These spicy black bean and cauliflower tacos are one of our favorite options for Taco Tuesday! They’re finished with a creamy vegan avocado crema, pickled red onion, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for freshness. Serve on your favorite gluten free corn tortillas.
These tacos are EVERYTHING. In my (humble) opinion, they have everything you’d need in a vegan taco when it comes to both texture and flavor. The spicy black bean purée adds plenty of heat and holds the entire taco together. The roasted cauliflower adds another layer of flavor, a bit of crunch, and makes the filling substantial enough to replace meat. We finish off the taco with a creamy, delicious vegan avocado crema and a few simple garnishes. Pickled red onion is a must, along with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice!
Altogether, it’s a relatively simple taco with a TON of flavor. I’ve been making some variation of the spicy black beans for 2+ years now. I usually just freestyle the recipe at home, but I finally tested and wrote it down a few months ago for these Loaded Spicy Black Bean Vegan Nachos. It’s SO good, and honestly, it’s a perfect taco filling on its own with some guacamole and vegan cheese. (That’s my go-to taco on busy nights, but I definitely prefer this black bean and cauliflower taco when I have the time!)
When we have a bit more time on our hands, we’ll just publish the black bean recipe in a separate post so it’s easy to refer to for multiple recipes. We like using them in homemade burrito bowls (or burritos), tacos (duh), quesadillas, or even on their own as a flavorful plant-based protein option.
Let’s talk about the start of the show: crispy spiced cauliflower! I think we can all agree that cauliflower is simply the best and most versatile vegetable out there. You can transform it into rice, a “steak”, a grain-free pizza crust, a substitute for mashed potatoes, or even in some dessert recipes. I’m still a bit unsure about cauliflower-based desserts, but I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of oven-roasted cauliflower.
The key to making roasted cauliflower extra crispy is a bit of white rice or arrowroot flour. (We use the same tip for these Spiced Sweet Potato Fries!) A little bit goes a long way – we use about 2 tbsp of flour for a large head of cauliflower.
When it comes to the quick pickled onions, here’s a great video tutorial over on Feedfeed. Another option is to pickle the onion with lime juice and salt – we haven’t written down an exact recipe yet, but we plan to share one soon. We’ll be sure to add it into this post as soon as we do!
Looking for more vegan taco recipes? Try these!
- Lentil Walnut and Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos. The lentil walnut filling is meant to mimic the texture/taste of ground beef. It’s fantastic!
- Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Tacos – for your next weekend brunch at home.
- Shiitake Mushroom and Sweet Potato Tacos with a cilantro avocado cashew cream
- Taco Stuffed Avocados – okay, not exactly a taco, but we’ll take it!
These spicy black bean and cauliflower tacos are one of our favorite options for Taco Tuesday! They’re finished with a creamy vegan avocado crema, pickled red onion, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for freshness.
Spicy Black Beans:
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 of a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced finely
- 1/2 tbsp of adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
- 1 can black beans, drain a little bit of the liquid but not all
- One large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp white rice or arrowroot flour
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- Optional: 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2–3 hours in room temp water
- 1 medium avocado
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4–1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp fine salt
- Tortillas of choice
- Garnish: pickled onion, cilantro, lime
- In a small pot, sauté onion in a bit of neutral oil until softened – about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for a minute or two until garlic is softened and fragrant.
- Add tomato paste, cumin, paprika, salt and chipotles in adobo. Stir well, then add black beans. Let simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend mixture – we usually just pulse it a few times so there are still some larger pieces of black beans. It doesn’t need to be a purée. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can mash with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Break up cauliflower into small, evenly-sized florets.
- Add spices & flour to a large bowl, then add cauliflower and oil and toss well until well-coated.
- Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, rotating pan and stirring cauliflower halfway through.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Drain cashews well and add to blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy – add more water if needed to thin out.
- To assemble tacos, start with a warm tortilla, followed by a layer of black beans, then cauliflower, then crema, then any garnishes.