These smoky and spicy cauliflower tacos are perfect for Taco Tuesday, or any day of the week! Tacos are definitely one of my favourite things to eat and to make at home. I love them because there are so many options and endless ways to make them. For example, these vegan cauliflower tacos are different than traditional meat tacos, but they work SO well. I hope you give them a try!
The temperature this weekend in Toronto has risen and I'm loving the warmer weather. It gets me excited for summer and although this is definitely going to be a different type of summer, at least the weather will be GOOD. Being outside so much more now has felt amazing. The feeling of the sun on my skin just makes me happy.
I'm trying to stay hopeful that things will start to reopen soon, especially the outdoor pool at my condo. I loved being able to go down to it during the week when it was quiet and just work on my laptop. The thought of it not reopening sucks. But, I know there are much worse things in life so I'm trying to find new ways to get outside. The good thing is that I have a park so close to me, so I've been frequenting that a lot more. As long as I'm outside, I'm happy.
With that being said, I know the thought of turning your oven on during the summer is too much. But these vegan cauliflower tacos are kinda worth it. They have lots of smoky and spicy flavour with the most delicious chopped and spiced almonds. It really adds the perfect crunch to the tacos, so don't skip them! Combine that with a cool lime crema and you're in taco heaven. To keep these vegan, use a vegan mayonnaise.
This recipe uses 1 whole head of cauliflower. It shrinks down after baking, which is what you want, because all the flavour is concentrated. So if you're planning on serving more, make a second batch at the same time.
Some of the spices are common ones, and others may be new to you. I suggest them because I personally love using them and use them often. To be honest, my spice drawer is a little out of hand at the moment, but I love it.
The spices you'll need for these spicy and smoky cauliflower tacos are: smoked paprika, cumin, Aleppo pepper and Ancho chile powder. If you can't find Aleppo pepper, try using chili flakes instead. Although Aleppo pepper isn't spicy like chili flakes, it's mild with more complexity in terms of flavour. For the ancho chile powder, you could substitute that with chili powder but it won't taste the same. Chili powder is often a blend with other spices, whereas ancho chile powder is ground ancho (poblano) pepper only. I first came across ancho chile powder and Aleppo pepper from some Bon Appétit recipes and so happy I bought them.
The chopped almond mixture is SO good in these tacos because it adds a really nice crunch. If you don't have almonds, try it with cashews instead. Again, you're using the same spices from above with the almonds and toasting them with garlic cloves for more flavour.
For the crema, I wanted to keep it very simple, so I used mayo mixed with lime juice and cilantro. You can use a vegan mayo to keep these cauliflower tacos vegan, or use regular mayo. The crema adds a nice balance to the tacos, plus, makes them saucy and who doesn't like things a little saucy.
To make these vegan cauliflower tacos, roast the cauliflower first. You want to make sure that you chop the florets into bite sized pieces that are small enough to go into tacos. Once you've chopped them, go ahead and add them to a bowl and toss them with oil and the spices.
Then add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that they're spaced out enough so they aren't all touching. If they are, they will steam too much and won't get crispy. And you want them crispy! Bake them for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Make the crunchy spiced almonds next. All you need to do for this is give the almonds a rough chop. Heat a skillet and add your garlic, then add the almonds and spices and cook until toasted.
Make the crema by adding all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulsing until combined. You could also just mix it by hand as well, as long as the cilantro is finely chopped.
For these vegan cauliflower tacos, the toppings are totally up to you! I kept them pretty classic and used avocado, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro and cabbage.
Other options you could use are: radish, thinly sliced and massaged kale, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and anything else your heart desires.
These tacos do taste best when they're fresh, but you can also refrigerate them too. Keep them in a sealed container and then when you want to assemble, simply heat the cauliflower again. To do this, I'd recommend heating them in the oven or a toaster oven as the microwave may make them soggy.
Keep all the toppings and additions separate from the cauliflower as well.
For the tortillas, I like using corn. The best ones I've found are from a local spot in Toronto. They never fall apart and they taste great. Use whichever type of tacos you want. There are so many to choose from these days!
I hope you enjoy this cauliflower tacos recipe as much as I loved making it. These are definitely going to be a staple taco recipe going forward. I love how light they are, while still being filling, healthy and delicious.
If you make these vegan cauliflower tacos, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram. Or leave a comment, rating and/or review below. It means so much to me when you take the time to do any of the above!
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Delicious, easy and healthy vegan cauliflower tacos with lime crema and spiced almonds!
This recipe makes enough for 6 small corn tacos, 2 servings of tacos per person.
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