Gone are the days of cauliflower being the sad veggie that got boiled until limp. Today, cauliflower is a leading light when it comes to showing how versatile and tasty veggies can be. Its naturally mild flavor make it a worthy vehicle for all sorts of seasonings, and when pureed, cauliflower can bring a surprising creaminess to vegan sauces. Here are some of our favorite vegan cauliflower recipes. Grab some cauliflower, and try one today!
For the lowdown on cauliflower varieties, plus how to select, store, and use this nutritious cruciferous, check out our handy cauliflower guide.
Warm up your evening with this nourishing vegan curry. Tender cubes of butternut squash add sweet flavor while riced cauliflower and unsweetened coconut milk lend a rich and creamy base, without all the fat you get from coconut cream.
Featuring earthy cauliflower florets, crunchy celery, tender and sweet cooked peas, and a cheesy cashew dressing, this scrumptious pasta salad is equal parts comforting and fresh-tasting. Enjoy the salad on its own, as a side, or spooned into lettuce leaves. Note: The recipe calls for whole wheat rotini pasta, but feel free to use whatever variety of pasta you prefer. One reviewer writes, “My husband and I both loved this salad.”
Want more veggies in your hummus? Lemon-basted cauliflower and garlic give this luscious hummus a bright, smoky-sweet flavor, while tahini and cannellini beans add depth and creaminess. Garnish with red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, and/or roasted pine nuts. Note: Red pepper flakes are spicy, so leave them off if serving to children. One commenter notes, “Very good, I added some roasted red peppers.”
In this fan-favorite grain bowl, a tasty sweet and sour Mediterranean spice blend gets fully absorbed by roasted cauliflower florets and chickpeas. Crisp cucumber strips, crunchy bell pepper, and tangy red onion max out the freshness factor while a tahini dressing ties it together. As one eloquent reviewer says, “I didn’t know cauliflower could be this good.”
The creamy, easy flavor of potato blended with cauliflower does it again in this deeply nourishing soup. A dash of grated nutmeg, a splash of white wine vinegar, and a pinch of cayenne add the perfect amount of pep and tang without overpowering things. Notes a fan, “Love the texture of this recipe with some of the vegetables still in chunks.”
The crowning glory to Chef Del Sroufe’s delectable veggie- and bean-stuffed Delicata Squash Boats is a creamy vegan cauliflower bechamel (white sauce). Shares a happy fan, “This cauliflower bechamel is very easy to make and absolutely delicious!!! I hardly ever eat leftovers but I couldn’t stop eating this sauce with the Delicata Squash recipe. Perfect dish for entertaining especially during the holidays. Thank you for such a creative dish!!”
Looking for an extra-special meal that doesn’t take all day to prepare? These perfectly puffy vegan gnocchi are made with cauliflower instead of potato and feature porcini mushroom powder and aromatic herbs for extra flavor. For the full magical meal experience, serve with caramelized roasted squash, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and a drizzle of tangy almond-balsamic cream. Yummy!
Riced cauliflower is a great way to pump up the veggie quotient of all sorts of dishes and can be prepared using a food processor or bought fresh or frozen. In this sensational vegan pesto salad, riced cauliflower and veggies are added to brown rice in the last few minutes of cooking. Stir through some vegan pesto and you’re done! Greens: check. Grains: check. Flavor: double check!
Blended cauliflower and potato lend a smooth velvety texture to this nut-free vegan cheese sauce while nutritional yeast, miso paste, and dried marjoram add a rich savory cheesiness. This kid-friendly sauce is great served as a dip, with veggies, or over pasta for a quick mac and cheese.
In this sumptuous plant-based pizza, the combination of barbecue-flavored cauliflower and sweet-tangy pineapple is heavenly. For the crust, use a store-bought oil-free crust, if you can find one, or make our popular 20-minute whole grain crust. For a gluten-free crust, try this cornmeal crust.
The success of this scrumptious soup comes from roasting curry-seasoned veggies and chickpeas before adding them to the soup pot. The result is sublime: The flavors are more intense and the veggies hold their shape. A garnish of roasted quinoa adds crunch, while scallions, cilantro, and lime juice round out the flavors perfectly.
Featuring potato, cauliflower, green peas, and a flavorful spice mix made with pantry staples, this vegan curry is healthy comfort food at the top of its game. Expect to make this again and again. Pro tip: Serving curry over brown rice (or another grain) not only adds heft and extra flavor but has the happy effect of stretching one dish over two meals, saving money and time—and who doesn't love that!
Stuffed with charred chipotle-infused cauliflower and red onion, red cabbage, corn, and black beans, these hearty tacos are as yummy as they are colorful. And since they’re ready in just 25 minutes, they’re perfect for busy weeknights.
This cozy cauliflower bake gets its cheesy flavor from a white sauce seasoned with nutritional yeast, garlic, and Dijon-style mustard. You can’t help but enjoy the savory aroma that fills the kitchen as this comforting side dish bakes. Kid-friendly and enjoyed by all, this is a great one to serve guests. As one reader reports, “This was a slam dunk for me.”
For a quick and hearty meal, these pita pockets stuffed with a spicy veggie-chickpea mash are a godsend. The addition of aquafaba (the viscous liquid from a can of chickpeas) lends a buttery note to the bean and veggie filling, making it seriously delicious. “This is so simple, easy and good!!” says one fan. We couldn’t agree more.
In this delectable creamy soup, tender cauliflower florets and cannellini beans sit in a blended base of potatoes, onion, and parsnip, richly flavored with white miso paste and garlic. Sprinkle with chopped scallions for a pop of sharp onion flavor.
The mild flavor, tender flesh, and pretty shape of cauliflower is a winner in this tasty quinoa casserole; green peas add sweetness, and store-bought marinara boosts the flavor with minimal effort. As one fan notes: “Very delicious and simple! Filling without making me feel heavy.”
Traditionally full of meat, dairy, and oil, taquitos get the whole-food, plant-based treatment in this air-fryer recipe. Diced mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion, combined with tender riced cauliflower, make for a succulent, flavorful, satisfying meaty filling. And because they’re air-fried, rather than deep-fried, they’re crispy without all that oil. As one fan says: “These are ah-mazing! Nice and crispy. Even the meat eaters loved these.”
In this hearty casserole the classic medley of cauliflower, potato, onion, and peas works once again. Add brown rice (cooked in veggie broth) and an easy homemade spice mix for a heavenly blend of flavor.
You’ll want to bookmark this delicious veggie-forward pasta salad! The simple cauliflower-based dressing will transform salads of all stripes into impressive meals in their own right. As one reader says, “I can’t get over how delicious and addictive the dressing is — I’ve been sneaking forkfuls of salad out of the fridge because I just can’t get enough of it.“
For a hearty brunch this tasty scramble is a great way to start the day. Most vegan scrambles use tofu; however, cooked cauliflower is a great alternative and pairs well with bell pepper and mushroom. As one reader puts it: ”I love cauliflower and can’t think of a better substitute for tofu, which … doesn’t have the flavor cauliflower does.”
Riced cauliflower works beautifully in this fresh-tasting salad adding extra crunch as well as a white backdrop upon which colorful veggies look amazing. Feel free to get creative and use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Writes one riced-cauliflower convert: “My favorite salad! … Fresh, crunchy, filling.”
The majestic beauty of cauliflower is displayed to full effect in this impressive side dish. Roasted in a dutch oven and triple-basted in a creamy sauce featuring Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and capers, this impressive side dish is a major addition to any meal.
One of our top 10 recipes of the past decade, these crispy, golden cauliflower bites are the perfect meat-free answer to Buffalo wings; great for parties or for snacking. It really is hard to believe they’re oil-free. Wrote one reader: “Can eat these little guys all day.”
In this whole-food, plant-based take on traditional Sicilian cauliflower pasta, you can skip the oil and anchovies without skimping on flavor, thanks to the addition of miso and tomato pastes. This hearty dish also features classic ingredients like saffron, pine nuts, and raisins. A great one to cozy up with as the weather cools.
Thanks to a well-chosen medley of spices and the addition of cauliflower and carrot, this vegan split pea soup has all of the flavor of the one Mom used to make, minus the ham bone! Note: If it gets too thick, thin it out with a little water.
The mild flavor and creamy texture of pureed cauliflower makes an ideal base for a vegan white sauce. Use this light, velvety sauce anywhere you would a traditional white sauce. One reader writes, “I hardly ever eat leftovers, but I couldn’t stop eating this sauce with the Delicata Squash recipe.”
Cauliflower is the surprise ingredient in this sumptuous vegan ceviche. Lime juice breaks down the cauliflower fibers, creating a pale, melt-in-your-mouth flesh similar to fish, while tomato, jalapeño, red onion, and avocado add color, crunch, heat, and extra creaminess. Serve with baked tortilla chips or in a wrap or pita pocket. You’ll think of dozens of ways to use this tasty concoction.
There’s nothing like the charred yumminess of a good veggie steak, and cauliflower is the perfect candidate, as a whole cauliflower can easily be cut into ¾- to 1-inch slabs. Once cut, just add your chosen seasoning and roast for 40 to 50 minutes. No oil required!
Chinese five-spice powder adds rich flavor to this scrumptious stir-fry featuring cauliflower, baby bok choy, sugar snap peas, and cooked quinoa (or another grain of your choosing). Cauliflower is a popular stir-fry ingredient because it cooks quickly and has an appealing fork-tender bite. For more stir-fry basics, check out this handy guide.
This article was originally published on Oct. 20, 2021, and has been updated.
About the Author
About the Author
Lisa Esile, MS
Lisa Esile is an author, illustrator, blogger, vegetable gardener, and whole-food enthusiast with a special fondness for potatoes. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is passionate about showing people how to live happier, healthier lives. She is the author of Reach Your Big Calm and the co-author of Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Find her on Facebook.