A balance of robust flavors, spicy harissa comes together with cooling cucumber in these texture rich and totally mouthwatering Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Tacos. A sheet pan dinner that’s easy to whip up, is freezer friendly and make ahead ready. This recipe is vegetarian and easily vegan. | This post is sponsored by World Spice Merchants. Thank you for supporting brands that help make Vanilla And Bean possible.
Week Night Taco Night
A Whidbey Island taco stand is where I first tried cauliflower tacos. I was absolutely smitten and inspired! In this recipe, cauliflower and chickpeas provide texture, bulk, and a good amount of protein. I absolutely love the combination of this dynamic duo. Spooned into a soft corn tortilla with cilantro-lime slaw and a few condiments is taco heaven!
In a household of varying diets, these spicy cauliflower tacos are flexible enough for vegetarians and vegans, but even omnivores will devour them! Make these cauliflower tacos vegan by simply using vegan sour cream to make the lime crema sauce, or give my chili-lime pepita crema a go. Easy peasy!
What’s so fabulous about cauliflower and chickpeas together is they take on just about any flavor they’re paired with. In this case, I’m using harissa powder from World Spice Merchants to add a little kick to these vegetarian or vegan cauliflower tacos.
Have you tried harissa? Read on to learn more!
What is Harissa?
Harissa is a popular spice blend used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. The chili blend is robust, earthy and smoky with rich flavors. It includes a bit of garlic, chilis, smoked paprika, and cumin brightened with a hint of citrus. It tastes amazing!
Harissa can be purchased as a powder or also as harissa paste. In this case, I’m using World Spice Merchants harissa powder and making a paste by adding a bit of olive oil and lime juice. The artisan touch of toasted spices elevates the flavor of World Spice harissa powder to new heights making it an excellent addition to your spice collection.
The range of heat will differ between brands. World Spice Merchants harissa is in the medium range. I find it to be the perfect balance of heat and smoky spices.
Quick Guide: How to Make Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
With a simple ingredient list and easy prep for accouterments, this recipe makes a delicious weeknight dinner. In summary, here’s how to make a scrumptious chickpea and cauliflower tacos recipe (see recipe card for details):
- First, mix the harissa powder with olive oil, lime juice and water in a large mixing bowl.
- Second, toss in the cauliflower florets, chickpeas, onions and salt, mixing gently until all the veggies are coated in harissa goodness.
- Next, transfer the mixture to two large baking sheets and into a preheated oven and roast.
- Last, stuff your favorite soft corn tortillas with the harissa cauliflower mixture.
Share with a simple cabbage cilantro lime slaw, a cooling lime crema sauce (sour cream or Greek yogurt base) and cucumber wedges for the ultimate cooling experience!
Related: Already a harissa fan? Give my Harissa Stewed Black Eyed Peas a go!
A Few Recipe Notes
- For Vegan Cauliflower Tacos, use your favorite vegan sour cream brand or try my pepita crema.
- Roast to perfection: I roast this chickpea and cauliflower taco recipe between 20-25 minutes. This yields a texture I prefer where the cauliflower has a bit of tooth to it and the chickpeas still creamy. Roast longer and the cauliflower tends to soften further with a bit of charring and the chickpeas become crunchy.
- Optional Slaw: I love these harissa roasted cauliflower tacos with a simple cilantro lime slaw, but they’re also delicious without it.
- Freezer Friendly! Yes Please! Freeze for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then gently rewarm in the oven.
More Vegetarian Taco Recipes to Love
For a flavorful, fresh and absolutely delicious Harissa Spice Blend, check out World Spice Merchants, a family owned, female run company in Seattle, WA. They offer over 300 selections of handcrafted blends of vegan herbs and spices, ground to order. Shop in store or on web, delivered right to your door. World Spice Merchants caters to everyone who loves food and flavor!
Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chickpeas
For the Tacos:
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) Cauliflower about one medium head, cut into small bite size pieces, (to yield about 6 cups /570 grams florets)
- 1, 15 ounces (425 grams) Can of Chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups (140 grams) Red Onion sliced in 1/2 moons, about one onion
- 3 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 tablespoon Water
- 3 1/2 tablespoons Harissa Powder I use World Spice Merchants
- 3/4 teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
- 9, 6 inch Soft Corn Tortillas I like the soft wheat/corn variety.
- 1 Cucumber small, sliced into small, thin wedges
- Fresh Cilantro
For the Lime Crema:
- 1/2 cups (120 grams) Sour Cream* see note
- 2 teaspoons Lime Juice
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cumin
For the Slaw (optional):
- 3 cups (150 grams) Green Cabbage shredded, loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Jalapeño (optional) seeded and chopped fine
- 1/2 cup (20 grams) Cilantro Leaves rough chopped
- Juice of Two Limes
- 1/4 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
Roast the Cauliflower and Chickpeas:
- Arrange an oven rack in the center and bottom third of the oven. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 fahrenheit (218 celsius).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, water and harissa powder and salt until smooth.
- To the bowl, add the cauliflower florets, chickpeas and onions. Gently toss until the veggies are evenly coated with the harissa mixture.
- Divide the cauliflower mixture evenly between the two sheet pans. Spread the ingredients out in an even layer.
- Roast the cauliflower and chickpeas for about 20-25 minutes, stirring half way through roasting and rotating the pans. The cauliflower and chickpeas are done when the cauliflower is tender, with very little, if any charring and the chickpeas still have a creamyish texture.
- To heat the soft tortillas, if using the soft wheat/corn variety, they can be briefly charred on both sides on an open stove top flame. Or, warm according to package directions.
Make the Lime Crema:
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime juice, salt and cumin. Whisk until ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.
Make the Slaw:
- In a medium bowl, toss the shredded cabbage, jalapeño (if using), cilantro, lime juice and salt. Set aside.
Put the Tacos Together:
- Spoon a little lime crema down the center of a soft tortilla. Add a few tablespoons of slaw, then spoon on the cauliflower and chickpea mixture.
- Dollop/drizzle the crema on top of the vegges and top with cucumber wedges. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro
- Store the cauliflower mixture a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days. For longer storage, store cooled cauliflower mixture in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge and gently rewarm in a 350 fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes.