The Practically-Magic Cauliflower I’ve Transformed Into a Week of Meals

September 18, 2018

We all have those recipes. The ones we come back to time and time again, no matter the season or situation. They can do it all—flexible enough to serve at a special dinner or munch on for actually-satisfying desk lunches. They won’t let you down, no matter what. For me, that recipe is Nicholas Day’s Roasted Spiced Almond-y Cauliflower.

I remember first trying this dish when Day introduced it to the site in 2014. I was blown away by how a screaming-hot oven could transform humble cauliflower into such crispy, comforting, addictive bites. The addition of earthy cumin, slightly citrusy coriander seeds, and warm cinnamon complement the crunch of toasted almonds. And for such complex flavors, the method couldn’t be simpler. Just toss the florets in spices and oil, then roast for 30 or so minutes (stirring every so often to keep everything from burning).

Day mentions that the recipe is adaptable, and I’ve pushed and stretched his instructions in every which way. I’ve used pecans or walnuts instead of almonds, added coins of carrots or cubed butternut squash to my cauliflower, sprinkled everything with paprika and cardamom. It hasn’t failed me yet.

And recently I powered through an entire workweek with the help of this practically-magic cauliflower. Below, I’ve outlined five ways to repurpose Day’s dish into a variety of meals throughout the week—that is, if you don’t eat it all right off the sheet pan.

So Here's the Plan

First, make the cauliflower.

Set yourself up for the week by making two batches of the Roasted Spiced Almond-y Cauliflower over the weekend.

Then, swing by the store.

Pick these ingredients up for the rest of the week:

  • Eggs
  • Feta, goat, Parmesan, and Cheddar cheese
  • Pita bread
  • Hummus (or make your own!)
  • Red onion
  • Cucumbers
  • Farro, bulgur, rice, or any of your favorite grains
  • Salad greens
  • Lemon juice
  • Angel hair pasta
  • Chicken stock

Finally, put it all together:

  • Frittata: Throw your cauliflower into a skillet to warm everything up. Then, add 6 to 10 beaten, seasoned eggs (depending on your appetite or pan size), and goat cheese. Stir to make sure everything’s nice and evenly distributed, then after the eggs begin to set (about 10 minutes) slide the whole thing under the broiler briefly to finish cooking. Isn’t breakfast for dinner the best?
  • Pita sandwich: Warm your pita up by wrapping it in a damp paper towel and heating it for a few seconds in the microwave. Slather on your very favorite hummus, then stuff with the cauliflower, along with some cucumbers, red onion, feta. It’s good enough to make you forget about falafel.
  • Grain salad: Thinly slice a red onion and break up some feta with your fingers. Combine this with your spiced cauliflower, cooked grains, and raisins, then dress simply with olive oil and lemon juice. Bam: a salad to handle the jolts and jostles of your commute.
  • Salad salad: Look, we all crave a bowl of greens every now and then. Prep a plate of spinach or mixed greens, then take a note from the flavors of this salad. Top with shredded Cheddar cheese, dried fruit, and a pile of cauliflower warmed up from the microwave. Then drizzle with lemon-y white wine vinaigrette. No sad salads here.
  • Pasta: Looking for a speedy riff to put on your plate? Make this Genius Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta, then stir in microwave-warmed cauliflower. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan and you have perfection.

Even more cauliflower goodness

What's your never-fail recipe? Are you in love with this cauliflower, too? Share menu ideas in the comments below!

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


HarMar September 1, 2020
If I am having company for dinner (seems like such a long time ago )I often roast two cauliflowers. I put one whole on the serving platter and slice the 2nd cauliflower like a loaf of bread and put on the same platter. The next day I puree the cauliflower with frozen chicken stock for a really good soup. Add cream or a drizzle of full fat yogurt if you'd like. It's delicious.
K January 26, 2019
Yup. I always eat the whole pan.
Ella R. September 23, 2018
A week? So good it lasted one meal! Thank you!
daisybrain September 21, 2018
It seems not to matter how much cauliflower or broccoli I roast. There are never leftovers. These things will never be made, at least not with leftovers.
Eileen September 21, 2018
We’re pretty much addicted to mashed cauliflower. Florets, onion, garlic & water into the pressure cooker, under pressure ~ 5 min then into the food processor with butter and Parmesan. Yummy
Sydney September 21, 2018
My favorite cauliflower recipe is battered and baked buffalo cauli with a bag of frozen sweet potato fries <3 YUM!
Laura B. September 21, 2018
I often make a pita sandwich with raw cauliflower, hummus, raw shredded cabbage and a drizzle of Sriracha sauce. It's delicious. It's not my invention but one from a popular food truck turned restaurant in Cambridge, MA. named Clover.
M September 18, 2018
Great post on how to practically re-use leftovers throughout the week! I like how many of the add-on ingredients aren't consume-immediately foods.

So many leftover suggestion posts are abstract and ignore the practicality of making all the recipes, and using up all the additional fresh ingredients bought to use up the first batch of leftover ingredients.

More pls!