Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce

These cauliflower tacos with breaded cauliflower, refried beans and silky Yum Yum sauce are all about one thing: big flavor!

Cauliflower Tacos

Behold the taco. Canvas for all kinds of deliciousness, from traditional like barbacoa with tomatillo salsa to fusion like Korean beef or Thai tofu. Most of the time Alex and I eat a whole food plant based diet, so we’re always looking for creative ways to use veggies. And the taco is the perfect canvas for creating some insane veggie flavors and textures! And this one is our new favorite: these Crispy Cauliflower Tacos. 

Related: Best Healthy Dinner Recipes & 10 Best Vegetarian Tacos

Roasting cauliflower on a baking sheet

Eating lots of veggies

A new study came out recently called the EAT-Lancet Study that talks about how eating more plants and a little less meat is better for the planet. It’s also a little better for our personal health, too. Alex and I started eating this way about 10 years ago when we read a book called Food Matters by Mark Bittman. So, this is becoming more and more of a theme in research and media.

The upside to all of this is: eating lots of veggies has never been more exciting and creative! Because of the internet, we have access to all sorts of ideas for eating vegetables stemming from cuisines from around the world. And access to literally millions of recipes. Eating your vegetables has never tasted so good: like with this flavor-popping cauliflower tacos.

What people are saying about these cauliflower tacos

These cauliflower tacos have quickly become a fan favorite on A Couple Cooks! It’s been so fun to hear from those of you who’ve made and loved these cauliflower tacos. So many of you have convinced people wary about veggies with this recipe! Here’s some of what people are saying:

  • We made the cauliflower tacos tonight. Husband said, “these are the best vegetarian tacos we have ever made!” We have made a LOT of vegetarian tacos in the past 10 years. Sooo good!!
  • Made them tonight and they were delicious! I’ve been trying to find plant based recipes that my husband will eat and enjoy and he gave these a thumbs up! Definitely going into the rotation!
  • I made these cauliflower tacos for a vegetarian and three carnivores tonight!! All of us loved them!! Such interesting flavors!!
Easy Cauliflower Tacos

How to make cauliflower tacos

OK, on to this recipe! We have a delicious cauliflower tacos recipe in our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking, but we’ve never posted one here on A Couple Cooks. So here goes: the star of these easy cauliflower tacos is our Crispy Breaded Cauliflower. It’s roasted in the oven and covered in a savory, salty, sweet and lightly spicy breading. It’s a bit of a play on breaded fish tacos (though of course the flavor is quite different!).

Accessorize that with some refried black beans, tart cabbage slaw, and cilantro. (We used canned refried beans, but you can also make our homemade version.) Then cover it all in a delicious sauce: this Yum Yum Sauce recipe. Yum Yum Sauce is used in Japanese steakhouses and served with seafood, but here we’ve used it as a bit of a “fusion” element to accessorize with this vegetarian taco recipe. It’s so, so tasty and adds a richness to the tacos that’s incredible. It’s certainly not a health food in itself, but a little goes a long way here!

If you’d like to make a different sauce from the Yum Yum Sauce for these cauliflower tacos (there’s a vegan variation in that sauce recipe), here are a few more ideas for delicious taco sauces that would be great here:

Vegan dinner recipe

Looking for more vegan & vegetarian tacos?

Outside of these crispy cauliflower tacos, here are a few of our favorite vegan and vegetarian tacos recipes:

Cauliflower Tacos

This cauliflower tacos recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use the vegan Yum Yum Sauce variation or the Chipotle Tahini Sauce.

Cauliflower Tacos | Easy Cauliflower Tacos

Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (84 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


These cauliflower tacos with breaded cauliflower, refried beans and silky Yum Yum sauce are all about one thing: big flavor!




  1. Make the Crispy Breaded Cauliflower (about 40 minutes total; use the remaining time to complete the steps below.)
  2. If using purchased refried beans, taste and if needed, mix with 1/2 teaspoon cumin and/or a pinch or two kosher salt. (Or, you can make our Supremely Simple Refried Black Beans but for this recipe we preferred using storebought so we could focus on the cauliflower!)
  3. Thinly slice the cabbage, enough for 2 cups. Mix it with 2 tablespoons lime juice and a pinch or two of salt. Allow it to stand at room temperature until serving.
  4. Make the Yum Yum Sauce.
  5. Warm the tortillas, or char them by placing them on grates above an open gas flame on medium heat for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm.
  6. Chop the cilantro for a garnish.
  7. To serve, place refried beans in a tortilla, top with cabbage, breaded cauliflower, Yum Yum sauce, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges to spritz prior to serving. (If you have leftover cauliflower, you can reheat them in a 350F oven for 10 minutes, flipping once.)

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired

Keywords: Cauliflower Tacos, Easy Cauliflower Tacos, Vegetarian Tacos, Vegetarian Dinner Ideas, Vegan Dinner Ideas, Plant Based Dinner Ideas

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    March 16, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    These are SO GOOD! Made them exactly as shown. Definitely another keeper…y’all do such a great job coming up with so many tasty meals! Thank you!

    • Reply
      March 23, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      Oh thank you so much! That is so kind. We are so glad you enjoyed them!!

  • Reply
    Kathrin Betz
    March 28, 2019 at 10:28 am

    These are AMAZING!!! The breaded cauliflower and yum yum sauce work sooo well together, we loved it. Im definately making these again soon.

    I switched out the cabbage (just not a fan..) for fried bell pepper slices and that worked great. I also added some liquid smoke to the cauliflower breading and I love the extra little smokeyness.

    • Reply
      March 31, 2019 at 8:30 pm

      Ahhh SO glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great idea on sub-ing bell pepper for cabbage and liquid smoke? Fantastic. (We’re always up for some!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Love the tip above on adding liquid smoke. Next time I’ll also add jalapeños or more hot sauce. Delicious recipe … just wanted more heat. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      March 31, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Yes, hot sauce or jalapenos would be great for people who love a spicy kick! and we want to try this with liquid smoke too :)

  • Reply
    July 11, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I made these last night and they were amazing! Thank you so much for this!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    My family is trying to move to a more plant based diet and I found this recipe extremely easy and delicious. Thank you for sharing this excellent healthy recipe.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    I made these tonight, they turned out great!! My daughter just ate the cauliflower and she told me it tasted like chicken nuggets! I am a vegetarian but my husband and daughter are not so it is always great when I can please everyone with one meal! I am going to make this all the time.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    What breading do you use??

  • Reply
    November 16, 2019 at 6:54 am

    I’ve tried to leave this comment on Pinterest, not sure if their sight is down or what but it won’t let me post it, I will try again latter because EVERYONE needs to try this recipe!! .I can’t say enough about these tacos!! My husband picked this recipe out when I was gripping at him about needing more veggies. He is strictly a steak and potatoes kinda guy, so is my 16 y/o son. I made them with absolute confidence they were going to be inedible, after all peanut butter, soy sauce and maple syrup !?? I couldn’t have been more wrong. These tacos were MIND BLOWING fabulous!!!! I couldn’t stop talking about how SHOCKED I was for days! Not just “good for vegetarian tacos” but genuinely FANTASTIC!! We all LOVE them and now make them often. SO SO GOOD!! Makes my daughter happy as she and I would like to drastically reduce meat. Win Win for sure! When I make them I increase the ingredients slightly for the yum yum sauce as the original recipe wasn’t quite enough for #2 of cauliflower for us. Also if I use a full #2 of cauliflower (which makes a lot for 4 people, and that’s ok) I will slightly increase the amounts of the peanut butter, soy, syrup mixture. And we don’t use the cabbage mixture, instead we use chopped cilantro and lettuce with a little Mexican crumble cheese or….cheddar. Also I make my own refried beans in the crockpot but I’m certain canned would be just fine. All around one of my top recipes, hands down!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 16, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      I’m so glad you and the family loved the tacos! Tell your husband that there are more tasty vegetable recips where this came from ??

  • Reply
    November 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Holy Crap! No offense, but I did not expect this to be as good as it was. The crunch and flavor on the cauliflower was phenomenal! I also made your linked refried black beans, which I previously had no idea how easy they were to make. The only thing I added to the tacos were some pickled red onions. My husband even got a third serving! We are both good cooks, but have recently fallen into a recipe rut, which had us fall further into a processed food rut. This was our first meal to snap out of it and I’m so glad we found it.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      November 20, 2019 at 10:24 am

      We are so thrilled you loved our cauliflower tacos! Pickled red onions is the PERFECT adder (it’s my favorite for tacos.) Alex gets all the credit for that crunchy cauliflower — he’s genius :) Thanks so much for making our recipe!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    I am thinking about making these for a school project featuring vegan foods, but we don’t have a lot of the spices needed. Will the taste change drastically if I, say, take out the Yum Yum sauce? Or is there another sauce that I can replace it with and still maintain the same flavor?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      December 13, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      Good question! Instead of the Yum Yum sauce, you could just mix together vegan mayo and hot sauce — would that be easy enough for you?

      • Reply
        December 13, 2019 at 11:19 pm

        Wow! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    These are ridiculously good. I followed the recipe to the letter all three times I have made it and it never disappoints.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      December 20, 2019 at 11:59 am

      We are SO happy to hear this! Alex and I are so glad you enjoyed them — makes our day! Thank you for letting us know!

  • Reply
    December 30, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    This recipe is sooo good! My husband is not a big fan of cauliflower and he thought it was awesome. I did the vegan plan coconut oil, avocado mayo etc. We absolutely loved it. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      December 31, 2019 at 10:32 am

      So glad you both enjoyed! :)

  • Reply
    January 19, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Finally, a CRISPY cauliflower recipe.. I’ve been trying to find baked crispy cauliflower recipe forever and none of them are ever crispy enough! This was great, we made it last night. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 20, 2020 at 7:32 am

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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