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Cauliflower Love Taco Cups

cauliflower mushroom taco tortilla cup
“Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild west. A state that’s untouchable like Elliot Ness”

Theme song by 2Pac, Dr. Dre & Roger “California Love” from All Eyez On Me
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Having come off a sugar-filled nightmare episode of HEY! I’M SNACKING HERE! where we consumed a year’s worth of candy in a single night, I decided our Friday night snack needed to resemble something healthy. One of my Facebook memories reminded me I once did some R&D on a tortilla cup appetizer – so the Friday snack decision was made.

I wanted to keep the filling vegetarian for both budget and sugar recovery reasons. I often default to a mushroom when planning meat substitutes, but I wanted something new that I had not made before. I love making Buffalo Cauliflower and considered it for this, but wanted something more in a Tex-Mex style. In doing some research, I came across a couple of cauliflower taco recipes and decided to combine those and make cauliflower taco cups with roasted tomatillo salsa. 

The best part of this recipe is its timing and speed. Everything roasts in about 20 minutes. The extra roast time on the cauliflower after stirring gives you plenty of time to assemble the tomatillo salsa and place the cups in the muffin pan. Drop the oven to 350°F – assemble and fill the cups – place in the oven to bake. While they are resting, make the lime sour cream and you’re eating in about 35 minutes. Clean simple and delicious.

Cauliflower mushroom taco crumbles, roasted tomatillo salsa, queso fresco, lime sour cream, Aleppo pepper flakes
Makes 8-10 cups

3-4 burrito size flour tortillas
Cauliflower Mushroom Taco Crumble (see recipe below)
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe below)
Lime Sour Cream (see recipe below)
Queso Fresco
Aleppo pepper flakes
Standard muffin pan
3″ biscuit cutter

Start by making the Cauliflower Taco Meat and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. They can both be placed in the oven at the same time. While you process the salsa, place the cauliflower mixture back into the oven for the final roasting.

Take a tortilla and use the biscuit cutter to cut small tortilla rounds. You will need three rounds for each cup. Take three rounds and arrange them in one of the muffin cups to completely line the cup. Press the tortillas firmly into the bottom of the cup. Fill with 2-3 tablespoons of the cauliflower mixture, a tablespoon of salsa, and a few crumbles of queso fresco. Place in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes or until cups are golden and cheese has melted.

Let them rest while you put together the Lime Sour Cream. To serve, place the tortilla cups on a plate, drizzle with lime sour cream, and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper flakes.

1 small Head Cauliflower (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 oz Fresh Mushrooms
1/2 cup Walnuts (use less or omit if watching fat intake)
2 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 tablespoon Chili Powder
2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Preheat oven to 400° degrees F

Lightly pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until you have a rice-like consistency. Now pulse (or chop) the walnuts to the same consistency and mix in a large bowl. Remove the core and leaves of your cauliflower and cut it into small pieces. Pulse the cauliflower to the same consistency and add to the bowl. Stir in soy sauce and mix. Stir in spices and mix well, making sure everything is mixed thoroughly.

Spread mixture onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Stir lightly and continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes

4 tomatillos, husked, washed & halved
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno peppers, cut in half and seeds removed
1 green bell pepper, cut in half and seeds removed
1 poblano pepper, cut in half and seeds removed
1 onion, cut into quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 400°F

Spread the tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos, bell pepper, poblano, and onion on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss everything to coat. Roast until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.

Put all of the roasted vegetables into a food processor or blender. Process until still a bit chunky. Thin with some water if it is too thick. Stir in the juice. Let cool completely.

4 tablespoons sour cream
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Posted in appetizer, baking, bushwick, comfort food, cooking, food, foodmusic, music, musicfood, recipe, taco, tex mex, vegetarian


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