Cauliflower Tacos are oven-fried to crispy goodness and coated in a sweet and spicy sriracha batter. Top with the dairy-free ranch dressing for an off-the-chain vegan Taco Tuesday meal!
Who loves tacos! It’s Vegan Taco Tuesday, and I’m raising both hands to the roof, because today’s taco recipe is as fun to make as it is to eat.
Bite-sized cauliflower florets are baked up crispy in a lightly seasoned batter, tossed with sriracha and then stuffed into tacos, topped with a homemade vegan ranch dressing: holla!
These oven-baked crispy cauliflower bites are so much more enjoyable to make, I think, than anything that’s oil-fried. Oil frying is a such a pain: heating the oil, monitoring the temperature, cooking in small batches (takes forever), and then dealing with the oil at the end of it.
Instead, you can bake up your sriracha cauliflower tacos filling on one baking sheet and be done with it. (And I also give tips in the recipe for coating the cauliflower in big batches, to speed things along, if necessary.)
Even the kids can help here, because there are no raw eggs in the batter and no splattery hot oil. Just vegan, dairy-free goodness that’s good for the heart, soul … and tummy.
Buffalo bites are often doused in hot sauce. But, I would suggest that by using a light hand with the rooster sauce, all of the flavors built into these sweet and spicy sriracha cauliflower tacos shine through, from the crispy cauliflower bites to the corn-y tortillas to the crunchy cabbage and the rich vegan ranch dressing.
Also, by just using a kiss of the sweet and spicy sriracha sauce, the cauliflower bites can keep their crispy outer coating.
But, it’s totally your choice. I love crispy bites; you might love saucy bites (…make more sauce, mmm). It’s all good!
The ranch dressing is not just a pretty topping here. Creamy fat, like the awesome, cashew-based ranch dressing, provides a cooling counterpoint to the spicy heat of the sriracha sauce.
It’s the perfect flavor pairing, really: a refreshing, herby dressing with the earthy bite of sriracha. It’s love at first crunch!
Happy Taco Tuesday, Soup-and-Taco-Lovin’ Friends! I hope these crunchy, uniquely spiced tacos will be a hit with the whole family, meat-lovers and all. 🙂
More healthy vegetarian tacos to try:
Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Cauliflower Tacos
- 1 cup vegan ranch dressing, made ahead (recipe below)
- 1 head cauliflower cut into single-bite florets
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
for the batter
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
for the breadcrumbs
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
for the sauce
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 12 corn tortillas
- shredded cabbage
for the vegan ranch dressing
- Make the ranch dressing ahead of time, and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours (recipe below)
prepare the coatings
- Preheat oven to 425°F, with the the racks arranged on the lower and upper thirds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat (you can use foil, but do coat it with non-stick spray)
- Flour: Place the 1 cup of flour into a large bowl.
- Batter: In another bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, flour, and seasonings until smooth.
- Breadcrumbs: In a third bowl, toss together the panko breadcrumbs and seasonings.
prepare the cauliflower
- Add cauliflower florets in batches to the bowl with the flour and toss gently until coated.
- Move the florets to the batter bowl, and gently stir to coat (see the Notes section for Tips on minimizing the hands-on mess!)
- Shake of the excess batter from the florets, and add the florets to the breadcrumbs, tossing to coat.
- Transfer the coated florets to the sheet pan in a single layer, leaving a little bit of room in between (so they'll roast rather than steam).
- If you need to use two sheet pans, that's no problem as long as your oven accommodates two sheet pans at once.
- Place the baking sheet on the lower rack and roast for 20 to 25 minutes. The florets should be a medium golden brown with a crispy exterior.
- Remove and let cool down for a few minutes. Switch the oven heat to broil .
prepare the sauce
- While the cauliflower cooks, whisk together all sauce ingredients in a large bowl until combined (see Notes for sauce tips). Carefully pour the florets into the sauce bowl. Use a large spoon to gently fold the florets into the sauce, until all pieces are coated.
- Return to the florets to the lined sheet pan, and place under the broiler on the lower rack (yes, the lower rack). Let the sauce-coated florets reheat for 3 to 4 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't singe. Remove from oven and let rest.
- Heat the tortillas according to package directions. (I prefer the microwave technique for a softer, more flexible shell.)
- Line the tacos with shredded cabbage, then 3 to 5 florets. Finally, spoon the ranch dressing over the top, and enjoy!
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