This delicious Cauliflower Parmesan is vegan, gluten-free & made with just a few simple ingredients. It’s the perfect weeknight meal.
Anything parmesan and I’m all heart eyes. I guess that’s the Italian in me. With grandparents from Italy, I grew up eating traditional Italian food (such a blessing). My favorites were eggplant parmesan and zucchini parmesan. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I discovered cauliflower parmesan was a thing. And oh my I fell in love. I’ve been visiting my grandparents this past week and as soon as I mentioned the idea of cauliflower parmesan with my grandma, we were already breading the cauliflower (LOL). Our hopes were high but WOW this recipe exceeded all of our expectations. First recipe try and it was an immediate hit. We couldn’t get enough, we were eating it straight off the baking sheet. It went straight onto the list of parmesan recipes I love.
This Cauliflower Parmesan recipe is vegan, gluten-free and made with just a few simple ingredients, making it a great option for those looking for a quick and nutritious weeknight meal. It’s also a great plant-based option if you’re looking to cut out or minimize meat from your diet. You won’t miss the meat after trying this! It has all the flavors of chicken parmesan but without the meat!
The star of this recipe is obviously the cauliflower – a nutrient-rich vegetable with a mild and slightly nutty flavor. The texture of the cauliflower is soft yet it still has a bit of crunch. It honestly is the perfect texture in my opinion. Not too hard but not mushy. The cauliflower is breaded with almond flour and bread crumbs (I use gluten-free) and baked to golden perfection. Top the crispy cauliflower with your favorite marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese and pop it back in the oven for a little longer, until the cheese starts to melt. Garnish with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese and dig in!
Ingredients – Cauliflower Parmesan
• Non-Dairy Milk – non-sweetened and unflavored. I typically use soy milk or oat milk.
• Gluten Free Bread Crumbs – if you aren’t gluten-free, you can substitute for regular bread crumbs.
• Marinara Sauce – I typically use my grandma’s homemade marinara sauce or Rao’s marinara sauce. I really recommend using a good marinara sauce – it makes all the difference!
• Vegan Mozzarella – I love VioLife or Miyoko’s vegan mozzarella – it melts perfectly! If you aren’t vegan, feel free to use regular mozzarella.
• Fresh Basil
• Vegan Parmesan – this is optional but it adds a nice flavor. I like Trader Joe’s or Follow Your Heart vegan parmesan.
• Spices – italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
How To Make Cauliflower Parmesan
Start by slicing the cauliflower into steak shapes. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, your steaks might be big or they might be small. It doesn’t matter, as long as they are in good shape. TIP: when you’re cutting the cauliflower, just remove the outer leaves, keeping the stem intact. This helps with holding the shape and integrity of the pieces as you’re slicing. Next, dip the cauliflower steaks in the non-dairy milk and then into the almond flour/bread crumb mixture and cook! There are two options for cooking the cauliflower – baked or fried. See the paragraph below for more information on this. Then, top each piece of cauliflower with your favorite marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese. Pop it back in the oven for a little longer, until the cheese starts to melt. Garnish with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese and enjoy! You’re going to love it.
Baked or Fried?
This is totally up to personal preference. I’ve made it both ways and both tasted good, but we definitely prefer the fried method. It resembles a “parmesan” dish much more. The baked version is a little lighter and a bit more of a healthier option, while the fried version is a bit more savory. If you’re going to skip the frying, spray the top with olive oil spray so it gets a nice golden color and let the cauliflower bake for an extra 10 minutes.
What I love about this Cauliflower Parmesan, besides the incredible flavor, is that with just a few easy steps, you can have a wholesome and hearty meal on the table in no time. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, this dish is sure to impress. If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below sharing your reviews!
More Healthy Dinner Recipes
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 cup non-dairy milk unsweetened
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ¾ cup gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- marinara sauce for garnish
- vegan mozzarella for garnish
- fresh basil chopped, for garnish
- vegan parmesan optional, for garnish
- olive oil to fry
- olive oil spray
- Preheat the oven to 425℉ and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Do not remove the outer leafs and stems from the cauliflower, as this will help keep the cauliflower slices intact while slicing. Slice the cauliflower into 1" steak-like shapes. You might have some extra irregular pieces of cauliflower, but no worries, we can still use those! Not all of the pieces will look the same.
- Prepare two bowls:- Add the non-dairy milk to one bowl. - Add the almond flour, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder and black pepper to another bowl and whisk together until combined.
- Dip each piece of cauliflower first into the non-dairy milk and then into the breading mixture and place on the lined baking sheet. Spray each piece with olive oil spray.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Add 3-4 tbsp of olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat. Add each piece of baked cauliflower to the pan and lightly pan fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Once pan-fried, return the cauliflower back to the baking sheet and top with your favorite marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese. Pop it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt.
- Garnish with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so it should only be used as an approximation.