Love and Olive Oil

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from

Hello there, my new favorite taco. Also known as vegetarian fish tacos, if you’d rather. The crispy, white fleshed-cauliflower is a perfect replacement for the fish, when you can’t find fresh fish or don’t want to stink up your apartment or just don’t feel like seafood. Cauliflower takes surprisingly well to the same toppings that you’d normally find on a fish taco, namely, bright and tangy mango salsa, freshly shredded red cabbage, creamy avocado, and a drizzle of Mexican crema (or, if you can’t find crema, simply whisk a few tablespoons of milk into regular sour cream to thin it out. Think drizzle, not dollop).

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from

We made these a few times until we settled on the final method. We tried baked and fried and buttered and oiled, but ultimately found that a quick pan-fry in some olive oil gave the nicest flavor and crunch to the cauliflower. Still, a handful of panko breadcrumbs thrown in for good measure doens’t hurt. It’s the perfect amount of savory crunch for a taco (because, let’s face it, a taco without some crunch is like an ice cream sundae without sprinkles, just not as exciting). You won’t even notice the lack of fish.

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from

But, I’ll admit, what took these tacos over the top was the homemade tortillas. We’ve started making our own recently, both corn and flour, and it’s amazing how much flavor a good tortilla brings to the final dish versus what you can buy in the store. I’ll be posting the recipe for homemade flour tortillas soon, and believe me, it’s worth the (minimal) extra effort!

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

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For Mango Salsa:

  • 1 large mango, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup diced)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice (from 1/2 lime)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For Crispy Cauliflower:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For Tacos:

  • 8-10 small flour tortillas (homemade if possible)
  • 1 avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage (from about 1/4 medium head)
  • 1/2 cup mexican crema (or 1/2 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons milk)


  • To prepare salsa, combine mango, red onion, jalapeño, garlic in a medium bowl. Toss with lime juice and fold in cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • For cauliflower, heat half of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of cauliflower, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Toss with half of panko and continue to cook until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl or platter to keep warm, and repeat with second half of cauliflower (cooking the cauliflower in two batches allows the cauliflower to get more brown and crispy).
  • To assemble tacos, coarsely mash avocado with a generous splash of lime juice. Spread a dollop of mashed avocado down the center of each tortilla. Top with a 1/4 cup of crispy cauliflower, a spoonful of mango salsa, a handful of shredded cabbage, and a drizzle of sour cream sauce. Serve warm.
All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. I’ve made these twice and they really are my favorite recipe ever!!! The flavors are perfect!

  2. Both of my boys had a birthday and they wanted tacos. Wanted to try something new and boy your recipe was the hit of the night!!!  Thank you for posting something soooooooo yummy!!!!!

  3. Made these tonight for dinner as the veggie option for our taco night. So good! Had some palomas on the side and we were all set to celebrate. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  4. I’m going to need at least two of these stuffed beauties. So much yum!

  5. i will never ever ever get tired of cauliflower! This sounds amazing.

  6. Oh man I have 4 enormous cauliflower plants in the garden that are begging me to make these tacos! Gorgeous!

  7. Love these tacos!! very clever!

  8. Love this recipe so much! Shared it on reddit and I see I’m not the only one. Now to have it completely replace my love for fish tacos!

  9. I am drooling for these!! So great seeing you this week!

  10. I love the serving tray.  Where did that come from?!

  11. at first I thought this meant you made cauliflower tortillas, but not that I see crisp cauli is IN the tacos?!  obsessed!!!!  we’re always changing cauli into something else, it’s nice to see it on it’s own for a change :)

  12. These look so amazing. Definitely going to try

  13. the vegetarians in my household will definitely appreciate me making these tacos, thanks for the recipe. looks seriously delicious!

  14. Cauliflower is the like, chameleon of the food world. SO versatile!

  15. Orginal combination of flavors which makes it great alternative for boring tacos. What do you think about changing mexican crema to low-fat Greek yogurt to save calories? According to it has only 59 kcal (100g).

  16. Interesting concept for tacos, though I don’t think I could sell it to my husband.  I have to agree completely about the value of making your own tortillas.  I’ve been making my own whole wheat/mesquite tortillas for several years, now and they are to die for good.  Haven’t tried corn yet, but that’s my next project.  I am also fortunate to live in a place where one of the local groceries has a tortilleria that makes outstanding flour tortillas.  So I’ve got a back-up of I can’t make my own.  Time for me to get cooking and make some tortillas… although it’s not a great idea when the temps are in the triple digits!  Looking forward to seeing your tortilla recipe.

  17. Wow. I think I just found my new favorite taco too. Thanks for this.

  18. Oh wow!!! This looks amazing! Beautiful pix, too :)

  19. Love cauliflower crust! I was 1st introduced to it in my nutrition ed class; the cooking demonstrator used them in as a crust for a pizza recipe–so delish! Love the idea of also using them for tacos :)

  20. Yum! These look amazing. I’m loving your photography!

  21. I love this idea! My kids LOVE cauliflower but are skeptical about fish – this is a perfect solution that everyone will love! Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures and colours too.

  22. I have recently gone to  a paleo lifestyle and have been eating a LOT of cauliflower.  I used it in fried rice and tried the crusts too but haven’t tried this.  Great idea and I can’t wait to try them later this week!

  23. What a great idea!!! I love fish tacos but last time I made them my apartment stunk for days!

  24. I’m not seafood person, so I’ll definitely have to give these tacos a try! Looking forward to that homemade tortilla recipe. :)

  25. Tacos! They make everything better, right??  These looks so fresh and delicious.

  26. This looks absolutely incredible!  What a fun way to put a vegetarian spin on tacos.

  27. These sound so perfect for a meatless meal option.

  28. Ohhh YES to these! I love that last little GIF you have going on there, so good!

  29. Ooohhh wow.  Love this.  Beautiful photography, beautiful recipe.  Pinned!  I want to make this.

  30. Oh man! So many fun flavours in here!

  31. Heee, he –  waste, I mean. ( Too tired from spin class to type well. Have a great day!

  32. loooove, this. This food is something that I should be eating to not was the effort I had in spin class this morning.

  33. I never though of putting mango in taco but I am sure my mango tree this year will be happy. The fruity sweetness of mango with crispy spiced cauliflower? Yummo!

  34. It looks yummy, but could you also share the recipe of the homemade tortilla please? I have been looking for one for a long time.

  35. Oh – brain twins! I posted a cauliflower fish taco with mango salsa the other day too, except mine had actual fish. I like yours better with all that crispy cauliflower deliciousness going on! These look fantastic – Pinned!

  36. Wow,  just wow! Love cauliflower and mango salsa and veggie tacos are the best. Your images and that GIF are awesome. Great plate, great tacos, pinned!

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