Cauliflower Taco Meat. Easy 1 Pan Cauliflower Walnut Crumble. No Skillet needed .Use in tacos, wraps, burrito, nachos, salads! Vegan Glutenfree Soyfree Recipe. Can be nut-free. Jump to Recipe
Tacos need a filling that is flavorful, has texture, is easy and versatile. This Cauliflower Walnut filling fits perfectly! All the flavor, all the texture! Change up the spices and herbs for variation in flavor.
Pulse the walnuts and onion in a food processor, then pulse cauliflower, spices. Then spread the mixture and bake until preferred consistency. No stove top cooking needed. 1 Processor to 1 baking dish.
Change up the flavors to preference. I use my own chili powder blend. Change that up with different Mexican chilies for flavor variation. Add some bbq sauce for bbq crumble and clumpier. Use Cajun blend or Jamaican jerk blend. This taco “meat” is bean and lentil free. Add some spiced beans or refried beans to the tacos if you like.
Add this Taco meat to this Enchilada, or Spanish Rice Bowl, top these Nachos or add to this Lentil Tortilla Soup.
More Taco fillings, easy Carrot Walnut Taco Meat, Mango BBQ Soycurl/jackfruit Tacos. Berbere Spiced Jackfruit Tacos so much flavor!, Chipotle Shredded Butternut Tacos
Cauliflower Taco Meat - Cauliflower Walnut Taco Filling
Cauliflower Walnut "Taco" Meat:
- 1/2 cup (58.5 g) raw walnuts
- 1/2 (0.5) small onion chopped
- 1/2 (0.5) jalapeno optional
- 1 small head of cauliflower chopped into florets
- 1/2 medium tomato , or 2 tbsp salsa, or oil packed sundried tomato
- 2 tbsp or more chili powder blend (recipe that I use below)
- zest of a lime
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) salt
Cilantro Avocado Cream:
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) or more salt
- 1/4 cup (4 g) cilantro
- a dash of black pepper and cayenne
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp paprika (1 tsp sweet and 1 tsp smoked or 1.5 sweet and 1/2 tsp smoked for less heat)
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) each of garlic powder onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) ancho chili powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp (tsp) chipotle chili powder or flakes
- a good dash of ground cinnamon , all spice/clove, black pepper, cayenne
- Line a large baking dish with parchment. Preheat the oven to 375 deg F (190 C ).
- Process the walnuts, onion and jalapeno until coarse mixture in a food processor.
- Add cauliflower florets and tomato and pulse a few times to break some of the large cauliflower pieces.
- Add the spices, salt, zest, 1 tsp oil and process until the cauliflower is evenly shredded. If using store bought chili blend, add 1/4 tsp or more chipotle chili flakes/powder and dashes of ground cinnamon, clove and black pepper for additional flavor.
- Transfer the cauliflower walnut mixture to the parchment lined baking dish. Spread evenly.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes. Move the mixture around twice in between. The onion should start caramelizing and the mixture should be crumbly but not overly dry. (taste the mixture carefully when moving it around the second time and add salt, spices if needed **). Bake until desired consistency.
- Cilantro Avocado Cream: Blend all the ingredients with 1/3 cup or more water until smooth. Add more lime juice or salt to taste.
- Assemble the tacos in warm tortillas with warm taco meat, salsa, avocado dressing, cilantro, jalapeno/pickled jalapeno and serve. Or add the taco meat to burritos, Nachos, Enchiladas, Salads.
Could you make this only using cauliflower?
Vegan Richa Support
I don’t see why not.
It’s become a staple. I make the meat and pico de gallo and skip the chile blend and avocado cream — It all comes together quickly and even my meat-eater friends request it.
Delicious!! Added chipotle pepper(wet) instead of jalapeño + sun dried tomatoes. I have extras so later this week I’ll make enchiladas.
Just made this for lunch and it’s absolutely delicious! A million times better than any store- bought crumble. Another winner 🙂
Can you freeze this recipe?
Vegan Richa Support
yes, when you reheat a pan would be best
I adore this recipe!
I would love to try this recipe. Can I use cauliflower rice instead of florets or will it differentiate the consistency too much?
Vegan Richa Support
You can but it will just have a finer texture! 🙂
I put my cauliflower and nuts through my veggie bullet with the large grater attachment. It riced them perfectly so it is the consistency of cooked ground beef. This would work with any food processor that has a grater attachment I would think.
Mine did not get crumbly at all 🙁 it stayed pretty moist. Maybe too much cauliflower? Tasted great though!
I’m so excited to try this! If I can only find riced cauliflower, how many cups of riced cauliflower should I use? Shelves are pretty empty right now 🙁
I love all of your recipes! Every single one has been a hit, thank you so so much!!!
My 3 and 5 year olds don’t typically like store-bought faux meat products but they loved this! Thank you!!!
I never post reviews or comments about recipes, but I had to after making this. It was absolutely delicious! My husband and I loved it and next time doubling it so we have leftovers 🙂 so so good! Thank you and all your recipes I have made have been delicious!
Made this last night, was delicious! I did end up separating the mixture across two cookie sheets because it made so much and was not browning, that seemed to work. Everyone loved it and the avocado sauce was probably the biggest hit!
Angela Alford Whiting
I am a new cook, and new to veggie grocery shopping, I apologize for my ignorance but can you tell me the ratio of cauliflower to walnuts? Or how many cups of cauliflower to use ? Thank you !
1 small head cauliflower is 300 to 400 gm and 1/2 cup walnuts is about 60 gm
What weight should the cauliflower have?
Absolutely delicious! Devoured by entire family! Thank you 🙂
Louise M Harmon
I just made this -AWESOME! I did substitute frozen riced cauliflower for fresh to save time-still turned out wonderful. I think the basic recipe would work well using different seasonings (basil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, maybe some fennel) as a pasta topping or lasagna filling.
awesome! yes definitely.
I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! My husband and daughter loved it! The flavor was amazing! My daughter said the veggie meat was her favorite part of the taco. This will be a weekly for us! Thanks for sharing!
This taco meat is a game changer. Bean taco fillings are okay, but they can get boring. This is so much like the texture and even taste of ground beef taco meat, it is amazing.
As usual, and I am not taking that for granted, another great recipe that you can adapt, change up add a bit more of this or less of that… and you just KNOW it will be great. I searched for walnut and cauliflower taco meat and checked many recipes before finding this one. Note to self: just go to Vegan Richa for whatever you want to make and don’t waste time searching :). Tacos tonight!
I made these tonight, and was a bit wary of the flavor combination because I have never tried walnut and cauliflower before; however, every single recipe of Vegan Richa’s I have tried have amounted to a delicious success! It was wrong of me to doubt. Try this! It’s super wonderful, flavorful, and has lots of umami. For me, I like food very spicy, so I needed extra spice. I was too conservative with the jalapeno, and could have added more. I used a few more walnuts within my food processor. It’s baking in the oven right now and smells phenomenal! I have my corn tortillas, salsa, and guac ready. Thanks for another amazing dish!
Awesome! yes add more cayenne, taco blend etc. more walnuts or cauliflower would need more spices. so adjust away. you can add more spices midway while baking when you taste too
Soooooo excited to try this recipe this weekend with some guests coming over. If I make it ahead of time, and refrigerate/freeze, how would I go about reheating it without over cooking it or having the cauliflower get all mushy? Or should I just make it the day of? Trying to save time so I can spend time with our guests…
Bake it to reheat, it will make it crisp again.
I’ve just made this and it is sensational, people. It doesn’t taste of cauliflower, so although I love cauliflower, a person I live with really hates it, so not tasting of cauli is a bonus in my house.
I made a few alterations:
I put in about a 1/2 glass of wine – I guess you could use red wine vinegar with some water instead if you don’t have alcohol in the house. I left out most of the spices because where I live it’s almost impossible to get them, but I kept the ground cumin because, as we all know, cumin is life itself. Also I put a little more nutritional yeast than I at first intended, because I’m not really used to the powder version yet, but in fact it was really great – I’d say about a heaped tablespoon or even two went in there. Also instead of the onion I used a large bunch of Chinese chives, the flat ones used for pot stickers and that give everything added extra magic. Anyway, the result was tender and “meaty” and delicious.
Thank you so much Richa. Your recipes are so versatile, easy, and delicious. Where would we be without you?
Super tasty! I’m working more vegan meals into our rotation and my four kids gobbled this up. My oldest kept coming into the kitchen while it baked, saying, “It smells do good – just like meat.”
yay! thats a success then!
Richa, I forgot to mention that your spice blend is beyond brilliant!
Is it possible to cook this on the stovetop instead of baking? I am in Las Vegas heat!
yes.. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower walnut mixture, spices, salt and garlic and toss well. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Then uncover and cook over low heat until it dries to preferred texture. Taste and add more salt and spices mid way.
You might need to do this in 2 batches , so that the cauliflower mixture is not thicker than 1/4 inch evenly on the pan.
Thank you, Richa!
Made this early for tonight’s dinner, and I see a few family members have done a pre-dinner sampling! Early reviewers are loving it!! :).
Thanks again Richa!
I tried this recipe for the first time yesterday. Wow! I had the most amazing tacos with it. Using cauli & walnuts (the preferred food of the heart) is pure genius. I cannot thank you enough for bringing tacos back into the rotation in my house.
Awesome!! so glad you loved it!
So i made this recipe. I used sun dried tomato instead of the tomato. it was AMAZING!!! and i must add that the avocado cream compliments this dish beautifully!! Even my dh who does not like avocado couldnt stop eating this. Instead of measuring 2 Tbs. of the chili blend, i added the spices directly to the mixture. I will be making this again and again. Thank you for another successful recipe
awesome!! i do that too. just add the spices based on the amount of the filling and my preference that day of what spice/herb flavor i want more of. 🙂
So happy with how this turned out! I’m vegan and my husband is a recently turned vegetarian and we both loved it. This will be one of our go-to Mexican meals from now on.
Hey! I just subscribed to your mailing list and I’m glad to have received this original recipe! I love the idea of using cauliflower to make the “meat”. Cauliflower is like the it thing now. It does so many things! Who would’ve thought? And walnuts are great to give help give a meaty texture too. I’m sure this pair would make a great burger 😉. Can’t wait to try this recipe of yours!
Thanks for this- looks great! Do you think it would freeze okay once baked? I’d love to make several batches ahead of time.
it should be fine frozen
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it
This sounds so yummy. Please suggest ways to make a nut free version.
oops forgot to add , more cauliflower or sunflower seeds or pumpkin seed for nutfree version
Can I use frozen riced cauliflower?
I have tried this with a similar recipe and it did not work as well. The cauliflower has a different consistency after being frozen. Fresh riced cauliflower would be better.
i havent tried it. it might work with longer bake time.
This looks really good. I am going to have to try it. Thank you for this
Exactly what I was thinking – we do lots of things we can freeze for busy-day meals. We’ve used lots of your recipes, ever since post punk was live (badly missed!)
awesome! Yes i miss the ppk forums too
This is really delicious and it makes a lot! An instant favorite for quick weeknight meals.
Awesome! I think it will freeze well too!