These Mediterranean-inspired roasted cauliflower lentil tacos are the perfect dish to make on a hot summer day! With cool creamy avocado, refreshing lime tahini, and juicy pomegranate seeds, these Mediterranean tacos are a colorful and festive vegan and gluten-free dish that will please everyone.
I fell in love with Mexican food at a young age, having had a babysitter who used to cook it for me all the time as a child. I will never forget the scent of her famous taquitos, frying in plenty of oil until crispy and brown… and absolutely delicious. The funny thing is that, since she cooked them for me and my sister in our household, filled with all the Middle Eastern staples, she always used to serve them for us alongside plenty of labneh for dipping. Labneh is a thick, tangy, Arabic, cheese-like yogurt (one of the things I miss so much after going vegan… I can’t wait to brainstorm a recipe ????). Without even realizing, my babysitter was seamlessly joining the tastiest and most wonderful parts of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine together. I could not wait to do something similar with these tacos, combining all the best flavors of aromas of both delicious cuisines!
I have been dying to make a taco recipe for quite some time now. What’s not to love about tacos? You can eat them with one hand and put virtually anything in them, they are totally portable and customizable, and they just scream “fiesta,” especially when they are as colorful as these ones!
These Mediterranean tacos take the form and some of the flavors of traditional Mexican street tacos, but they come with a fun Middle-Eastern twist. The lentils are roasted with fragrant cumin, garlic and onion while the cauliflower florets are tossed in olive oil and baked with tangy sumac and cumin… because cumin is the ultimate Mexican taco spice as well as a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine!
Once the lentils are fragrant and the cauliflower florets are crispy, we prepare a creamy lime tahini sauce for topping. I love to include tahini wherever and whenever I can because it makes for the most simple and amazing sauce for literally anything… and its simplicity is perfect for the flavorful, spiced taco filling.
Instead of using lemon like I usually do, for this tahini, I used lime juice to give these tacos a kick and add bright, Latin-inspired flavor!
And of course, how could you eat Mexican food (or any food lol #veganprobs) without plenty of avocado!!
Juicy, tangy pomegranate seeds and fresh, chopped cilantro, when paired with the lime tahini, complete these roasted cauliflower lentil tacos.
I hope you love these tacos as much as I do!
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later if you don’t plan on making it now, and I would love to see your recreations on Instagram @zenandzaatar!
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 1½ cups cooked green or brown lentils (French lentils work best; this is equivalent to about ¾ cup dry lentils)
- ½ yellow onion, diced or finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- 1½ tbsp olive oil (optional)
- salt, to taste
- 1 large head cauliflower
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp sumac
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup cilantro, loosely packed
- ⅓ cup tahini***
- 2.5 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 450F. Chop cauliflower into florets. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or other non-stick lining.* Toss florets with cumin, sumac, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and olive oil, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until they begin to crisp and brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lentil filling. Sauté the chopped onion and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat in the olive oil.** Once fragrant and the onion begins to brown, after about 5 minutes, add the cooked lentils. Add the cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook until lentils absorb the flavors, about 8-10 minutes.
- Prepare the lime tahini. Whisk tahini and lime juice in a small bowl. Add water and salt and whisk. If you would like a thinner sauce, whisk in more water ½ tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Chop the cilantro and slice the avocado, in preparation for assembly. Warm the corn tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds in between paper towels to make assembly easier.
- Assemble the tacos. Put a scoop of the lentil filling in the bottom of each taco, followed by a few cauliflower florets. Place some avocado slices into each taco. Drizzle each taco generously with lime tahini, and then garnish with chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.
**For oil-free method, just sauté the onions and garlic in 2 tbsp of water. Add water 1-2 tbsp at a time as needed to de-glaze the pan while cooking lentils.
***For my favorite super smooth, authentic tahini sourced from the Middle East, check out SoCo Tahini!