Cauliflower Pasta 1
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  • Food: Cauliflower Pasta
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

This roasted cauliflower pasta recipe is a simple, tasty dinner packed with bright and briny tastes. Crispy toasted breadcrumbs finish it off.

Where do I begin with this recipe for cauliflower pasta?! This one is a keeper, my friends. Ruffly spaghetti, capers, parsley, and toasty, lemony breadcrumbs combine with caramelized roasted cauliflower.

I love the fresh and briny aromas, as well as how the soft cauliflower contrasts with the crunch of the breadcrumbs. Don’t be fooled by the enhanced feel of the mix.

The preparation of this cauliflower pasta is surprisingly simple. Last week, Jack and I had it for dinner…and then again last night. Can you tell we’re smitten?

Ingredients for Cauliflower Pasta Recipe

Cauliflower Pasta 2
Food: Cauliflower Pasta (Source: Food and Wine Magazines)

You’ll need the following ingredients to prepare this cauliflower spaghetti recipe:

  • Of course, cauliflower! This dish feeds a whole head of cabbage.
  • Pasta – I love how the ruffled edges of campanelle imitate the cauliflower florets in this recipe. Substitute another short-cut pasta if you can’t find it or don’t have any on hand. Penne or rotini would also work.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil — It aids the light, lemony sauce in coating and flavoring the pasta.
  • Garlic – For a strong, savory taste depth.
  • This cauliflower pasta recipe benefits from the addition of fresh lemon juice and zest.
  • Capers are used to providing a briny flavor to dishes.
  • To make this recipe vegan, replace the pecorino cheese with Vegan Parmesan.
  • Fresh parsley – The salty, savory capers and cheese are balanced by the fresh flavor of fresh parsley.
  • Red pepper flakes – for added spiciness.
  • And a pinch of salt and pepper to bring out the flavors!

Last but not least, toasted breadcrumbs will be sprinkled over the pasta. To add even more depth of flavor, I season them with additional lemon zest and cheese!

Although this dish calls for an entire head of cauliflower, it won’t feel like it when you’re eating it. When the cauliflower is delicate and golden brown, it truly merges in with the pasta, making this meal a lot of fun to eat!

Cauliflower Pasta Recipe Suggestions

  • Cauliflower florets should be tiny. That way, they’ll blend in perfectly with the spaghetti. Every taste of this dish is ideal when the cauliflower is tender and caramelized, and the pasta is al dente.
  • Cook the cauliflower until it is golden brown. Continue roasting if your timer goes off and the cauliflower hasn’t browned yet. Browning is critical to the pasta’s overall flavor. You won’t want to miss out on the sweetness and nuttiness it brings. So give the cauliflower some time in the oven to get nice and toasted. It’ll be worth it, I promise!
  • Make sure to use more pasta water than you think you’ll need. The secret component in this recipe is pasta cooking water. It combines the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic into a light sauce, which is full of carbs from the pasta. In the recipe, I ask you to set aside 1 1/4 cup, which may appear excessive at first. But don’t be afraid to use it (or at least the majority of it). The spaghetti will not become wet as a result of this! Instead, it will meld into the meal, making it more tasty and moist.

Serving Suggestions for Cauliflower Pasta

When ready to serve, top the cauliflower pasta with more lemon zest and a generous sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs.

As you eat, make sure you have more breadcrumbs on hand. I always add more halfway through because they add such a nice crunch!

This cauliflower spaghetti is filling enough to be a meal on its own, but it also goes well with a salad.

Finish with a glass of white wine and some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Pasta

15-minute prep time
45 minutes to cook
Time allotted: 1 hour
Serves: 4

This roasted cauliflower spaghetti is simple and tasty, with sharp and briny tastes. When serving, have additional breadcrumbs on hand. They give the meal such a lovely crunch that I often add more halfway through!


  • a single recipe 1 recipe for roasted cauliflower Bread Crumbs with Seasonings
  • 8 oz. campanelle pasta (or similar short pasta)
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated 1 1/2 teaspoons capers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, with a little extra for decoration
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Vegan Parmesan or 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes


Cauliflower Pasta
Food: Cauliflower Pasta (Source: Food and Wine Magazines)
  1. Using this recipe as a guide, roast the cauliflower without the lemon zest, parsley, or Parmesan cheese. Prepare the seasoned breadcrumbs according to the directions in this recipe.
  2. A big saucepan of salted water should be brought to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente according to the package recommendations. Scoop off 114 cups of the starchy pasta water and put it aside before draining the pasta. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  3. Return the pasta to the pot, then toss in the olive oil, capers, garlic, and roasted cauliflower. Stir in half of the pasta water that has been set aside. If the pasta is dry, add the leftover pasta water with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and cheese.
  4. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste after adding the parsley and red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve with additional lemon zest and breadcrumbs as a garnish.