Crispy Air Fryer Vegan Cauliflower Tacos

By Alexandra Caspero on June 14, 2022
Crispy cauliflower tacos with cilantro lime slaw. A fun summer taco recipe!
Makes 8 Tacos

Inspired by crispy fish tacos, these cauliflower tacos are a vegan version. Paired with softened tortillas and cilantro lime slaw for the perfect summer taco.

It’s no secret how much we love tacos in my house. My lentil tacos (and Instant Pot lentil tacos) are a weekly staple in my house and it wouldn’t be a Saturday morning if my family wasn’t walking down to our local taco shop for breakfast tacos.

We spent the previous week in Mexico eating tacos every day. In fact, if you asked my son what his favorite part of Mexico was he would tell you that we got to eat tacos at a spot called Habanero’s every day. Guess it’s genetics!

Inspired by Mexican Baja fish tacos, these vegan cauliflower tacos are battered and fried to golden perfection. I love using my Air Fryer for this, but included both stove-top and oven directions below. If you love tacos as much as we do, then you’ve gotta try this recipe.

3 Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado

Ingredients for Air Fryer Cauliflower Tacos

  • Cauliflower
  • Tortillas
  • All-purpose flour
  • Seasonings, like Old Bay, garlic powder and paprika
  • Soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • Corn meal
  • Cilantro Lime Slaw, recipe below
  • Lime Crema, recipe below

Variations & Substitutions

To make this recipe completely gluten-free, substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour and use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.

As a Virginia native, I love Old Bay seasoning with these tacos but if you can’t find it in your area then use more paprika, garlic powder and add in a dash of mustard powder and celery salt, if you have it.

I love these with slaw, avocado and lime wedges. However, you can serve these cauliflower tacos however you’d like; lime crema, pickled red onions or pico de gallo will also take great in this recipe.

To make lime crema, thin dairy-free sour cream or plain greek yogurt with fresh lime juice and a pinch of cumin. Season with salt, as desired.

Other sauces that would be great on these tacos include my creamy salsa roja, my jalapeño salsa, my canning salsa or my fresh mango salsa.

Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Lime Cilantro Slaw

Instructions for How to Make Cauliflower Tacos

For these vegan tacos, you’ll make thee crispy cauliflower first, then make the slaw and prep the toppings while the cauliflower cooks.

  1. Make your batter.

    Cut the cauliflower into florets, then place the flour and seasonings in one bowl, the milk in another and the corn meal in a third separate bowl.

    Dip the cauliflower florets into the flour first, then the milk and then the corn meal. Place on a baking sheet (or large plate) and continue with the rest of the cauliflower.

    Ingredients for Cauliflower Tacos

  2. Air Fry the Cauliflower

    Place the prepared cauliflower in the air fryer, lightly spray with cooking spray, and cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. For stove top and oven directions, see below.

    Crispy Vegan Cauliflower Tacos

  3. Make the Cilantro Lime Slaw


    Toss together 3 cups shredded cabbage, 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup vegan mayo, juice and zest of 1 lime and 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup along with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Season to taste as needed.

    Lime Cilantro Slaw for Tacos

  4. Assemble the Tacos!


    Soften the tortillas, then stuff with crispy cauliflower, cilantro lime slaw, avocado and lime crema, if desired. Enjoy!

Oven & Stove Top Directions for Crispy Cauliflower

If you don’t have an air fryer, then you can make this cauliflower on the stove or in the oven.

To turn your oven into a fryer, I recommend lining a rimmed baking sheet with a cooling rack, if you have one. This elevates the cauliflower so it doesn’t touch the baking sheet and will become crispy on all sides. It’s a great trick! Drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray before placing in the oven.

Cook cauliflower in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Depending on the size of your cauliflower florets, you may need longer. Test one by slicing in half. If should be tender inside and crispy on the outside.

If you want to make crispy cauliflower on the stove, then I recommend parboiling the cauliflower first, then cooling and dredging in the batter as directed. Pan fry in oil until crispy and golden on each side.

Crispy Vegan Cauliflower Tacos

More Cauliflower Recipes:

Healthy Air Fryer Recipes:

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Print
Air Fryer Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Slaw

Crispy Air Fryer Vegan Cauliflower Tacos

  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tortillas 1x
  • Category: air fryer, dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Inspired by crispy fish tacos, these cauliflower tacos are a vegan version. Paired with softened tortillas and cilantro lime slaw for the perfect summer taco.


  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tortillas 1x
  • Category: air fryer, dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alexandra Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tortillas 1x
  • Category: air fryer, dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, stem removed and cut into florets
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other unsweetened milk)
  • 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo of choice
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 8 warmed tortillas
  • Avocado, Lime Crema or other toppings as desired

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, old bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Place the milk in a separate bowl and the cornmeal in another separate third bowl.
  2. Dip the cauliflower florets into the flour mixture, then the milk, then the cornmeal. Continue with the rest of the cauliflower.
  3. Place the prepared cauliflower in an air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, flipping once.
  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, whisk together the shredded cabbage, cilantro, mayo, lime, maple syrup and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Season to taste, as desired.
  5. Warm the tortillas, then add in the cauliflower, slaw and toppings of choice.

Notes

To make the lime crema, as pictured here, thin vegan sour cream or plain greek yogurt with lime juice, zest and a pinch of salt and ground cumin.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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