Whoa whoa whoaaa. Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado Crema are hap-pen-ning. This is not a sad moment on Pinch of Yum.
There is a restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota called J. Selby’s. I adore it. It’s a “plant-based eatery” with pear ginger kombucha on tap, every kind of vegan bowl you could ever dream of, and deep fried buffalo cauliflower “wings” that will rock your world. The origins of this buffalo cauliflower taco obsession can be traced back to many kombuchas, “wings,” and burrito bowls shared by Bjork and I at the bar of this little restaurant. If you live in Minnesota and you want a fun place to eat, J. Selby’s will be your place.
Buffalo cauliflower (at least this version) is fairly simple to make – dip and bake – but flavor-wise, it’s not for the faint of heart. It packs some heat and a boatload of tang, like any good buffalo bar food. Its mostly-crispy breading sucks up the hot sauce and gives these little nuggets so much fiery flavor.
How to Make Our Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos (1 MIN):
Five things to know about Buffalo Cauliflower:
- Baked, not fried. Easier, healthier.
- The breading only has two ingredients. Don’t be scared.
- The little buffalo cauliflower pieces are extremely versatile. Salads, bowls, tacos, snacks… all of the above.
- These don’t reheat super well in the microwave, but they will do beautifully in a skillet with a little olive oil. Leftovers are yummy.
- Honestly, just YUM.
Part two of this recipe is almost as easy as the buffalo cauliflower: a nice smooth and creamy blender sauce of avocado, garlic, cilantro, lime, sour cream… you know, the usual suspects, and then just drop a few dollops of that creamy magic onto your slaw.
You can chop up your own slaw or you can use a bagged slaw mix. I will remind you that I love shortcuts and I will let you guess which category I fall into.
That’s it. So easy.
Final step is tucking these guys all into a tortilla together (current fave is the soft Handmade-Style Tortillas from La Tortilla Factory) and thwapping a little avocado crema on top.
MY MOUTH IS WATERINGGGGG.
You are ready for buffalo cauliflower taco greatness! Or buffalo cauliflower bowls! Or buffalo cauliflower salads!
Or buffalo cauliflower dunked in avocado crema put straight into your mouth. All would be reasonable.
Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- 1 head cauliflower (4-5 cups florets)
- 3/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s brand)
- shredded cabbage or slaw
- chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 avocados
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup sour cream (yogurt would work, too)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- squeeze of lemon or lime
- Batter the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk flour, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Dip cauliflower pieces in the batter and let excess drip off. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on an upper rack for 15-20 minutes until lightly crisped and browned.
- Spice the cauliflower: Gently toss the baked cauliflower in a bowl with the hot sauce. Return to pan. Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Avocado Crema: Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- Slaw: Toss the slaw with some of the avocado crema until it’s nice and creamy.
- Tacos: Fill each tortilla with slaw, cauliflower, a drizzle of avocado crema, and cilantro. Perfection!
Gluten Free: Use GF flour and GF corn tortillas. Note: you may need a few more tablespoons of milk to get the right consistency for the batter when using GF flour.
Vegan: use non-dairy milk and skip the sour cream in the sauce.
Cauliflower Pro Tip: It helps if you have a greased wire rack to back the cauliflower on – this allows excess batter to drip down and promotes crispiness. 👍🏼 But it works fine without, too.
Notes about texture: The texture as written is pretty firm and crispy, but not deep-fried-level crispy. Not surprisingly, you’d have to deep fry to achieve that. Which you could totally do! Here’s a recipe with a deep fry batter that I’d recommend if you want to spend the time doing that (it’s delish). But to me, this is a really great middle-of-the-road alternative that is a) much easier, b) healthier, and c) still really tasty!