn’t be left out. In a pinch, you could very finely chop up nori sheets.
  • Old bay– Old Bay seasoning is widely available in the US, but is a little harder to come by elsewhere. African or Caribbean ‘all purpose seasoning’ tends to be a good substitute (find this in the world foods aisle at the store) or follow these instructions to make your own mix.
  • Toppings– Red cabbage could be swapped out for green or white cabbage if this isn’t available. When it comes to the toppings, the recipe is super flexible. You could use any of your favourite vegan taco toppings such as vegan sour cream or vegan tartar sauce, slaw, black beans, bell pepper, red onion, sliced chilis or corn.
Two artichoke tacos on a plate with another plate of two tacos in the background

Can I make artichoke tacos in advance?

I love to meal prep, and freezer meals are my saviour, but some things just have to be made fresh! You should serve vegan fish tacos immediately, otherwise the coating on the artichokes will go soggy.

If you wanted to get ahead of the game, you could make the marinade for the artichokes the day before, or even put them in to marinate. The pickled cabbage can be made in advance, as can the dill mayo. Keep these for up to 5 days in the fridge. 

Using pre-cooked artichokes for this recipe really helps to keep it quick and easy, making it a low-effort meal for taco Tuesday!

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Four vegan fish tacos lined up on a chopping board with toppings

Artichoke Tacos (Vegan Fish Tacos)

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 Tacos
These artichoke tacos will soon become your favourite pick for taco night! Mild and buttery artichokes are marinated, lightly battered, breaded and baked. They’re served in warm tortillas and topped with sliced avocado, tomatoes, quick pickled cabbage and a delicious dill mayo, for a wholesome vegan fish taco. 

Ingredients
  

For the artichoke ‘fish’

  • 1 can artichoke hearts artichokes halved
  • 125 ml almond milk ½ cup
  • 100 g chickpea flour, split ¾ cup
  • 2 tbsp caper brine
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 60 g panko breadcrumbs ⅔ cup
  • 1 tbsp seaweed flakes
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning or all purpose seasoning

For the toppings

  • 1/4 head red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 60 ml apple cider vinegar ¼ cup
  • pinch salt and sugar
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 4 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp capers finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs dill chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 soft shell tacos

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°c/390°f.

To make the artichoke ‘fish’

  • Make the marinade of almond milk, 30g (1/4 cup) chickpea flour, caper brine and lemon zest and juice. It’s best to make a loose paste with the flour and a little bit of milk first, then gradually add the rest of the milk, followed by the caper brine and lemon juice (this stops the flour from going clumpy).
  • Leave the artichokes to marinade for 10 minutes upwards for a more pronounced flavour, or batter immediately.
  • When you are ready to coat, set up a plate of 70g (1/2 cup) chickpea flour and another plate of panko breadcrumbs mixed with seaweed flakes, mixed herbs and old bay.
  • One at a time, lift the artichokes out of the marinade, roll them in the flour, then dip them back in the marinade. Tap off any excess batter, then roll them in the panko mix until coated.
  • Lay the breaded artichoke hearts out on a baking sheet and spray them lightly with cooking oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

To make the toppings

  • Mix the sliced cabbage with the vinegar and a pinch of salt and sugar. Stir it well, then set it to one side.
  • To make the vegan fish taco sauce, spoon the vegan mayonnaise into a bowl, then stir through the chopped capers and dill, and lemon juice until combined.
  • When the artichokes are ready, heat a small skillet over a medium heat. One at a time, add the soft taco shells to the pan and heat until warm through. To serve the vegan fish tacos, add 3 artichoke halves to each taco, followed by the cabbage, tomato, avocado, green onion and dill mayo. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Notes

STORAGE:
I love to meal prep, and freezer meals are my saviour, but some things just have to be made fresh! You should serve vegan fish tacos immediately, otherwise the coating on the artichokes will go soggy.
If you wanted to get ahead of the game, you could make the marinade for the artichokes the day before, or even put them in to marinate. The pickled cabbage can be made in advance, as can the dill mayo. Keep these for up to 5 days in the fridge. 
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