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Baked Cauliflower Parmesan Recipe

Chicken parmesan is a classic Italian dish that’s perfect for dinner. However, if you are cutting back on your meat or need a vegetarian option for dinner tonight, you can enjoy all the flavors of chicken parm without the chicken! This simple recipe for baked cauliflower parmesan is packed with Italian flavor without any meat.
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is a classic Italian dish that’s perfect for dinner. However, if you are cutting back on your meat or need a vegetarian option for dinner tonight, you can enjoy all the flavors of chicken parm without the chicken! This simple recipe for baked cauliflower parmesan is packed with Italian flavor without any meat.

Cauliflower Parmesan Pin

What Do I Need to Make Cauliflower Parmesan?

This easy recipe is made with similar ingredients to traditional chicken parm, replacing the chicken breast with cauliflower steak. The result is a flavorful and hearty dinner that’s perfect for Meatless Mondays!

  • Head of cauliflower, cut into one-inch steaks
  • Beaten eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Italian seasoning
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Cauliflower Parmesan Ingredients

Looking for more delicious cauliflower recipes? Give these reader favorites a try!

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How Do I Make This Cauliflower Parmesan Recipe?

Gather up your ingredients and follow these three simple steps to make cauliflower parmigiana for dinner tonight.

Step One: Prepare the breading

The breading for your cauliflower consists of three different parts: egg, flour, and breadcrumbs. You’ll need three shallow bowls to coat your steaks in each mixture. Start by adding the egg to one bowl and lightly beating it with a fork to combine the whites and yolks. Then, add the flour to a second bowl. In the third bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, and grated parmesan cheese.

Panko breadcrumbs, cheese and spices in a bowl.

Step Two: Coat the cauliflower

When you have your breading ingredients prepared, line the bowls up next to each other in this order: flour, egg, then breadcrumbs. Start by dipping each cauliflower steak in the powder, pressing it into the bowl to coat. Shake off the excess flour, then transfer the steak to the egg bowl. Coat both sides with eggs, then dip it in the breadcrumbs. Press all sides of the cauliflower steak in the breadcrumbs, making sure it’s fully coated.

 

Step Three: Bake the cauliflower

Transfer each coated cauliflower steak to a prepared baking sheet. When all the steaks are covered in breadcrumbs, place the baking sheet in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 15 minutes. When the cook time is up, remove the pan from the oven and flip each steak. Top each steak with marinara sauce and cherry tomatoes. Return the pan to the oven to cook for 10 minutes, then top each cauliflower with cheese. Turn on the broiler and bake for three minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil and crushed red pepper before serving.

Oven Baked Cauliflower Parmesan

Recipe Tips and Tricks

With only three steps, this quick recipe is so simple to make. Follow these easy tips to ensure your dinner tastes amazing:

  • Cut thick steaks: To be sure your cauliflower doesn’t fall apart as it’s baking, make sure to cut thick steaks from the head of cauliflower. Your cauliflower should be at least one inch thick to bake properly.
  • Always use panko breadcrumbs: The key to getting a crispy breading is using panko breadcrumbs. Plain breadcrumbs don’t have the thickness or crunch of panko, which means they won’t give you a crispy coating.
  • Use freshly grated parmesan for the best flavor: The parmesan that comes in a shaker can can’t compare to freshly grated parmesan cheese. Take the time to grate your parmesan from a block before adding it to your recipe to ensure your recipe tastes fresh and delicious.
  • Make sure to bake before adding sauce and cheese: While it may be tempting to speed up your prep time and bake the cauliflower topped with sauce and cheese, if you don’t pre-bake your steaks you’ll end up with soggy cauliflower. Taking the time to bake your steaks before adding the sauce and cheese is essential for a crispy parmigiana and an evenly baked cauliflower steak.

Cauliflower Parmesan on white parchment paper.

How to Serve Cauliflower Parmesan

This simple vegetarian dinner makes a great main dish for dinner. To complete your meal, try serving your parmigiana with one of these delicious sides:

  • Pasta: Serve your cauliflower parmesan like traditional chicken parm by placing the baked cauliflower over a bed of cooked pasta.
  • Salad: For a healthier alternative, place your cauliflower on a bed of greens and tomatoes and enjoy a fresh salad with your parmigiana.
  • Roasted vegetables:Enjoy a side of roasted vegetables, like squash, carrots, or bell peppers, with your baked cauliflower for a filling dinner idea.
  • Zucchini noodles: Substitute pasta for zoodles to enjoy a healthy dinner without the added carbs.

Side view of cauliflower with cheese and cherry tomatoes.

Is Cauliflower Parmesan Vegan?

Since this recipe is made with eggs and cheese, it isn’t a great vegan option. The eggs act as a binder, holding the breadcrumbs on to the cauliflower and keeping them from falling off while it bakes. To make this recipe vegan, try using flax eggs or soy milk to coat the cauliflower before dipping it in the breadcrumbs. Then, top the cauliflower parmesan with your favorite vegan cheese.

Cauliflower Parmesan in a bowl on a bed of greens.

Can I Make This Recipe Gluten Free? 

When making this recipe as-is, it’s not gluten free because it uses all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs to coat the cauliflower. You can easily replace the all-purpose flour with gluten free flour and traditional breadcrumbs with gluten free breadcrumbs to turn this into a simple gluten free and vegetarian dinner. 

Cauliflower Parmesan on a bed of greens.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower Parmesan

Baked Cauliflower Parmesan Recipe

Chicken parmesan is a classic Italian dish that’s perfect for dinner. However, if you are cutting back on your meat or need a vegetarian option for dinner tonight, you can enjoy all the flavors of chicken parm without the chicken! This simple recipe for baked cauliflower parmesan is packed with Italian flavor without any meat.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 248kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F and prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl add the egg and lightly beat with a whisk or a fork.
  • In another bowl add the flour.
  • In the last bowl add the Panko breadcrumb, Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan
  • Dip each cauliflower steak in the flour and tap off excess.
  • Then, dip in the egg and let excess drip off.
  • Lastly, gently press all sides of the cauliflower in the breadcrumbs.
  • Place the cauliflower on prepared baking sheet.
  • Place the cauliflower steak in the middle of the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes turn the cauliflower over, add the marinara sauce on top (about 2 tbsp per steak), the mozzarella cheese and the cherry tomato.
  • Continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, put it under broil for 3 minutes until the cheese is golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with basil and red crushed pepper (optional)
  • Season to taste

Notes

  • The flour allows the egg to adhere well and not to slip on the cauliflower. And the egg acts as a binder for the breadcrumbs. By following this method, the breadcrumbs will hold together more easily.
  • Wait until the end to add salt, because you may not need it with the Parmesan and depending on the marinara sauce you are using.

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 528mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 266mg | Iron: 3mg
Recipe Rating