7 Satisfying Ways Cauliflower Gives Meat A Run For Its Money

best ways to use cauliflower


For almost every meat-based recipe out there, there’s a veggie version that’s just as good. Cauliflower, in particular, is one of those vegetables with a hearty texture that can rival your go-to protein in all sorts of dishes — tacos, fried rice, bolognese, you name it. Once you season cauliflower properly, there’s an infinite number of ways to cook with it. Here are seven satisfying ways to use cauliflower in place of meat.

1. Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Buffalo sauce fans know the power of buttery hot sauce all too well. As long as you have Buffalo sauce lying around, you can pretty much turn anything into a snack. Cauliflower covered with Buffalo sauce is equally as delicious as chicken, not to mention you can actually feel good about what you’re eating (for the most part).

These baked Buffalo cauliflower wings are made with a little flour, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, butter and hot sauce. You could also try these Sriracha-Buffalo cauliflower bites for even more of a kick. Whip up some kind of Greek yogurt dipping sauce, and you won’t even know you’re eating cauliflower.

2. Cauliflower Steak

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No, there isn’t actually red meat involved in a cauliflower steak. You’re basically cutting your cauliflower whole so that you get a thick, steak-like piece that’s the size of the entire head of cauliflower. Season your cauliflower steak, roast it in the oven and serve it with a sauce like you would a regular steak.

Here’s a recipe for roasted cauliflower steak with extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, golden raisins, butter and parsley. If you want your cauliflower with more of a Mediterranean-inspired taste, try this recipe with a shawarma spice blend.

3. Vegan Cauliflower Bolognese

As comforting as a bowl of regular spaghetti bolognese might be, you can make this dish just as cozy with a head of cauliflower instead. Here’s a recipe for cauliflower bolognese with lentils, plum tomatoes, fresh herbs and balsamic that’ll let you get your sauce fix. Here’s another vegetarian bolognese recipe that’ll make things a little easier with canned tomato sauce. Once you try bolognese with cauliflower, you might never go back.

4. Cauliflower Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of the most popular takeout favorites out there. It’s also one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day. Since cauliflower rice is a healthier alternative, try this fried cauliflower rice with sesame oil, eggs, carrots, peas, onions and scallions. You can shred your cauliflower using a cheese grater or pulse it in a food processor.

You can also add any vegetables you have lying around your kitchen to a fried rice recipe, and most cauliflower fried rice recipes won’t take you more than 15 minutes to make.

5. Cauliflower Po’ Boy

This traditional Louisiana sandwich usually has some kind of meat, whether it’s roast beef or fried seafood, along with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo and sometimes even French fries. But you can also make this classic sandwich with cauliflower.

Here’s a Buffalo cauliflower Po’ Boy that’s made with vegan mayo, Frank’s RedHot, apple cider vinegar, herbs, spices and pickles. For a recipe with Old Bay and Cajun seasoning, plus a little Sriracha vegan mayo, try this crisp cauliflower Po’ Boy.

6. Cauliflower Tacos

For Taco Tuesday, change it up and add some cauliflower to the routine. Once you add all of your favorite taco seasonings to the mix, you won’t even realize you’re eating the cream-colored vegetable. Try these roasted cauliflower tacos with chipotle romesco, chipotle-lime cauliflower tacos or roasted cauliflower and chickpea tacos with avocado, jalapeño, red cabbage and a Greek yogurt and lime sauce.

7. Cauliflower Burger

Veggie burgers can be hard to make successfully, but cauliflower can be a helpful addition. These cheddar cauliflower burgers are made with white rice, cheddar cheese, panko breadcrumbs, chili powder and cayenne pepper, with pickled cabbage and pesto on top. For a cauliflower burger with a Moroccan theme, try these grilled Moroccan cauliflower chickpea burgers that’ll only take 30 minutes to make.