Spiced Cauliflower Nachos

February 27, 2021


We’ve been up north in Maine skiing this past week for our kids’ February vacation (mea culpa on not posting last week! I’m back to my regular scheduled programing). The snow made for great skiing and super relaxing apres skiing and so far 2021 has logged more vacation days than I’ve ever had in my whole entire life if you count our trip to the Bahamas.

Though I don’t know if ‘vacation day’ is the right word to use when caring for six kids (including twin three year olds who wake up with the sun which actually means I get to see some pretty epic sunrises) and all the laundry and meals they require. Still, I’m counting us lucky ducks and am deeply grateful for our babysitter Beth who used to run the ski mountain daycare and now comes to our house for our boys due to Covid shutting it down. #silverlinings

I love making cozy meals in the crockpot for after skiing, and I made comfort food meals like Cheeseburger soup and spaghetti and meatballs. When Friday rolled around, a day we typically don’t eat meat – especially during Lent – we were actually too tired to run out and get cheese pizza (there is no delivery where our camp is) but luckily I had just read a recipe for Lunch Nachos with Spiced Cauliflower on Bon Appetit via Theology of Home (be sure to get on their email list, it is like a finely curated newspaper in my inbox everyday). I happened to have nearly all the ingredients (all but the watermelon radishes, because if you go on a ski vacation in Maine and travel with watermelon radishes you’re my hero).

I decided they would work for dinner as well as lunch so I cooked up the cauliflower thinking if nothing else it was at least sort of healthy, and then I tasted one. Oh my gosh, they were amazing! The technique of letting them get brown and soft by not touching them for a few minutes on each side yields delicious results. I didn’t have coriander up there so I substituted chili powered and I might repeat that substitution because it went perfectly with the whole vibe. So smokey and full of flavor.

I made a huge tray and it fed six of us well (three year olds had quesadillas). I am sure the watermelon radishes soaked in rice wine vinegar would be amazing, but any way you can top nachos – which are already pretty much the perfect meal – with spiced cauliflower will be a great day. Having these with a skinny margarita (or two), and watching the Avengers movies in order with your whole family makes for a perfect fill-your-heart-to-the-brim day. 

I am wishing you quiet nights like those with these nachos for you soon!

Happy Eating,

xoxo Katie

Spiced Cauliflower Nachos


{1 cup thinly sliced radishes, red onion, cabbage, carrots, or other firm vegetable

½ cup seasoned rice vinegar } these are optional. Don’t let not having them stop you from making these! 

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 small head of cauliflower, halved through stem end, thinly sliced

1 tsp. ground coriander (I substituted 1 tsp. chili powder which was delicious)

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. paprika

Kosher salt

1 bag tortilla chips  (or as many will lay flat on your tray)

1 can refried beans

16 oz. sharp cheddar, coarsely grated

Chopped avocado, jalapeños, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and plain yogurt (for serving)


Step 1

Toss radishes and vinegar in a small bowl to combine; set aside.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook garlic, tossing often, until golden around edges, about 2 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Toss, then continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned all over and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes more. Add coriander/chili powder, cumin, paprika, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Cook, tossing, until very fragrant, about 1 minute; season with salt.

Step 3

Spread half of chips on a small rimmed baking sheet. Arrange half of cauliflower on top. Dollop half of beans over, then sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat layers one more time. Bake until cheese is melted, 10–12 minutes. Top with drained radishes, avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, and yogurt.

Recipe adapted from The New York Times 

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