Although potatoes get all the love when it comes to vegetables that don't actually taste like health food, we're here to make the case for cauliflower. It is the great shapeshifter of ingredients, a vegetable that can be turned into credible facsimiles of everything from steak to rice, with a hefty dose of vitamins to boot. Cauliflower measures up positively to potatoes in almost every metric. A 100-gram serving contains only 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, compared to 77 calories and 18 grams of carbohydrates in the same amount of potatoes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture also notes. It's also full of vitamin C, with a 100-gram serving providing more than half of the recommended daily intake of the immune-boosting vitamin. Potatoes provide less than ¼.
Despite hitting all the bases of versatility and nutrition, cauliflower is still seen by many as the colorless cousin of broccoli -- a tough, fibrous vegetable that doesn't have much flavor and takes so long to soften when cooked that it's hardly worth doing. If this sounds familiar, you're in luck, because you're about to discover the vast, untapped potential of this remarkable ingredient. Whether you're looking for something creamy, cheesy, and indulgent or a spicy, warming main course for a winter meal, we've got just the right cauliflower recipe for you. Before long, you'll be singing its praises just like us.
Best Navratan Korma
In Sanskrit, "navratan" means nine gems, and this spicy, warming korma provides nine delicious central ingredients to fit its name. In this version of the dish, the "gems" include cauliflower, carrots, green peas, corn, cashews, golden raisins, and chunks of pineapple. With all these delicious and filling ingredients, meat would be superfluous. Added to the bounty is an intensely aromatic spice blend of fenugreek, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala.
If all these ingredients sound a bit intimidating, fear not. The recipe takes only 15 minutes to prepare and 29 minutes to cook.
Recipe: Best Navratan Korma
Thai Curry Soup
You don't have to go to a restaurant to enjoy your favorite Thai flavors. Recipe developer Maren Epstein has created a soup that tastes just as delicious as any restaurant but which you can make from the comfort of your own home. Roasted tomatoes and coconut milk form the broth and are infused with red curry paste, ginger, and lime juice.
The substance of the soup comes from noodles, cauliflower, green beans, and Brussels sprouts, which create a surprisingly filling medley. Add basil and cilantro as a garnish and you'll have a restaurant-worthy meal.
Recipe: Thai Curry Soup
Giardiniera is an Italian condiment made of pickled vegetables. If you've encountered it before, it may have been in a sandwich or on an antipasto board alongside specialty meats and cheeses. Some versions are packaged in oil, while others are kept in vinegary brine. Our version is a happy medium, using both olive oil and vinegar and cooking the vegetables first to ensure their tenderness.
The recipe only takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish, but make sure to set aside at least four hours for marinating time. The added flavor will make all the difference.
Instant Pot Gobi Masala
One of the best ways to brighten the uninspiring appearance of cauliflower is to mix it with curry spices. Turmeric is an especially transformative option that will turn the vegetable a deep shade of gold, but the flavor of this recipe is derived from a mixture of cumin seeds, coriander, ground cumin, salt, garam masala, chili powder, and ginger powder combined with onions and garlic.
This recipe has the additional benefit of being made in an Instant Pot. This makes it a convenient option when you're short on time but craving a flavor-packed side dish.
Recipe: Instant Pot Gobi Masala
Warming Aloo Gobi (Potato And Cauliflower Curry)
Potatoes and cauliflower were made for each other. Aside from their obvious color similarities, they both take on a creamy texture when cooked and have a mild flavor that is perfect for soaking up every tiny nuance in a spice blend. Aloo gobi is a classic Indian dish that celebrates this duo, packing them full of spices and cooking them until they are melt-in-your-mouth tender.
In addition to the potatoes, cauliflower, and spices, this recipe contains tomatoes for sweetness. It also has fresh lemon juice and cilantro for brightness and acidity.
Easy Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings
When you have a craving for wings, you don't need chicken. Cauliflower florets provide the texture, mild flavor, and even shape to make your guests forget all about the classic recipe. Even better, these vegan wings are made in an air fryer, making them even healthier than their fried counterparts.
You'll start by making a batter with almond milk, flour, nutritional yeast, and seasonings before coating the cauliflower and rolling it in breadcrumbs. Once it's fried, make sure to douse it in barbecue sauce and serve it with ranch dip.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cauliflower Soup
Another one of cauliflower's superpowers? Making vegetable soups as velvety as they would be with cream. It is estimated that about 65% of the global population has a reduced ability to digest lactose, notes Medline Plus, so even if you don't mind the extra fat in dairy milk and cream, your stomach might thank you for choosing cauliflower instead.
This recipe is not completely vegan because it contains cheese, but you can always omit the ingredient if you prefer. This soup is full of flavor and so creamy you won't believe that it's composed mostly of vegetables.
Cheesy Beef And Cauliflower Casserole
Cauliflower is such a good vegan alternative to meat and dairy that it can be easy to neglect it in meat-based recipes. This casserole will remind you just how delicious it can be when combined with the rich fats and flavors of ground beef.
Paprika, cumin, oregano, and chili powder suffuse the recipe with warmth, while green bell peppers and chopped tomatoes give it some sweet acidity. The real winners, however, are the ground beef, cauliflower, and gooey cheese. Serve this at any time of the year and your family will be begging for more.
Vegetable Fried Cauliflower Rice
If you've never tried the cauliflower rice trend, now is your sign to do it. As improbable as it sounds, cauliflower really does make a credible substitute for rice, and if you're looking for some variation in your diet or are trying to cut back on carbs, this will be a game-changer.
It's become such a popular rice alternative that you can find pre-riced cauliflower in many grocery stores. This recipe puts a fried spin on cauliflower rice, combining the veggie with edamame, carrots, ginger, and soy sauce for a salty, umami-rich dish that is full of nutrients.
Recipe: Vegetable Fried Cauliflower Rice
Best Baked Cauliflower With Cheese
Some recipes do not have to be complicated to produce mouth-watering results. When you're using ingredients that work together like magic, there's no need for filler for the sake of it. It's better to just let simple ingredients shine.
This baked cauliflower recipe is a perfect example, pairing the buttery vegetable with a medley of decadent ingredients that are irresistible. Smothering cauliflower in cheese, cream, and butter creates a dish that is both indulgent and nutritious, while paprika and onion powder add heat and flavor.
Easy Cauliflower Potato Salad
Potato salad is a ubiquitous summer classic, but have you ever thought about using a different vegetable? Cauliflower makes a perfect substitute for potatoes because it is starchy, nearly the same color, and becomes tender and buttery when cooked. It's also lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber, making this recipe a healthier alternative to the usual formula.
Aside from the main ingredient, the rest is familiar: mayo, dill, mustard, and lemon juice with shallots and celery for added crunch. For a visually striking salad, opt for colorful heirloom cauliflower in vivid purple, orange, and green.
Recipe: Easy Cauliflower Potato Salad
Simple Harissa Roasted Cauliflower
Harissa is a red chili paste from North Africa that is made with chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and a mixture of other ingredients depending on the region. Common additions include mint, coriander, cumin, rose petals, and citrus. Luckily, you don't have to make it yourself to enjoy the complex and seductive ingredient. You can find jars of it in the Mediterranean section of many supermarkets, and choose which variation of flavors you prefer.
Cauliflower is the perfect carrier for harissa. Tender in texture and mild in flavor, it soaks up every drop of the paste.
Sesame Cauliflower Stir-Fry
Cauliflower takes the place of meat and tofu in this stir-fry recipe without compromising on flavor or substance. Coated in a batter made from rice flour and baked until crispy; it tastes fried and decadent.
Honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil create a harmonious trio of flavors that makes this stir-fry irresistible, while red peppers and sugar snap peas ensure that you're getting plenty of vegetables. Serve it over jasmine rice or noodles.
Recipe: Sesame Cauliflower Stir-Fry
Air Fryer Cauliflower Steak
Steak and cauliflower might sound like two distinct food groups, but hear us out on this one. Cauliflower might not have the protein or gristle of a classic ribeye, but it is surprisingly meaty, and smoked paprika, garlic, and lime ensure that it's bursting with flavor.
Even if you're a meat lover, this recipe is a must-try, and if you're vegan, it's likely to become a go-to recipe. Better yet, it takes only 25 minutes to make.
Recipe: Air Fryer Cauliflower Steak
Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower
You can get away with swapping potatoes for cauliflower in many recipes, even when potatoes are the main ingredient. A case in point is mashed potatoes, which, when turned into mashed cauliflower, are just as creamy and delicious as the real deal.
Many of us have a preferred way of making mashed potatoes, so don't worry about straying from the path with this recipe. It calls for nothing but butter for the dairy component, but feel free to add milk or cream, keeping in mind that cauliflower has more moisture than potatoes.
Recipe: Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower
Copycat Chipotle Cauliflower Rice
If you've ever encountered cauliflower rice, chances are, it was at Chipotle. The chain has been dishing up its version of the grain-free starch for years, and it's high time we were all able to recreate it at home. Recipe developer Kristen Carli has been on the case and has produced a version that is nearly identical to the original.
Made in 10 minutes with four ingredients, it might seem too good to be true, but trust us, it is exactly what you're hoping it will be. Serve it with tacos, chicken, or on its own. It's that delicious.
Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
If you like your mashed potatoes so silky and creamy that they're almost like mousse, we've got the recipe for you. This creamy mashed cauliflower from recipe developer Jennine Rye is luxuriously smooth thanks to a combination of the already-creamy vegetable, butter, and sour cream.
Nutmeg and garlic give it a warmth and spiciness that is subtle enough to blend seamlessly with the dairy and cauliflower. This recipe is seriously moreish and will have you coming back for seconds until you're forced to make a second batch.
Recipe: Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
Plain And Simple Cauliflower
Cauliflower is so good at disguising itself as other foods -- be it steak, potatoes, or rice -- that it can be easy to forget that it tastes delicious on its own. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn is here to change that and even convert those who would rather hide their cauliflower behind heaps of seasonings.
With just four ingredients (cauliflower, avocado oil, salt, and pepper), this recipe puts the cruciferous vegetable front and center, and it shines. Roasting it makes it crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. It's the perfect side dish for almost any occasion.
Recipe: Plain And Simple Cauliflower
Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
If you're looking for a new way to use up cauliflower, transforming it into a delicious and healthy version of a Chinese takeout meal has got to be one of the best options out there. You'll need a handful of ingredients to bring this recipe together, including flour, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, and sesame seeds.
You might have all of them in your pantry already, but if you don't, this dish is so delicious that an extra trip to the grocery store is worth it. Serve it over rice and garnish it with scallions.
Recipe: Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup
You can use cauliflower and potatoes interchangeably, or you can use them together, capitalizing on their smooth, starchy textures and subtle flavors. Both ingredients are often added to vegan soups to make them creamy, and together in one soup, they create a heavenly, velvety texture.
This recipe livens up the flavors with onions, garlic, and vegetable broth. Serve this soup with a drizzle of olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper on a chilly evening and you'll be warm and toasty in no time.
Recipe: Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup
Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern herb salad that is traditionally made with bulgur wheat. However, cauliflower makes a delicious, grain-free alternative that is a surprisingly natural fit.
Raw cauliflower is rarely considered a winning ingredient, but in this recipe, it provides a pleasant crunchiness and freshness that complements the other ingredients. Don't worry, you won't be forced to chew through fibrous stalks of it. Instead, it's blended into small pieces resembling grains of rice. In addition to cauliflower, the recipe contains tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, and scallions in a vinegar dressing.
Recipe: Raw Cauliflower Tabbouleh
Roasted Breaded Cauliflower
You can make almost any ingredient tastier by breading it. Fish, eggplant, and even pickles can be transformed into salty, crispy deliciousness, and we're throwing cauliflower onto that list as well. Instead of deep-frying, this recipe calls for roasting the veggie, eliminating any risk of excessive grease.
The batter is made with paprika and garlic powder for an added kick of flavor, and the roasting time is largely hands-off. Whether you're making these healthy, breaded morsels as an appetizer or serving them as a side dish, they are bound to be a hit.
Recipe: Roasted Breaded Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower Enchiladas
When you've got all the trappings of traditional enchiladas -- tortillas, black beans, cheese, spices, and salsa – you'll hardly notice if the usual chicken or beef is replaced with cauliflower. To dial the flavor up a notch, recipe developer Catherine Brookes calls for roasting the vegetable in olive oil, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder, suffusing it with heat.
As with any enchilada recipe, it all hinges on the toppings. Go all-out with sour cream, avocado, cilantro, or whatever you prefer. This recipe only takes an hour to make and will fill your house with mouthwatering aromas.
Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Enchiladas
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
There are many ways to turn cauliflower into a creamy winter soup. You can take the minimalist route with nothing but the vegetable, broth, and a few seasonings, or, as is the case with this recipe, you can go all out, roasting and seasoning the main ingredient and intensifying its velvety texture with cream.
Roasting cauliflower brings out its earthiness, transforming its usual mild flavor into something nutty and fragrant. Combined with garlic, nutmeg, and fresh thyme, it is bursting with flavor, and when blended with cream, it becomes smooth as silk.
Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Easy Cauliflower Adobo
Not to be confused with the Mexican sauce of the same name, Filipino adobo is a dish made of meat or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and various other ingredients depending on the recipe. Our version is sweet and spicy, with brown sugar and Thai chilis. Made with cauliflower instead of meat, it is filling and flavorful.
Browning the vegetable before adding the sauce will give it a crispy, roasted texture and nutty flavor that tastes delicious with the sweet and spicy vinegar sauce. Meanwhile, soy sauce adds a hint of umami that you won't want to miss.
Recipe: Easy Cauliflower Adobo
Loaded Cauliflower Nachos
Nachos are often banished to the full-on indulgence category of foods, the kind of snack that you limit to special occasions because you know all that cheese and fried tortilla chips probably aren't good for you on a regular basis. But what if we told you that there was a healthy way to make nachos that also tasted good?
Intrigued? Let us introduce you to our loaded cauliflower nachos made with black beans, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeños, and, of course, cheese. Healthy, cheesy, and full of color, this is the nacho recipe we've all been waiting for.
Recipe: Loaded Cauliflower Nachos
Quick Cauliflower Tacos
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who isn't a fan of tacos. For one thing, they are infinitely adaptable. Take, for example, these cauliflower tacos from recipe developer Miriam Hahn. Made with crunchy taco shells, roasted cauliflower, white beans, and homemade avocado sauce, they offer a twist on the beloved food without losing its core elements.
These tacos also make a visually striking meal, with the vivid green of the cilantro and avocado sauce accentuated against the vibrant purple of the cabbage. You can always add cheese, but these are surprisingly delicious without it.
Recipe: Quick Cauliflower Tacos
Easy Roasted Cauliflower
Whether you're adding it to another dish or serving it on its own, roasted cauliflower is a recipe that every cook should have up their sleeve. And yet, despite its seeming simplicity, the internet is full of conflicting advice about how to go about it. From oven temperature to the amount of oil you use to how long you let it roast, there are a headache-inducing number of variables to contend with.
This recipe dispels the uncertainty. With clear instructions and no extra fuss, it provides the blueprint you need to perfect roasted cauliflower once and for all.
Recipe: Easy Roasted Cauliflower
Buffalo cauliflower may have been invented under a different name around the same time as Buffalo wings. Gobi Manchurian is an Indian-Chinese fusion recipe that features deep-fried cauliflower florets smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce that dates back to the 1970s in India. Buffalo wings were created in New York around the same time, but flavors and methods of cooking are remarkably similar.
Our recipe calls for a healthier baked version rather than deep-frying, but the results are just as delicious. Share this with your meat-eating friends and stun them with how delicious veggie wings can be.
Recipe: Buffalo Cauliflower
Forget about trying to make cauliflower taste like chicken. These cruciferous nuggets are even tastier. Dreamed up by recipe developer Catherine Brookes, they are creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Think of them like hashbrowns but with a stronger, saltier, umami-rich flavor.
If you're worried about these nuggets tasting too healthy, let us reassure you: Most of their flavor comes from cheese. Brookes says that, while they may not look or taste like traditional chicken nuggets, they taste just as delicious with ketchup, mayonnaise, and sweet chili sauce.
Recipe: Cauliflower Nuggets
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