Learn how to make a side dish of fried cauliflower for your next meal. Pan fried cauliflower is made with olive oil, salt, and steamed cauliflower creating a nutty flavor that has been a traditional Italian side dish for years.
Can you fry cauliflower
I know, fried anything is bad for you. But this is not a battered cauliflower recipe. It's just plain and so good, that every now and then I think it is ok to indulge in a flavor that is salty and earthy and full of goodness.
Besides, olive oil is good for you and so is eating your vegetables.
Ingredients for delicious Italian fried cauliflower
Three simple ingredients are all you need to make this vegetable side dish.
- Head of cauliflower
- Olive oil
Other side dish recipes: Roasted Asparagus, Crispy Shredded Sweet Potatoes, Potato Pancakes, Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Crockpot Applesauce, Avocado Black Bean Salsa
Tools needed to make fried cauliflower
Just like the ingredients, you really only need a few kitchen items to make this dish a success.
- Frying Pan– If you have a steel pan, that will work best to get the cauliflower pieces really crispy. If you have a non-stick pan, that will work too.
- Steamer pot or a steamer basket insert. Both of these are easy to find in any store, but I found them for you on Amazon.
- Cutting Board to chop the cauliflower into florets
- Chef knife
Easy pan fried cauliflower instructions
This pan-fried cauliflower recipe was a staple in my house while growing up and if you didn't fill your plate with it the first go around, chances are you would be handing an empty plate back to the kitchen.
Trim off the bottom of cauliflower. Cut into bite-sized pieces (like broccoli).
Steam cauliflower florets until fork tender. When done, remove and let sit in a separate bowl.
In medium frying pan, place about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.
Carefully place steamed cauliflower pieces into heated oil.
Cook until cauliflower browns, stirring occasionally. If stirred too much, cauliflower will break into small pieces. (Note: our family likes the small pieces)
The best pieces are the really, really dark brown pieces, or as my dad would say, “The burnt ones are the best.”
Can you boil cauliflower instead of steaming?
Yes, you can boil cauliflower instead of steaming it. You can choose to boil it whole or in cut-up pieces. Florets will cook much faster when cut into small pieces, taking only 3-6 minutes.
Check often so it doesn't overcook.
How many calories are in fried cauliflower?
You may think this number will be higher, but it's actually quite low considering you are eating a vegetable!
It works out to be 62 calories per serving, which is about one cup.
This would make an amazing side dish for Thanksgiving or Holiday table, but if you decide you want to add this to a main dish instead of serving as a side, give these a try:
- Serve over pasta, like our Cacio e Pepe recipe.
- Pour over salad greens to make a light meal.
- Add to our Vegetable Quiche recipe– oh, that would taste amazing!
Want more? Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get all our fabulous recipes and helpful tips.
Fried Cauliflower Recipe
Fried cauliflower is a traditional Italian side dish made by my family for years. Simple and comforting, this pan-fried cauliflower is a true favorite!
- 1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Trim off bottom of cauliflower. Cut into bite-sized pieces (like broccoli).
- Steam until fork tender.
- In medium frying pan, place about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.
- Place steamed cauliflower pieces into heated oil.
- Cook until cauliflower browns, stirring occasionally. If stirred too much, cauliflower will break into small pieces. (Note: our family likes the small pieces)
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
3 Tier Rectangular Serving Platter, Three Tiered Cake Tray Stand, Food Server Display Plate Rack, White
Euro Ceramica Zanzibar Collection Pasta Bowls, Set of 4, Spanish Floral Design, Multicolor Blue
OXO Stainless Steel Good Grips Steamer with Extendable Handle, 7"
WUSTHOF Classic 8 Inch Chef Knife | Full-Tang Classic Cooks Knife | Precision Forged High-Carbon Stainless Steel German Made
Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board, 8-Inch × 6-Inch, Natural
Cuisinart 77-412 Chef's Classic Stainless 4-Piece 12-Quart Pasta/Steamer Set
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
Original post: 8/31/10
Updated Post: 11/2/20, 12/12/22