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9 Best Plant-Based Cauliflower Recipes

Sharon Palmer

Get excited about cauliflower! This versatile vegetable can be transformed into so many delicious plant-based (vegan) dishes. I can’t wait to share 9 of my favorite cauliflower recipes with you today!

The humble cauliflower has really undergone a culinary transformation in the past few years. From buffalo wings to rice to pizza crust, this unassuming cruciferous plant has become a favorite among both health-conscious consumers and foodies alike. And with good reason! Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, meaning it is chock-full of cancer-fighting nutrients such as carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants, as well as vitamin C. Cauliflower is also high in choline, a nutrient that is essential for brain development. You can read more about the importance of choline in my blog post here.

Besides being a nutrient powerhouse, cauliflower has a wonderful mellow flavor that allows for so much creativity in preparation. I love adding different spices such as cumin and cilantro to cooked cauliflower in salads, sautéing it with garlic and onion and incorporating into pasta, or even transforming cauliflower into a lower-carb rice alternative, perfect for taco night. There are so many ways to enjoy cauliflower, and I hope you give one of these wonderful recipes a try.

Eat and Live Well,

Sharon

9 Best Plant-Based Cauliflower Recipes

Healthy Buffalo Cauliflower with Ranch Dip

This flavorful appetizer has been popping up everywhere lately! I did some research on how to make this divine, spicy dish, and discovered that many classic recipes are loaded down with butter and oils. So, I created a lighter, oven-baked version in this Healthy Buffalo Cauliflower with Ranch Dip recipe, that’s still rich in flavor, I promise! Make a batch and watch these babies disappear!

Cool Mint Cauliflower Salad

Talk about a cool way to enjoy cauliflower! This Cool Mint Cauliflower Salad takes full advantage of chill ingredients, like mint, fennel, parsley, and citrus. Paired with cauliflower, green onions, and a creamy dressing—the recipe is literally a breath of fresh air!

Purple Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Cauliflower comes in all different shades! This Purple Cauliflower Salad is inspired by my garden—all of the veggies, including Easter egg radishes, purple cauliflower, and mixed salad greens, came straight from the soil. However, you can find these veggies at your nearby farmers market or natural food store, too. 

Spicy Cauliflower Cilantro Salad

A long time ago, I tasted a scrumptious fresh cauliflower salad at a vegan restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. I tried to recreate all of those amazing flavors in my own California creation. By soaking the cauliflower in boiling water for just one minute, you can help tenderize and tame this pungent vegetable.

Curried Lentil Cauliflower Salad

This delightful cauliflower salad is based on simple ingredients you can find pretty much year-round anywhere. Thanks to those plant-powered ingredients, this salad is practically a meal in one, with a kick of plant protein, loads of veggies, and healthy fats. And it’s even better the next day. Try it for an easy dinner recipe you can pack up for work the next day, or at your next dinner party, potluck, or picnic.

Cauliflower Spinach Lasagna

If you love cauliflower as much as I do, you are sure to be thrilled with this completely plant-based (vegan) Cauliflower Spinach Lasagna. While you might not think of cauliflower as the vegetable of choice in a classic lasagna, it does quite well, thank you very much! I love to take this dish to parties, potlucks, or even holiday meals. Viva la cauliflower!

Penne with Cauliflower, Cilantro and Cumin

This easy, delicious medley of pasta, cauliflower and herbs makes the simplest of hearty side-dishes. Or you can chill it and serve this Penne with Cauliflower, Cilantro and Cumin dish as a cold pasta salad.

Cauliflower Steaks with Rosemary Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Who needs meat-based steaks when you can feast on a steak of roasted cauliflower? Simply slice the cauliflower into vertical “steaks”, drizzle with olive oil, roast in the oven, and top as desired. I paired the roasted cauliflower steaks with a quick sauce of heirloom tomatoes, onion, capers, and rosemary in this 100% plant-based recipe. Just serve with a side of chickpeas or lentils, and you have a plant-based meal for the mind, body, and soul!

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Need a break from grains? Why not try cauliflower! Cauliflower can be used in place of rice in recipes as a low-carb, grain-free alternative. One of my favorite ways to use cauliflower is to make it into a rice. After following these easy, step-by-step methods to make basic cauliflower rice, you can create your own rice dish with your favorite seasonings, or try this Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice recipe.

Written by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RD and Ally Mirin, Dietetic Intern

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