Fajita seasoned portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions are pan seared until tender and charred, then piled high over creamy dairy free polenta to build these perfectly balanced and completely plant based Vegan Fajita Bowls. Black beans and avocado round out the nutrient profile, while a splash of the classics – lime and cilantro – complete the ultimate plant forward TexMex bowl.
We try to eat at least one completely vegan dinner each week, and while it can be a hassle to make that happen in the winter, plentiful summer produce makes the undertaking both easy and delicious.
When we’re sick of salads…j/k, I’m never sick of salad. When my husband tires of salads, I turn to our favorite flexitarian genre: Tex-Mex. The flavors and ingredients are ripe for plant based experimentation, and this vegan fajita bowl was born out of one such adventure. Lacking tortillas but with plenty of cornmeal on hand, I piled fajita-seasoned veggies over dairy free polenta and we tucked into these bowls of plant based bliss.
How to make vegan fajita bowls
There’s no better time than summer to include more plant based recipes into your weekly routine. A quick and satisfying vegan fajita bowl has so much flavor and texture, you won’t miss the meat for a moment. Fajita spiced and pan seared portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions are piled high over dairy free polenta. A few spoonfuls of black beans bring a kick of protein, while classic avocado and lime bring the dish together.
- Skip the pre-made fajita seasoning and make your own. It’s frugal, quick, and the flavor can’t be beat. Plus you can adjust the heat to make the finished vegetables more or less spicy.
- DIY fajita seasoning: cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Portion all of the spice into a lidded jar and shake ’em up!
- Grab two mixing bowls and divide the sliced veggies between them – sliced portobello mushrooms in one, and sliced bell peppers and red onion in the other.
- Toss the mushrooms with half the fajita seasoning.
- Toss the peppers and onions with the remaining half of the seasoning.
- Cook the mushrooms first, since they take longer. Sautee in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until they release their water content and are golden brown and crispy. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
- Add the onions and peppers to the skillet and sear undistributed for 5 minutes; they should have a nice char. For peppers that are bite tender, stir and sautee 2-3 minutes more. For softer mushrooms, continuing sautéing for 5-6 minutes.
- Let’s build a fajita bowl!
- Portion your base into a bowl then top with one quarter of the mushrooms and peppers. We love a base of creamy, non dairy polenta, but cilantro lime rice or cauliflower rice is also delicious.
- Top with a quarter cup of black beans and a quarter of an avocado. Season with lime juice and cilantro.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Use the right pan – a cast iron skillet is our favorite for charring up vegetables. More importantly, use the right size – a 12″ skillet will give the vegetables enough room to sear, not steam.
- Mushrooms absorb a lot of oil, so be generous. Two tablespoons should do it.
- Cook the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture to achieve a meaty texture. Nobody likes a soggy mushroom!
- Cook the peppers and onion undisturbed for 5 minutes so they can develop a delicious char. This extended contact with the pan will allow the natural sugars to caramelize and yield superior flavor.
- You don’t need to cook the black beans! They’ll absorb the seasoning from the other ingredients in the bowl. Simply drain, microwave for 30 seconds to warm up a bit, and serve.
- If you’d like an entirely grain free meal, serve over Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice instead of polenta.
More plant based dinner recipes
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- Mushroom Bolognese
- Black Bean Power Bowls
- Cauliflower Shawarma Buddha Bowls
- Lemon Orzo with Spring Vegetables
Did you make this vegan fajita bowl? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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Portobello Mushroom Fajita Bowls (Vegan)Print Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 c black beans
- 1 avocado, diced
- Chopped cilantro, to taste
- Fresh lime juice, to taste
- 1 c coarse cornmeal
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ c cashew milk, or vegan milk of choice
- Start the polenta. Bring four cups of water to a boil in a medium (3-quart) saucepan. Pour in the cornmeal in a steady stream with one hand while whisking the cornmeal into the water with your other hand. Continue whisking until the cornmeal is incorporated and no longer separating from the water, 1-2 minutes. Add the salt and whisk once more. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is thick. Stir in the cashew milk and taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper to preference.
- Combine all fajita seasoning ingredients in a lidded jar or small bowl; shake or stir until well combined.
- Combine portobello mushrooms with half the fajita seasoning in a mixing bowl; toss until mushrooms are evenly coated with spices.
- Combine red, yellow, and green bell peppers and red onion with the remainder of the fajita seasoning; toss until the peppers and onions are evenly coated with seasoning.
- Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium high heat; add 2 tsp olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat in the fat; saute in a single layer, flipping occasionally, until the mushrooms release their water content, 10-12 minutes; the finished mushrooms will be golden brown with crisp edges. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon; loosely tent with foil to keep warm.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to the skillet, then add the onions and peppers. Shake the pan to evenly distribute the vegetables, then cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Stir and saute a further 2-5 minutes, depending on preference for texture (less time for crisper peppers, more time for softer vegetables).
- If using canned beans, drain then rinse thoroughly under cold water. Place the beans into a microwave safe container and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until just warmed through.
- Portion 1 cup polenta into a bowl. Top with one quarter of the mushrooms, one quarter of the onions and peppers, ¼ cup black beans, and a quarter of the diced avocado. Season with lime juice and garnish with cilantro.
- Use the right pan - a cast iron skillet is our favorite for charring up vegetables, but any skillet will work. More importantly, use the right size - a 12" skillet will give the vegetables enough room to sear, not steam.
- If you'd like an entirely grain free meal, serve over Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice instead of polenta.
- Storage Instructions:
- Store cooked mushrooms, peppers, and onions together in a lidded container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat over medium high heat in a skillet until warmed through.
- Store cooked polenta in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days; the polenta will firm up considerably once cooled. Scrape the leftover polenta into a saucepot, add 2 tbsp water, and heat over medium until warmed through; add more water or nut milk until it returns to a creamy texture.