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Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls (Easy Vegan Recipe)

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For an easy, healthy weeknight meal, try this simple and flavorful plant-based, vegan recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – ready in 30 minutes or less!

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In honor of Earth Month, I’m excited to bring you a favorite of the Peas & Hoppy Meal Guide members: a 30-minute meal for Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls.

Why am I promoting plant-based eating? In terms of our individual carbon footprint, reducing our consumption of animal products – especially beef, lamb, and dairy – is one of the most impactful changes we can make. (Read more about the benefits of the Vegetarian Diet)

However, I realize not everyone is ready to move to a completely vegan diet; my family isn’t ready to, either. BUT this isn’t an all-or-nothing equation; each meal you choose to eat lower on the food chain is a win!

This “flexitarian” approach is a great way to get started. You can simply choose one or two days per week to explore vegetarian options instead of animal proteins.

If you’re ready to consider “Meatless Monday,” this recipe is a great place to start. It’s flavorful, contains plenty of protein, and is (shockingly) completely plant-based! You might be surprised you don’t miss the meat thanks to the flavorful spices in this dish.

In addition, these taco bowls are SO versatile; in fact, I encourage you to mix things up and try different ingredients. Experimenting with a recipe like this can help you build confidence in the kitchen, which will make meal planning (and dinnertime) so much easier!

Here are a few ideas for how you could modify this dish:

  • Try adding a different protein: pinto beans, tofu crumbles, cooked chicken, or grilled steak

  • Experiment with different types of salsa to add: pico de gallo, classic tomato salsa, or salsa verde

  • Choose a different base: instead of rice, try tortilla chips or salad, or put the ingredients in a soft or hard taco shell

  • Play with different seasonings: add or subtract any of the following – cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cilantro, lime juice, onion powder, or oregano. All of these are traditional Mexican spices and will go well together in any order you choose!

I know it might seem like cauliflower is a weird choice to add to these bowls, but trust me – you HAVE to try it to see how delicious it is.

Cauliflower before roasting

The recipe that inspired this meal used cauliflower in place of rice, but I added it back because my family is too hungry without a solid carbohydrate in our meal! The 13-year-old athlete in my family needs his carbs (and so does this nursing mama).

Remember: All Foods Fit. You can listen to more about my dietitian thoughts on that in this video.

Disclaimers aside, let’s make this delicious dish!

Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the oven preheats, make rice: in a small saucepan combine 1 cup of long grain white rice, 1 ½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer about 18 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove rice from heat and allow to sit, covered, about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Next, make the seasoning blend: in a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon of salt. If you don’t have one of these seasonings or want to experiment, add or substitute garlic powder, dried cilantro, oregano, or onion powder if you’d like!

Cut a head of cauliflower into florets and add to a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and half of the seasoning blend. Toss to combine, then place in the preheated oven and cook 18-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

While the cauliflower roasts, add a can of black beans (including liquid from can) to a small saucepan along with remaining seasoning blend. Bring to a simmer over low heat, mashing the beans with a fork or potato masher. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.

While cauliflower and beans cook, cut 2 avocados into cubes and add to a small bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon garlic salt and juice from half of a lime. Use a fork or potato masher to smash avocado until creamy, consistency is smooth, and spices are well-mixed into avocado.

Roughly chop cilantro and cut remaining half of lime into wedges. Assemble bowls: 1 cup cauliflower + 1/2 cup rice + 1/3 cup beans + 1/3 cup guacamole. Top with cilantro and garnish with lime wedge to serve.

There you have it: easy peasy!

Want to explore more plant-based options? Grab this free guide for 7 Easy Vegetarian Substitutes. You can start with substituting ingredients in your own recipes and go at your own pace!

Happy plant-based eating,

Ann

Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls Recipe Easy 30 Minute Plant Based Meal

Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Long grain white rice

  • 1 ½ cup Water

  • 1 tsp Salt (divided)

  • 1 tsp Chili powder

  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp Cumin

  • 1 head Cauliflower (cut into florets; 1 large head = about 6 cups florets)

  • 2 tbsps Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 ¾ cup Black beans (no salt added, liquid included; 1 ¾ cup = 14.5 oz can)

  • 2 Avocado (cut into cubes)

  • ¼ tsp Garlic salt

  • 1 Lime (divided)

  • ¼ cup Cilantro (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.

  2. In a small saucepan combine rice, water, and half of salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer about 18 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

  3. Make seasoning blend: in a small bowl, mix together chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and remaining half of salt.

  4. Cut cauliflower into florets and add to a baking sheet with oil and half of the seasoning blend. Toss to combine, then place in the oven and cook 18-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

  5. While the cauliflower roasts, add beans (including liquid from can) to a small saucepan along with remaining seasoning blend. Bring to a simmer over low heat, mashing the beans with the back of a spoon. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.

  6. While cauliflower and beans cook, cut avocado into cubes and add to a small bowl. Add garlic salt and juice from half of the lime. Use a fork or potato masher to smash avocado until creamy, consistency is smooth, and spices are well-mixed into avocado.

  7. Roughly chop cilantro and cut remaining half of lime into wedges. Assemble bowls: 1 cup cauliflower + 1/2 cup rice + 1/3 cup beans + 1/3 cup guacamole. Top with cilantro and garnish with lime wedge to serve.

Printable Recipe | Serves 4 – Serving Size: 1 bowl including 1 cup cauliflower + ½ cup rice + 1/3 cup beans + 1/3 cup guacamole – Nutrients per serving: 537 calories – 23 total – 0 mg cholesterol – 798 mg sodium – 55 g total carbohydrates – 18 g fiber – 4 g sugar – 15 g protein

Total Time: 30-35 min | Prep time: 15-20 min | Cook time: 18-20 min

Serving Size: 1 bowl including 1 cup cauliflower + ½ cup rice + 1/3 cup beans + 1/3 cup guacamole

Pro Tip: For a variation on this meal, serve this as filling for tacos or burritos, or substitute rice for tortilla chips and serve as nachos. Top with additional toppings such as tomatoes, salsa, shredded cheese, or sour cream if desired.

Cooking Equipment: 2 Small saucepans | 2 Small bowls | Cutting board | Chef’s knife | Baking sheet or pan | Fork or potato masher

Leftovers: Refrigerate guacamole separately from other leftovers and squeeze with additional lime juice to prevent browning. Do not freeze.

Cut cauliflower into florets: trim greens from base of cauliflower and cut in half lengthwise. Remove stem by cutting a “V” just under start of florets. Discard tough stem. Cut florets from stem into approximately 1/2-inch pieces.

Cut avocado into cubes and mash: cut avocado in half lengthwise around pit remove pit. Hold avocado in non-dominant hand with flesh facing up. Use paring knife to cut avocado flesh into squares inside shell. Use spoon to scoop cubes from shell, then smash cubes with a fork until smooth.

Chop cilantro: cut leafy tops off stems (okay to include some stems). Stack leaves into a pile and chop into approximately 1/8-inch pieces.

  

 

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls (Easy Vegan Recipe)

Serving Size

Serves 2

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