Say goodbye to green juice and kale chips: Experts are saying cauliflower is the new kale. That’s right, wherever kale has popped up, cauliflower is likely to follow this year. Both trendy ingredients are cruciferous vegetables — meaning they are rich in nutrients including carotenoids, vitamins C, E and K, folate and fiber — which have been linked to lower cancer risk.
We know there’s no way kale will leave the limelight forever, but we can’t help but get excited over the prospect of creative new cauliflower-filled dishes. From everything bagel “Cauliflower Rolls” to creamy cauliflower pasta sauce to a mind-blowingly good cauliflower pizza recipe, the 14 dishes below are just the beginning of the cruciferous goodness to come.
RELATED: 7 Delicious Low-Carb Pizza Recipes
14 Low-Carb Cauliflower Recipes
This is the perfect pizza recipe to welcome spring. The toppings — fresh zucchini, corn, basil and goat cheese — make for fresh, bright flavors. Plus, this pie is a lot healthier than traditional mozzarella- and pepperoni-covered crusts. Photo and Recipe: Natalie / Once Upon a Cutting Board
“Fakeout” has never tasted so good. This vegetarian-friendly take on the classic General Tso’s Chicken is to die for. The lightly breaded chunks of cauliflower lend a meaty texture, and the sauce is packed with traditional flavors including ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and red chilies. Photo and Recipe: Carrie / Bakeaholic Mama
Regular burrito bowls are packed with carbs and can leave you feeling like you’ve eaten a brick. Using cauliflower rice — or grated cauliflower — as the base helps to lighten the dish while also cutting down on calories and carbs. Plus, you get an extra dose of nutrients called glucosinolates, which some research suggests can have cancer-fighting benefits. This recipe calls on garbanzo beans for protein, but chicken, steak or tofu would work great, too. Photo and Recipe: Julia Mueller / The Roasted Root
This might be the ultimate way to squeeze more veggies into decadent comfort food. The “cheese” sauce in this healthy and decadent recipe is made from pureed cauliflower and cashew-based cream. (Don’t worry, dairy lovers — you could use cheddar instead of the cashew cream!) Regardless of whether or not you go vegan, the inclusion of a whole head of cauliflower cuts down on calories and adds in an extra dose of vitamin C and fiber. (One cup of the white florets contains three grams of fiber and 77 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C.) Photo and Recipe: Jeanine / Love and Lemons
French fries and tater tots, step aside — cauliflower tots are taking over. Shape this simple mix of cooked chopped cauliflower, egg, onion, parsley, cheese and breadcrumbs into tot-like pieces, bake for about 16 minutes, and get popping! Plus, these crunchy snacks contain a healthy dose of protein (10 grams) in every eight-piece serving. Photo and Recipe: Gina Homolka / Skinnytaste
Yes, you can make bread from cauliflower. These rolls — made from cauliflower, almond flour, coconut flour and eggs — are a great Paleo-friendly alternative for bread and bagels. The poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion and sea salt sprinkled on top add crave-worthy flavor, too. Photo and Recipe: Lexi / Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
Sick of plain old salads? Try this inventive combination. Roasted cauliflower is tossed with extra virgin olive oil, hazelnuts, avocado chunks, pomegranate seeds and parsley. Then, it’s all tossed in a cinnamon and maple syrup-scented dressing. The rich combination of cauliflower, hazelnuts and avocado is complemented perfectly by the slightly spicy, slightly sweet dressing. The pre-dressed salad will hold up in Tupperware until lunchtime, too! Photo and Recipe: Ginare / Gourmatine
Take the popular veggie pizza crust a step further with this cauliflower crust calzone recipe. Because what’s better than one layer of cauliflower crust? Two, of course! The calzone calls for a simple filling of mozzarella cheese and fresh tomato sauce, but you can fill the crust with whatever you like. We suggest fresh spinach, shredded chicken and homemade pesto. Photo and Recipe: Mike / The Iron You
RELATED: 7 Delicious Low-Carb Pizza Recipes
You’ll save on time, calories and carbs with this healthy take on heavy risotto. Swap cauliflower for rice for a veggie upgrade, but still get the creamy texture you crave from a regular risotto, courtesy of the goat cheese. Asparagus and mushrooms add another dose of vitamins and minerals, and you can whip everything up in 30 minutes. How can you turn that down? Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Life by Daily Burn
Pasta lovers, rejoice. This healthier alfredo sauce, made mostly of cauliflower, is the perfect alternative to butter and cream-filled sauces. Yes, you’ll still use dairy — just one tablespoon of butter, a half-cup milk and quarter-cup parmesan — but you still kick the excessive calories in traditional alfredo sauces to the curb. Photo and Recipe: Daryl Schmidt / Unlost
Simple, filling and healthy, these cauliflower and potato cakes are perfect for making a plain old green salad a little bit more exciting. The flavor comes from cheddar cheese, thyme and parmesan. The pillowy soft cauliflower-potato center contrasts perfectly to the crunchy panko coating. Photo and Recipe: Kristianne / My San Francisco Kitchen
White beans add protein and body to this soup, while roasted fennel, cauliflower and fresh lemon zest provide a light, refreshing flavor. In addition to the protein from the beans, the soup is also packed with fiber and vitamin C. Photo and Recipe: Sonnet / In Sonnet’s Kitchen
If you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious and anything-but-boring salad for lunch, we found the perfect recipe. This dish packs vitamins C, K and folate thanks to the cauliflower. Plus, it has fiber-rich corn, creamy avocado filled with healthy fats and juicy tomatoes that bring the antioxidants. The honey, olive oil, lime, paprika and cumin dressing also provides the spice you need for a tasty kick. Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn
Who can get enough pizza? Not us. Feel good about eating your favorite dinner when you make this low-carb, nutrient-dense version. It’s packed with produce, including red bell peppers, broccoli florets, onions and mushrooms. (Feel free to add even more!) The recipe also calls for mozzarella and goat cheese, but toss on your go-to variety for a gooey goodness you’ll love. Photo and recipe: Serena / Domesticate Me
Originally published March 2014. Updated March 2017.