26 Must-Make Cauliflower Recipes
It’s steak. It’s chicken. It’s Chinese. It’s Thai. It’s pizza crust. It’s a tortilla. It’s … dessert? Is there anything cauliflower can’t do?
There was a time I would actively avoid cauliflower — mainly, the 80s. Back then, cauliflower was just a big, bland, steamed counterpart to broccoli and carrots (one that kind of smelled funny, at that). Fast forward 30-some years and I’ve learned a thing or two: namely, that roasting cauliflower with olive oil makes it caramelize and brings out an irresistible nuttiness.
More recently, the rise of low-carb, gluten-free, and keto diets has resulted in a wave of new recipes that transform cauliflower from a sad veggie side dish to the star of the show. Today, you'll see cauliflower acting as a stand-in for chicken wings or a big rib-eye steak, a meaty add-in for curries and tacos, or a healthy upgrade for almost any potato-based comfort food you can think up, from mashed spuds to tater tots.
So let’s hear it for the most versatile veggie in the veggie drawer — and for these 26 cauliflower recipes.
Low Carb Creations
Riced cauliflower is a low-carb mainstay. Even for everyday rice-lovers, cauliflower makes a somewhat convincing rice substitute and can be dressed up with anything from Parmesan cheese to cilantro and lime. This version, from Tasting Page, pays careful attention to texture and flavor; Some onion in the mix, as well as a careful pan-crisping, mean that this rice can stand on its own. Not that we wouldn't still top it with a layer of cheese or an over-easy egg. Or both. Just sayin'.
Cauliflower Crust Margarita Pizza
The advent of cauliflower pizza crust gave pizza night back to anyone who’s gluten-free, low-carb, or the like. To be fair, it’s not exactly the same as a slice from your favorite pizza joint, but it's tasty in its own way. This version, by A Cozy Kitchen, will bake up crispy if you're careful to squeeze the extra water out of the cauliflower after cooking it. (“More water will come out than you think!” writes blogger Adrianna Adarme.) And it has just 14g of carbs per serving, including the toppings — in case you’re counting.
When you're ready to graduate from cauliflower pizza crust, try these cauliflower tortillas, from Recipe Girl. They're grain-free and paleo, with just four ingredients (not including salt and black pepper). Again, they won't taste like a flour tortilla ... and that's OK!
Cauliflower Comfort Food
Cauliflower Poppers II
Easy, flavorful, and highly rated on Yummly, these cauliflower poppers may become your newest family favorite. The two secrets to this roasted cauliflower recipe? High-heat and smoked paprika. The result is crispy, caramelized nuggets, perfect for snacking. What's with the "II" in the recipe's name? This is the second version that Jo over at Jo Cooks has created — and with over 19,000 Yums, she's doing something right.
Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower
With the unmistakable tang of Frank's RedHot Original Hot Sauce, this riff on Buffalo wings brings the classic American bar snack to the vegetarian set. The cauliflower florets cook up crispy thanks to a cornflake crust, and the Buffalo sauce could swing vegan if you use a plant-based butter alternative. Although we'd still serve these with blue cheese dressing for dipping, to be honest.
Cauliflower Tater Tots
Better-for-you (yet, still cheesy), these cauliflower bites from SkinnyTaste bake up into kid-friendly golden-brown tots. Your kids will be stealing them off the baking sheet before you even get to the table.
“I’m on week 2 of Keto and this dish was just what the doctor ordered,” says one satisfied reviewer on Yummly. That’s because this loaded cauliflower recipe from Low Carb Maven manages to be rich, filling — even decadent — without all the carbs.
Macaroni Cauliflower Cheese
Cauliflower plays a stealthy, healthy role in this otherwise straightforward Mac n’ Cheese recipe, from the BBC.
It’s vegan! It’s gluten-free! It’s a healthy stand-in for chicken nuggets, perfect for adults and kids alike. Healthier Steps uses a gluten-free breading and lots of seasonings to get that nugget-y taste and texture.
Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Cakes
In this recipe — as in so many others — the role of potato will be played by none other than cauliflower. These cauliflower cakes by Paleo Hacks are equally pleasing as a snack, side, or appetizer. But like a lot of low-carb creations, it’s best to eat them right away: Reheating them messes with the texture.
Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo
Step aside, heavy cream, butter, and cheese, here comes ... cauliflower? Indeed! In this dead-simple Detoxinista recipe, you simply sauté garlic, simmer cauliflower, make it nice and creamy in the food processor, and adjust for seasoning before draping it all over your favorite noodles. Not only is this Italian remake healthy, it's vegan too.
The International Aisle
Roasted Cauliflower Street Tacos
Roasting cauliflower gives it crispy edges and a meaty interior, perfect for stuffing in tortillas when you want to celebrate Taco Tuesday on Meatless Monday. This recipe from Live Eat Learn is vegan: The sauce gets its creamy texture from avocado. Chickpeas make these extra filling — and the chickpeas go on the baking sheet right alongside the cauliflower florets, so cleanup is a cinch.
Vegan Thai Red Curry with Cauliflower and Potatoes
Cauliflower is no stranger to curries from across the globe — including this Red Thai Curry by From a Chef’s Kitchen. Heed the advice of other home cooks and add additional salt to taste when you're done cooking.
BBQ Cauliflower Steak With Chimichurri
Oh, Argentina — you probably wouldn’t believe it, but your chimichurri tastes just as good on a broad, grilled cauliflower steak as it does on anything you would more traditionally cook on the parrilla. In this recipe by Every Last Bite, the sauce is everything. Other than that, just remember to cut the cauliflower steaks properly so that there’s some stem to hold the steak together while you get those grill marks.
Spicy Korean Cauliflower Wings
Frank’s RedHot isn’t the only sauce that graces chicken wings and cauliflower equally well. In this recipe by Went Here, 8 This, Korean mainstays like gochujang, soy sauce, and rice vinegar come together with a bit of honey for a sticky, spicy-sweet treat.
On the continent of India, cauliflower is known as “gobi” — that’s what I scan menus for in every Indian restaurant I enter. (Aloo gobi matar FTW!). This recipe from Bon Appetit is fairly straightforward and simple: cauliflower is simply tossed in a mix of Indian spices (including cumin and turmeric for the gorgeous color), then roasted til crispy before being finished with grated lime zest and ginger.
For sweet-and-fried Chinese takeout flavor sans chicken, Orange Cauliflower from Spicy Southern Kitchen scratches the itch. Fresh orange juice keeps the sauce's flavor bright, while red pepper flakes give the dish a little kick. This has a sticky-sweet sauce like General Tso's chicken and is well and truly deep fried, so it's not health food by any means. Sometimes, though, that’s exactly the point.
California Sushi Roll Bowls with Cauliflower Rice
The people said, 'Give us a sushi bowl, but make it low carb.' And Kirbie’s Cravings said, sure! In this recipe, classic cauliflower rice gets the sushi rice treatment with seasoned rice vinegar. Your bowls may not look as perfect as these, but they will taste refreshingly similar.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Sometimes you can’t go wrong with what grandma taught you. Roasted cauliflower isn’t flashy and trendy, but when a head of cauliflower is roasted whole like some kind of Christmas goose, the unassuming veggie gains some serious wow factor. The total time that this curried cauliflower head bakes is over an hour (70-75 minutes), but your prep time is just about 5 minutes, so you're free to do your thing in the meantime.
Curried Cauliflower Soup
This complexly flavored vegan soup is creamy without cream — the low insoluble fiber content of cauliflower is the secret to its lovely texture. This recipe calls for pureeing the soup either in a regular blender or with an immersion blender, but we prefer the standard blender here: You just won't get that velvety texture with an immersion blender, in our experience. (Stick blenders are still awesome, just not for this.)
Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Few things are made worse by a little bit of Parmesan cheese — and everyday roasted cauliflower florets are no exception. In this 'non-recipe' recipe from Rasa Malaysia, you take out the cauliflower once it’s roasted, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley, then pop the baking sheet back in for an extra 5 minutes. It’s really that simple!
Creamy Cauliflower Au Gratin with Bacon
A low-carb, vegan, gluten-free cauliflower recipe, this is not. Delicious, yes. Old school, for sure. The Recipe Critic doesn't hold back on the indulgences in this perfect side dish for the holidays. There’s bacon, butter, Gruyere, Parmesan, bread crumbs — and, yes, more butter, all in one decadent casserole.
Cauliflower & Caper Pasta
This Every Day with Rachael Ray recipe is a weeknight staple. Other than the cauliflower itself, it’s basically pantry pasta, with salty capers, nutty roasted cauliflower, and some Parm for good measure.
Dessert? Yes, dessert.
Squidgy Cauliflower Chocolate Brownies
Cauliflower dessert is where I become pretty skeptical (and I don't typically take to grocery store recipes), so this cauliflower and date-based brownie recipe from the U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is surprising on lots of levels. Says one reviewer of these 'squidgy' brownies, “They really don't taste like cauliflower and they have a very nice chewy texture.”
Vegan Lemon Pudding
Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit calls this vegan pudding recipe “a thing of dreams.” Plus, it’s Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Paleo, Soy-free and Vegan! Just braise your cauliflower in sweetened, lemony milk, then blend into oblivion and refrigerate overnight.
Secret Chocolate Cauliflower Mousse
Somehow, Renewing All Things figured out how to make mousse from four ingredients: cauliflower, cacao powder, gelatin, and a sweetener of your choice. It shouldn’t make sense, but it does.