Piled with crisp cabbage, melted cheese, shredded chicken, black beans, diced avocado, and tomatoes, roasted cauliflower nachos have the best of everything!

Image of the best cauliflower nachos topped with pickled red onions, shredded cabbage, and an easy avocado salsa.

I just can’t wait until you try these cauliflower nachos! They are the best cauliflower nachos! You may be saying cauli-what? Really? Cauliflower nachos? YES! Believe me, they are so good!

Crispy spicy roasted cauliflower slices take the place of more traditional tortilla chips. Trust me, you won’t miss the chips. The roasted cauliflower is so flavorful and delicious, making the perfect base for all the delightful toppings of nachos. 

Why, you might ask, cauliflower? Well, besides the fact that it’s delicious (and still quite trendy), cauliflower is actually quite good for you. It’s very low in calories and low carb yet high in vitamins and fiber, and a good source of antioxidants. Need more persuasion? Cauliflower doesn’t have any fat; that’s right, zero fat. Can you say that about tortilla chips? Didn’t think so. 

I’ve been making roasted cauliflower for ages, roasted cauliflower with Parmesan, even a whole roasted cauliflower, but the inspiration for this recipe comes from one of my favorite magazines, Eating Well. Thanks, Eating Well, for a fabulous good-for-you recipe! 

Image of roasted cauliflower topped with shredded cabbage, salsa, chicken, and black beans.

About these cauliflower nachos:

Although the list of ingredients may look a bit intimidating at first glance, cauliflower nachos aren’t difficult to make. Read through the recipe and make sure you have everything on hand. 

Begin by preparing the cauliflower. Slice the florets into half inch slices. Don’t worry if your slices are a little uneven. Rinse them and then dry thoroughly. A salad spinner works great for this if you have one! The dryer the cauliflower, the crispier it will be when you roast it. Toss the cauliflower slices with olive oil and a mixture of southwestern spices. Roast the cauliflower on a rimmed sheet pan.

Meanwhile, you can put together the fresh salsa ingredients: tomato, cubed avocado, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, and red onion. Squeeze a little lime juice over it to keep it fresh and give it even more flavor. Shred green cabbage for the topping, too. 

When the cauliflower is browned and crispy, remove it from the oven. Top with black beans, shredded chicken, and cheese and bake until the cheese is melted. 

Serve the cauliflower nachos with the fresh salsa and sprinkled with shredded green cabbage. Oh, so yummy! Lots of satisfying crunch, gooey cheese, and fresh flavor. If you want, drizzle on some homemade jalapeño ranch dressing.

Image of roasted cauliflower topped with an assortment of southwestern flavors: pickled red onions, tomatoes, cabbage, avocado, black beans, and shredded cheese.

How to make these low carb nachos your own:

Use the roasted cauliflower as a base and customize the toppings to make these cauliflower nachos perfect for you. Here’s some ideas:

  • Vegetarian: Omit the chicken, use the whole can of black beans.
  • Vegan: Omit the chicken, include the beans, use a vegan cheese.
  • Paleo: Include the chicken, omit the cheese and beans.
  • Low Carb/Keto: Omit the beans.
  • You could use shredded lettuce in place of the shredded cabbage. 
  • Pinto beans would be a good replacement for the black beans.
  • Feel free to add or adjust toppings based on your preferences! Other options are fresh jalapeño slices, pickled jalapeño, fresh red onion, pickled red onion, creamy jalapeño ranch dip, etc.
  • Use your air fryer to make the crisp cauliflower “chips.” You’ll have to use your oven or toaster oven to bake the nachos, once you top them with the chicken, cheese, and beans.

Image of irresistible and very colorful cauliflower "nachos."

Reheating and Storage Tips

If you have leftovers, wrap them well and refrigerate, storing the fresh salsa separately from the rest of the nachos. When ready to serve, reheat the nachos in the microwave or oven. I like to use my toaster oven (and I add a little more cheese). Cauliflower nachos are surprisingly good reheated. 

More better-for-you Tex-Mex recipes:

Take a look at these exciting takes on traditional recipes:

 

The Best Cauliflower Nachos

The Best Cauliflower Nachos

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Piled with crisp cabbage, melted cheese, shredded chicken, black beans, diced avocado, and tomatoes, roasted cauliflower nachos have the best of everything!

Ingredients

For the roasted cauliflower

  • 8 cups large cauliflower florets, cut into ½ inch thick slices (about 1 large head cauliflower)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

For the salsa

  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

For the nachos

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained (from 15 oz can)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works great)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or sharp cheddar
  • ¾ cup finely shredded cabbage

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine oil, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add cauliflower and gently toss to coat.  Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on the prepared pan. Bake until tender and starting to brown, 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly stir together tomato, avocado, cilantro, jalapeños, onion, lime juice, and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  4. Top the roasted cauliflower with beans, chicken and cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.
  5. Serve the nachos topped with the salsa and cabbage.

Notes

    • Feel free to add or adjust toppings based on your preferences! Other options are fresh jalapeño slices, pickled jalapeño, fresh red onion, pickled red onion, creamy jalapeño ranch dip.
    • Vegetarian: Omit the chicken, use the whole can of black beans.
    • Vegan: Omit the chicken, include the beans, use a vegan cheese.
    • Paleo: Include the chicken, omit the cheese and beans.
    • Low Carb/Keto: Omit the beans.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 615Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 389mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 14gSugar: 8gProtein: 37g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Verdict: SO good. You won’t believe how addicting and irresistible these are.
Husband’s take: The first time I made these, I honestly wasn’t sure if Ben would like them or not. Turns out, he loves them! 
Changes I would make: None are necessary but this is a very flexible recipe. Have fun with it! 
Difficulty: A little chopping involved, but still very easy!