With SOMOS’s Meal Kits, You’re Only 90 Seconds Away from a Plant-Based Mexican Feast
If you’re vegetarian, you might find yourself noshing on nothing but chips, guac, rice and beans when you visit your favorite cantina. That’s why we were intrigued by SOMOS, a heat-and-eat line of plant-based Mexican dishes that promises to let you enjoy the good stuff without even leaving the house. Drooling over your friend’s chicken tinga? We raise you a cauliflower alternative. Wish you could dig into your dinner date’s beef picadillo? Try the brand’s rendition on the dish, made with pea protein instead of meat.
Meaning “we are” in Spanish, SOMOS meal kits are designed to provide a Mexican feast for four to eight people, so we put their vegan mains, sides and snacks to the test. Here’s our honest take on how easy they were to prepare, the quality of the meals and—most importantly—how they taste.
- Value: 18/20
- Quality: 18/20
- Ease of Preparation: 19/20
- Aesthetics: 18/20
- Taste*: 18/20
Launched in 2021 by three Mexican-born cofounders, SOMOS’s mission is to disrupt the landscape of inauthentic foods that dominate American pantries. The line consists of entirely plant-based Mexican entrees, plus sides like rice, beans, tortilla chips and salsa. Available in kits and single mix-and-match pouches, the dishes make it easy to whip up everything from tacos to tostadas to chilaquiles at home—all in a flash. (That’s the best part: All the warm menu items can be heated via stovetop in minutes or in their microwaveable pouches in 90 seconds.)
The ingredients are sourced from family farms in Mexico, and they’re prepared using old-school techniques that reflect the founders’ culture, like slow-cooking, stone-grinding and fire-roasting. Not only are all the dishes vegan, but they’re also gluten free, non-GMO and made in Mexico (except for the corn tortillas, which are sourced from Texas for the sake of freshness).
Smaller kits that serve four people range from $32 to $45, while larger party kits that serve six to eight people will cost you $60. Individual mains cost $11 for two pouches, each of which contains four servings (although we’d say it’s more like two for some of the dishes). So, the most expensive scenario is $11.25 per person. If that seems a little steep, consider how much you’d pay per person at your go-to local cantina.
From now through Cinco de Mayo, you can score half-off on all kits by using the code CELEBRATECINCO at checkout. You can also shave an additional 10 percent off by making your order a subscription. That way, your Taco Tuesday spread will take care of itself week after week.
Now, onto our reviews of nearly every main and side available.
For the uninitiated, picadillo is a stew starring ground beef in a tomato-based sauce. SOMOS swapped the meat for an uncanny substitute: pea protein. The Mexican Peacadillo, which comes in a traditional red tomato sauce with vegetables, is best for those who like standard, taco-seasoned ground beef. But we have to say the Peacadillo in Salsa Verde (aka pea protein crumbles in green tomatillo salsa with potatoes, serranos and cilantro) was our favorite of the lot. Its flavor is bright, zippy and damn near citrusy. But both varieties will impress you in terms of texture and appearance.
Our second favorite is the Cauliflower Tinga. Tinga is a tangy, spicy-yet-sweet red sauce that hails from Puebla. It’s made with tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo and garlic. It’s traditionally made with chicken, but SOMOS uses cauliflower florets and onions in poultry’s place. The cauli dish is smoky, fruity and warm-spiced, and the florets offer nice, toothsome texture.
The Smoky Chipotle Mushrooms—cooked in a sauce made from chipotles in adobo, roasted tomatoes, onion garlic and bay leaf—were tasty and delightfully smoky, but more one-note than the tinga. Our biggest issue was that the ratio of sauce to shrooms was off; we wish there were more mushrooms in the bag.
Rice and Beans
Chipotle stans, this one’s for you. The Cilantro Lime Rice made with lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and spices has great texture and a pleasantly luxurious mouthfeel, sort of like pilaf. We will say it’s not as herby or citrusy as we’d hoped, but you can easily spruce it up with an extra spritz of lime or flourish of chopped cilantro.
The Mexican Brown Rice sports a red hue, courtesy of tomatoes and roasted red bell peppers. Ancho and guajillo peppers offer some heat, while olive oil, salt and garlic boost the flavor and silkiness. It’s tasty and zesty on its own, but it kind of gets lost if you have it with any of the red sauce mains.
As far as sides go, refried beans are essential for us at a Mexican restaurant. SOMOS offers Spicy Refried Beans, made from bayo beans (which are commonly eaten all over Mexico, especially in Mexico City) spiked with jalapeño peppers for heat, onion, garlic and salt. They have solid flavor and subtle, creeping heat that makes your mouth tingle after every bite, but we wish there were some whole or halved beans throughout for texture—it’s almost too smooth and creamy for our taste.
Alternatively, the Mexican Black Beans come whole and offer solid, tender-but-not-mushy texture. They’re ever so slightly on the sweet side so we felt they could be a touch saltier and saucier, but they were the best of the two.
Tortilla Chips, Tortillas and Salsas
Picky eaters won’t be able to turn down the White Corn Tortilla Chips. Marketed as “unusually thick and crunchy,” they’re made with stone-ground white corn masa flour, vegetable oil and sea salt. The chips boast a wonderful crunch, rustic appearance and taste. The corn tortillas had solid, authentic flavor and a soft texture. Just be sure to warm them in a pan before filling them—they’ll break if you try folding them at room temperature into tacos.
As for the salsas, each of the four are delicious in their own unique ways. The Roasted Tomatillo Jalapeño Salsa, made with roasted tomatillos and jalapeños, Anaheim chiles, cilantro and spices, was refreshing, tart, fruity and bright. The Cuatro Chiles Taqueria Salsa starring cascabel, ancho serrano and chile de arbol peppers, along with roasted tomato, onion and garlic, is loaded with delightfully sneaky heat. There’s great smoke on the Smoky Chipotle Red Salsa made from chipotle, ancho and guajillo peppers, roasted tomato, onion and spices. The Roasted Tomatillo Pasilla Salsa, crafted from roasted green and red tomatoes, dried pasilla peppers, jalapeño peppers, garlic and onions, has a uniquely savory, earthy flavor.
*Our final taste score was based on the average of the categories’ taste test scores.
The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.