an easy roasted veggie vegan taco salad recipe! this plant-based taco salad is piled high with roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, & chickpeas, plus any other taco toppings you love, & served with a homemade smoky & creamy cashew vegan taco salad dressing that’s so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful! the perfect easy meatless monday dinner, or healthy lunch to meal prep for the week.
salad month is here!!! i’m SO freakin’ excited!
in case you missed it, january is salad month on pwwb. every thursday i’ll be sharing a brand new salad recipe that’s totally satisfying, totally good for you, & most importantly…totally delish.
plus! if you’re on my email list, you get early access to the recipe & i throw in a few super helpful bonuses to keep your weekend shopping & prepping as easy as possible. it’s all completely free. sign up for the free salad month bonuses here!
we’re kicking things off today with one of my absolute favorite salads for the entire month: roasted veggie vegan taco salad with creamy cashew vegan taco salad dressing.
an easy plant based taco salad: roasted veggie vegan taco salad
ok so can we just pause for a sec to freak out over the mountain of flavor that’s happening here?!
- cauliflower & sweet potatoes tossed in taco spices & roasted to tender-crisp perfection along with…
- taco-spiced chickpeas to add lots of crispy crunch to every bite. & it all gets piled high on…
- a gorgeous bed of greens, with…
- cilantro lime quinoa! black beans! salsa! pico! avocado!
- plus, whatever else your taco salad-lovin’ heart desires…& then
- drizzled with the creamiest smoky cashew taco salad dressing(!!!!!).
i knew i wanted to create a taco salad for the salad month lineup (bc YUM, right?!), but that it ended up being a totally vegan recipe is kind of just a happy accident.
& when i say “accident” what i really mean is miracle (pahahhaha), since i’m the type of person who will totally throw cheese on anything i possibly can.
so, honestly, when i tell you that this roasted veggie taco salad is a winner, even if you’re not vegan & even if your husband scoffs at the thought of eating a veggie-filled meal, i’m 100000% completely serious.
you’re gonna love it.
it’s really easy to whip up, full of flavor the kind of flavor that’ll have you going back in for bite after bite after bite, & totally meal prep-friendly.
& really…what’s not to love about that?
the star of the show is here the crispy, roasty veggie situation.
you’ll toss your favorite veggies & some chickpeas with taco spices, then throw them into the oven to get perfectly crispy & roasted. it’s a one bowl, two sheet pan operation, & it couldn’t be easier to throw together.
i’m obsessed with the combination of sweet potatoes & cauliflower in any sort of vegetarian tacos/burrito bowls/taco salads, so that’s what i went with here.
if there are other veggies you’re obsessed with, you can of course use whatever you’d like! i would stick with some heartier veg given the roasting temperature & time – maybe butternut squash or even big portobello mushrooms – but you know what you love most! have fun with it.
the beauty of roasting veggies for this vegan taco salad is that it creates a good 20-minute chunk of downtime for you to prep the rest of the salad components: making cilantro lime quinoa, prepping any other veggies you love, & even making a homemade vegan taco salad dressing (…omg it’s so good…).
i’ll walk you through my thought process on meal prepping this roasted veggie vegan salad recipe for lunches for the week later on in this post, but what you need to know for now?
this salad is good & pretty much needs to happen in your life this january.
vegan taco salad dressing (no oil!)
let’s talk about salad dressing for a quick second. please, please, please, PLEASE make homemade salad dressing for your salads!!!
i try really hard not to be a snob about only making things from scratch, but salad dressing is one of those things where it really makes a big difference to make your own. it usually only takes about 5 minutes to whip up a homemade salad dressing, & when you make it yourself, you:
- know exactly what’s in your salad dressing. (no mile-long ingredient lists filled with chemicals & preservatives you can’t pronounce.)
- save money. (like, a lot of money!)
- have total control over how you want your salad dressing to taste.
- end up with a much fresher tasting salad dressing. (again, no chemicals!)
plus, the dressing usually ends up being one of the best parts of the salad, which is exactly the case for the vegan taco salad dressing i serve with this roasted veggie vegan taco salad.
a riff on my smoky vegan queso recipe, this taco salad dressing dressing is made without any oil. the gorgeous creaminess comes from one of my favorite ingredients of all time: cashews!
it takes 5 minutes to make, thanks to some help from your blender. all you have to do to make it is throw cashews in a blender with taco spices, water, lime juice, & some chipotle peppers for a nice smoky kick. so easy!
it’s smoky & creamy & adds so much freakin’ flavor to every single bite of salad. (really…what more could you want out of a salad dressing than that?!)
the perfect healthy salad recipe for meal prep!
aside from the fact that every bite is legit bursting with flavor, one of my favorite parts of this roasted veggie vegan taco salad dressing is the fact that it’s completely meal prep friendly.
with about 40 minutes of prep time on sunday afternoon, you can have an easy & totally healthy lunch to pack all week long. here’s how i’d do it!
- roast the chickpeas & veggies first. you can toss everything in the same large bowl to season it all at once, then pour the whole thing on a baking sheet or two. it’ll roast up in about 25 minutes, which creates the perfect amount of downtime to prep the rest of your taco salad components.
- make some cilantro lime quinoa, which is as simple as popping some quinoa on the stove, cooking it according to package directions, & stirring in some cilantro & lime juice once it’s cooked.
- whip up vegan taco salad dressing, which can all be done in one blender in 5 minutes or less. easy!
- prep any other vegan taco salad mix-ins that you love! for me, this means: draining some black beans, slicing up some cherry tomatoes, chopping cilantro, & cutting a lime into wedges.
& with all that done, all you have to do is pack everything in individual containers & pop them in the fridge until you’re ready to make a vegan taco salad during the week. while i don’t suggest letting one of these salads sit in the fridge for much longer than overnight, you can pack a salad up to 1 day in advance. i like to quickly pull things out of the fridge & prep a salad while we clean up dinner the night before – that way the next morning is truly grab & go!
& from there, all that’s left is enjoying the best lunch ever. all. week. long.
this roasted veggie vegan taco salad recipe is one of the easy, meal prep-friendly & delish salads included in pwwb’s salad month. sign up for early access to the recipes & other free bonuses HERE!
if you love this roasted veggie vegan taco salad recipe, here are a few other recipes you have to try!
- another vegan salad: winter glow bowls
- & these DELISH grilled vegetable primavera bowls (vegetarian, easily vegan)
- a non-vegan taco salad: kale taco salad with grilled chicken
- lemony grated zucchini salad with tomatoes, olives & feta (vegetarian, easily vegan)
- spring goddess grain bowls (easily vegetarian)
- cozy autumn grain bowls (easily vegetarian)
- all pwwb salads
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this vegan taco salad is piled high with roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, & chickpeas, plus any other taco toppings you love, & served with a homemade smoky & creamy cashew vegan taco salad dressing that’s so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful! the perfect easy meatless monday dinner, or healthy lunch to meal prep for the week.
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 large sweet potato, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 6 cups mixed greens
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
- for serving: cilantro lime quinoa (below), pico de gallo, salsa of choice, chopped cilantro, lime wedges for spritzing, smoky cashew dressing (see Recipe Notes)
for the cilantro lime quinoa:
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 1 lime, juiced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
- Prep the cauliflower & chickpeas: Place the cauliflower florets, sweet potato, and chickpeas in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then season with the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano and salt. Squeeze the lime juice over top. Toss to combine. Transfer the veggies & chickpeas to the prepared baking dish, arranging everything in a uniform layer, with lots of breathing room. Resist the temptation to crowd everything on one baking sheet – the veggies and chickpeas will get much crispier if you divide them between the 2!
- Roast the veggies & chickpeas for 30 minutes, giving the baking sheets a good shake about halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Make the cilantro lime quinoa: Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork and gently stir in the lime juice and the chopped cilantro. Set aside.
- Assemble the vegan taco salad: Add the greens to a large bowl. Top with the roasted veggies & chickpeas, diced avocado, black beans and any other taco salad toppings you like. Pile them high! Drizzle with smoky cashew dressing and serve. Enjoy!
for the smoky cashew dressing:
½ cup roasted unsalted cashews
1 chipotle pepper (from a can, in adobo sauce) OR 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup water
1-2 limes, juiced
DIRECTIONS: Combine all listed ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend to combine. Transfer to a bowl and set aside or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
Keywords: vegan taco salad, roasted veggie taco salad, taco sald recipe