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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

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.

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Cauliflower Tacos | Easy Cauliflower Tacos

Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce

  • 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 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

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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. 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!

  2. 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. 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!

  3. 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. 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 :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 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 ??

  7. 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. 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!

  8. 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. 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?

    2. 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.

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