Crispy and boldly spiced, these Cauliflower Tacos are a vegetarian dream dinner that meat eaters will devour with equal gusto.
Thanks to nutrient-dense cauliflower and protein-packed chickpeas, this hearty, healthy recipe is filling and will leave you satisfied (one of my vegetarian recipe rules is that a plant-based dinner should never leave you missing the meat).
Confession time: when cauliflower skyrocketed to popularity a few years ago, I was skeptical.
And then I tried it roasted.
Roasted cauliflower is a revelation compared to raw.
It’s robustly caramelized and tender inside.
You can spice it any which way, making it the perfect “meaty” base in a wide range of recipes.
- For today’s cauliflower tacos, we’re using an array of southwest spices, including chipotle which makes the tacos robust and smoky.
- An array of fixin’s invites you to build the taco of your dreams (mine has lots of avocado).
- The addition of chickpeas adds a boost of protein and makes this an all-in-one meal (similar to how we add black beans to these Vegetarian Tacos).
5 Star Review
“We made this for dinner last night and it was absolutely amazing!!”— Tracy —
How to Make Cauliflower Tacos
Roasted with chickpeas (which become marvelously crispy in the oven), red onions, and a hit of southwest spices, these cauliflower tacos have a sly, smoky kick that makes second helpings obligatory. (Another smoky taco winner: Tempeh Tacos.)
- Cauliflower. Our nutrient-packed veggie taco base. In the oven, the cauliflower becomes tender and almost meaty (similar to how the mushrooms work in these Mushroom Tacos).
Cauliflower offers a long list of power-packed nutrients, including:
- Folate (cauliflower is higher in both of these than broccoli!)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- PLUS, cauliflower is low in carbs and calories, but high in fiber and iron.
- Chickpeas. Add extra bulk to the filling while contributing a healthy dose of plant-based protein, fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
To avoid soggy or mushy roasted chickpeas, make sure to remove as much excess liquid from your chickpeas prior to roasting them.
- Patting them dry with paper towels is an essential first step.
- You can take it a step further by spreading the chickpeas out, in a single layer, on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and letting them air dry for a few extra minutes while you chop the cauliflower and onions.
- Red Onion. Adds a little zip and bite to the roasted cauliflower and chickpea mixture.
- Spices. I used my favorite spice blend of cumin, regular chili powder, and chipotle chili powder for these tacos that add depth, heat, and a little smokiness.
- Tortillas. Are you team corn tortilla or flour tortilla? Choose your favorite—there is no wrong decision.
- Toppings. Choose any of your favorite veggies, sauces and taco fixings to finish off these taco beauties.
Cauliflower Taco Topping Ideas
Here are some of my favorite ways to top these addicting cauliflower tacos with crispy chickpeas.
- Thinly sliced red cabbage
- Jalapeno slices
- Lime wedges
- Plain non-fat Greek yogurt (or your favorite non-dairy yogurt to make this recipe vegan)
- Fresh cilantro
- Toss the cauliflower, chickpeas, and red onion in a large bowl with the olive oil, and spices.
- Bake until the chickpeas are crispy and the cauliflower is tender.
- Spoon the warm filling into tortillas, top with any desired toppings. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The chickpeas will become softer as the filling sits.
- To Reheat. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven, until heated through.
- To Freeze. I do not recommend freezing this filling as the chickpeas will lose their crunch once thawed.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Rimmed Baking Sheet. I use this multiple times a week for sheet pan dinners, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, cookies, and more.
- Measuring Spoons. For getting the seasonings for these tacos just right. The magnetic feature keeps your drawers organized too!
- Taco Stand. Not strictly necessary but very fun.
The filling tastes best right out of the oven (the chickpeas lose some crispness as they rest). To get ahead, chop the cauliflower up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate. The chickpeas can be drained in the morning and left out to dry until dinner.
The neutral flavor of cauliflower works well here. For a similar spin, try swapping diced potatoes or sweet potatoes. Broccoli can also be substituted, though the tacos will have a more pronounced “vegetable” flavor.
Yes, the filling is vegan as the recipe is written. Just make sure to keep your toppings vegan too. This recipe is also gluten free, provided you serve the tacos with corn tortillas.
If you’d like to make low carb cauliflower tacos, swap additional cauliflower for the chickpeas.
- 1 medium head cauliflower about 6 inches in diameter, chopped into florets
- 1 can reduced-sodium chickpeas (15 ounces), rinsed, drained, and patted dry
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Flour or corn tortillas for serving
- Toppings of choice thinly sliced cabbage, lime wedges, sliced jalapeños, avocado, plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Place the cauliflower, chickpeas, and red onion in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt.
- Toss to evenly coat, then spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring twice, until the chickpeas are crispy and the cauliflower is just tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- To serve, warm the tortillas. Pile high with the warm cauliflower and chickpea mixture. Sprinkle on any desired toppings. Enjoy immediately.
- TO STORE: This cauliflower taco filling tastes best the day the tacos are made. However, you may keep it refrigerated for up to one day in an airtight container.
- TO REHEAT: Warm in a microwave or in an oven, preheated to 350 degrees F, until heated through.
- TO FREEZE: I do not recommend freezing this filling as the chickpeas will lose their crunch once thawed.
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