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My Family Is Obsessed with These Sweet, Spicy, Crunchy Broccoli Tacos

The special sauce on this quick weeknight dinner is made from pantry staples I always have on hand

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These sweet, spicy, crunchy broccoli tacos are my family’s new favorite. We love how they are just the perfect combination of spicy and sweet, but the texture of the crunch is what takes it to the next level. Hello, weeknight dinner plans!

To get that satisfying crunch, I air-fry the broccoli. Deep frying works too, though the result won’t be quite as healthy. Once crisped, the broccoli florets get tossed in a flavorful sauce made from a clever combo of pantry staples you probably have in your kitchen cupboards right now.

If you’re looking for a dairy-free version of Cotija cheese to sprinkle on at the end, try making your own or swap for the plant-based feta cheese of your choice.


More Related Recipes to Try Next:
Jicama Tostada with Avocado, Guajillo, and Hibiscus
Miyoko Schinner’s King Trumpet Mushroom Carnitas Tacos
Tempeh Taco Bowl with Mango Salsa

Sweet, Spicy, Crunchy Broccoli Tacos


For broccoli taco filling

  • 1 medium head of broccoli or about 8 to 10 ounces of florets
  • 1/3 cup plant milk (up to 1/2 cup, as needed to coat florets)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 teaspoons orange juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, depending on desired sweetness level
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water

To finish/assemble tacos

  • 4 - 6 small corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges
  • Cotija cheese or alternative
  • Shredded cabbage (or lettuce)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole


  1. Chop broccoli head in small floret bites.
  2. Mix flour with bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Mix milk with vinegar. Set aside.
  4. Dip the broccoli florets in the milk mixture, then coat with the bread crumb-flour mixture. Repeat the coatings for each floret to make sure it is coated well. This will help it be crispy.
  5. Bake, air fry, or deep fry it based on appliance instructions.
  6. While the broccoli cooks, make the sauce. In a pan, add hot sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, and orange juice, and mix. Add onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, and chili flakes and stir to combine.
  7. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the mixture and cook it all together over medium-low heat until it thickens. Make sure the sugar dissolves. Keep stirring. This will take about 5 mins. To check if it’s done, pass a spatula or spoon through the sauce. It shouldn’t join back immediately, being thick enough to hold a little gap for a moment.
  8. Let the sauce cool slightly and add it to the cooked broccoli. Toss the broccoli in the sauce and coat it well.
  9. Assemble in the warmed tortillas with your favorite toppings.