Craving a veggie-rich dish that still tastes great? Try these vegan BBQ cauliflower tacos! Featuring ingredients like cabbage, chickpeas, pineapple, and – of course – cauliflower, these tacos are packed with tons of nutrient-dense produce.
One of my greatest joys during stressful times is cooking a delicious dish in the kitchen. There’s something incredibly gratifying about taking an idea from my brain to the plate. A few weeks ago I’d eaten some BBQ shrimp tacos at a restaurant, and I thought that flavor profile would translate well to a veggie-packed version. Hence, these vegan tacos were born!
How to make BBQ Cauliflower Tacos
This recipe might look intimidating at first glance, but I promise – it’s really simple to make.
You’re going to start by preparing the BBQ cauliflower and chickpeas. You’ll just toss the cauliflower and chickpeas with a little olive oil and BBQ sauce, and then pop them in the oven.
While those are cooking, you’ll prepare your slaw. The ingredient list looks a little long here but it’s almost all kitchen staples. Just toss all the slaw ingredients together and that’s all set.
You can also chop up your pineapple and avocado while the cauliflower is cooking, so that those are ready to go too.
Once your veggies have finished cooking, you’ll want to warm your corn tortillas. While you can use them without warming, I’m telling ya – they taste so much better when they’re a little charred. To do that, just put them right on the stove burner of a gas stove set to medium-low heat (shown below). That’s right, no pan – just right over the flame. Let them get a little charred, then flip and repeat. It only takes about 15-20 seconds per side this way.
If you don’t have a gas stove, you can warm them in a skillet over high heat on an electric stove. It takes a little longer this way but it still works.
After that, all you need to do is assemble the tacos. You’ll put a little of the cauliflower chickpea mixture in each tortilla, then top with some slaw, pineapple, and avocado. The last step (don’t skip it!) is adding a drizzle of BBQ sauce to each one. If you don’t do this, they won’t have as pronounced BBQ flavor (though they still taste good).
So many of the ingredients in this dish pack a powerful nutrition punch. Here’s just a few highlights!
- Cauliflower – This veggie, like other cruciferous vegetables, is rich in several different antioxidants. Certain types of these antioxidants may be involved in cancer prevention (1, 2). Cauliflower is also a good source of fiber and many vitamins/minerals.
- Cabbage – Another cruciferous vegetable, cabbage is linked to many of the same health benefits as cauliflower. Some research suggests cabbage and other cruciferous veggies may be linked to reduced inflammation (3, 4, 5).
- Chickpeas – These legumes contain a blend of carbohydrates and protein, making them a great choice for active women. They also have a relatively low glycemic index, and some research suggests eating chickpeas regularly may improve cholesterol levels (6).
- Avocado – By now you probably know that avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are important for health and satiety. They’re also a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and is a key electrolyte that we lose in sweat. Several studies have shown that avocados may lead to a better cholesterol profile (7, 8, 9).
- Pineapple – Who doesn’t love a delicious juicy pineapple?! This fruit is rich in Vitamin C, helping support immune health, and contain several different types of antioxidants. In fact, one experiment found that school-age kids eating more pineapple for two months had reduced infections compared to the kids not eating pineapple (10).
Side dish ideas
These BBQ cauliflower tacos are really a one-dish meal for me! The recipe makes 8 tacos, and I think eating 2 is perfect for a full meal. I don’t make any extra sides to go along with it.
But if you want, you could also serve one taco instead, and then serve a side with it. A few ideas include:
- Spanish rice
- Lime cilantro rice
- Mexican street corn
- Refried beans
- Roasted zucchini
I hope you get a chance to make these tacos soon! My family loved them (including my suddenly-picky 5 year old, haha) and I think yours will too. If you get a chance to try, please do leave a recipe rating or comment.
Vegan BBQ Cauliflower Tacos
For the BBQ Cauliflower and Chickpeas:
- ½ large head of cauliflower, chopped (or 1 small head)
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
For the Slaw:
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Tacos:
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 cups chopped pineapple
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower and chickpeas in the olive oil and BBQ sauce, and spread on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the slaw: In a medium bowl, toss together the shredded cabbage, cilantro, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, Dijon, and salt.
- Right before serving, warm the corn tortillas. Place them, one at a time, over the direct flame of a gas stove or in a hot skillet. When they get a little charred on the bottom (15 to 60 seconds, depending on which method you’re using), flip them with tongs to warm the other side. Place them on a plate and cover with a slightly damp paper towel until you’re ready to use them.
- Add a scoop of cauliflower and chickpeas to each tortilla. Top each with a little slaw, pineapple, avocado, and a drizzle of extra BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
240 calories, 9 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 330 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 5.5 g protein, Vitamin A: 3%, Vitamin C: 93%, Calcium: 6%, Iron: 7%