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overhead view of vegan cheesy cauliflower bake with black beans and rice in large skillet.

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This spicy, cheesy cauliflower bake with black beans and rice is a flavorful, easy one pot meal! It comes together quickly in a large skillet – perfect for a family dinner or vegan meal prep.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 red onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small jalapeño, deseeded and finely minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small head of cauliflower broken into small florets (4 cups)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice (dry)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce*
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (1/2 of a lime)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (we used no salt added)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp fine kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese for topping (we used vegan)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. 
  2. Heat oil in a large, oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add jalapeño and bell pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add cauliflower, rice, vegetable broth, taco sauce, lime juice, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, salt, oregano, coconut sugar, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and cinnamon. Stir well, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. 
  4. Spread cheese in an even layer on top of skillet. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, or until cheesy is melted and rice is fully cooked. Serve hot. 


Taco sauce: taco sauce is typically made with a tomato base, vinegar and dried spices. It's inexpensive and  available at most grocery stores. If you don't have any, sub with 2 tbsp of tomato paste and add an extra 1/4 tsp each of cumin, paprika and garlic powder. Make it from scratch in 5 minutes with this recipe

Rice: use a long grain white rice, like jasmine or basmati, which cook quickly and soak up lots of flavor in this cauliflower bake. Substitution: quinoa is the best substitute since it also cooks quickly. 

Spice sensitive? Cut back on the jalapeño or leave it out altogether. 

Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat in microwave. 

If using vegan shredded cheese, the best way to get it to melt is to cover the skillet with aluminum foil while baking. If using a casserole dish, you can also use a lid. 

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 551
  • Sugar: 9.6 g
  • Sodium: 1311.9 mg
  • Fat: 25.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.7 g
  • Fiber: 10.3 g
  • Protein: 25.1 g

Keywords: cheesy cauliflower bake