Sheet Pan Cauliflower Tinga Tacos

Sheet Pan Cauliflower Tinga Tacos

When this blog was started, I was an brand new mom. I’d just packed up my desk in a career as a magazine editor where my diet consisted of champagne, canapés and long, paper-reading brunches. The idea of making a dinner every night for my family was a crushing notion. I needed ideas and lots of them because dinner, that godforsaken meal, never, ever went away. Today I don’t struggle with ideas. I’ve got plenty of them. And when I don’t I have one there are a million ways to find one. Now, I struggle with stamina. Dinner really has a way of completely emptying your tank. I no longer fret about every ounce of cooking needing to be all the things — healthy, fast, delicious, balanced. Those anxieties no longer creep into my cooking. Instead I often find I don’t have the razzle dazzle I need to make dinner.

Photo by Ashley van der Laan

Sheet Pan Cauliflower Tinga Tacos

This easy dinner will be your new favorite meatless main thanks to it flavour sauce including chiptoles in adobo sauce, tomato paste, garlic and spices.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 tacos


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower, chop florets into small bite size pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 6 corn or wheat tortilla
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

For toppings

  • 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • sour cream
  • salsa


  • Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the chipotle peppers, tomato paste, broth, cumin and chilli powder. Let the sauce simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. (Add more liquid if you want a bit more sauce.) Remove from the heat and pour the sauce over the cauliflower pieces in a bowl and stir to coat.
  • Spread cauliflower out onto one of the baking sheets in a single layer. Bake in the oven for about 18-20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and fill each tortilla with a spoonful of cauliflower and cheese, fold and place on the other prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown. Serve tacos with lettuce, sour cream and salsa.
Keyword tacos, taco, cauliflower, vegetarian, simple recipes, meatless mains

I remember when I was a teen, my mom had this really passive attitude to dinner. I’d ask, “What are we having?” And she’d abandoned her early years of selling me her latest recipe torn from a magazine or pulled from the recipe cards of my Italian grandmother who was maven in the kitchen. Instead she’d say, ” I don’t know, whatever. I’ll figure it out.” I remember feeling like that answer was final and any further probing would not only be unwelcome but empty of all insight. I’d just have to wait and see.

I’m at the” whatever” stage of dinner. I still want it to be healthy, of course. Although what does healthy even mean any more? When we started this site it meant mostly made at home, leaning heavy on fresh vegetables and fruit, less sugar, whole grains. Now, I feel like you have to grow your own food or follow some insanely restrictive trend. You also have to weed through all the nutritional sound bites of every “nutritional” influencer (who likely lives on wine and water).

Maybe I’m jaded. Maybe I’ve made too many dinners. But I have plenty more to make in my lifetime including tonights so I won’t hold you up any further with my rambles and get right to this recipes. It’s my latest favorite supper and it’s called Cauliflower Tinga Tacos. It’s simply made, using simple ingredients so I call it healthy. It also makes my family happy because it’s tacos. The cauliflower is roasted, not fried. The tacos are baked all together on a single sheet pan after being stuffed with the cauliflower that was tossed with a sauce that features chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, tomato paste, onions and garlic. In other words, it’s flavourful. And cheese. I can’t forget the cheese.

I hope this meal dazzles your family. I may have lost my own sparkle for dinner but the meal, the actual meal, the sitting down together as a family is still the greatest gift I get in my day. And I can guarantee you, in all the ways dinner has made me tired, the meal together is something I will NEVER lose my love of.

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