These roasted cauliflower and lentil tacos are a fantastic way to pack in your veggies and nutrients in the form of a delicious taco. They come together with minimal prep work, making them a perfect weeknight vegetarian dinner!
I’m pretty convinced you can put anything in a taco and it would work. There are the standards: fish, chicken, beef, etc. and then there are some that have a bit of twist. These tacos falls into that second category.
This recipe was inspired by my daily desire for tacos (we’ve actually done full blown taco weeks and were not disappointed), but I wanted something different and vegetarian based while still being filling.
The lentils are hearty and filling, and the roasted cauliflower is smokey and crisp. Add in a colorful and crunchy mango slaw and you have a real winning combination.
These tacos come together with minimal prep work, which is great for a weeknight dinner when you can’t really bother with too much extra effort. Set the lentils on the stove (or instant pot!), roast the cauliflower, toss together the mango slaw and you’re well on your way to a delicious weeknight meal.
I make my lentils in the instant pot, which only takes about 5 minutes, but the stove works just as well too. Lentils can be a little bland, but they provide a great blank canvas to use with good spices. Chop your cauliflower into small florets, toss with some olive oil and seasonings, and roast for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, make the slaw and you’ll have everything you need for a delicious meatless meal.
Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your spice level, I tend to not like things too spicy so you can definitely add another shake or two of cayenne if that’s your thing.
How to cut a mango:
A mango pit is long and flat and can be difficult to deal with, your goal is to separate the fruit off of the pit in large chunks. Start by holding the mango stem side down and slice the fruit off the pit by cutting lengthwise from the top down, alongside the pit. Repeat on the other side so you end up with three sections, two are the nice juicy fruit and one is the pit.
Take each fruit side and make vertical and horizontal cuts, but not all the way through the skin. You should now be able to invert the mango so you have lots of tiny segments sticking out. Now you can easily peel these away from the skin, or carefully use a knife to separate the segments from the skin. There you have it!
The mango carrot slaw really takes these tacos to the next level. The sweetness of the mango perfectly balances some of the spice from the roasted cauliflower and you get a nice crunch from the carrots. You can shred the carrots by pulsing them in a food processor or use a cheese grater, but watch your fingers! Add in the usual taco suspects like lime juice and cilantro, and you’ve got a bright and refreshing slaw.
I highly recommend charring your tortillas if you are able to. I have a gas stove, so I lay a tortilla over the grate and have the flame on medium. Definitely keep an eye on your tortilla so it doesn’t go up in flames. After a minute or two, flip it over using tongs and do the same on the other side. The smokey flavor is fantastic!
Leftover filling keeps great for next day taco lunches too, although your coworkers will definitely be jealous. I hope you enjoy these tacos for your next meatless Monday, taco Tuesday, or whenever that taco craving hits!
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos
Roasted cauliflower and lentil tacos so flavorful you won't even miss the meat! Perfect for an easy weeknight meal and turns into great leftovers for the next day's lunch.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth (use 3 cups of water if cooking on the stove)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp taco seasoning
- 1/4 tsp chipotle
Mango Carrot Slaw
- 1 mango
- 2 medium carrots
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 lime (2 tbsp)
- 15 small corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 425.
Start the lentils: In an instant pot, add lentils, vegetable broth/water, cumin, paprika, garlic, and stir. Add tomato paste and cook on high for 6 minutes.
On the stove, add all ingredients, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on low, covered, for 15-20 minutes, until all liquid has absorbed and lentils are tender.
Chop the cauliflower into small florets. On a cookie sheet, toss with olive oil, taco seasoning, and chipotle. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until slightly charred and crispy.
To make the slaw:
Dice your mango by cutting off the fruit on both sides of the oblong pit. Make vertical and horizontal cuts in the flesh, but don't cut all the way through the skin. Invert the fruit and use your hands or a knife to release the diced segments from the skin.
Combine the mango, shredded carrots, juice of one lime and roughly chopped cilantro in a small bowl. Mix together and set aside.
Assemble the tacos:
Heat the tortillas by wrapping in a damp paper towel and microwaving for 20-30 seconds. Alternatively, if you have a gas stove I highly recommend using tongs and charring them a bit on each side. Lay the tortilla on the grate, flame on medium for a minute or two on each side, use tongs to flip carefully.
Fill your tacos with lentil mixture and a few cauliflower florets, top with mango slaw, and enjoy!
- You can substitute red lentils for green, but red ones tend to not hold their shape as well so you'll have more of a creamy texture rather than individual lentils.