Anyone who has been on a diet knows how difficult it can be. We struggle to put bad habits behind us and begin embracing a life of moderation, better food, and more activity.

Finding ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet is one way to improve our health; it is not always easy to much on fresh fruits and veggies, however. Sometimes we could go for a heaping helping of some good old fashioned comfort food—or at least something that resembles comfort food—as we work toward our firmer physique.

Benefits of incorporating more vegetables into our diets

There are a number of body-positive changes that take place when you start adding more veggies to your plate, including:

  • Improved digestion
  • Better quality of life through fewer aches and pains
  • Improved look and feel of your skin
  • Boosted immunity
  • Less stress, better emotional state
  • Healthier pregnancy

Consider cauliflower!

This delicious cruciferous vegetable is taking the keto world by storm; used as a substitute for potatoes, bread, and even pizza crust, its mild flavor, and amazing nutrition make it a perfect backdrop for all kinds of diet-friendly recipes. If you are watching your waistline and you still want to indulge in some delicious fare, consider these amazing recipes!

cauliflower for gut health

15 Tasty Cauliflower Recipes

1. Grilled “steaks” with fresh herb sauce

This meatless meal is savory and filling–you won’t even miss your filet as you slice up this amazing meal:


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • One tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground parsley
  • One Tbsp ground mint
  • 1/2 small lemon, minced and juiced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • A garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes


Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Trim leaves off the head and remove the stalk. Set the head on your cutting board and cut it into thick steaks. Save the remaining florets for another use. Brush both sides of the steaks with oil; dust with cumin and turmeric and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill steaks for five minutes on each side, testing for the desired doneness. Combine parsley, mint, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and pepper flakes in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Serve steaks drizzled with sauce and accompanied with a beautiful green salad.

2. Fried rice

Asian food lovers, rejoice! Ricing this cruciferous veggie will fulfill your urge to indulge in your favorite Chinese. This delicious dish can be used as a side for any main dish meat:


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Two cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • One red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 cups florets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp scallions
  • salt and pepper to taste


Place half the florets in a bowl of a food processor and pulse for about 20-25 seconds. Don’t overcrowd the bowl, or you will get an uneven rice texture of powder and large chunks. Move the “rice” to a different bowl and repeat with remaining florets.

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan–add onions, garlic, and peppers and saute till tender. Add carrots and cook for an additional minute. Stir on soy sauce, simmer for 1-2 minutes, and then add the riced veggies back in. Saute for an additional five minutes, or until the rice becomes soft and tender.

Push the vegetables to one side of the pan, Crack the egg and scramble it into the pan, incorporating it into the vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle scallions and serve with your favorite protein.

3. Gnocchi

Containing the same round, fluffy texture as regular gnocchi, this recipe will indulge your need to sauce something red or white. Delicious when sprinkled with parmesan or doused in your favorite marinara, you’ll add this to your list of dinner staples.


  • Two heads florets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup almond flour plus more for rolling
  • Sauces or toppings of your choice


Trim the florets, discarding any leaves and debris. Chop vegetables in a food processor until it resembles something between rice and sand. Transfer mixture to a large, clean kitchen towel, squeezing as much water out as possible. Be aggressive, for the more water you squeeze out, the better the quality of your gnocchi will be.

In a large bowl, combine egg, parmesan, mozzarella, and salt. After making sure that the rice is completely dry, add it to the cheese and egg mixture and combine.

Sprinkle on almond flour and stir to combine. The dough should pinch together when you apply pressure to it; if not, keep adding small amounts of flour until it forms a soft dough. Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap use the plastic wrap and dampened hands to roll the mixture into a log about 8 inches long. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before cooking.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt to the water while heating. Shape the dough by slicing log in half lengthwise, then cutting again into 1/2 inch chunks and rolling into a gnocchi shape. If your hands become sticky, clean and sprinkle with flour.

As the water comes to a boil, test/cook one gnocchi; drop it into boiling water, stirring gently, so it doesn’t stick on the bottom of the pot. Let it cook in a gentle boil for 1-2 minutes, or until the gnocchi floats to the top of the water.

Cook the gnocchi in batches; they should fit into the bottom of the pot in a single layer before floating to the top. Keep the gnocchi warm in a 200-degree oven while you are boiling the rest. Serve hot with the topping of your choice!

4. Roasted cauliflower and quinoa salad

One of our favorite recipes, this delicious salad packs a flavorful punch. A blend of bright flavors and textures makes it perfect as a lunch or as a side to accompany a hearty meal.


  • 1 large head of florets
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked peas (just till tender)
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil and toss florets with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, garlic salt, and olive oil. Spread florets out on baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds and toast till browned and aromatic. Remove from the heat.

Combine roasted florets with the quinoa, peas, toasted almonds, sliced green onions, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon juice if you desire. Serve warm or chilled with salad greens.

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5. Cauliflower pizza crust

When it seems that all of our comfort foods are off-limits, this is one of those recipes that saves the day. With this crispy, flavorful option for pizza, you can load up on your favorite toppings without piling on the guilt.


  • 1 head florets
  • 1 clove garlic
  • An egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add florets, and cook till tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and spread on a sheet pan to cool. While cauliflower cools, peel and mince the garlic. Mash cooled florets with a food processor or potato masher without turning it into a puree. Transfer cauliflower to a large cheesecloth and squeeze as much moisture as you can out of it. The more moisture you can get out of it, the crispier your crust is going to be.

Transfer veggie mixture to a bowl. Add garlic, egg, cheese, flour, salt, pepper, and oregano. Mix thoroughly.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place vegetable mixture onto parchment paper and spread into a 14-inch disk. Bake until golden brown and crispy on the edges; about 35 minutes. Finish with your favorite toppings and dig in!

6. Cauliflower casserole

This is one of those recipes that screams comfort food. Tender vegetable, creamy sauce, and flavorful accents make it perfect for a quiet meal at home or a festive holiday gathering.


  • 1 head florets
  • 6 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Steam florets till tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp butter and add red bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes or till tender. Add green onion and chopped parsley and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add flour and stir till blended. Gradually add milk, cooking till thickened. Add one cup of the cheese, salt, and pepper to taste; stir till cheese is melted. Combine cheese mixture with florets. Spoon into prepped baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter and toss with bread crumbs; sprinkle over casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or till topping is crunchy and browned.

7. Oven-roasted buffalo “wings.”

For those of you wanting buffalo taste without all those extra calories, this is one of the best recipes for satisfying your craving. Serve with carrots, celery, and your favorite dipping sauces–you won’t even miss the original!


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 head florets, cut into small “bite-sized” pieces
  • 1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter


Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, combine milk, flour, garlic powder, and salt, stirring till well combined. Pat florets dry with a paper towel. Coat each piece in milk mixture and place on a baking tray that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake florets for 18-20 minutes. Prepare buffalo sauce by whisking together wing sauce and butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Remove florets from the oven and brush liberally with buffalo sauce. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Cool and serve with your favorite garnishes.

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8. Veggie and sausage roast with cheddar cheese

One of our favorite recipes for a hearty meal, this combination of textures and flavors, will make you forget that you are dieting. Serve with a vibrant green salad for a complete meal.


  • 1 large head florets
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese


Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter and a little olive oil. Toss florets with seasoning, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet. Add onion and sausage and cook till fragrant and tender. Add this mixture to florets and drizzle with remaining olive oil; mix well.

Spoon mixture into the baking dish and bake till 30 minutes, or till florets are tender and browned. Stir once or twice during cooking time. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and return to the oven till cheese melts about 5 minutes.

9. Cheesy bread

This is easily one of the most flavorful recipes for “healthy” cheese bread that exists. It is a great gluten-free option for those who love bread with a meal, and it is much healthier than its greasy counterparts.


  • 1 large head florets
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves minced garlic


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grate florets in a food processor. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add eggs, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Transfer dough to a prepared baking sheet. Moisten your hands and pat into a thin, even rectangle. Ideally, it should be about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake until golden brown and dry to the touch, about 25 minutes. Melt butter in a small bowl and add minced garlic. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over the crust and place it into the oven again until the cheese has melted. Slice into small sticks and serve with your favorite marinara sauce.

10. Cheddar cauliflower cakes

Top these delicious cakes with your favorite meat, tomato sauce, sour cream, or even more cheese! They are amazing hot or cold, and they will keep you on track when you need something to munch on.


  • 1 large head florets
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp cajun or creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut florets and steam or boil them for 12-15 minutes; drain well. Place florets in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times, until it looks riced or mashed. Place it in a large bowl and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.

Add cheese, eggs, and seasoning to floret mixture and mix well. Spread on prepared baking sheet until the mixture is at a depth of 1/2 inch. Using a cookie cutter, canning lid, or another circular ring mold, cut cakes out of the floret mixture and place on a baking sheet prepped for the oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool for at least ten minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy!

11. Roasted florets with chimichurri sauce

The vibrant green color and delicious flavor of a chimichurri sauce elevate this dish to our recipes hall of fame. Serve with your favorite lean protein and a fresh greens salad for a completely delicious meal.


  • 1 head florets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, washed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position racks in the bottom third of the oven. Place florets on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss florets with 2 Tbsp of olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until lightly browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Stir a few times during baking to ensure that they are evenly done.

While florets are roasting, put the sauce together. In a food processor, place the olive oil, parsley, garlic, onions, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Serve florets hot with chimichurri, either drizzled on the top or on the side.

12. Bang bang cauliflower

Breaded florets and spicy sauce form the perfect combination of flavors that will tantalize your tastebuds.


  • 4 cups florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced scallion
  • 2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • chopped parsley or cilantro


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together eggs in a small bowl, adding salt and pepper (1 tsp of each will do). Add a little water to thin out the eggs and make it easier to stick to the florets.

Dip florets in egg wash till they are coated on all sides. Drop them into another bowl filled with panic bread crumbs, toss till coated thoroughly. Place coated florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray florets with cooking spray and cook for 20 minutes, or till brown and crispy.

Whisk remaining ingredients in a bowl to make the Bang Bang sauce. When florets are done, assemble on a plate and drizzle sauce over the top, leaving some for additional dipping on the side. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

13. Creamy mashed cauliflower and leeks

This staple side gets a little bit of a facelift with the addition of sautéed leeks. Make it even more flavorful by adding a little bit of sour cream and some chives.


  • 1 large head florets
  • 1 large leek, sliced thinly
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


Chop florets coarsely and put in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and 1 tsp salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or till florets are very tender.

Clean the leeks. Cut off the root and the dark green tops and discard. Rinse under cold running water as you are cutting to remove excess sand. Continue slicing into thin strips.

Place butter in a large skillet and melt over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the leeks. Reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Put drained florets and leeks in a food processor and add heavy cream. Process till smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a serving dish and enjoy!

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14. Sweet potato and floret soup

This rich, creamy soup perfect for quiet meals at home or lunch on the go. A wonderfully sweet, earthy taste satisfies and keeps you on track at the same time.


  • 1 small head florets
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro


Prep all veggies, reserving 2 cups mini florets. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, onion, and carrot and sauce till all are tender, about 8 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and large florets, vegetable stock, and three pinches of salt, as well as the bay leaf. Bring to a boil; cover and lower heat, simmer for 30 minutes.

Discard bay leaf, add thyme and remove from heat. Puree mixture in a blender in small batches until everything is smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste and add small florets, simmering for another 10 minutes or till florets are tender. Garnish with fresh parsley, cilantro, and sour cream.

15. Cauliflower and chicken casserole

This delicious, nutritious casserole is one of a kind! Whether you serve it up for your family or for a crowd of hungry guests, it is sure to please!


  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 head grated florets
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • One Tbsp parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese


Cut chicken breasts into cubes sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add chicken, cooking till no longer pink. Add heavy cream to deglaze the pan. Heat oven to 325 degrees, spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Add riced/grated veggies to the pan. Sprinkle liberally with the rest of the salt and pepper, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and parsley. Top with browned chicken and cream mixture. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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Final Thoughts on Using Cauliflower to Help Reach Your Diet Goals

No matter how you serve it, no matter how you slice it, cooking with cauliflower is one of the healthiest things you can to maintain your diet and weight loss goals. Choose from this list of stellar recipes, get yourself into the kitchen, and start cooking! Bon Appetit!