How to Cook Cauliflower Guide with Recipes

Tasty Ways to Prepare Cauliflower

I like cauliflower so much I often snack on it plain and raw. Crunch crunch crunch. Most people, I've learned, prefer this strongly flavored cruciferous vegetable at least somewhat cooked. Fair enough. I like it prepared plenty of different ways. Find some delicious ways to cook up cauliflower below.

For those who want still more cauliflower, see All About Cauliflower and Readers' Favorite Cauliflower Recipes.

  • 01 of 07

    Bake It

    Cauliflower gratin
    Cauliflower gratin. The Picture Pantry/Aysegul Deniz Sanford / Getty Images

    Cauliflower takes quite well to baking, which, let's be honest, bears a striking resemblance to roasting (see below). Baking cauliflower into a Cauliflower Gratin can be as simple as topping the florets with a bit of cheese and/or breadcrumbs, or you can work in herbs or sauces to make more of a veggie main dish.

    I've also been known to dip cauliflower florets in a spicy chickpea flour batter before baking them, creating a light Cauliflower Pakora.

  • 02 of 07

    Fry It

    Breaded and fried cauliflower are, indeed, tasty. I tend to keep things on the healthier side, though, by combining finely chopped steamed cauliflower with egg, flour, and salt to create fritters I can then pan-fry. See how to make them with this Cauliflower Fritter Recipe.

  • 03 of 07

    Mash It

    Mashed cauliflower
    Markela4ka / Getty Images

    Taking a fork to well-cooked cauliflower turns this sharp cruciferous specimen into the zesty big sister of comparatively ho-hum mashed potatoes. See ​How to Make Mashed Cauliflower for details.

  • 04 of 07

    Roast It

    roasted cauliflower garlic parmesan
    Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower. Photo © Molly Watson

    I have, on more than one occasion, eaten an entire head of roasted cauliflower. Toss the florets with a bit of oil and salt, pop them in a hot oven and bake, tossing them around a few times along the way until they're tender and browned. Sometimes I add a bit more flavor, as with this Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower or this Spicy Roasted Cauliflower.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Soup It

    Cauliflower soup
    Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

    Cauliflower adds a rich texture to puréed soups. If you love cauliflower, this soup Creamy Cauliflower Soup is a natural favorite. Want more kick?  Try this Curried Cauliflower Soup instead.

  • 06 of 07

    Steam It

    Steamed cauliflower
    Rob Whitrow / Getty Images

    There is more than one way to steam cauliflower. I can think of three right off the top of my head: in a pan, in a steamer basket, and in a microwave. See the details for all three styles at How to Steam Cauliflower.

    Once it's steamed, you're probably going to want to dress it up in some fashion. Butter, salt, and pepper are easy; cheese sauce is a classic; or try using pesto or mint for something a bit different.

  • 07 of 07

    Stir It

    Cauliflower Pasta
    Cauliflower Pasta. Photo © Molly Watson

    As in "stir it in." By dividing cauliflower into quite small florets, this giant head of a vegetable becomes something that cooks up much more quickly and adds texture and flavor to dishes. Try Cauliflower Pasta or Cauliflower Risotto to see how it works.