Spicy Cauliflower Nachos
If you like cauliflower buffalo wings, then you’re going to love these nachos! This epic nacho feast features spiced cauliflower instead of chips. A real crowd pleaser: guaranteed to disappear in minutes. Gluten Free. <jump to recipe>
For the past few years, we’ve always spent Super Bowl Sunday surrounded with the most epic of feasts. I’m not a big football fan (sorry), but Anguel’s friends host a Super Bowl party every year and it's not one to miss. The food is excessive and the laughing barely stops.
This year’s shaping up a little different. Now that we’re living on opposite coasts, it makes get-togethers like these more difficult to attend, no matter how much tasty food is waiting on the other side. And, of all things, Anguel has caught a cold. The dude that never gets sick is now sniffling and sneezing, while downing cups of tumeric and ginger tea (#proud). So rather than a loud, friend-filled day, we’re going to cozy up with some epic treats of our own. Because sick or not, we’re still going to have some fun after all.
These Spicy Cauliflower Nachos are one of the most delicious things to come out of our kitchen recently. We’ve had this variation up our sleeves for a while now (sorry, again), but we wanted to save it for a special occasion like this.
The recipe starts by mixing together an easy spice blend that’ll bring both heat and flavor to the cauliflower “chips”. In the spirit of keeping it simple I use bottled hot sauce as part of the base. You can use whatever hot sauce you want, but my personal favorite is a Mexican-style hot sauce (like this one). I recommend sprinkling salt on the cauliflower after you’ve laid it out on your skillet pan, otherwise it'll just get stuck on the sides of your mixing bowl. And I think almost everyone would agree that chips need salt (whether they’re made of cauliflower or not). To state the obvious, the cauliflower in this recipe are like "chips" because they’re the vehicle for getting melted cheese, peppers, and avocado into your mouth. They won't however get crunchy like a tortilla chip - because it's cauliflower for pete's sake(!). But with all the flavors going on, greasy chips are the last thing you’ll need.
For the record, we’ve served these nachos to plenty of our "health phobic" friends, and these were still a banging hit. So don't be shy - bring these to a party and watch the skeptics gobble this up. Or, even better, pull on your sweat pants and rock a nacho night at home. We sure are.
SPICY CAULIFLOWER NACHOS
SERVES 4-6 (GLUTEN FREE)
1 head cauliflower (1 ½ lb/680g)
2 tablespoons neutral oil, melted (e.g. grapeseed, coconut)*
2 tablespoons hot sauce (e.g. Mexican-style)**
3 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bell pepper (orange or red)
1/3 cup purple onion, diced
1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tomato, chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
For garnish: Avocado, Cilantro
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray/grease a large ovenproof skillet pan (e.g. 12” cast iron pan).
Cut cauliflower into florets, then put them into a large bowl. Whisk melted coconut oil and hot sauce together. Pour over cauliflower and mix well. Add onion powder and paprika. Stir until evenly coated. Transfer spiced cauliflower to greased skillet pan. Sprinkle with salt.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip cauliflower and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle bell pepper, purple onion, cheddar cheese, tomato pieces and jalapeno peppers on top of cauliflower. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Top with chopped avocado and cilantro, then serve immediately.
-*If using coconut oil for savory dishes, you may wish to opt for processed (deodorized) coconut oil. It doesn't impart the same coconut scent.
-**Reduce if you prefer things less spicy. You can always add more hot sauce at the end.