How to Cook Cauliflower

I finally figured out how to cook cauliflower so that it tastes like a recipe I used to enjoy, but now gluten-free and dairy-free!

how to cook cauliflower

Now I can prepare cauliflower so that everyone can eat it and enjoy it. There is a high demand for seconds on my special recipe below, even from those who normally don't like cauliflower.

cauliflower dishIt may look and smell like it's sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, but it's not!

But before we can give it a special coating, we need to learn how to cook cauliflower to make it soft.

How to Cook Cauliflower with Steam

I think steaming is the easiest and most basic way to cook cauliflower.

I love my Instant Pot, so I fill it with 1 cup of water, sit a steamer basket inside, then fill the steamer with cauliflower. I don't worry about being able to lift it out -- I scoop straight out of the steamer into my dish after it cooks, but more about that later. I set it on Manual for 3 minutes.

If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can also steam it in a double boiler type of steamer on the stove top. That takes about 20-30 minutes over medium heat until the cauliflower is soft.

How to Add Flavor

Cauliflower tastes a little bland by itself.

I used to love the breaded cauliflower recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. That was steamed, coated in butter, and then covered in a mix of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

What if you can't eat gluten or dairy?

I developed this recipe for how to cook cauliflower that comes amazingly close to the original. The coconut oil replaces the butter, the almond flour replaces the breadcrumbs, and the nutritional yeast and salt replace the Parmesan cheese.

Cheesy Breaded Cauliflower - Dairy Free and Gluten Free

By , Apr. 12, 2019

cauliflower dish

This tastes like cheesy breaded cauliflower but it's a safe alternative for those of us who need things to be dairy free and gluten free!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: about 1/2 cup of carob chips or chunks
Tags: Gluten Free



  1. Steam cauliflower until soft (see options above on this page).
  2. While cauliflower is steaming, melt coconut oil in an oven safe dish. I like to use a large square Corningware dish that's ok for stovetop and oven.
  3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
  4. Place the soft cauliflower into the dish of melted oil and stir to coat.
  5. Sprinkle and pour the dry crumb mixture over the cauliflower. Do not stir.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F or 10 minutes at 375 F. I like to stick it in the oven with whatever else I'm making, so the temperature varies. If you're making something any hotter, wait until that comes out and then put the cauliflower in the oven for a few minutes in the correct temperature range.

When it's ready, I take the dish from the oven, sit it on a hot pad, add a spoon, and it's time to eat!

A word of advice about nutritional yeast: I like to buy the kind that is "unfortified". If you have an MTHFR gene mutation or anything that makes you sensitive to processed vitamins, you know to watch out for that. There is an unfortified, soy-free brand of nutritional yeast available (this one), and it tastes great! 

More to Explore

gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
paleo muffins
gluten-free gingerbread cookies

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