First there was quinoa, then it was kale. This year, however, it’s all about the cauliflower.
This unassuming vegetable often gets passed over for veggies of a brighter hue, like broccoli, or leafy greens like spinach. Often boiled to mush and force-fed onto children by their parents, cauliflower hung out on the sidelines until recently, when we all discovered the same thing: cauliflower is awesome!
For starters, a one-cup serving of cauliflower has just 29 calories, but provides 73 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Because it’s rich in antioxidants, cauliflower also helps prevent inflammation and can reduce your risk of heart disease and brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. And, of particular interest to us at-home chefs, it’s mild flavor means that it’s easy to add to your favorite dishes. When baked, it holds together beautifully and, when ground in a food processor, works really well as a rice substitute.
And did I mention it’s one of the great low-carb foods that fits well into any diet, including restrictive ones like Paleo and ketogenic diet? I’ve gathered some of the healthiest and tastiest cauliflower recipes from around the web. You’ll never believe how many ways you can enjoy cauliflower — and you won’t pass over this vegetable anymore!
30 Cauliflower Recipes
There’s no more missing out on the buffalo wings and ranch dip for veggie lovers. This easy, vegan-friendly recipe gets the same great buffalo sauce flavor with little effort and none of the messy breading that some other recipes use. The accompanying dip is tasty, too, and easy to modify for those who aren’t on a vegan diet.
Photo: Veggie Inspired
Looking for a low-carb alternative to hamburger buns or sandwich bread? This is it. These buns bake up nice and firmly, perfect for piling on your favorite burgers or sandwich fixings without fear of crumbling.
These breadsticks have everything you want: crispiness coupled with cheesy, herby goodness. You’ll bake the cauliflower in a low-heat oven first, before squeezing out the moisture and re-baking with the seasonings and cheese. This ensure a crunchy breadstick that holds up to some serious marinara sauce dipping.
These fritters are super versatile. Made with cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and seasonings, they’re pan-fried and perfect for serving anytime of day. They’re great paired with eggs for breakfast or with a protein and salad for a simple lunch or dinner.
This is one of the most creative cauliflower recipes I’ve come across — and one of the tastiest. You’ll stuff good quality cheddar cheese in between two cauliflower “bread” slices. Easy and delicious. Though grilled cheeses are usually made in a pan, this one will cook in an oven to ensure the bread holds up. It’s worth it!
Photo: Kirbie’s Cravings
If you’ve never had a stromboli, you’re in for a treat. It’s basically all your favorite pizza toppings rolled into pizza dough and dipped in marinara sauce. Here, cauliflower dough acts as the base, ready to be filled with pizza sauce, cheese and whatever you normally put on your pizzas; I like some mushrooms, onions and green peppers. It’s a fun and healthy change on your usual pizza night.
These veggie-friendly “meatballs” have no meat. Instead, they’re rolled with cauliflower, feta cheese, fresh lemon juice, sumac and garlic and baked for just 20 minutes. They’re perfect for serving over buttered zucchini noodles for a light and fresh meal.
Photo: Divalicious Recipes
This fried rice has all the flavors of your favorite takeout side dish without all the grains and carbs. I love these types of cauliflower recipes because you can really use whatever vegetables or protein you have in your fridge at the time.
Roasting the cauliflower and red peppers that make up this soup means that a very simple cauliflower recipe is loaded with flavor. While they roast, you’ll sauté onions and garlic in a pan, along with herbs, spices and chicken broth. When the veggies are done, they’re added to the pot until you blend it up; an immersion stick comes in handy here. This soup is excellent on cooler nights and works as a starter or a main.
Cauliflower stands in for rice in this genius enchilada recipe. Just layer tortillas in a casserole dish, top with the “rice”/corn/chicken/enchilada sauce/cheese filling and bake. The chef in this recipe uses bagged cauliflower cauliettes, the cauliflower stems. If you can’t find those, ricing fresh cauliflower and sautéing in a pan with oil briefly will produce the same result.
I love how cauliflower recipes make eating your vegetables so tasty. Here, you’ll sauté cauliflower with green onions and garlic and combine with black beans and seasonings. Each pepper halve gets stuffed with this meat-free mix — you can bake immediately or refrigerate the peppers at this stage until you’re ready to cook. Top with your favorite garnishes, like avocado slices, lime juice, cilantro and a side of salsa.
Photo: Minimalist Baker
You won’t miss the meat when it comes to these steaks. This recipe comes together super quickly. You’ll slice a head of cauliflower into 1-inch thick “steak” slices that are seared in a cast iron salad and served with a fresh, homemade herb sauce that comes together in seconds in the food processor. Drizzle the sauce over the steak and serve with a side salad.
This Middle Eastern favorite uses cauliflower instead of the usual bulgur wheat for a lighter, grain-free side dish. Because it takes at least 4 hours of chilling to allow the flavors to meld together, this is a terrific make-ahead dish.
Photo: Dr. Axe
Guilt-free pizza night has arrived! This cauliflower pizza crust also has garlic goodness baked right into it, making it the perfect base to load up on your favorite toppings. And did I mention it’s gluten-free? This crust is a definite winner.
This tikka masala recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy your favorite Indian flavors on busy weeknights — this dish is on the table in just 35 minutes. The full-fat coconut milk makes this tikka masala nice and creamy, and I always love a mix of garam masala, turmeric and cinnamon. You’ll want something to soak up the tasty sauce, so serve this with either brown rice or my Paleo naan bread.
This cauliflower recipe proves that this vegetable can truly do it all. Adding cauliflower to this chocolate cake keeps it moist and delicious, while still having that chocolate flavor you’re craving. You have to try this!
Photo: Dr. Axe
Traditional creamed spinach uses flour to make the creamy sauce, but no more! With this cauliflower recipe, you’ll process boiled cauli florets with cream and butter and mix it with sautéed spinach, the cauliflower sauce and cheese, then broil it all up until the cheese is a golden brown. Your favorite side dish made healthier? Yes, please.
Chicken pot pies are known for being creamy, comforting and definitely not low-carb — but not anymore. The traditional flaky pastry crust is replaced by a cauliflower base, which are baked in a muffin pan, so you’ll end up with perfectly portioned pies. Using frozen veggies makes this cauliflower recipe nice and quick, and it’s dairy-free, too.
Photo: It’s Cheat Day Everyday
Mexican rice is a great addition to Tex-Mex meals like fajitas, enchiladas or shredded beef and this cauliflower version takes it to the next level. It’s bursting with Mexican flavors: think cumin, paprika, coriander and jalapeños and it’s crazy easy to put together. You’ll have this rice done in 15 minutes, which is less time than traditional rice cooks for! You can add your favorite toppings, like corn, avocado or sour cream to this rice, or add sliced chicken or beef for a heartier main meal.
This is the ultimate veggie-filled side dish. It’s one of my favorite everyday cauliflower recipes, as it goes well with tons of mains: think roasted chicken, pot roast and more. Plus, it requires only a handful of kitchen staples, like onions, ghee and garlic. You can serve this chunky or smooth but, either way, it’s a wonderful addition to your meal.
Photo: A Family Feast
This recipe proves that cauliflower can be enjoyed anytime of day. This one combines disease-fighting mushrooms, arugula (or another leafy green of choice), and bacon (opt for turkey or beef) along with mashed cauliflower into one tasty breakfast bowl that’s packed with nutrients. In fact, even though it’s a morning dish, this recipe makes an excellent “breakfast at dinner” option.
When you need a fast, no-nonsense side dish, this roasted cauliflower recipe comes to the rescue. You’ll roast the cauliflower florets with coconut oil and lemon juice and then drizzle a buttery mix of shallots, lime zest and adobo sauce for a little kick. With some raw sheep’s cheese added for good measure, this is simplicity at its finest.
Let’s be honest: when it comes to slow cooker recipes, convenience often takes precedence over taste. But while this soup is certainly easy to prepare, it doesn’t compromise on taste. You’ll get a full 3 cups of broccoli and 2 cups of cauliflower, but also garlic, shallots, hot sauce and cheese, glorious cheese! Using Greek yogurt makes this soup nice and creamy while adding protein. You’ll dump all the ingredients, cook on low for 6–8 hours then use an immersion blender to make it nice and smooth. It doesn’t get easier than this.
Get ready for a takeout fakeout recipe like none other. Let’s be honest, the best part of sesame chicken is the sticky sauce covering it, and this cauliflower recipe mimics it so well. Made with maple syrup, sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce (substitute coconut aminos), this tastes just like the mall restaurants but is way healthier. Don’t be alarmed by the 1/4 cup of sweetener, as that’s split between 3–4 servings. When you want to indulge on Chinese takeout, this is a great alternative.
Photo: Chocolate-Covered Katie
One of my other favorite vegetables, sweet potato, makes a welcome appearance in this easy-to-make soup. It’s requires just six ingredients and is perfect for Paleo and gluten-free diets. Despite the minimal effort involved, this soup bursts with flavor — roasting the veggies brings out cauliflower’s earthiness, which is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the potato. Easy and delicious, you can’t lose!
This vegan chowder comes together in just half hour and it’s got a special ingredient that adds creaminess along with an intense garlic taste: garlic hummus! You can buy pre-packaged or make your own and add extra cloves. If you’re a garlic lover or just want to keep vampires away, you should try this recipe.
Photo: Simply Quinoa
If you’re cutting down on carbs but can’t seem to resist chowing down on pasta, this baked ziti is for you. Unlike most cauliflower recipes, there’s no food processor involved in this one. Just boil and then mix with all the classic ziti ingredients, namely ground turkey, pasta sauce, spinach and a whole lotta cheese. This ziti also freezes beautifully, so make an extra batch!
This pilaf is an excellent way to get your dose of one of the most powerful spices, turmeric. It’s a delicious side for a main like chicken tikka masala, and I love the extra flavor and protein that adding almonds and raisins brings.
30. Vegan Alfredo
This is one of my sneakiest cauliflower recipes and one of my favorites, too. Cauliflower is the magic ingredient behind this creamy, dairy-free and vegan alfredo. This mouthwatering sauce is ready in just 15 minutes and plays nicely with gluten-free pasta or zucchini noodles.