The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

November 15, 2016
Photo by Asha Loupy
Author Notes

These tacos may be missing meat, but they aren’t lacking in flavor. The smoky, heat of the cauliflower and chickpea filling—spiced with Spanish smoked pimenton, cayenne, cumin and aromatic ground fennel—is balanced by a cooling tomatillo-cucumber salsa. Plus, who doesn’t love a healthy dose of mashed avocado?

Don’t be deterred by the long ingredient list, these vegetarian tacos come together in 45 minutes or so. And the filling also makes great leftovers—use it the next day or later in the week for burritos, burrito bowls or on top of a taco salad. —Asha Loupy

  • Serves 2 - 4
  • For the filling
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • one 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 small head or ½ a large head cauliflower (about 3 cups), leaves removed & roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Pimenton de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or about one cup roughly chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • For the salsa and toppings
  • 3 medium tomatillos, diced
  • 1 - 2 persian cucumber, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 - 4 radishes, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 red onion. diced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded, deveined and minced (leave the seeds in if you want more heat)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Tablespoon Zest of one lime
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups green or red cabbage, shredded
  • 8 - 12 6-inch corn tortillas
In This Recipe
  1. Drizzle the olive oil on a large rimmed sheet tray (about 26 x 18 inches). Add the chickpeas, cauliflower, carrots and onions and toss to coat in the olive oil. Sprinkle the vegetables with the Pimenton, cayenne, ground cumin, ground fennel and salt. Toss the vegetables again so the spices are evenly coating them and spread them out in an even layer.
  2. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and stir in the tomatoes and minced garlic, making sure to spread the mixture back into an even layer. Roast for another 20 minutes until the chickpeas start to crisp and the cauliflower and carrots are tender and golden.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, prep the salsa. In a medium bowl, mix the tomatillos, cucumber, radishes, shallot or red onion, serrano chile, lime zest, lime juice and a pinch of salt together. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Set aside.
  4. In small bowl, mash the avocados and season with salt and a squeeze of lime. Set aside.
  5. To assemble, heat the tortillas (either in the oven, in a pan or directly on the flame if you have a gas stove). Spread the tortilla with a spoonful of the mashed avocado and top with some of the spiced chickpeas and cauliflower filling, reserved salsa and shredded cabbage. Enjoy!
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