You might’ve noticed that cauliflower is having a moment right now—and am I the only one who wants that moment to go on forever? I can’t be. Not when there are SO many uses for this cruciferous little marvel. When it comes to throwing meals together, cauliflower is a perfect blank slate: It absorbs flavors, stands in for starches and mashes like an absolute dream. In the world of easy dinner recipes, cauliflower is king.
So with my love for this kinda-weird-looking veggie displayed proudly on my sleeve, I’m bringing you the six recipes that make me reach into the produce drawer most often, searching for that nubby white dome. I eat these dishes. My KIDS eat these dishes. And I honestly can’t imagine planning dinners without these recipes in my back pocket.
Creamy Linguine with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach & White Beans: Whenever I’m craving a truly satisfying vegetarian dish, I pull out my Dutch oven and whip up this delish medley of flavors. Think pasta Alfredo…if it featured savory beans, toasted walnuts and florets of tender cauliflower. Best part? I’m sitting down to eat in just 40 minutes.
Creamy Cauliflower “Potato” Salad: A big bowl of this mustardy faux-tato salad is always a hit at potlucks—and I’ve never had to bring home leftovers, either! It’s everything people love about creamy refrigerator salads, right down to the crispy bacon topper; it’s just starring a trendy new veggie.
Potato, Carrot & Cauliflower Mash: If you’re easing your family into the cauliflower scene (as in, you’ve got a few doubters—maybe even a hater), this recipe can bridge that gap effortlessly. It’s basically the mashed potatoes they know and love…just enhanced with sweet carrots and velvety cream cheese. Cauliflower adds volume, but no taste. Truth.
Cauliflower and Scallion Pancakes: Don’t read this recipe and freak out at the words “grated cauliflower”—there’s a secret weapon at play here, and it’s NOT your hand grater. It’s your food processor! You can whirl chunks of cauliflower into an almost rice-like consistency in seconds, and after that you’re just 25 minutes away from golden-brown, oniony cakes.
Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower: When I really don’t feel like expending energy on dinner, there’s this easy cauliflower side. And no lie, you don’t even have to chop it. A quick stint in the microwave helps cook the cauliflower through, and 15 minutes in the oven browns its cheesy topping to a glorious, crusty finish.
Cheesy Habanero-Roasted Cauliflower: I pull out this gooey, spicy side dish whenever friends are coming over; its fiery flavor is an instant conversation-starter, and bonus that it’s a cinch to make! Just toss cauliflower florets in zesty Italian dressing (which they soak up like little sponges) and bake ’em until they’re golden and delicious. Sprinkle on some spicy cheese, let that melt, then serve!
Wanna see more cauliflower goodness? Check out our very best cauliflower recipes.