This vegan cheesy cauliflower taco casserole is loaded with flavor for your new favorite weeknight meal ready in 30 minutes! You’ll love the cheesy flavor while the taco spices burst with flavor elevating cauliflower in a whole new way!
Cauliflower is the new black. Okay, so we know that doesn’t make sense, but you know that cauliflower has had a come up in recent years. If you aren’t on the cauliflower train yet, you are seriously missing out. But no worries, this vegan cheesy cauliflower taco casserole may be just the dish for you to hop on board.
All jokes aside, we love simple and easy vegan meal ideas. We want to share dishes that are easy and not very time consuming (this one takes just 30 minutes), but also meals that are super flavorful.
So many times people assume that vegans have nothing to eat which means that vegan meals can’t taste good. If you’ve been vegan for any length of time, you know how silly that is. Vegan meals are seasoned in the same way non-vegan meals are seasoned – with delicious spices and other ingredients.
At the end of the day, vegan meal may be even more flavorful than others.
This cauliflower casserole is no exception. It’s loaded with flavor, using simple ingredients that most people have on hand already!
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VEGAN CHEESY CAULIFLOWER TACO CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS:
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make this vegan cauliflower casserole:
- onions, peppers, and garlic – The base of our dish starts out with these three main ingredients. They give a great bottom layer of flavor and perfect for getting vegetables into the meal. You can use any color bell pepper that you wish or even mix and match them. Yellow onions are what we prefer.
- frozen meatless crumbles – adding this ingredient into the meal stretches the dish farther, but also gives more of that classic taco texture
- cauliflower – a great ingredient to add to any casserole because it’s neutral flavor soaks up and takes on whatever flavor profile you create
- fire roasted tomatoes – we are using canned tomatoes in our dish, but you can fire roast your own if you prefer
- spices – we’ve created a unique blend of spices that you are sure to love. They are taco based spices to make sure there’s tons of that classic flavor you love and want
- vegan mozzarella shreds – in the photos we are using Follow Your Heart finely shredded mozzarella shreds. We love this one for the melt!
- pickled jalapenos – this is an optional ingredient, and the pickled version packs less heats and cooks does better
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- onions- white or sweet onions could also be used
- meatless crumbles/cauliflower – if you are looking to replace one or both of these you could try things like mushrooms, chickpeas, tofu, seitan, jackfruit, vegan chicken, TVP, and more
- fire roasted tomatoes – regular diced tomatoes would also work. If you can’t do tomatoes, try subbing with something like roasted red peppers
- spices – you can swap the spices with a pre-made taco seasoning
- vegan mozzarella shreds -try swapping with vegan cheddar or another option like vegan gouda or pepperjack
- pickled jalapenos – fresh jalapenos can also be used
Frequently Asked Questions:
The only two ingredients in this dish that you need to be mindful of are the frozen crumbles and cheese. You just need to find safe for you options or swap out the frozen crumbles for another ingredient listed above in the substitutions.
If you want to omit the oil entirely, you can saute the vegetables in vegetable stock or water, monitoring so they don’t burn.
You can definitely eat this by itself. Additionally, you can try it with rice on the side or you can put the mixture inside of soft or hard taco/burrito shells. The choice is totally yours!
Truthfully, that depends on your heat tolerance levels. The jalapenos are totally optional, which can drastically take down the heat if you desire. But the dish is large and isn’t overly spicy as made.
There are two steps in this recipe that you will need to make alternations too. First, cook the entire dish in a normal skillet. Then, when it’s time to move the skillet under the broiler, you will need to transfer the dish into an oven safe casserole. Note: the casserole dish will not be hot so it may take longer to melt the vegan cheese
At the time of writing this post, we have found that Follow Your Heart finely shredded cheese (must be finely shredded) has the best melt. It’s easy to melt and no manipulation needs done.
If you cannot find this cheese, most of the others melt similarly and your best option is to have room temperature vegan cheese prior to placing over the dish.
What other vegan cauliflower ideas could I make?
We have so many other vegan cauliflower recipes that we think you’ll love just as much as this one! Here’s a few:
- Vegan Lemon Pepper Cauliflower Wings
- Vegan Crispy Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- Vegan Sheet Pan Cauliflower Fajitas
Or see all our vegan cauliflower recipes!
Pin this vegan cheesy cauliflower taco casserole for later!
Vegan Cheesy Cauliflower Taco Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 14 oz frozen meatless crumbles (see post above for substitution ideas)
- 3 cups cauliflower florets, bite sized
- 15 oz fire roasted tomatoes, not drained
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese
- ⅓ cup pickled jalapenos, (OPTIONAL)
- vegetable stock or water, as needed
- Place an oven rack in the upper third of your oven. Turn on broiler.
- In a large cast iron or oven safe skillet, add oil and heat over medium. Add in onions and bell peppers and saute for 4-5 minutes or until softened, stirring often. Add garlic and stir together, cook for an additional minute. *If you don't have an oven safe skillet, cook in a normal skillet and you will transfer to an oven safe dish later.
- Add in crumbles and cauliflower and stir occasionally until crumbles and soft about 4-5 minutes.
- Add in tomatoes and seasonings: chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and smoked paprika. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Keep cooking for another 3 – 5 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and ready. Liquid should also be slightly reduced. *Each brand of crumbles are different, if you find the mixture seems dry, add 2-4 tablespoon (or more) stock/water while cooking.
- Remove the pan from heat and add the vegan cheese on top with jalapeños if adding. *If transferring to a casserole dish, transfer here and top with the cheese. Since your pan is not hot, it may take longer to melt until broiler.
- Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Watch carefully so not to burn.
- Serve on its own or with rice if desired.
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