Don’t miss these must-try cauliflower recipes for the best ways to eat this versatile veggie! Featuring tacos, fried rice, buffalo cauliflower, and more.
Cauliflower have become quite the hot vegetable! Once relegated to soggy veggie trays, cauliflower is now used in inventive ways at restaurants, in cookbooks and online. You’ve likely seen buffalo cauliflower wings, the popular vegan stand-in for the meaty variety. Cauliflower blended into tiny bits and cooked becomes cauliflower rice, a popular low-carb rice substitute. And you’ll find it popping up everywhere from tacos to risotto to fettuccine alfredo sauce. Is there anything that cauliflower can’t make delicious? We think not.
How to cut cauliflower into florets
Before we start: in most of these recipes, you’ll need to cut cauliflower into florets. Are you ever frustrated by finding the best method, and then end up with crumbles all over the counter? Guess what? We’ve got a quick and simple way to cut cauliflower: without the mess! Here’s a video of mein our kitchen to show you exactly how to cut cauliflower:
Even better, cauliflower is one of the 20 best vegetables you can eat! This cruciferous vegetable has only 25 calories per cup of florets, making it a low-calorie way to get vitamins and nutrients into your diet. It’s high in vitamin C, potassium and omega 3’s. It’s also is high in fiber (1 cup has about 10% of your daily needs). Are you searching for the most delicious cauliflower recipes on the internet? You’re in luck: we’ve compiled our top recipes that make cauliflower into the glamorous vegetable that it is.
First up in our best cauliflower recipes: tacos! These tacos star our Crispy Roasted Cauliflower, roasted in the oven and covered in a savory, salty, sweet and lightly spicy breading. It’s a bit of a play on breaded fish tacos (though of course the flavor is quite different!). Then cover it all in Yum Yum Sauce. Yep, Yum Yum Sauce is used in Japanese steakhouses and served with seafood, but here it's a bit of a “fusion” element. It adds a richness to these cauliflower tacos that’s out of this world.
Here’s a tasty cauliflower recipe that’s comfort food with a healthy spin: our creamy cavatappi pasta! Cavatappi is corkscrew shaped pasta, and it's paired with a creamy cauliflower sauce that coats the noodles perfectly. It’s cheesy but not too rich, made with cauliflower to infuse all the nutrients in this healthy veggie, and garlic and Parmesan cheese to bring savory flavor. It's perfect as a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough for entertaining.
Here’s an easy way to eat cauliflower as a side dish! You'll be surprised at how much flavor comes when you add simple seasonings: lemon zest, Italian seasoning, salt and olive oil. It's so tasty you won't be able to stop eating it! (Got a pressure cooker? Try our Instant Pot Cauliflower.)
One of the best cauliflower recipes out there? Buffalo cauliflower! This play on vegetarian chicken wings is seriously delicious, and a great alternative to wings or buffalo chicken dip, which are tasty but can be high calorie. Simply roast up your cauliflower and slather it in blue cheese dip. It’s a healthy snack that tastes seriously indulgent: and a party favorite!
This golden cauliflower soup recipe is...well, GOLDEN. Here the cauliflower is roasted until it's browned and caramelized, then blended with onion and carrot. The magic happens with the spices: Moroccan-style spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon bring this bright puree to life. It's become a fan favorite!
This vegan alfredo sauce stars a secret ingredient...you guessed it, cauliflower! It tastes creamy and luscious, and you'd never know it's plant-based and vegan. Cauliflower helps to make the creamy white body and infuse nutrients, and cashews add a protein-packed richness. Try it on fettucine noodles or the creamy cavatappi pasta above.
Next up in our cauliflower recipes: casserole! This cozy cauliflower casserole is filled with chewy gnocchi pasta pillows and Parmesan cheese. The gnocchi (basically pasta dough balls!) are mixed in with the cauliflower, making for a surprising mix of satisfying bites. Instead of being a gooey and heavy casserole like mac and cheese, this one is surprisingly light and seriously tasty.
Ever tried rice made out of cauliflower? How about, cauliflower fried rice? Chopping cauliflower into small bits mimics grains of rice. Here, we've done up cauliflower fried rice style, just like you'd have with Chinese takeout. And it's almost better than the original! The cauliflower soaks up the aromatic ginger and garlic even more than rice would, and the bowl of piping hot vegetables is comfort food at its finest. To bring additional protein to the dish, it's got egg, edamame, and cashews.
Why not sneak cauliflower into a risotto recipe? This basic technique for making homemade risotto consists of sauteing minced shallot in butter, adding the rice, cooking it down with a bit of white wine, and then adding warm broth a scoop at a time until the rice soaks up all of the brothy-goodness and becomes creamy and smooth. Add to this the roasted cauliflower, spinach, a bit of chickpeas and some Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a meal bursting with flavor.
Everybody loves this cauliflower curry recipe! This easy dinner is warm-spiced, nutrient packed, and ready in just over 30 minutes. Sweet potatoes contrast the savory cauliflower, along with tomatoes, onion, spinach and chickpeas. Add to that a coconut milk sauce spiced with curry powder and garam masala, and your entire kitchen smells amazing. Serve with brown rice for a complete meal.
What's a better cauliflower recipe than adding BBQ sauce? Popping cauliflower onto the grill infuses a smoky flavor. Then painting it with our tangy Homemade BBQ Sauce puts it over the top. It's great as a side dish, but it would also be perfect in a sandwich like our Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower sandwich (see below).
Oh, this cauliflower shawarma recipe. Roasted, spiced cauliflower is nestled in a warm pita and then smothered in a cool, creamy tahini-yogurt sauce. It's perfect for a lunch or light weeknight meal. Try it with a green salad like this one — if you can stop sneaking bites of that roasted cauliflower!
What's better than buffalo cauliflower? This Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich. The flavor combinations here are unreal! Tangy buffalo sauce is slathered over blistered cauliflower, then paired with a creamy Greek yogurt ranch sauce with the sharpness of blue cheese. It's savory, hearty and super satisfying. As a garnish instead of lettuce, we've used celery leaves, reminiscent of the celery sticks typically served with buffalo wings (don’t skip this step, it makes the sandwich!).
There are lots of fancy cauliflower recipes in this list, but one of our FAVORITE all time ways to eat cauliflower is simply roasted, as a side dish. That's it, roasted! Baking cauliflower at high heat with olive oil and kosher salt lightly browns it until it's caramelized. Here it's roasted with garlic, cumin, coriander and paprika, then spritzed with lemon juice after it comes out of the oven. It's simply divine.
And last up in our cauliflower recipes: cauliflower roasted with apples and red onions! The way the sweet apple melds into the savory cauliflower here is truly remarkable. Topping it all with fresh dill adds an herbaceous flair. Everyone around the table will love it: and it's especially eye-catching with the bright pink of the apple against the bright purple onion!
In a small bowl, mix together the panko, cornmeal, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, and kosher salt.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, soy sauce, and hot sauce until fully combined and slightly darkened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the sauce onto the cauliflower and stir several times until the cauliflower is well coated.
Pour about 1/3 of the dry mixture into the bowl with the cauliflower and mix. Repeat twice to stir in the remaining dry mixture to coat all of the cauliflower. Then remove the breaded cauliflower from the bowl with your hands and place it onto a parchment lined baking sheet. About 1/2 of the crumbs will remain in the bowl; you can discard these.
Bake the cauliflower for 30 minutes total, flipping the cauliflower with a spatula at the 15 minute mark. Serve immediately. If serving as an appetizer, you could add a drizzle of Yum Yum sauce or another sauce. Or, kids love them with ketchup! (If you have leftovers, you can store them refrigerated and then reheat them in a 350F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 10 minutes, flipping once.)
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.