If you love spicy food, you need to make these tacos. The filling is made from protein-rich lentils that are blended with cauliflower and warm spices to make a savory filling that brings the heat. Top that with homemade coleslaw, which provides a cooling "crunch," then sprinkle with pickled jalapeños and a drizzle of dairy-free cilantro crema.

Spicy Cauliflower Lentil Tacos [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Cooking Time



For the Cauliflower and Lentil Filling:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 14-ounce can of brown lentils, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 large (or 2 smaller) yellow onion(s), minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Coleslaw:

  • 1/4 head of green cabbage, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Pickled Jalapeños:

  • 8 jalapeños, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For the Cilantro Crema:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-4 hrs
  • 3 tablespoons cashew milk or water (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Other Ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas, gluten-free if needed
  • Salsa
  • Lettuce (optional)


  1. The day before you will be serving this meal, make the pickled jalapeños and cilantro crema.
  2. Wash and slice the jalapeños and garlic cloves and place them in a glass jar.
  3. Bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt mix to a simmer and take off the heat once the sugar and salt has dissolved. Let cool for 2 minutes and then pool into the glass jar.
  4. For the crema, place the soaked cashews, cashew milk (water), lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add in the cilantro and pulse a few times until the cilantro is turned into very small pieces or blend until completely smooth, whichever you prefer. Transfer to a squeeze bottle for easy serving!
  5. Store the crema and pickled jalapenos in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. The day of, prepare your coleslaw a few hours in advance. Slice all of the cabbage and place in a large mixing bowl.
  7. On the side, mix all of the other coleslaw ingredients in a small mixing bowl and pour over the sliced cabbage. Mix well with thongs or your hands. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
  8. The final step is to prepare the cauliflower and lentil filling. You can prepare all of the ingredients and set aside earlier in the day such as: process the cauliflower and store in the refrigerator, cut all of the onions and garlic and prepare the spice mixture in a small bowl.
  9. Just before serving, heat up a large frying pan and add a bit of water in it. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes.
  10. Add more water if needed and add in the cauliflower crumble and cook for a few minutes, until tender. Since the pieces are really small, it should not take a long time.
  11. Add in the minced garlic cloves and the lentils. Cook for 2-3 minutes while mixing often and then add in the spice mixture. Cook for an additional minute while mixing often.
  12. Assemble the tacos or place everything on the table for a self-serve taco party!


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