Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema — Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You’ll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Vegetarian Cauliflower Tinga Tacos Recipe 

This is my dream recipe because it checks off so many boxes for me! 

I could eat roasted cauliflower, or roasted veggies of any sort, daily. So this roasted cauliflower is hearty yet tender, tossed in a perfectly spiced chipotle sauce, forming the essence of your cauliflower tinga tacos.

Chipotles in adobo sauce are always a key ingredient in any type of tinga taco recipe and here it does wonders for the cauliflower along with sautéed onions and tomato sauce. Talk about flavor galore.

This sauced up cauliflower tinga mixture is added along with shredded cheese to corn tortillas and baked to crispy perfection. 

Finally, a quick and easy avocado crema, lime juice, and cilantro complement these amazing healthy tacos. 

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

You’ll never miss the meat in these naturally gluten-free, vegetarian (but easily vegan) baked cauliflower tacos.

The roasted cauliflower more than compensates and lends a meaty texture and will more than satisfy your taco cravings! Plus the avocado crema is epic.

There are so many amazing flavors in every bite of these tinga tacos from the crispy baked tortillas, they juicy and saucy cauliflower, and the divine avocado sauce. 

Tip: Scroll right on down to the recipe if you’re in a hurry for it. There are a lot of photos and chatter preceding it because of how much I loved these roasted cauliflower tacos! 

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

A Quick Note About These Cauliflower Tacos

For anyone who doesn’t know this about me, I spend a lot of time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and my partner is Mexican. When I am not in Mexico, I live in San Diego. I will tell you that Mexicans don’t put cheese in their tacos and still call them “tacos.” That becomes automatically a quesadilla. 

However, many Americans don’t know this. And many Americans put cheese on their tacos and still call them a taco, which is why I still called this recipe “tinga tacos,” although technically it should be called “tinga quesadillas”.

Additionally, any time a taco is baked, or fried, to become crisped up or crunchy like the photos show, this would be called a taco dorado, meaning crispy. Americans may even refer to this as a “hard-shelled taco.”

My title would have gotten a little too wordy and confusing with all of that going on! But I thought it may be some fun taco trivia for those who don’t know. 

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Ingredients in Cauliflower Tinga Tacos 

To make out-of-this world vegetarian roasted cauliflower tacos, you’ll need the following common fridge and pantry ingredients:

To make the avocado crema, you’ll want to have on hand the following ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Cilanto
  • Lime juice
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Garlic

Optionally along with the avocado crema, garnish your tacos with:

  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Queso fresco
  • Cilantro
  • Limes

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Tacos

Get started making your crispy cauliflower tacos by following these easy and straightforward steps:

Step 1: Drizzle cauliflower florets with olive oil and roast it.

Step 2: While the cauliflower is roasting, saute onions in olive oil, then add the chipotles in adobo, tomato sauce, and simmer.

Step 3: Add the roasted cauliflower to the mixture and stir to coat it well.

Step 4: Spray the tortillas with olive oil or lightly brush, place the cauliflower inside tortillas, add cheese, fold over and bake!

 

How to Make Avocado Crema

There’s no reason to ever settle for a store bought avocado sauce from a jar ever again when you can make your own avocado crema in 30 seconds!

Add all the ingredients — the avocado, sour cream, lime, salt, pepper, garlic — to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. That’s it!

When you’re ready to dive into your cauliflower tinga tacos, slather as much of the avocado crema over them as you like. For me, the more the merrier.

Optionally add Mexican crema or sour cream, queso fresco, and additional lime juice or cilantro if you’d like, too.

Are Cauliflower Tinga Tacos Spicy?

These roasted cauliflower tacos with avocado crema are not spicy in my opinion. There is a lot of smoky and rich flavor from the chipotles in adobo sauce. However, they really aren’t “spicy” per se although that is subjective, of course.

If you’re a heat lover and want to kick the flavor up, add the whole can of chipotles and adobo sauce rather than half of a 7-ounce can like I call for. Eliminate the tomato sauce then.

You can also add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the mixture which will crank up the heat level, too.

Tip: Use the rest of your can of chipotles in adobo sauce in this Creamy Saucy Chipotle Chicken.

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Should I Use Flour or Corn Tortillas for Cauliflower Tinga Tacos?

Without a doubt, for your cauliflower tinga tacos, I recommend corn tortillas. 

Tips for when working with corn tortillas, to make them more flexible or pliable without ripping, cracking, or breaking:

  • Place a very slightly damp paper towel (some people use dry but I add a few drops of water for some steam) on a microwave-safe plate, add 10 tortillas, and heat for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • When adding the ten tortillas, don’t just plop them all down in one perfectly uniform stack. Stagger them a little bit so they are mostly overlapping each other, but not in a perfect stack. This will make them easier to separate later.

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Are These Cauliflower Tacos Crispy? 

Yes, these are unbelievably crispy cauliflower tacos! You will never believe how crispy these cauliflower tinga tacos get by baking them! No frying necessary.

That’s because before baking, the corn tortillas are lightly sprayed with Chipotles in adobo sauce or you can brush them with olive oil. Just a bit is all you need to do the trick.

I absolutely adore the texture of the crisped corn tortillas, the juicy yet meaty texture of the cauliflower, and the avocado cream sauce on top.

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Serving and Storage for Cauliflower Tacos

Tacos of any kind are the type of food that’s best served hot and fresh and these cauliflower tinga tacos are no exception. 

Extra cauliflower tinga mixture will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You can reassemble and then bake off the tacos at that time if you have extra tinga mixture that you don’t need all at once.

Meaning, don’t assemble, bake, and then store your leftovers. 

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Tips for the Best Cauliflower Tinga Tacos 

Cauliflower: Since the cauliflower is the star of the show, I chop my own from a whole head of cauliflower. 

Although to save time rather than chopping up a head of cauliflower, you can use precut cauliflower florets that are sold in bags. However, I find those bags to be on the skimpier side so I would purchase at least two bags.

Apart from that, check for freshness and how the cauliflower looks and that the florets aren’t too tiny.

Mexican crema: Mexican crema is similar to American sour cream, although it’s runnier, thinner, and drizzles easier. It’s easily found in most well-stocked supermarkets. However, sour cream can be used in place as a garnishing option.

Then again, with the homemade avocado crema, you may not even need anything else.

Make it spicier: As I mentioned before, you can make the recipe spicier by adding a full can, or three-quarters, of a can of chipotles in adobo sauce.

If you use 3/4-can, scale back the tomato sauce to 1/4-cup. And if you use the whole 7-ounce can of chipotles in adobo sauce, omit the tomato sauce entirely.

Make it vegan: To make this naturally gluten-free and vegetarian recipe vegan, use vegan cheese in place of the shredded cheese and vegan sour cream in place of the actual sour cream. Easy swaps!

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema - Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!
Yield: 10

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Avocado Crema

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Roasted cauliflower is drenched in a smoky, perfectly spicy chipotle sauce, then folded into corn tortillas, cheese is added, and baked to crispy perfection! A bright avocado crema sauce is the finishing touch! Naturally gluten-free vegetarian food never tasted so AMAZING! You'll never miss the meat in these healthy tacos!

Ingredients

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided or as needed
  • 6 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 large head cauliflower recommended)
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, sliced into thin strips
  • half of one 7-ounce can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • Olive oil spray (or olive oil)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (such as a Mexican cheese blend)

Avocado Crema

  • 2 ripe large Hass avocados, pit removed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cilanto
  • Juice from 1 medium lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic

Optional Garnishes

  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Queso fresco
  • Cilantro
  • Limes

Instructions

Cauliflower Tinga Tacos

  1. Preheat oven to 400F, lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, add the cauliflower to the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and using your hands, toss to evenly coat.
  2. Roast for about 35 to 40 minutes total, flipping once midway through roasting. Tip - Baking time is very dependent on the exact size of your cauliflower florets so keep an eye on them.
  3. While the cauliflower roasts, continue by adding 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet, add the onions, and saute over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until becoming soft and translucent; stir frequently.
  4. Add the chipotles in adobo sauce*, tomato sauce, stir to combine, and simmer for 5 minutes; stir occasionally.
  5. After the cauliflower has roasted (keep the oven on and at 400F), add it to the chipotle mixture, and toss to coat well.
  6. Using the same baking sheet that you roasted the cauliflower with, spray each of the 10 tortillas** with olive oil spray on both sides, or brush them lightly with olive oil.
  7. Evenly divide the cauliflower mixture among the 10 tortillas, placing the mixture on one side only of the tortilla, not in the middle. It should be a generous amount in each of the tortillas.
  8. Evenly divide and sprinkle the cheese over the cauliflower in each tortilla.
  9. Fold each tortilla over, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden browned and crispy. While baking, made the avocado crema.

Avocado Crema

  1. To the canister of a high-speed blender, add all ingredients, and blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.

Garnishing and Serving

  1. Drizzle the avocado crema over the tacos as desired.
  2. Optionally garnish the tacos with any additional items such as Mexican crema, sour cream, cilantro, or lime juice as desired and serve immediately.
  3. Tacos and best warm and fresh. Extra cauliflower mixture will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. Assemble the tacos and then bake them if you find yourself with leftovers. Already assembled and baked tacos don't keep well in the fridge or freezer for reheating later.

Notes

*As written, the recipe is not spicy per se. To make it spicier, add 3/4 of the can of chipotles in adobo and reduce the tomato sauce to 1/4 cup. To make it spicier yet, add the whole 7-ounce can chipotles in adobo and omit the tomato sauce.

**Tips for when working with corn tortillas, to make them more flexible or pliable without ripping, cracking, or breaking:

  1.  Place a very slightly damp paper towel (some people use dry but I add a few drops of water for some steam) on a microwave-safe plate, add 10 tortillas, and heat for 15 to 20 seconds.
  2. When adding the ten tortillas, don’t just plop them all down in one perfectly uniform stack. Stagger them a little bit so they are mostly overlapping each other, but not in a perfect stack. This will make them easier to separate later.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 472mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g

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