Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

Taco bowls, burrito bowls, whatever you want to call them! I went with taco bowls this time because of the homemade taco seasoning used on the roasted cauliflower, plus the fresh toppings like tomatoes and cilantro. But whatever you call it, it’s a lot of yummy stuff in one bowl! These cauliflower bowls make a super colorful, vibrant, flavorful dinner, but they also meal prep well, so consider making them for your weekday lunches!

Taco Roasted Cauliflower Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl next to a lime and bowl of cilantro lime ranch

Are There Any Shortcuts I can Take?

This recipe does look like a lot of “parts” but I promise it really is easy to throw together. That being said, there are a couple of shortcuts you can take if you want to make it even easier. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, they sell a frozen corn that is already “fire roasted” and it’s SO good. You can use that in place of blistering the regular frozen corn in the skillet. You can definitely use a store-bought cilantro lime ranch instead of making your own, or any southwest-inspired ranch dressing you can find (chipotle, avocado, etc.). And lastly, if you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of taco seasoning in place of the taco spices listed below.

What Else Can I Put in My Taco Bowl?

One of the reasons I love bowl meals the most is that they are extremely flexible and they allow you to use leftover ingredients that are lingering in your fridge, pantry, or freezer. Here are some other things that you can throw into your taco bowl, if you have them:

  • tortilla chips
  • avocado or guacamole
  • cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterey jack, even feta)
  • radishes (sliced thin)
  • fresh red onion
  • pickled red onion
  • bell peppers (diced, sliced, or roasted)
  • salsa
  • lettuce

How to Meal Prep Your Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

If you want to prepare this meal for grab and go lunches (meal prep), divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, and blistered corn between four containers as soon as they are done cooking. You can skip heating the black beans, because you’ll just be placing the containers straight into the refrigerator, to be reheated later. Pack the bowls with the remaining fresh ingredients (tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, lime wedges), but leave the dressing separate. When you’re ready to eat your bowl, reheat the bowl in the microwave until hot, then top with the dressing and enjoy.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

Frozen cauliflower roasts really well in the oven, but you may have a hard time getting the taco seasoning to stick to the frozen cauliflower. You would probably need to let it thaw completely before seasoning and roasting. The thawed frozen cauliflower will likely roast a bit faster than the fresh cauliflower. I would use about 1 pound frozen cauliflower for this recipe.

Close up side view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch

 
Close up overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch and a black fork in the middle
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4.89 from 18 votes

Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

These light and flavorful Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls have tons of color, flavor, and texture to keep you coming back for more! Great for meal prep!
Total Cost: $8.31 recipe / $2.08 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Cilantro Lime Ranch

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.11)
  • 1 lime ($0.50)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ($0.05)
  • 1 green onion, chopped ($0.11)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

Taco Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.39)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)

Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.62)
  • 1.5 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans ($0.89)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
  • Fresh cilantro and sliced green onion for garnish ($0.20)

Instructions

  • Prepare the cilantro lime ranch first, so the flavors have time to blend. Zest the lime, then squeeze the juice from half, and cut the other half into wedges for serving. You'll need about 1 Tbsp lime juice. Finely chop about 1 Tbsp cilantro and one green onion.
  • Combine the ingredients for the cilantro lime ranch in a bowl (mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, garlic powder, onion powder, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, salt). Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until you're ready to eat.
  • Next, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning (chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper). Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.
  • Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it's brown and crispy on the edges.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, begin cooking the rice. Add the rice and 1.5 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.
  • Add the undrained can of black beans to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through (if making the bowls for meal prep, skip heating the beans).
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is browned and blistered (about 7-8 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Slice the grape tomatoes, roughly chop the cilantro, and slice a green onions for garnish.
  • To build the bowls, divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a pinch of cilantro, sliced green onion, and a wedge of lime. Drizzle the cilantro lime ranch over top just before eating.

Notes

*The chili powder listed is a blend of spices, usually fairly mild, that is generally used to season a pot of chili. It is not straight ground red chiles. 
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Nutrition

Serving: 1bowlCalories: 515.33kcalCarbohydrates: 68.85gProtein: 13.68gFat: 22.1gSodium: 647.78mgFiber: 12.78g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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Close up overhead view of a roasted cauliflower taco bowl topped with cilantro lime ranch and a black fork in the middle

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – Step by Step Photos

Cilantro lime ranch in a bowl

Make the cilantro lime ranch first. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice from half of it (you’ll need 1 Tbsp juice). Slice the other half into wedges for serving. Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, 1 chopped green onion, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Refrigerate the cilantro lime ranch until ready to eat.

Season cauliflower florets with taco seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut a head of cauliflower into florets, then place them in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the taco seasoning: 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the cauliflower, followed by the taco seasoning, then toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated in oil and spices.

Seasoned cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned cauliflower out over the baking sheet. 

Roasted cauliflower on the baking sheet

Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is browned and crispy on the edges.

Cooked rice in sauce pot

While the cauliflower is roasting, begin the rice. Add 1 cup long grain white rice to a small sauce pot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 more minutes with the lid in place. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and divide it between four bowls or containers.

Warmed black beans in a sauce pot, a spoon lifting some toward the camera

Add one 15oz. can of black beans (undrained) to a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If making your cauliflower bowls for meal prep, you can skip heating the beans, since the bowls will be going straight into the refrigerator.

Blistered corn in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add 1 cup frozen corn. Cook the corn, stirring only occasionally, until it is a little browned and blistered (7-8 minutes).

Chopped fresh toppings for cauliflower bowls

Finally, prepare the rest of the fresh ingredients. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, cut the remaining half lime into wedges (if you haven’t already), slice a green onion or two, and chop a little cilantro.

Build the cauliflower taco bowls

Once all the components are prepared, it’s time to build the bowls! Divide the roasted cauliflower, cooked rice, beans, corn, and tomatoes between four bowls or containers. Top with a little cilantro and sliced green onion.

Cilantro lime ranch being drizzled over a cauliflower bowl

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the bowl if it is refrigerated, then top with a drizzle of cilantro lime ranch and enjoy!

A finished roasted cauliflower taco bowl with cilantro lime ranch, with a black fork on the side.