The Best Cauliflower Recipes To Try This Week

After years of languishing behind trendier brassicas like kale and Brussels sprouts, cauliflower is finally getting its day in the sun, and if you ask us, its rise to fame is well overdue. 

Not only does cauliflower boast many of the same health benefits as its cousins — rich in fiber to help with digestion, high in brain-boosting choline, a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, and low in calories to boot — but this veggie also boasts a mild, nutty sweetness that marries well with a host of ingredients without ever overpowering any of them. While cauliflower is rarely the belle of the ball (unless you opt for heirloom purple or golden varieties), it is an excellent backup singer.

It's also a great stand-in, particularly for high-carb favorites like potatoes, pasta, and even pizza dough. Given its pale color and subtle flavor, it's perhaps no surprise that cauliflower can replace these carb-rich foods and more with a bit of tinkering. However you slice it, if you're looking to include more cauliflower recipes in your regular recipe routine, you've come to the right place.

Easy roasted cauliflower brings out its best flavors

Those who were raised on steamed or boiled cauliflower would do well to give this recipe a whirl before trying any others — just to get reacquainted with the crucifer. This simple roasted cauliflower recipe distills the vegetable down to its essence, and it reveals it to be a true delight.

To make this dish, cauliflower florets are tossed with butter and garlic and roasted in a hot oven until crispy and golden brown. Roasting caramelizes the natural sugars present in the cauliflower, making it slightly sweet and nutty. Enjoy this dish as a side or a delicious snack with your favorite homemade sauce if you're feeling a bit more indulgent.

Pickled cauliflower is an awesome sandwich topper

Giardiniera is an Italian concoction of pickled veggies including carrots, celery, peppers, and, of course, cauliflower. Simmered with mild apple cider vinegar and bay leaves and preserved in olive oil, it's a yummy topping for your favorite sandwich or salad recipe. You could also serve it alongside Italian deli meats, cheeses, and olives for a homemade antipasto platter, or simply enjoy it as a snack. If you like a bit of heat, some slightly spicy banana peppers are a welcome addition.

Creamy mashed cauliflower with garlic will satisfy those hearty taste buds

Cauliflower does a fantastic job as a potato stand-in, as this mashed cauliflower recipe proves. Simmered until tender, both the cauliflower and the two whole garlic cloves take on a moreish, delightful sweetness. A touch of low-fat cream cheese and butter kick this purée up a notch. Serve it with your favorite protein, like lemony sole or steak au poivre — something with a sauce this delightful purée can soak up.

Copycat Chipotle cauliflower rice with a zesty kick

You may have heard that cauliflower also makes a nice rice stand-in. You may have even seen pre-grated bags of cauli-rice at your local supermarket. But as this Chipotle cauliflower rice copycat recipe shows, it's super easy to make at home. Grated by hand or in a food processor, the small grains of cauliflower are seasoned with olive oil, cilantro, and lime juice. And unlike rice, they don't have to be boiled: a quick sauté is all they need. The result is the perfect quick and easy side for your favorite chili recipe or an outstanding filling for homemade burritos.

Cauliflower mac and cheese is a comfort food staple

Cauliflower can also stand in for mac, as in this cauliflower-cheese recipe – a homey staple in the UK in its own right and a phenomenal lower-carb alternative to one of America's favorite comfort foods. This dish unites cauliflower florets with a creamy cheese sauce made with heavy cream, grated cheddar, and a touch of cream cheese. Seasoned with garlic and onion powders and paprika, it's a viable opponent for the more carb-heavy classic.

A vegetarian Buffalo "wing" will become your new cauliflower fave

Cauliflower can even stand in for chicken wings, as this vegetarian Buffalo "wing" recipe proves. To make these tasty morsels, cauliflower florets are coated in seasoned flour (or almond meal for a gluten-free version) and baked before being brushed with a Buffalo sauce kissed with honey. The result is far lower in calories than the classic fried wings but just as tasty — it's a perfect Game Day snack with a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing!