Change up Taco Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo celebrations with some plant-based goodness! Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with zesty cabbage slaw and homemade lime crema that are all vegan! A delicious, flavor-packed way to enjoy taco night.
This fab recipe includes three components: the roasted cauliflower taco filling, colorful tangy slaw topping and a no-dairy lime crema to drizzle on top. You can have everything on the table in about 40 minutes.
The flavor and texture combination is fantastic. Add some sliced avocado, salsa and maybe sliced jalapeno. Trust me you’ll never miss the meat. These vegan tacos are filling and satisfying.
This cauliflower taco recipe is a spin on Mexican food that’s fresh and a great vegetarian meal option even meat eaters will gobble up. They aren’t super spicy so the whole family can enjoy.
Pair them with out other easy Cinco de Mayo recipes!
If you aren’t sure what vegan means, it’s food that is prepared containing no animal products. This is a full plant-based meal so great if you are looking for some recipes to step away from meat occasionally, to complement traditional tacos for a buffet or healthy recipes with minimal effort.
The three components of these delicious cauliflower tacos are meant to be eaten together for the full effect. We share some variations below too.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Cauliflower. You’ll need one head of cauliflower broken into small pieces. The small florets should be similar size for even cooking. For a shortcut you could purchase florets however they’ll need to be broken down further. For an easy, fast way to rinse them, use a salad spinner!
Olive oil. This will be used for the taco filling and the slaw. Avocado oil can be used instead too.
Spices. The combination of spices that coats the cauliflower includes chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. The cauliflower will not be overly spicy.
Shallot. This is diced for the slaw giving a mild onion crossed with garlic flavor.
Shredded cabbage. We used red cabbage but green will work too. You can purchase shredded cabbage for a time saver.
Lime juice. You’ll use freshly squeezed lime juice both in the slaw and the crema. Squeezing it yourself really does make a difference in the freshness of the flavor. I use a handheld juicer for this but any way you juice citrus fruits can be used.
Lime zest. You’ll need 1 teaspoon for the crema. Always zest a lime before juicing it! I love this zester because it zests quickly and easily without getting any of the bitter pith (the white layer just below the outer skin).
Non-dairy plain yogurt. This will be the basis of the vegan crema. Crema is very similar to sour cream and is a popular topping on Mexican foods. We used plain soy yogurt (Silk brand) for our crema. Use unflavored, unsweetened non-dairy yogurt. If you aren’t trying to keep this recipe fully vegan you could substitute sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
Unsweetened plant milk. You’ll thin the crema with plant milk. Use something that is unsweetened. I used NotMilk but any unsweetened plant milk will work. If you don’t care about it having dairy you can also use a dairy milk of choice.
Tortillas. Corn tortillas are typically vegan (gluten-free too) or choose a vegan option made by a company like Siete who makes cassava tortillas or almond flour tortillas. Wheat tortillas can also be used if not concerned about keeping it vegan or about gluten. You could also use lettuce to make them taco lettuce wraps.
Topping ideas. The toppings may be the best part of tacos! We suggest sliced avocado, salsa, sliced jalapenos, and/or torn cilantro.
How to make Cauliflower Tacos – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (optional for easy clean up) and spray with olive oil spray.
STEP 2. Season and Cook the cauliflower
Combine the seasonings and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the small cauliflower florets and toss to fully coat (photo 1).
Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer (photo 2). Roast for 30-35 minutes, flipping the cauliflower pieces 1-2 times during cooking until they are cooked with slightly crisped edges (photo 3).
STEP 3. Make the slaw (while the cauliflower roasts)
In a medium bowl combine the smashed garlic clove, shallot, apple cider vinegar, lime juice and olive oil (photo 4). Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Remove and discard the garlic clove. Add the shredded red cabbage, sliced green onions and cilantro. Mix to fully coat the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and set aside (photo 5).
STEP 4. Make the lime crema (while the cauliflower roasts)
In a small bowl combine all ingredients: non-dairy plain yogurt, unsweetened non-dairy milk, lime juice and zest (photo 6). Salt to taste.
STEP 5. Assemble the crispy cauliflower tacos
Warm or grill the tortillas. Fill with some of the cauliflower, topped with some of the slaw, any other toppings of choice and a drizzle of crema. Serve immediately!
Want it spicy? There are a few ways to do this. Add some cayenne pepper or adobo sauce to the cauliflower seasoning. Use spicy salsa or hot sauce as a topping. Add sliced jalapenos. We like the last two options which give diners a choice on how spicy to make their delicious roasted cauliflower tacos.
Swap in prepared taco seasoning. If your personal preference is to use prepared taco seasoning use 2 tablespoons instead of the spices.
Make it more colorful. Instead of traditional white cauliflower use purple or orange cauliflower!
Pickled toppings idea. Try some homemade pickled red onions or pickled jalapenos on top!
Want a protein boost? Add some vegan refried beans or black beans.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can! Prepare as directed (tossed with the seasonings). Cook in a preheated air fryer (preheat to 400 degrees F) for about 10-12 minutes. Shake the air fryer basket during cooking and check that the cauliflower it cooked through and slightly crispy at the end.
How to Store
Store any leftovers in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat the cauliflower before serving.
More recipes you’ll love!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 head cauliflower cut into small florets
- 6-8 Soft Tortillas corn tortillas or vegan tortillas; grilled or warmed
- 1 clove garlic smashed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons shallot minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ½ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt soy yogurt recommended
- 2 tablespoons plain unsweetened non-dairy milk unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
Additional Ingredients (Optional)
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil spray. OPTIONAL: line the pan before spraying with foil for easier clean up.
- In a large bowl combine the olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika and salt Stir until a paste forms.
- Add the cauliflower florets and toss to combine.
- Place the cauliflower in a single layer on the sheet pan (do not overcrowd the pan) and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown and crisp. Stir the cauliflower 1-2 times during cooking to encourage even cooking and to avoid charring.
Slaw (make while the cauliflower is roasting)
- In a medium bowl, combine the smashed garlic clove, minced shallot, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, and olive oil. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Remove the garlic clove and discard the garlic clove. Add the shredded cabbage, green onion, and cilantro. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use. Stir again before using.
Lime Crema (make while the cauliflower is roasting)
- Combine the yogurt, milk, lime juice and lime zest in a small bowl; whisk to fully combine. Season with salt to taste. Set aside until ready to use.
- Fill a grilled or warmed tortilla with roasted cauliflower and top with lime crema, slaw, and any additional toppings. Enjoy immediately.
- The cauliflower, slaw, and crema can be stored in separate air tight containers in the fridge for up to two days.
- Roasted cauliflower filling: 3 cups total
- Zesty slaw: 2 1/3 cups total
- Lime crema: 2/3 cup total
- Does not include optional toppings
- Includes corn tortillas
This delicious and EASY cauliflower taco recipe is so good and I love the flavors!
what a perfect way to celebrate this years cinco de mayo! thank you so much for sharing this vegetarian friendly recipe!
This sounds and looks great! The chili powder in the recipe, is that like a pre-mixed American style chili powder, or chili powder with only dried, ground chilies (like Ancho chili, etc.)?
Toni Dash says
It’s ‘American style’ chili powder we’d find at the store but you could certainly substitute a specific ground chili powder like ancho chile powder or chipotle chile powder.
To tell the truth I don`t like boiled cauliflowers. But baked cauliflowers tastes different. And there are so many ingredients that I love. So I add this recipe to my favorite ones. Thank you!
Toni Dash says
I am in TOTAL agreement Iryna! I’ve never been able to eat boiled cauliflower and usually stick to raw cauliflower for this very reason. BUT when it’s roasted at a higher temperature as in this recipe with seasonings it caramelizes and the flavor is very good (in my opinion).
Gina Ceraso says
I just made these and loved them! I actually had all of the ingredients and I will definitely make them again!
I just made this roasted cauliflower last night and had all the ingredients I needed for these tacos! I can’t wait to enjoy these for lunch again today. Thanks for sharing!
These roasted cauliflower tacos are super flavorful! I love all the additions including the vegan crema! Yum!
This might be the best use of cauliflower I’ve ever seen. These tacos are absolutely amazing.
Suzanne F says
These were SO good! Even my meat eaters wanted seconds and thirds. Thank you for this clever recipe.
These were incredible, would never have guessed they were cauliflower! So many gorgeous flavours in there.