Cauliflower is the vegan cooking world’s best kept secret to imitating flavors and textures that some may think are unachievable with plant-based ingredients. The cruciferous vegetable can be turned into the creamiest of sauces, tender, flaky “meats,” and more. This holiday season, we implore you to use the hearty veggie to make your entrées! Not only would you love these savory, festive options, but your family will too. Since cauliflower is more familiar than other vegan meat substitutes like seitan and tempeh, your loved ones will be more likely to give these dishes a chance.
We wanted to make sure you had a variety of cauliflower options to choose from. We searched through our almost endless archives in the Food Monster App and found 15 out-of-this-world tasting options that are inspired by a large variety of different cuisines and cooking methods.
Julie Zimmer‘s protein-rich Black Bean, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Stew is seasonal, hearty, and has a secret ingredient… that’s right, the base is mixed with beer. Simple, yummy, and perfect for a holiday party. If you plan on bringing food to a holiday party, this is a great dish to cook at home and then bring in your crockpot.
Crispy Breaded Holiday Cauliflower Steaks makes the perfect vegan holiday entrée! Don’t spend this year’s festivities eating a plate of side dishes. Take matters into your own hands this year, and put together this new and exciting entrée by Jasmine Briones that satisfies your taste buds and leaves you feeling good from the inside out.
Source: Jamaican Brown Stew Cauliflower
A fresh look at the Jamaican classic, this Jamaican Brown Stew Cauliflower by Chef Jen Ross uses cauliflower instead of the traditional chicken. Cauliflower is cooked in a fragrant sauce spiced with freshly ground allspice, smoked paprika, and plenty of pepper. It is vegan-friendly, grain-free, and delicious.
The alfredo sauce in Wicked Healthy‘s Creamy Cauliflower Cashew Alfredo Rigatoni reaches of creaminess that you never thought were possible … until now. It starts with a rich base made from cashews and cauliflower that is blended with garlic, pine nuts, and creamy non-dairy milk. Fold this luscious sauce into your pasta of choice, then top with spicy chili peppers and fresh herbs.
Letty Flat‘s Polenta Cauliflower Torta With Roasted Asparagus is peppered with rich sautéed cauliflower florets and sweet onions, giving it a wonderfully creamy, moist texture. Paired with the ever popular green spears and crunchy toasted hazelnuts, here is a delicious meatless entrée for a celebratory dinner or a side dish for brunch or an elegant buffet.
Source: Cauliflower Picatta
While a traditional Italian picatta dish features meat, vegan versions are usually made with thin slices of seitan or extra-firm tofu, sautéed until lightly crisped, then napped with the refreshingly piquant sauce. In Robin Robertson‘s recipe for Cauliflower Picatta, cauliflower steaks are the perfect foil for the tart flavor of a picatta sauce. Instead of sautéing the cauliflower, roast the cauliflower slices to their tender golden perfection.
German dishes tend to have a rich earthiness to them. With just a few herbs, key seasoning techniques, and sheer creativity, they transform simple ingredients like cauliflower into a delectable and delightful dish. In this recipe by Ksenia Prints for German Roasted Cauliflower With Curry Cashew Crust, cauliflower steaks are coated in curry powder and thyme, submerged in savory broth, and encrusted with a mixture of chopped cashews, coconut oil, parsley, and chives. It’s bright, herby, and very satisfying.
Source: Homemade Cauliflower Perogies
There is nothing better than fresh, Homemade Cauliflower Perogies. Vegan Daydream‘s warm potato-y pockets of happiness are given an extra dose of nutrition with cauliflower purée. Serve these delicious, buttery perogies with some homemade cashew cream. Everyone will want at least 4 of these delicious bites on their plate.
Source: Cauliflower and Peas Kurma
Preeti Tamilarasan‘s creamy Cauliflower and Peas Kurma is a very simple, healthy, and flavorful coconut-based curry. In it, cauliflower florets and fresh green peas are tossed in a medley of fragrant ingredients including fresh methi leaves, tomato, ginger-garlic pasta, turmeric, and mustard seeds. Serve this with roti or flatbread, you’re not going to want to waste a drop of the delicious sauce!
Source: Spicy Tandoori Cauliflower
This Spicy Tandoori Cauliflower by Jyothu Rajesh is a show-stopping centerpiece for any dinner. Whole cauliflower is marinated in a spicy masala blend with a depth of flavor with cardamom, spicy chilis, ginger, cloves, and more. It’s then roasted in the oven until the entire head of cauliflower is tender and the spices have seeped through the top of the florets. Serve this with mint chutney or any other vegetables.
For a unique dinner entrée, give Helyn Dunn‘s Cauliflower Steaks With Sweet Pea Purée a try. Baked to crispy perfection and seasoned with paprika, coriander, and black pepper, they are zesty and flavorful. Sweet pea purée adds a delicious freshness to the dish as well. Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s elegant as well.
Dinners, in the traditional sense, are usually centered around one main dish. For a stunning centerpiece that looks as amazing as it tastes, you have to try Maikki Vasala‘s Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Herb Oil. Along with being absolutely gorgeous, it is craftily spiced, rubbed down with a nutty tahini coating, drizzled with lemony herbs, and eventually garnished with roasted almonds.
Source: Cauliflower Pot Roast
Roasted cauliflower is one of the most delicious foods on the planet, and the presentation in the Cruelty Free Family‘s recipe for Cauliflower Pot Roast makes it fancy enough to serve at any occasion. The accompanying gravy is packed with lentils, cashews, and nutritional yeast — and plenty of flavor. Smother your roasted veggies and potatoes in this gravy, and you’ve got yourself a complete meal.
Amy Height‘s Unfried Cauliflower Rice in Ginger Miso Sauce is a healthy take on classic fried rice. This dish is an excellent choice if you don’t want to feel stuffed and fatigued during the holiday season. The sauce stirred in has the perfect amount of zest from the ginger and salty goodness from the miso.
Source: Spicy Cauliflower Lentil Tacos
If you love spicy food, you need to make Parsley Vegan‘s Spicy Cauliflower Lentil Tacos. The filling is made from protein-rich lentils that are blended with cauliflower and warm spices to make a savory filling that brings the heat. Top that with homemade coleslaw, which provides a cooling “crunch,” then sprinkle with pickled jalapeños and a drizzle of dairy-free cilantro crema.
Check out these 10 Cauliflower Recipes to Keep on Hand for Every Type of Craving by downloading the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Herb Oil