Turn your next vegan nacho night into a low-carb, healthy experience by making a tasty tray of cauliflower nachos. Vegan cauliflower nacho recipes swap out deep-fried tortilla chips for roasted cauliflower, and cheddar cheese for vegan cheese. This healthy substitution lets you enjoy all the delicious toppings and classic nacho flavors you love, but with the added bonus of nutrition. Follow the recipe for cauliflower nachos below to give your next nacho night a fun, nutritious twist.
Why Swap Out Chips For Cauliflower?
Tortilla chips, like their potato counterpart, are a deep fried food with lots of flavor but very little nutritional value. In fact, a one ounce serving of tortilla chips contains a lot of calories, fat, and carbohydrates. As such, experts suggest that you enjoy tortilla chips sparingly.1
Cauliflower, on the other hand, has tons of nutritional value. This cruciferous vegetable comes loaded with nutrients, like vitamin C, folate, calcium, and antioxidants. It also contains the plant compound sulforaphane — which reduces the effects of oxidative stress to help support healthy blood pressure levels.2
Cauliflower also has many applications in the kitchen. You can steam, roast, puree, grate, or mash the iconic white florets into many different, nutritious recipes. Apart from making a great tortilla chip substitute, cauliflower can also be used in place of rice, pizza crust, and buffalo wings.
“Cheesy” Cauliflower Recipe: Step-By-Step Instructions
Nachos might not come to mind first when you see a whole cauliflower head. But, don’t let the shape fool you. Cauliflower florets absorb seasoning beautifully and maintain a springy snap after baking, which makes them a great chip substitute.
Step 1: Slicing And Roasting Cauliflower
The first thing you’ll want to do for cauliflower nachos is prepare your cauliflower chips. The ingredients and detailed instructions can be found below. After you prepare your cauliflower chips, you’ll be ready to add all your favorite ingredients.
Ingredients For Roasted Cauliflower Chips
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
Instructions For Roasted Cauliflower
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Place a whole head of cauliflower on a cutting board, and remove any of the green leaves on the stem. Then, using caution, cut the cauliflower into florets by cutting the florets from the stem. Try to keep them as large as possible.
- Next, slice the cauliflower florets lengthwise into thin strips. You should have flat pieces, which makes the cauliflower nachos easier to eat.
- Place your cauliflower slices into a medium bowl, and add your olive oil and seasoning. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the seasoned cauliflower onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the edges of the cauliflower are golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside, leaving the cauliflower on the baking sheet.
Step 2: Add Your Favorite Cauliflower Nacho Toppings
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to nacho toppings, and cauliflower nacho recipes are no different. Try a few of these classic and healthy toppings below to get started. Or, if you feel fully nacho-confident, use your own ingredients for this cauliflower version of nachos.
It’s also easy to keep things vegan by skipping the sour cream (or using vegan sour cream) and substituting normal cheese for vegan cheese. No matter what style of nacho you make, though, try to use fresh ingredients and vegetables to help keep things extra healthy.
Cauliflower Nacho Topping Ideas:
- Vegan cheese (try vegan cheddar, vegan mozzarella, or any good melty cheese)
- Diced tomatoes or whole cherry tomatoes
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Black beans
- Jalapeño slices
- Green onions
Instructions For Assembling Cauliflower Nachos
Once you have your favorite toppings selected, you can begin to assemble and complete your cauliflower nachos. Follow the next set of instructions for the finished, gooey, and delicious results.
- Begin by pushing your roasted cauliflower together into a tight circle on the baking sheet. The cauliflower shrinks when cooking, and moving the pieces closer together can help keep things nicely assembled for nachos.
- Next, add your cheese, then all of the toppings that need heating, like black beans, tomato, green onions, and jalapeño peppers.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes in the oven or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove the nachos, and add the fresh toppings, like fresh cilantro, diced avocado, guacamole, and vegan sour cream.
- You can slide the nachos onto a cool serving tray by pulling the parchment paper off the baking tray. Or, you can eat straight away on the baking sheet, but use caution if the pan is hot.
Notes And Tips From The Kitchen
Make the most of your time (and nachos) with a few of these extra tips and ideas for cauliflower nacho night.
Prepare Your Cauliflower In Advance
You can make your cauliflower chips a day or two in advance for an extra easy night of cooking. When you finish roasting the cauliflower, let it cool, and then store in a sealable container in the fridge. When you’re ready to make nachos, place the cauliflower on a baking sheet, add your toppings, and bake.
Don’t Waste Your Cauliflower Stalk
Don’t throw away the cauliflower stalk after you remove the florets. The stem has lots of nutritional value and is easy to prepare. Simply use a potato peeler to remove the outside layer, then dice the stalk into rounds. You can roast these with the florets for nachos, or save them for a future salad or soup.3
Turn Leftovers Into A Salad
Traditional nachos tend to become soggy after a few hours, which makes them less than ideal for leftovers. But, cauliflower nachos don’t lose their snap and can easily be stored in the fridge for a day. Mix them the next day with some fresh lettuce and your favorite dressing for a tasty, easy lunch.
Make Your Own Nacho Sauce
If you have some extra minutes to spare in the kitchen, you may want to consider making your own nacho sauce. Put those avocados into a food processor with some lime juice for a quick creamy guacamole. Or, stir in some chopped up chipotle into your vegan sour cream for a chipotle cream sauce with a kick.
Vegan Cauliflower Nachos: A Healthy Spin On A Fan Favorite
Cauliflower nachos are a straightforward and delicious dish that you can serve as a snack or a whole meal. Plus, when you swap out the tortilla chips found in traditional nachos, you turn your nacho meal into a low-carb, healthy dish.
Elevate the health factor even more by adding fresh, nutritious ingredients to create a meal that nourishes and pleases. The instructions and ingredients above can get you started with a solid cauliflower nacho base, but feel free to stretch your imagination. There’s no limit to the number of delicious cauliflower nacho recipes out there for you to make.