HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


need some inspired, healthy cauliflower ideas, beyond cauliflower cheese, roasted cauliflower and aloo gobi...

Bored with my usual approaches. Especially interested in recipes without cheese/cream. Thanks for any suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've been making cauliflower puree lately. I too am tired of roasted cauliflower. What I love about it is that it makes a nice bed for the protein and veg.
    I steam large florets, stems and all. When tender, I transfer into a food processor and season with salt, pepper, paprika, granulated garlic (add whatever you want here to season) and then add chicken stock and a touch of cream or half and half.
    Puree away.
    Pic-- Turkey Piccata with Pureed Cauliflower and Parmesan Roasted Asparagus.

    1. Cauliflower steaks , cauliflower soup, paprikash all wonderful.

      2 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        what did you do with cauliflower steaks?

      2. I don't use a recipe but like stir fried cauliflower and pork. It's something along these lines:


        1. Whole Foods had a shredded cauliflower salad with curry...you could probably season it other ways. It was shredded very very fine. Anyone done this?

          1. cauliflower pizza crust. this one has chevre in it, but there are vegan versions floating around the internet. i haven't tried it, so i can't tell you how it tastes!


            2 Replies
              1. re: tweenietoes

                I'm not into veganism or raw foods, but that website has some great ideas for getting a ton more vegetables into our diet, and substituting for some of the carbs that DH can't have with his diabetes! Thanks for the link.

              2. Ginger-carrot-cauliflower soup. Delish!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Joebob

                  here's my version:

                  roasted carrot-ginger soup

                  1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped in large pieces
                  1/2 head cauliflower (1 pound), broken into florets
                  1 onion, peeled and quartered
                  1 bulb fennel (1/2 if large), trimmed and quartered
                  2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
                  2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper
                  4 cups vegetable stock
                  1 inch ginger, finely grated
                  1 cup coconut milk

                  heat oven to 450-degrees. toss carrots, cauliflower, fennel. onion and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. transfer to a large saucepan, cover with vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes. add grated ginger and puree. stir in coconut milk. taste and wait for the ginger to kick in before adding salt or pepper.

                  makes about 2 quarts. freezes beautifully.

                2. I had a South African friend who made a really nice African Spiced Vegetable Salad with cauliflower, carrots, red pepper and corn. I found something with ginger, cumin, coriander, nutmeg and salt.

                  I also like the sound of a Curried Sweet Potatoes, Cauliflower with Green Beans

                  1. Steam cauliflower until just tender then process it in the processor. It won't turn into a puree but into something similar to couscous. Surprisingly good.

                    Steam cauliflower florets until tender then toss with homemade vinaigrette. Mine is standard French: blend 1-2 tablespoons of french mustard with equal measures of red wine vinegar and add several tablespoons of olive oil, salt & peper to taste, blend. Drizzle over just about any steamed vegetables while they're still warm so it'll absorb the flavors better. To add jazz to the dish add 1-2 diced boiled eggs.

                    1. Reasonably healthy... ... Japanese curry with cauliflower. I like it when the cauliflower becomes really tender and breaks apart.. .gives a nice body to the japanese curry. I don't know anyone else who does this, but i guess it hits the spot for me.

                      Others options:
                      Mashed cauliflowers. Treat it like mashed potatoes, with gravy or even japanese curry/other curry gravy.
                      Pickled cauliflower

                      1. This is my favorite way to prepare Cauliflower. Even Cauliflower haters have been turned by this recipe.


                        1. And here is my absolute fav way to prepare cauliflower. The recipe does call for some manchego cheese but the dish is just fine without it. From Madison's Local Flavors:
                          Green Cauliflower with Parsley and Green Olives

                          The color doesn't much matter but one of those lime-green cauliflowers or a whorl of broccoli romanesco makes a stunning looking dish, as does a mixture of green and white cauliflower.

                          1 lg. head cauliflower, broccoflower, or broccoli Romanesco
                          1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
                          2 Tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
                          1/2 cup chopped Spanish green olives
                          2 Tablespoons drained capers, rinsed
                          1/3 cup olive oil
                          Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
                          Manchego cheese

                          1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets; peel and dice the stems. Put the parsley, tarragon, and olives in a bowl with the capers, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper.
                          2. Steam the cauliflower over salted boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Dump it into the bowl and toss well. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with a little Manchego cheese grated or shaved over the top.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: tcamp

                              This is also great with some currants or raisins tossed in for sweetness.

                            2. Just for fun, here is one I won't be trying. It may be delicious but the picture, to me, is a huge turnoff.


                              1. My mother used to make cauliflower this way: She would par-boil or steam the whole head of cauliflower. She would let it cool somewhat, then pry apart some of the florets and stick mozzarella cheese in them. When she was ready to bake it, she's roll the top of the cauliflower in breadcrumbs that she had seasoned with grated romano cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper. She'd bake it until the mozzarella could be seen bubbling out from between the florets.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: roxlet

                                  At first I thought eww, but then stuck with two heads of cauliflower that NO-ONE else in the house would eat I gave this recipe a "what the hell, I will try anything once" It is my favorite cauliflower recipe and often make it for snacking.

                                  Cocoa-Toasted Cauliflower

                                  1. re: Dleeami

                                    Dleeami, just wanted to thank you for this link. I looked around while there and found her Lebanese Onion and Parsley Salad and her Mediterranean Tuna Salad. Made them both the same day. They are both great and the onion salad gets better overnight.

                                2. these only have a TB of cream cheese

                                  "MOCK" MASHED POTATOES
                                  • 1 medium head cauliflower
                                  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese , softened
                                  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
                                  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
                                  • 1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
                                  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
                                  Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
                                  Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
                                  In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
                                  Serve hot with pats of butter.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: laliz

                                    You can leave the cream cheese out, too. I do recommend steaming the cauliflower and not boiling it- it holds too much water if you boil it. To dry it out, once mashed, leave it on a very low burner for a while and stir often so the moisture can evaporate. No matter how much you pat it dry it's never dry enough.

                                  2. Cauliflower-Bacon Salad

                                    Equal proportions of cauliflower broken or chopped into very small pieces, and lettuce chopped or torn small--the original recipe calls for iceberg but I often use romaine.

                                    cooked chopped bacon--as much as you want, don't be shy.
                                    handfull chopped parsley, especially if you've used pale iceberg lettuce.

                                    Mix equal parts parm. cheese and jarred mayo or aioli
                                    Sugar to taste.
                                    A bit of vinegar.
                                    salt and pepper
                                    You're going for fairly sweet with a tiny bit tangy.

                                    Mix all and serve immediately.

                                    1. - roast with tahini
                                      - steam until crisp-tender and toss with capers, toasted pine nuts, a pinch of cayenne, a touch of anchovy paste, fresh parsley, & a lemon vinaigrette
                                      - combine blanched florets with crisp diced apple, shredded carrot, caraway seed, toasted sunflower seeds, and a creamy yogurt-based dressing
                                      - red lentil or chickpea curry with cauliflower
                                      - biryani: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bas...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Thanks for including the biryani link. Haven't used cauliflower in a biryani before.

                                        1. re: prima

                                          here's a slightly different, more cauliflower-centric take on it:

                                      2. A favorite of ours is cauliflower in yogurt sauce. The basic approach is to mix some yogurt with cumin, salt, and pepper; then stir in steamed cauliflower florets and peas. There are a lot of good variations of this.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: vicarious

                                          I've been following your lead, adding garam masala to yogurt.

                                        2. My favorite way of enjoying cauliflower is in any type/style of Indian curry. There are lots of recipes for it out there, & really any type of curry works really well with cauliflower - either on its own or mixed with a protein. Nice on a bed of basmati, Jasmine, or saffron rice.

                                          Another favorite is to break into small florets, steam, & toss with extra-virgin olive in which you've sauteed a few cloves of chopped garlic, some crushed red pepper flakes, some chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, a few dashes of dry seasoned bread crumbs, & a couple of optional chopped anchovy filets. This can even be served on a bed of pasta for a more substantial dish.

                                          1. Mrs. Poole's Fresh Cauliflower Salad
                                            1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
                                            3 tablspoons butter
                                            9 to 10 cups Romaine lettuce, torn bite-size
                                            1 cup mayonnaise
                                            2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
                                            1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                            1 small clove garlic, mashed
                                            salt & pepper to taste
                                            1 half head of cauliflower, grated

                                            Brown the bread crumbs in butter and cool. Mix mayo,Parmesan,lemon juice, garlic. Add s&p. Toss salad with this dressing, then distribute crumbs and cauliflower over top, don't toss, serve.

                                            1. Patty Unterman has SF restauranteur Peggy Knickerbocker's super easy, super tasty recipe for pasta with cauliflower:

                                              1. Boil water.

                                              2. Cook pasta and cauliflower stalks in the same water.

                                              3. Drain water.

                                              4. Douse with good olive oil and toss.

                                              5. Top with good sharp cheese. I like Piave.

                                              6. That's all folks!

                                              1. How about ' Cauliflower Couscous' a la Eleven Madison Park??!! Ha!!

                                                On a more serious note. I like stirred frying the florets with Chinese dried shrimps and just a touch of oyster sauce and Chinese cooking wine. Simple but nice!

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: prima

                                                  Ottolenghi's cauliflower and cumin fritters with yogurt sauce - yum! In the Ottolenghi Cookbook ........just found it on line;


                                                    1. re: prima

                                                      BTW, the cauliflower couscous made from the recipe in the NYT link above was delicious!

                                                  1. I rice cauliflower in the processor nearly every week, and substitute it as appropriate. Works great under curries, stir fry, and even in hand rolls...

                                                    1. break into large-ish pieces, boil until almost done. Bread with flour/egg/breadcrumbs, and fry in shallow pan. A platter of that does NOT last long at all.

                                                      1. Pickled! There's a place near me that serves house-made pickles with all their meals, and they use what's in season. I was pleasantly surprised to see cauliflower in the mix, along with carrot, long hots, and green beans.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: LisaPA

                                                          Yes - cauliflower is an integral component of Italian "Giardiniera" vegetable pickles.

                                                          1. re: LisaPA

                                                            cauliflower ceviche

                                                            separate a head of cauliflower into florets

                                                            combine 2 teaspoons lemon juice (grate zest first and save) with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and let the cauliflower sit.

                                                            heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, add a pinch of crushed red pepper, then pour over cauliflower, along with the lemon zest and let sit for at least an hour before serving or refrigerating.

                                                            alternatives: rice wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, grated ginger; 2-3 cloves garlic thinly sliced and sauted in olive oil

                                                          2. i thought i'd posted this, but i just saw a neat idea for cauliflower "steaks" rubbed and grilled like beef. http://thewimpyvegetarian.com/2012/02...

                                                            also in a spanish cookbook, i just saw a recipe for warm cauliflower with a seville orange dressing made with two cloves garlic, four tablespoons seville OJ, one tsp. sea salt, four tablespoons olive oil, and one medium cauliflower. steam golf-ball size floret bunches for three minutes or so. dress with the OJ mixture in which you've crushed the garlic and set aside to rest for ½ hour. top with fresh cilantro at last minute. (seasonal spanish food, josé pizarro).

                                                            this salad looks great, too -- with pomegranate and orange: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                                            1. Well, I hate to be obvious but there's always good old cauliflowerets with some sort of nice roasted onion dip. I also love lightly-steamed cauliflower in a marinated salad with olives - using an Italian-inspired dressing for the marinade. You could get a few more veg. and make a gardiniera, too....cauli, pearl onions, carrots, celery, broccoli if you want, more of those olives...and my FIL used to add high-quality tuna to his, in which case it was more of a main than a side.

                                                              1. I added 3 cups of cauliflower florets to my shrimp and turkey sausage Jambalaya last night, in the last 10-12 minutes of cooking time, before adding the shrimp in the last 3 minutes of cooking time. The resulting dish, although non-traditional, tasted good, and was relatively healthy!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: prima

                                                                  Very large pot like 3 gallon.
                                                                  Three large heads of cauliflower rough chopped. Six large yellow bell peppers. Remove top but leave the seeds in rough chopped. One large celeriac peeled and rough chopped. Four T of 'Better Than Bullion' chicken base. 1 T Kosher salt. Add enough cold water to just cover.
                                                                  Hard simmer until the cauliflower stakes are very soft.
                                                                  Remove from heat and let cool. Use a sticker blender to puree. Then pass the puree through a sieve to remove any seeds/celeriac hard bits etc. The seeds give a hint of heat.
                                                                  Freeze in medium Zip locks carefully laid on each other flat. (Much easier to deal with later)
                                                                  NO DAIRY! When you want some of this amazing soup just thaw it and THEN add milk/butter/cream and S&P to taste. Garnish with italian parsley leaves. Serve with crusty baguettes. I call it my 'Sunshine Soup'. You could use different colored peppers obviously.
                                                                  I leave out any herbs b/c they will mask the delicate flavor of the cauliflower and pepper and celeriac.

                                                                2. This was terrific: http://thegarumfactory.net/2014/02/21...

                                                                  You could certainly serve it without the cheese.

                                                                  1. This is a stunning plate from Eric Ripert:


                                                                    I've tested it once, ready to serve it to company.

                                                                    1. I used leftover whipped cauliflower puree as a base for Costco's Madras lentils and red bean, and it was satisfying and delicious.
                                                                      Filing that away for Lenten Fridays soon!

                                                                      1. Here's my favorite way to do cauliflower:

                                                                        Pre-heat a baking pan in a 425 - 450 degree oven.

                                                                        Toss cauliflower florets, diced red bell pepper, diced sweet potato (skin on), diced onion and chopped garlic in a bowl with salt, pepper, your favorite curry powder and plenty of olive oil.

                                                                        Roast it all in that hot baking pan for about 35 - 40 minutes, or until they are well browned and tender but not mushy, tossing half way through the cook.

                                                                        Yum! I bet if you were to use this as a basis for a cream soup it would rock.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                          Do you eat the roasted sweet potato skin? I always peel them before roasting.

                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                            Yes, I eat them skin on. Very tasty, and it contains a lot of minerals and good stuff.

                                                                        2. Cauliflower risotto! It sounds dull but it's so good. Jamie Oliver has a brilliant recipe: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/ri...

                                                                          Because of the pangrattato you could get away without using parmesan if you wanted to.

                                                                          1. Anyone have any ideas for recipes calling for cauliflower and fresh basil? I'm trying this cauliflower couscous with lemon and basil as a side tonight: http://leitesculinaria.com/7276/recip...

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                              Cauliflower "alfredo" sauce- you can swap in parm for the nutritional yeast:

                                                                              And this chow recipe looks great:

                                                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                Thanks for the links. I keep parm on hand, but I've never bought any nutritional yeast!

                                                                              2. Indian style gobi pulao (cauliflower cooked with rice) -- just saute chopped onion, ginger and garlic in some oil with some cumin seeds, a couple cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick, then when the onions are browned somewhat,add some turmeric powder, ground cumin, and salt. You can also add some chopped green chilli or red chilli powder for some heat. Then add in some uncooked basmati rice that has been rinsed and soaked for about 20 minutes. Add water, cover and cook. About 5-7 minutes in, add in your cauflower florets, and let them finish cooking with the rice. Serve with raita.

                                                                                I also just made a "loaded" cauliflower mash last week that came out great. You steam clauflower florets about about 15 minutes, then drain and return to the pot to dry up the excess moisture. then mash the cauloflower roughly, and mix in some sour cream and cream cheese (I used Greek yogurt instead of the creams to make it healthier). Then add in some crumbled bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Spoon into a baking dish, and sprinkle with paprika. bake for about 20 minutes until bubbly. I served this with grilled steak and it was a great low carb side.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                  The gobi pulao sounds great.

                                                                                  I've been making cauliflower mac & cheese lately, with white sauce, sauteed onion, old chedddar, worcestershire, Frank's Red Hot, dried thyme and frozen peas, which isn't light, but I figure it's a little healthier than mac & cheese without the cauliflower.

                                                                                2. "cauliflower rice" tacos . . . don't be put off by the name of the blog (fat-free vegan), there are some extremely tasty vegetable recipes and techniques here: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2013/04/...

                                                                                  scroll down to the bottom to see several links for other uses of "cauliflower rice"

                                                                                  I love, love, love cauliflower and never thought I'd say this, but I, too, am getting tired of roasted cauliflower.

                                                                                  1. Kung Pao Cauliflower (cauliflower is really good made this way)

                                                                                    Cauliflower Latkes: http://kosherfood.about.com/od/latkes...

                                                                                    This Indian Whole Cauliflower in Carrot Sauce is very good, too. Quite different from aloo gobi: http://www.ammas.com/ar/home.cfm?r=v_...

                                                                                    Cauliflower Thai Curry.

                                                                                    Cauliflower Flatbread: cooked cauliflower chopped up and put on a flatbread or pizza with things like caramelized onions, spinach, mushrooms, some nutty cheese like Gruyere, and rosemary.

                                                                                    This Cauliflower White Bean Dip is great in a sandwich: http://www.edibleperspective.com/home...

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: ninrn

                                                                                      I'd never heard of Kung Pao Cauliflower before you suggested it. Do you have a recipe? Does this recipe look like a good one?

                                                                                    2. the cauliflower with tahini, sesame and coriander looks good in this recipe link: http://life.nationalpost.com/2014/05/...