Our cauliflower parmesan recipe is straightforward. Nutty cauliflowers are tossed with tomato sauce, topped with cheese, and baked until perfection.
Best of all, the dish can be made within 25 minutes using easy-to-buy ingredients and minimal effort.
Is This Cauliflower Parmesan Healthy?
Cauliflower is naturally high in fiber, vitamin B, C, K and other essential nutrients. One cup of raw cauliflower provides 51.6 milligrams of vitamin C — 77% of the daily requirement.
Additionally, one cup of this versatile veggie contains up to 2.1 grams of fiber — a compound that helps enhance weight loss and digestion. Studies have shown that fiber can also decrease the risk of inflammation-related conditions like diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
A diet low in vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. Foods high in vitamin K like cauliflower can help with collagen production, prevent bone loss, and improve your bone health.
Our cauliflower parmesan can also be considered healthy. To be specific, each serving of cauliflower parmesan contains only 191 calories. This leaves plenty of space for the main dish!
We kept an eye on the added salt and cheese in the recipe so that the food ends up having only 300 mg of sodium and 3,4 g of saturated fat. These numbers align with the current USDA’s Dietary Guideline.
Is It Vegan?
Our cauliflower parmesan recipe contains parmesan and mozzarella cheese, so it isn’t a vegan dish.
If you prefer a non-dairy alternative, we suggest substituting it with vegan cheese. Note that the vegan versions will not taste exactly like parmesan and mozzarella, but they are still creamy, rich, and perfect for oven-baked dishes.
Ingredients You'll Need
With three main ingredients, this easy-to-make cauliflower parmesan is what we call effortless food.
Cauliflower: The veggie should be cut into similar-sized pieces with one flat side, encouraging a crisp, caramelized exterior in the oven.
Tomato Sauce: The tomato sauce adds liquid, ensuring the veggies are cooked through tenderly and juicy without burning over high heat. It also intensifies the flavor of seasonings and spices coated on the cauliflower, leaving each floret packed with deliciousness.
Cheese: In our recipe, parmesan and mozzarella cheese give a heavenly touch of creaminess which pairs beautifully with cauliflower. They help balance out the tanginess of tomato sauce, elevating the taste and appearance of this simple baked dish. If you love the combo of cauliflower and cheese, here’s another perfect fit that’s quick and easy to make.
How to Prepare Cauliflower
It’s always advisable to wash vegetables and fruits before you cook or eat them. Cauliflower needs extra care to ensure it is properly cleaned due to its unsmooth head, the perfect environment to trap impurities.
Cutting up the cauliflower is the first step to ensure you can remove all the dirt. Plus, the smaller pieces will be much easier to hold and scrub in the water.
Here are the instructions on how to cut cauliflower in 4 easy steps:
Remove the leaves from the bottom of the cauliflower.
Quarter the head by cutting straight down the center through the core.
Remove the core, leaving as many florets as possible.
Break down large florets by hand and use a knife to trim large chunks into smaller florets if necessary.
The simplest method to clean your cauliflower is to immerse the veggie in salty water for a few minutes. This step helps remove all the dirt and worms (if any). Then rinse the florets under cool water, and they are ready to be cooked.
Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?
Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower for this recipe, and the good news is that cooking cauliflower from a frozen state doesn’t take much prepping time.
For this recipe specifically, after pulling frozen veggies from the freezer, place them in a bowl and microwave until they are cooked through. Of course, frozen cauliflower needs more time to cook than the room-temperature counterparts, so we advise leaving them in the microwave for an extra 2 – 4 minutes.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover
To safely store the leftovers, keep them in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag. This is key as airtight packaging will stop harmful bacteria from getting in and spoiling the food.
In general, cooked vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 4 days in a covered container. However, with dairy-contained food like this cauliflower, we recommend having them within 2 days. In the freezer, they’re good for 2 months.
When you reheat the food from the fridge, use the oven, stovetop, or microwave to warm it evenly. A small tip is to cover the dish when warming it to help retain the moisture and flavor.
More Fast, Easy Cauliflower Recipes
Here are a few of our favorite recipes with cauliflower:
Add 14 oz cauliflower to a bowl, microwave for 7 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower from the microwave. In a big bowl, mix cauliflower with 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning.
Add half of the tomato sauce (3/4 cup) to a baking dish and spread it evenly.
Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish.
Add the rest of the homemade tomato sauce (3/4 cup) to the baking dish.
Sprinkle 0.5 oz parmesan cheese and 1.5 oz mozzarella cheese on top of the mixture.
Put the dish in the oven. Bake at 475 ℉ for 10 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven. Sprinkle 2 tbsp fresh basil on top.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 191Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Vitamin A 1744IU
Vitamin C 69mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.