These Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos with cilantro lime crema are the best easy & gluten-free plant-based dinner! Spicy buffalo cauliflower is paired with mashed avocado, fresh greens, and a delicious cashew crema for a vegan taco recipe full of flavor.
Making homemade tacos is one of my favorite go-to dinner ideas. There is always an endless possibility of flavors- and who doesn't love any recipe with a healthy amount of avocado mixed in?!
While I've made some delicious taco recipes before, like my Portobello Mushroom Tacos or Vegan Lentil Tacos, what makes this recipe so unique is the combination of tangy & spicy buffalo sauce paired with a smooth & creamy cilantro lime cream sauce.
The full list of ingredients with quantities is in the recipe card at the end of this post. However, here is a quick recap of what you need to make these buffalo cauliflower tacos with cilantro lime crema and avocado smash:
- Cauliflower (1 large head cut into bite sized pieces)
- Avocado oil (can be subbed 1:1 for any liquid oil)
- Buffalo sauce (I use Frank's Hot Sauce)
- Garlic powder
- Salt & pepper
- Raw cashews (soaked 1 hour in hot water)
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime juice
- Water (to use in the crema)
- Mini flour tortillas
- Chopped kale (or any fresh green)
How to make buffalo cauliflower tacos
These tacos take just about 40 minutes to whip up and store great as leftovers too!
First, bake the buffalo cauliflower
First, chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and add it to a parchment lined baking tray. The reason we use parchment paper is because I find that buffalo sauce can burn pretty easy. Using parchment paper allows us to cook the cauliflower a bit longer allowing it to crisp up without burning.
Then, pour ¼ cup of the buffalo sauce and the oil, garlic powder, salt, & pepper over the cauliflower. Mix together using your hands or a spoon until the cauliflower is evenly coated in the sauce. Then, add the tray to the oven and bake at 400F for around 30 minutes.
As soon as you remove the cauliflower from the oven, pour on another ¼ cup of buffalo sauce and mix to coat the cauliflower. Since some of the buffalo flavor & heat cooks off while baking, I prefer to add a little extra sauce on after. It makes it so these tacos have SO much spicy flavor!
Make the cilantro lime crema
While the buffalo cauliflower is baking, make the vegan crema!
The first step is to soak the cashews. Cashews can either be soaked in hot water for 1 hour (my preference) or in cold water in the fridge for about 6-8 hours. The trick is to soak the cashews until they have softened, but not too long or they actually become bitter. That's why I prefer the hot water method. Not only is it faster, but it prevents me from soaking the cashews too long.
After soaking the cashews, making this cashew crema really couldn't be easier. Just add the soaked cashews, fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and water to a blender and blending until smooth. I prefer my crema a little thicker so I only used 6 Tbsp water, but for a thinner sauce that can be drizzled you can use up to 8 Tbsp of water.
Make the avocado smash
Last, but certainly not least, make the avocado smash- AKA a very basic guacamole! Just mash the avocado, lime juice, and salt together in a small bowl and then get ready to assemble the tacos!
How to assemble tacos
To assemble tacos first layer about 1 Tbsp of avocado on top of a charred mini flour tortilla.
Then, top with about 1 Tbsp of greens. I decided to use a blend of curly kale, chopped carrots, and purple cabbage. Other options that work here could be arugula or romaine lettuce. Basically, having something fresh and crunchy makes these tacos extra good so don't skip it!
Next, top with a few pieces of the baked buffalo cauliflower. Don't add in too much or it will be hard to eat. I find 4-5 pieces of cauliflower tends to be perfect.
Finish with a spoonful of the vegan cilantro cashew cream sauce. Then, dig in!
FAQ & Substitutions:
What other toppings so well with these tacos?
While I decided to pair these tacos with avocado, a cilantro lime cream sauce, and fresh kale, there are a ton of other options.
The tang of the buffalo sauce pairs really well with more mild flavors so a shredded vegan cheese, lettuce, or cooked black beans all make really great additions to these tacos.
Are these tacos gluten-free?
The cilantro cream sauce and the buffalo cauliflower are naturally gluten-free. However, I did use flour tortillas. To make this recipe completely gluten-free you can sub the flour tortillas for for corn tortillas. You can even use cassava flour tortillas to make this recipe completely grain free or lettuce wraps if you're trying to make it low-carb.
How do I store leftovers?
For these tacos, it's best to store the leftover buffalo cauliflower separately in a closed container in the fridge. The cauliflower will soften and lose it's crispness the longer it's left to sit, but it still maintains a great flavor. The cauliflower can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
The cilantro cream sauce stores wonderfully as leftovers and can be kept in a closed container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
I do not recommend making the avocado smash until you are ready to eat it as it will brown if left to sit. Lastly, I don't find this recipe to be a great freezer friendly meal and only recommend storing leftovers in the fridge.
I truly hope you love these Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos with cilantro lime crema! It's a delicious dinner option that is perfect for Veganuary & will be a hit among vegans & meat-eaters alike. Enjoy!
Looking for more plant-based dinner ideas? Check out these SGTO favorites!
Baked Buffalo Cauliflower
- 1 Cauliflower Head, cut into bite sized pieces (about 6 cups loosely packed)
- ½ (116 grams grams) cup hot sauce
- 2 (29 ml) Tbsp oil (I used avocado oil)
- 1 tsp (2 grams) garlic powder
- ½ tsp (3 grams) salt
- ¼ tsp (.5 grams) black pepper
Cashew Cilantro Crema
- ½ cup (70 grams) raw cashews, soaked 1 hour in hot water*
- ½ cup (12 grams) packed cilantro
- 6-8 Tbsp (88-118 ml) water
- ½ tsp (2 grams) garlic powder (or 1 fresh garlic clove)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
- ½ tsp (2 grams) salt (add more or less to preference)
- 10 mini flour tortillas
- 1 cup (30 grams) loosely packed kale/cabbage mix (sub 1:1 with any fresh greens)
- 2 small avocados (or 1 large)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- Before starting this recipe make sure to soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes before blending. They can also be soaked in a container of cold water in the fridge for 6-8 hours if that is easier.
Bake the Buffalo Cauliflower:
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, chop up a large head of cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Add the chopped cauliflower to the parchment lined tray.
- Next, drizzle ¼ cup of the buffalo sauce, the oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper on top of the cauliflower and toss together until evenly coated. Reserve the remaining ¼ cup of buffalo sauce to pour on after baking. If you prefer, the cauliflower and sauce ingredients can also be mixed together in a large bowl and then added to the baking tray.
- Then, add the tray of cauliflower to the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the cauliflower is baked through and beginning to crisp. I recommend tossing the cauliflower halfway through baking to make sure it bakes evenly.
- Remove the tray of baked cauliflower from the oven and pour oven the remaining ¼ cup of buffalo sauce right away. Then, toss the cauliflower with the buffalo sauce until evenly coated and set aside.
Make the Cilantro Crema & Avocado Smash:
- While the cauliflower is baking, make the vegan crema & avocado smash.
- Add the soaked cashews, cilantro, garlic powder, lime juice, water, and salt to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy. I like my sauce thicker, so I only use 6 Tbsp of water, but you can use 8 Tbsp for a thinner sauce.
- To make the avocado smash, add the avocado, lime juice, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mash together with a fork.
Assemble the Tacos:
- To assemble the tacos, add about 1 Tbsp of the avocado smash to each taco. Then, top with a small amount of fresh kale, a few pieces of the baked buffalo cauliflower, and finish with a drizzle of cilantro crema on top. Serve warm and enjoy!
- If you do not want to make the cilantro crema, these tacos also go really well with a vegan ranch sauce
- I highly recommend Frank's hot sauce for this recipe
- Leftover buffalo cauliflower can be stored in the fridge in a closed container for 2-3 days and reheated when ready to eat.
- Leftover cilantro crema can be stored in the fridge in a closed container for 5-7 days.
- The avocado smash does not store well as leftovers and is best made the day you are planning to eat the tacos.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 2 small tacos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 0mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 12gSugar: 15gProtein: 13g
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