An Easy Pan Fried Cauliflower Recipe

by Pamela

cauliflower recipe, easy vegetarian recipes, vegetarian side dishes, easy recipe, paleo

Can cauliflower be blah? Yes it can. But can cauliflower be exciting? Yes it can (if you temper your idea of exciting a little bit). I’m not saying that this cauliflower is going to change your life, but if your someone that isn’t jazzed about eating the white veggie, this particular cauliflower recipe might just help get you to the point where you can eat cauliflower and publicly admit to doing so.

I’m a big fan of cauliflower and I use it in all kinds of recipes. One of the things that I like about it, which is the thing that others don’t like about it, is that it’s a pretty bland vegetable. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor of its own, which means it can take on the flavors of what you cook with it. That makes it a perfect veggie to slip into recipes and give them a healthy boost while unsuspecting diners have no idea. Don’t get all indignant about it…you didn’t even know it was in there. You can’t get angry about stuff you don’t even know about it. I especially like hiding it in a macaroni and cheese recipe.

Vegetable Side Dishes with Cauliflower

Cauliflower is also a great ingredient for making easy vegetarian recipes. Again, it’s because the vegetable is practically a blank canvas and it takes on flavors really easily. It also has different textures. Fresh and uncooked, the cauliflower is crunchy. I shred it and turn it into gluten free version of tabbouleh. And then there’s roasting it. Roasting almost any vegetable gives you a nice texture along with a sweeter flavor. The heat caramelizes the sugars in there and really makes the vegetable almost taste like something completely different. Sometimes I just chop it up, roast it and sprinkle it with seasonings. And then sometimes I roast it and drop it into some broth, with other vegetables and seasonings. I break out the stick blender and turn it into a cream soup…minus the cream. This is one of the greatest traits of cauliflower.

Today’s post is a different cooking method…pan frying. This keeps things all in one pan (easy cleanup), fairly quick and healthy. This pan fried cauliflower makes one of the best vegetarian side dishes. Follow my recipe this first time and then go crazy and mix up your own flavor combinations. It really will work with lots of herbs, a little Parmesan, maybe some grainy mustard…the options are many.

Easy Vegetarian Recipes with Cauliflower

This cauliflower recipe is also good for a light lunch. It really is quite filling.

So break out the big frying pan and get ready to start wearing your skinny jeans again. This cauliflower recipe is going to keep all parts of you happy.

An Easy Pan Fried Cauliflower Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cauliflower florets pan fried in coconut oil with shallots, ginger, garlic and red pepper for some heat. This easy cauliflower recipe is sure to be a hit.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 Large Head Cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 Large Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves (finely minced or grated)
  • 1½" Piece Fresh Ginger (peeled and grated)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Red Chile Flakes
  • 1 Lime
  • Large Grain Sea Salt
  1. Chop cauliflower into small, evenly sized pieces (no larger than 1" x 1"). Since it's in season, you can also include the core if you like.
  2. Thoroughly rinse cauliflower and set aside to drain.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once oil has melted add the shallots, garlic, ginger and chile flakes to the pan.
  5. Saute for several minutes (5-7 mins), but don't let the ingredients brown. If it seems like everything is cooking too quickly, turn the heat down.
  6. Add the cauliflower to the pan. Give everything a good stir so that it's coated, If the pan is too crowded (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan in spots), remove enough from the pan so that you can see the some of the bottom of the pan.
  7. Turn the heat back up to medium or medium high.
  8. Let the cauliflower cook, undisturbed for 3 minutes. The stuff on the bottom should be brown in spots. Toss and let sit for another 3 minutes. Continue doing this until you get the doneness you like.
  9. Remove this batch from the pan and toss in the excess you had previously removed. Cook this in the same way as the last batch.
  10. Once cooked, add this to the cooked batch.
  11. Squeeze lime over top of everything and give a good stir.
  12. Top with a generous pinch of large grained sea salt.
  13. Serve.
It may take a little longer than 3 minutes in the pan for your cauliflower to brown. Don't worry. Just let it sit, undisturbed for 2-3 more minutes and check it again. If it's taking longer than that, just bump up the heat a little bit more.


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John@Kitchen Riffs January 12, 2014 at 10:26 am

I know a lot of people don’t like cauliflower, but it’s become one of my favorite veggies. I usually roast mine, but I should try pan-frying it sometime. Kinda sorta the same thing, at least when it comes to the finished product. Good post – thanks.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef January 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I cooked cauliflower this week. It’s never been a favorite of either of us but sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone. We ate it but maybe this recipe would have been better. It sure looks good.

Pamela January 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Thanks Maureen, it definitely gives it some good flavors.

sippitysup January 11, 2014 at 10:18 am

I was just thinking about that cauliflower tabbouleh recipe of yours. Happy New Year. XOGREG

Pamela January 11, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hi Greg, happy new year to you too! I was going to make the cauliflower tabbouleh when I started making this. I just wanted something warmer than the cold salad. 😉

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