When it comes to keeping it meat-free, there are plenty of substitutes. However, one of the nicest, most delicious and most unexpected meat substitutes is cauliflower.
The great thing about cauliflower is its versatility. You can boil, steam, grill, fry, or batter this delicious vegetable with many different results. One of the tastiest things you can wheel out at a barbeque is delicious fired or grilled cauliflower.
So what are the best cauliflower recipes? Well, we’ve scoured the internet for the very best recipes and we’ve managed to whittle it down to 15 of the best. So grab a knife and fork and get ready to tuck into our best vegan cauliflower recipes.
15 Great Vegan Cauliflower Recipes
1. Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Chicken’ Wings
One of the worst things about giving up your meat-based diet is the loss of chicken wings. However, here we have a recipe that will more than make up for it. With a crunchy exterior and creamy center, you’ll never miss the texture of chicken again.
This meal is not only delicious, but it will also be very healthy, having almost half the calories that go into chicken wings. You can serve this one with either vegan garlic or mint dressing for that extra cool touch.
2. Whole Roasted Cauliflower
If you are looking for a really good substitute for that whole turkey at Christmas or for Sunday dinner, why not just beef up the cauliflower side so that it makes up the main meal? You can season this dish thoroughly, adding some vegetables and potato on the side.
You can smother this one in gravy and the texture will be fibrous and extremely light. We all know how filling Sunday roast dinner can be, so why not lighten the load with this amazing cauliflower dish?
3. Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
When it comes to having curry without the meat, then there are plenty of substitutes to pick from. However, one of the best that will taste simply divine with your curry is cauliflower. You can bake this one until it is melt-in-the-mouth.
This comes with a very tasty curry paste and more than a decent helping of vegetables. Add some garlic and ginger in there and you’ll end up with a dish that is rammed with flavor. This also comes packed with protein and fiber.
4. Jerk Cauliflower Steak
This cauliflower is full of some of the most delicious flavors that you can imagine, coming with spicy jerk seasoning. This has a very unique flavoring that you can be sure will blow you out of the water.
This has all the sweet and sour flavoring that you would normally get with beef or pork. You can lay this on your plate with some sweetcorn or roast potatoes. It will also not lie that heavily on your stomach.
5. Cauliflower Shawarma Bowls
If you are looking for a meal that you can fry up in large quantities to make sure that you have enough for lunch on each day of the week, then why not try this cauliflower shawarma bowl?
This comes with lots of crisp, green vegetables including avocado, cucumber and crispy lettuce. The main body of the dish though is cauliflower and chickpeas seasoned with a shawarma spice mix.
6. Cauliflower Nuggets
Now we have nuggets that are breaded and cooked in the oven until they practically melt in your mouth. This is a great appetizer, acting as a set of light bites that will not lay too heavily on your stomach and prepare you for a vegan feast ahead.
You can have this one with fries and it will still be 100% vegan. We would suggest that you have some dips and some salt with these, although on their own these nuggets are really sumptuous and soft.
7. Teriyaki Cauliflower Power Bowls
When you are preparing your meal, sometimes you’ll want to make sure that your dish is balanced, coming with an equal share of healthy carbs, protein and fats. This comes with plenty of green beans and shredded cabbage.
If you like Japanese cuisine, then you should try this Asian-infused dish. Add a slice of avocado and some zesty lemon and you’ll have ticked all the boxes for the healthy food groups.
8. General Tso Cauliflower
Next up, we have some cauliflower florets that are baked to within an inch of perfection, cooked in a rich batter that will add that crunchy flavor with a smoky texture. This is a great addition to a bed of fluffy basmati rice.
This combines vegetable broth with some maple syrup, creating a batter that is rich and smoky, as well as sweet and tangy. This is one of the best recipes that we could find for cooking smaller cauliflower florets.
9. Jamaican Jerk Cauliflower
If you want that distinctive taste that comes with a lot of Caribbean food, then we would nudge you towards this dazzling vegan recipe. This comes with a host of rich and creamy flavors that pack a huge punch.
This is one of the boldest flavors on this menu, so we would not recommend that you try this one unless you are very brave and you enjoy strong flavors. This cauliflower is also packed with plenty of nutrients and protein.
10. Kung Pao Cauliflower
Often seen on any Chinese menu, you can enjoy this without having to resort to the meat option. You can marinade this cauliflower dish in the sauce until it pretty much resembles the chicken equivalent exactly.
This comes with some delicious vegetables all stewed in some of the tastiest sauces you can imagine. Serve this with a side of pilau or basmati rice and you’ll have everything that you need for a solid dinner.
11. Cauliflower Scampi In Lemon Garlic White Wine Sauce
All you need with this one is some white wine sauce and a handful of ingredients. This is ideal if you want to rustle up some restaurant-quality vegan food in next to no time at all.
This comes with the traditional scampi taste with zesty garlic and lemon, giving you all the taste of the seaside. We would recommend that you prepare a big batch of this so that you can feed your whole family with it.
12. Cauliflower Mac And Cheese
Next up, we have a dish that is packed full of creamy goodness, made with a rich vegan cheese sauce. You won’t be able to tell the difference between this one and the traditional mac and cheese dish.
You can prepare a lot of this in a casserole dish, which will make it ideal for your family to eat. If you are looking for something to bring to a vegan food event, then you can’t go wrong with this righteous vegan mac and cheese.
13. Cauliflower Fried Rice
Next up, we have something that will be a very delicious alternative to your regular rice dish and the great thing about it is that it will only cost you half of the calories. You can have this with any dish that you want, whether it be Chinese, Japanese or Indian.
All you need to do is mince this through the food processor and add some of your own veggies to make sure that it tastes almost indistinguishable from the real thing. We would also add some of your own soy sauce.
14. Cauliflower Soup
Now we have a wonderful alternative to the traditional mushroom cream soup, with a cauliflower brew that will really warm you up during the long, cold winter months. This comes with tangy green onions and Scotch bonnet pepper.
You can serve this one with some crunchy bread or some croutons. Despite the fact that this is a soup, you can be sure that you’ll have everything that you need to fill up your stomach right up until dinnertime.
15. Tequila Lime Cauliflower Tacos
Finally, we have a protein-rich taco plate that you can be sure will give you everything that you need to fill up your stomach. This is mixed up with tequila and lime, which are mixed together to pack a real punch.
If you really want the taste of Mexico, then we can guarantee you’ll have everything that you need with this dish. This is wrapped in a floury tortilla which will hold this whole delicious package together. This is perfect for a big vegan buffet.
Well, hopefully by reading through this list you have finally come to understand the true versatility and power of the cauliflower. You can put this in curries, stews, soups or tacos, the only limits here are your own imagination.
The great thing about cauliflower is that it will also absorb a lot of spices and seasoning. You can use cauliflower as a blank canvas into which you can add enough spices to make it taste like chicken, beef, pork or even other stringy vegetables.
So you should definitely try to get experimental with cauliflower, especially if you are a vegan and have been wracking your brains for a long time looking for the right meat substitute.
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