I love nachos, but they aren’t exactly the healthiest option for dinner. In my quest to eat less meat and stop treating party food as a complete meal, I came up with cauliflower nachos.
This one-pan meal consists of spiced, roasted cauliflower, bell pepper, and onion along with beans, cheese, and your choice of toppings. I always include avocado or guacamole and salsa, but you can use your favorite nacho accessories. A blanket of citrusy shredded lettuce or finely sliced cabbage adds the requisite nacho-style crunch.
While this recipe isn’t exactly like nachos since it doesn’t include tortilla chips, think of it as a low-carb recipe that sits solidly between nachos and fajitas. Regardless, cauliflower nachos are quick to throw together, easy, and scratch that nacho itch.
How to Serve Cauliflower Nachos
While nachos are frequently served as an appetizer or filling snack, I like to serve cauliflower nachos as a meal. The dish is packed with veggies, beans, cheese, and fun toppings. It’s so satisfying there’s no need to fix any sides; just serve it up as-is and enjoy the minimal clean-up!
I set out a couple of trivets and serve these vegetarian, grain-free nachos straight from the pan. If you’re worried about your family hovering over a hot sheet pan, scoop out servings onto plates and let everyone add their own toppings.
Pile On the Toppings
While the recipe calls for topping sheet pan cauliflower nachos with beans, cheese, avocado or guacamole, salsa, and lettuce or cabbage, you can swap out for your favorites or pile on extra. Here are some toppings that work especially well on this recipe:
- 1/2 pound seasoned, cooked ground beef, shredded chicken, or chopped steak
- 3/4 cup refried beans
- 1/3 cup crumbled Cojita cheese
- 3/4 cup queso
- 2/3 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2/3 cup corn kernels
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup sliced back olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
Make these vegan by omitting the cheese and drizzling the baked nachos generously with our Vegan Queso recipe.
What Can’t Cauliflower Do?
Sheet Pan Cauliflower Nachos
This recipe serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 to 3 as a main dish.
The amount of salt in taco seasoning can vary from recipe to recipe, brand to brand. Adjust the kosher salt (or even eliminate it) depending on the saltiness of your taco seasoning blend.
1 medium head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 large bell pepper, any color
1/2 large yellow or red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (see recipe note)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 (15-ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed (3/4 cup)
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce or thinly sliced cabbage
1 large avocado, diced, or 1/2 cup guacamole
1/3 cup salsa or pico de gallo
Preheat the oven and prep the veggies:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Trim the cauliflower and cut into small, roughly 1 1/2-inch florets. Peel and chop the stem into 1/4-inch slices.
Seed the bell pepper and cut into 1/2-inch strips. Slice the onion into 1/2-inch slices.
Season and roast the veggies:
Add the cauliflower, bell pepper, and onion to a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the taco seasoning and salt (if needed). Toss well to coat and spread out into a single layer.
Roast, tossing halfway, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender and you can easily insert a paring knife in the thickest parts, about 20 minutes.
Add the beans and cheese:
Top with veggies with the drained beans and sprinkle the cheese over top. Return to the oven just long enough to melt the cheese, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add topping and serve:
Squeeze the lime over the shredded lettuce or cabbage and toss. Use to top the nachos along with the diced avocado or dollops of guacamole and the salsa. Serve immediately.
Store leftovers without the avocado, salsa, and lettuce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a 350°F oven until warm.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 2 to 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||35%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||51%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 9g||32%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 149mg||745%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|