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Weeknight style Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema. Cauliflower seasoned up with smoky chipotle peppers and enchilada sauce, then mixed with cheese, stuffed into tortillas, and oven-baked. Each tinga taco is crunchy on the outside, but spicy and cheesy inside. Serve with a creamy, salty honey-lime avocado crema sauce, and a mix of your favorite toppings. These come together easily and are so delicious. The perfect vegetarian twist on a classic taco that everyone loves!

overhead photo of Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema

So, I’m sure I mentioned this, but brother Red has been in town since a little before Christmas. He’s here snowboarding until the end of the month. We almost never see Red since he’s constantly traveling, but because of COVID, his travel schedule is much mellower this year. It’s a huge bummer of course, but the silver lining is that we get to have him home for more than a few days at a time. Personally, I love having him around. He’s one of those kids that can always bring a smile to your face.

And let’s be honest, I’m a real sucker when he asks anything of me. But especially when it comes to the question, “what’s for dinner”? I cave-in and make him pretty much whatever he asks for.

Unlike my oldest brother, Creighton, Red actually enjoys a meat-free dinner. His all-time favorite…The Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower from the HBH Super Simple Cookbook. I’ve been making it on repeat.

But guys, while I love that recipe, I also love trying new things. Since Red is very, very into cauliflower right now, tacos seemed like a great idea.

Enter these crispy cauliflower tinga tacos…still cauliflower but presented in a whole new way.

prep photo of Crispy Cauliflower Tinga tacos being assembled

The inspiration…

I’ve actually had this recipe on my list for a while, so when I realized just how much Red has been loving cauliflower I thought I’d make these while he’s in town. I drew inspiration from my chicken tinga taquitos that I shared last year. We all LOVE that recipe so much. I want to see if I could make something vegetarian, but with those same flavors.

I also really, really wanted to do crispy taco shells, since the cauliflower itself is saucy, not crispy. So I grabbed my hard shell taco recipe from my family’s favorite classic taco. I put the two recipes together, then added the cauliflower tinga. Guys, they turned out even better than I had thought.

I wasn’t sure how the cauliflower would hold up to the tinga sauce, but in all honesty? Everyone said they enjoyed the cauliflower, more than any other meat.

prep photo of tacos before baking

Making these tacos is pretty easy, here are the steps.

Aside from these tacos being delicious, they really are so easy to make. I start with the cauliflower tinga. If you’re new to Chicken Tinga, it’s a Mexican dish consisting of shredded chicken in a tomato-based chipotle sauce with sliced onions. It’s actually very simple, but the flavors from the chipotle peppers are KEY, and what is most traditional with any Tinga dish.

Cook the cauliflower and onion together in a super hot skillet. You’ll want to get a char on the cauliflower, but leave it tender, not mushy. Once the cauliflower starts to char, add in chipotle peppers and enchilada sauce. I use enchilada sauce as the tomato base for my tInga sauce. Once the cauliflower simmers in the sauce for a bit, it’s ready. It shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes, then you can assemble the tacos!

overhead photo of Honey Lime Avocado Crema

Now onto the crispy shells.

Instead of using store-bought taco shells, I like to take corn tortillas and stuff them with the cauliflower tinga and a sprinkling of cheese. I throw them in the oven to bake until the tortillas are crispy.

This method is my GO-TO. It’s become a staple in a lot of my taco recipes. I love the crispy oven “fried” shells. Nothing beats them!

overhead prep photo of Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema

And finally, the crema.

While the shells bake, make the crema. I wanted something cooling and creamy to balance the heat from the chipotle sauce. So instead of using a classic cream-based crema, I went a little healthier and whipped my avocado in the food processor.

It is so creamy, and a touch of lime plus flaky sea salt makes it so delicious.

Serve up the cream with the crispy tacos and you’ll have the perfect dinner.

If you wanted to take the toppings a step further, I would recommend a pineapple salsa or mango salsa. You all know me, I love a good fruity salsa. The perfect way to liven up an average Tuesday night at home.

Oh, and yes, Red LOVED these (so did the rest of the fam). So I’d say I’m really close to winning that sister of the year award this year. Cool, Cool!

overhead photo of half eaten Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos

Looking for more simple, Mexican recipes? Here are a few favorites:

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup with Salty Lime Chips

Cauliflower Al Pastor Quesadillas with Lime Smashed Avocado

Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce

Healthier Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

Lastly, if you make these, Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Crispy Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Honey Lime Avocado Crema

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 503 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Honey Lime Avocado Crema


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the cauliflower and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is charring, about 5 minutes. Add the chipotle peppers, enchilada sauce, oregano, salt, and 1/3 cup water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    3. Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave, until pliable. On a baking sheet, rub the tortillas with olive oil. Lay each flat and then layer evenly with cheese and cauliflower. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, gently pushing to adhere (see above photo). Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp. 
    4. Meanwhile, make the Honey Lime Avocado Crema. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt.
    5. Serve the tacos topped with avocado, lettuce, limes, and any other desired toppings.
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  1. 5 stars
    These were divine! We absolutely loved them and will be having them more often. We had them with refried black beans and cilantro lime rice. Thank you!

    1. Hey Lindsay,
      Happy Friday!!⛄️❄️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  2. 3 stars
    Just seemed to be missing something in the sauce. I might try making my own enchilada sauce as I can’t imagine why it was kind of flat tasting, which is usually just add salt but other than chipotle pepper flavor(yum) I couldn’t recognize what was missing.
    Will definitely make again. Loved the avocado lime cream too. Used avocado oil in place if olive oil as I think it makes crispier shell.

    1. Hi Jill,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear you didn’t love the flavors! Let me know if you give this another try! xx

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner when we had a vegetarian guest. The flavours were super together and the avocado crema was delicious. I need more practice with working with corn tortillas – they all cracked when folded in the oven and didn’t look as lovely and crispy as yours did. They did taste delicious though. Thanks for another win at dinner time.

    1. Hey Sarah,
      It could be mushy…if you decide to use it I would thaw it and drain any extra liquids first. I hope this helps! Let me know if you give the recipe a try:) xx

  4. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! My husband loved them also and he doesn’t care for cauliflower. The flavors blended together so well. We will be making these again.

    1. Hey Trina,
      Happy Monday!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was tasty for you! Thanks for making it:) xx

  5. 5 stars
    Loved Loved Loved this meatless recipe.
    We kicked it up by adding more chipotle’s plus added 1/2 cup more enchilada sauce & 1/2 cup additional water because it seemed dry especially if it was going to simmer 10 minutes.

    I used Mrs. Dash as a salt substitute because my friends 90 yr. old mom has to watch salt intake.
    The coolness of the crema paired well with the chipotle.
    We took your suggestion and served our tacos with pickled onions & mango salsa, this really took it over the top.
    This definitely is going into our regular rotation.
    Keep the meatless meal recipes coming 🙂

  6. 4 stars
    Made with flour tortillas the first time and they turned out awesome tried using corn and they completely broke apart am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe! The tortillas can be finicky! Did you warm them and coat in oil? That usually helps me, you can also try a different brand. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was so good. I made some modifications. I could already tell that the tortillas were not going to crisp up in the oven the way I wanted them too. So ditched the oven and threw them on a griddle. They came out perfectly crisp & not too hard or tough. Also, I was skeptical about the avocado creama (especially with honey) but it was delicious & it perfectly complemented (and balanced) the chipotle flavor of the tacos. Thank you Tieghan for sharing this recipe!

    1. Hey Angela,
      I really appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Hope you’re having a great Wednesday! xT

  8. 5 stars
    YUM! I roasted the cauliflower first then tossed it in the simmered sauce because I just love hard roasting cauliflower. The Tinga was great and the shells both crispy and chewy are an absolute joy.

    1. Hey Angela,
      Happy Wednesday!! I so appreciate you giving this recipe a try and love to hear that it was enjoyed! Thanks for your feedback:) xT

  9. 5 stars
    These were so good! Definitely adding to our Meatless Monday rotation. Especially loved the crunchy taco shells. Oh, and the avocado sauce. So much fun. Thanks!

    1. Hi Natalie,
      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your feedback! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit and thanks for making it! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    I just made these and they were so delicious! They have fantastic flavor and the filling was very quick and easy to make. They were extremely messy to eat, but the avocado crema was a perfect pairing for them. Definitely will be making again, but experimenting with the finishing method. I tried just browning them in a dry skillet without oiling the tortillas, and they were a little easier to eat but not crispy.

    1. Hey Kara,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! Have the best weekend!? xxTieghan

    1. Hi Emily,
      Awesome!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for your comment and sharing your feedback! xxT