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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

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.

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Cauliflower Tacos | Easy Cauliflower Tacos

Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.6 from 20 reviews

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

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  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 ½ 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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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71 Comments

  1. ROMEY HEATH says:

    Been eating vegan for approximately 4 months with the help of delicious recipes such as yours. Love these 🌮 🌮 🌮 added a little minced red 🌰 because I had it. Keep these fantastic recipes coming!






  2. Jeannette says:

    AMAZING FLAVORS!!! The flavors come together so well. Absolutely so delicious! My nephew who doesn’t like cauliflower tasted one and went back for more. This is not your ordinary breaded cauliflower by any means. I will make this again and again! Thank you for sharing the goodness!






  3. Grant Hering says:

    This was horrible in so many ways. No one in my family could finish it. Threw most of it out. What a waste of time.






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I’m sorry you had such a poor experience! I’m not sure what went wrong.

  4. Megan Craog says:

    These.Are.Amazing.
    My husband and I are doing a fast with our church where we’re basically eating vegan, no yeast breads, and nothing with sugar so it’s harder than you think to find good recipes that aren’t just basic salad. I am adventurous with my food so I was excited to try this recipe; my husband was super skeptical. My husband was BEGGING for more of these tacos and so glad when we had leftovers for the next day! The cauliflower doesn’t have a “cauliflower” taste so don’t be worried about that if you aren’t a cauliflower fan. This is going to be on our normal rotation of meals after our fast. Can’t wait to share this with our extended family too!






  5. discoveregina says:

    Look delicious . I love it to eat






  6. Anonymous says:

    One of the best recipes ever. I share it with everyone.






  7. Jen says:

    My partner just made these for dinner and they were fantastic!!! We will be having these again for sure. We went the vegan route but used miyokos butter instead of coconut oil.






  8. Bernelee Swart says:

    Just love this recipe. I made it for myself and from there I just had to make it for my family that is not keen on Vegan food at all. They enjoyed it so much! When anyone asks me what to make for dinner I say Cauliflower taco’s haha






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Haha! So glad you enjoy!

  9. A&G says:

    This is such a great recipe. We have started to incorporate at least one vegetarian dinner per week in our meal planning, and this is one we look forward to every time! Easy, delicious, and has quickly become a favorite.






  10. Justine says:

    Wow!! Tasty!! This cauliflower can be eaten on it’s own as side dish or cold the next day. My husband and I loved the flavours. We purchased another cauliflower to make more.






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  11. AMdB says:

    One of the worst recipes we’ve ever had! We put the weird flavour combo down to Americans needing something super salty and super sweet but yuk! I reckon if you showed this recipe to European chefs they’d be horrified. I started making the sauce for the cauliflower but threw it out as it was awful.






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy the flavors!

  12. Mary Corning says:

    You guys are two for two. I tried the Mexican sweet potatoes and it was one of the best festive meals i have made for vegan guests.
    Today I tried your cauliflower tacos. Loved them too! Keep doing what you’re doing you are inspiring and deeply helpful. I’m looking forward to buying your cookbook on Amazon.






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We love to hear this! Thanks for commenting! :)

  13. Anonymous says:

    We are trying to go more vegan with our diet and saw this recipe and wanted to give it a try. This was amazing! Very flavorful and 4 of the 5 of our family members loved it and had seconds. Highly recommend this recipe.






  14. Suzan says:

    Our friends made this for us and we loved it so much, we had to try it ourselves. Turned out soooo goood! Thanks for a great recipe!






  15. Nancy Cooke says:

    This was so delicious!! Made it exactly as written. Really really good!






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  16. Beth says:

    This was so very tasty!






  17. Kara says:

    Best Veg tacos I’ve ever eaten! The cauliflower and yum yum sauce are to die for!






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  18. Jivan Dios says:

    I loved these so much! So delicious and a fun twist on the classic taco.






  19. Jasminewentvegan says:

    Yum these are delicious, I also posted a pic to my IG and tagged you This recipe is a keeper and easy. 😋

  20. Joe says:

    These are so damn good.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      :)

  21. Vic says:

    I made these last night for a vegan themed dinner party and they were a hit. I added an avocado and coriander salsa and also pickled the red cabbage, it was delish!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  22. Kelsey says:

    FANTASTIC! I used bang bang sauce instead of the sauce in the recipe and opted for a side of black beans instead of the refried beans on the tacos. Tasted just like Baja shrimp tacos.

  23. Mark says:

    My husband and I are on a limited meat (10%) diet for the welfare of animals and our health. I made these tonight and they were terrific.. we also threw some pickled red onion for a bit of taste bud surprise and wow, just awesome! Thanks for the great recipe and looking forward to trying others!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  24. Anonymous says:

    This recipe is ridiculously good!! Would recommend this to all… It takes time to make but the end result is worth it. I enjoyed it a lot. Thank You!!!

  25. Amanda says:

    Loved these. My husband is not a big cauliflower eater and was skeptical but loved it too!

  26. Siobhan says:

    These were so good!! I made the cauliflower and your refried black beans as directed, and then adjusted the sauce and toppings with what I had on hand. Definitely will be making again and already excited about leftovers :)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed :)

  27. Elle says:

    Oh my gosh–so good. I am trying to go vegan. My husband is not. We both loved this!!! I love the yum yum sauce and am going to keep it as a separate recipe for salad dressing (struggling with the store bought). Also, gotta say it– the wet ingredients of the breading without the hot sauce makes a great, super easy peanut sauce. Definitely going to try that on Chinese food. Bravo!!! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome! Thanks for making :)

  28. Deepa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe!! 5 stars!! I made it for my very discerning family (vegan and non-vegan) and added fresh queso for the non-vegans. It was a hit and a great recipe to celebrate Cinco de Mayo early. The cauliflower and yum-yum sauce were my favourite! It’s such a great reminder that simple (cabbage slaw and pickled onions) bring on incredible flavour combinations when paired with the breaded cauliflower. Thank you again, love your recipes and insta posts

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed! Now I want to try it with queso :)

  29. Lisa says:

    These tacos are AMAZING, I highly recommend!! I made the yum yum sauce and homemade refrained beans and I’m so glad I did, the flavor combo was perfect. My boyfriend had 5 tacos! We topped them with jalapeño hot sauce and avocado too. This is definitely in our rotation now, thank you so much!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed :)

  30. SBM says:

    Hi there, i recreated this using your pickled cabbage, yum yum sauce. I didn’t exactly used the breaded cauliflower recipe, but next time i will. I wanted to let you know that the limed cabbage tasted so well with other ingredients, it balanced the taste so perfectly with the yum yum sauce. Thanks again…

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  31. Alex says:

    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!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  32. Kristine says:

    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!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you both enjoyed! :)

  33. Renee says:

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

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      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!

  34. Anonymous says:

    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?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      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?

      1. Anonymous says:

        Wow! Thank you so much!

    2. Msmoo says:

      Loved this, did make a few errors! Added cinnamon instead of cumin. Did add coriander pdr, forgot to add panko bread crumbs, so cauli not so crunchy. Will make again. Made these into quesadilas, with grated carrot and zucchini as no cabbage on hand. Such a versatile recipe.






  35. Heather says:

    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.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      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!

  36. Lori says:

    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!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      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 ??

  37. Michael says:

    What breading do you use??

  38. Mary says:

    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.

  39. Anonymous says:

    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.

  40. Anonymous says:

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

  41. KC says:

    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!!

    1. Sonja says:

      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 :)

  42. Kathrin Betz says:

    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.

    1. Sonja says:

      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!

  43. denise says:

    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!

    1. Sonja says:

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

      1. Loretta Kish says:

        My husband and I loved the cauliflower tacos. What a great way to take a boring vegetable to the next level. We used Romain lettuce leaves instead of tortillas. They were messy but so fun to eat. This is a definite keeper for veggie night.






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