Our buffalo cauliflower tacos recipe will spice up your taco Tuesday and National Taco Day (October 4).
Cauliflower’s versatility never fails to impress us. Not only does it make a delicious rice substitute for fried rice dishes but, in today’s recipe, it becomes crispy, delicious nuggets as an awesome alternative to chicken.
But it gets better; we’re slathering the nuggets in Buffalo sauce and tucking them into crispy shells along with some creamy slaw. It’s so flavorful you’re sure to come back for second helpings.
What Is Buffalo Cauliflower?
Buffalo chicken wings are no stranger to finger food lovers — deep-fried wings coated in a hot, savory sauce. Today’s recipe sticks with the Buffalo theme, but instead of chicken wings, we’re using cauliflower nuggets.
Of course, you can replace the cauliflower with cubes of chicken breast if you want a meatier taco, but we think this version will convince you to think twice — some of our crew members mistook the nuggets for actual meat!
Are Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos Vegetarian?
Yes, our buffalo cauliflower tacos recipe is vegetarian-friendly. The ingredients are either plant-based, eggs, or dairy.
What’s more, the recipe can easily be turned into a vegan dish by using plant-based substitutes for the eggs or dairy products. You can find them at many supermarkets.
Some recipes excessively season their food, which often raises the sodium and saturated fat levels above the recommended limits. We’ve made several adjustments and hence, we have a recipe whose nutritional profile agrees with our dietary guidelines.
Apart from this, these tacos benefit your body in many other ways too:
They provide you with a variety of vitamins and minerals from different vegetables.
Of all the most suitable vegetables, cauliflower is the best candidate for substituting chicken nuggets — it gives a firm bite at first but then comes a comforting sweetness. It’s just like this baked cauliflower in glossy, spicy, sweet sauce. There’s no competition, not even from broccoli.
To make prepping a lot easier, you can use frozen cauliflower. It may take you some time to cook but we think it’s better than spending all your time on preparation.
2. Spiced Batter
Since we’re using an oven instead of a deep-fryer, a thick batter is important. Our buffalo cauliflower tacos recipe includes just flour, cornstarch, an egg, and melted butter. We don’t use any water as we don’t want the batter to run.
We also seasoned our batter with garlic powder, onion powder, and some paprika for a kick.
3. Buffalo Sauce
Store-bought buffalo sauce of any brand works. However, since we can’t guarantee its nutritional profile matches our guidelines, we made our own buffalo sauce, which takes minutes and will be ready even before the florets finish baking.
Although our buffalo sauce tastes great by itself, we felt that the florets deserved more flavor.
In the pot, we cooked the homemade buffalo sauce with olive oil, brown sugar, paprika, water, black pepper, mustard, sriracha, and cornstarch. After stirring these ingredients in the pot, an even more delicious sauce came together.
4. Creamy Slaw
We made this instant slaw by combining cabbage shavings with Greek yogurt, sour cream, milk, and freshly chopped coriander. We used both red and green cabbages so the slaw would look colorful.
As you will see, our slaw recipe has no seasoning because we don’t want to overseason the tacos. If you want a slaw to side with other dishes, however, this recipe might be a boon.
Finally, to really make the tacos pop, and to add another dimension to the spicy kick, we generously sprinkled some chopped coriander and sliced jalapenos on top.
To cut down on the heat and bring a creamy texture to the overall experience, we added sliced avocado on top.
Tips to Make These Tacos
Picture #6 shows a neat trick to shape taco shells. It’s just tortillas tucked in between the crannies of a flipped-over muffin tray.
The buffalo sauce is easy but it takes some time, so we recommend that you always make a large batch.
Unlike with most dishes, you want to serve the fillings and shells separately so your diners can assemble the tacos themselves. If left long enough, your pre-made tacos can turn soggy.
How to Store Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos
You can wrap the bowls in cling wrap and place them in the fridge so they can be eaten within the week. We don’t recommend freezing because you’ll lose all of the tasty textures.
To reheat, simply bake the shells and microwave (or bake) the cauliflower nuggets. They’ll still be tender and flavorful.
To complete the meal, we served the tacos with Pico de Gallo and a glass of lemon and watermelon juice. The crispy chips and tangy, pungent salsa provide a wealth of textures while the sweet drink rounds off the meal with a delicious freshness.
Love This Recipe? There’s More!
Looking for alternative ways to work with cauliflower? These 5 cauliflower recipes of ours might be helpful:
In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 4 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 egg, and 2 tbsp melted butter. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Add 10 oz cauliflower to the bowl and toss well to coat. Place them on a baking sheet and slide them into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
In another bowl, stir together 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp brown sugar, 4 tbsp water, 1/2 tsp paprika,1 tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp sriracha and 3 tbsp buffalo sauce. Add the mixture to a skillet and reduce it over low heat for 2 minutes.
Toss the sauce with baked cauliflower nuggets. Place them in a bowl and set aside.
Flip a muffin tray over and tuck 4 corn tortillas into the spaces. Bake at 400°F for 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix 2 oz green cabbage, 2 oz red cabbage, 2 tbsp whole milk, 1 tbsp sour cream, and 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt.
Serve the various components in bowls and allow your guests to assemble their own tacos.
Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 464Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Vitamin A 853IU
Vitamin C 72mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.