Bell Pepper

Cauliflower Paprikash

March 29, 2021
15 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Chicken makes way for cauliflower in this revamp on a Hungarian classic. Serve on very buttery egg noodles. Eat on a very cold night. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: New-Classic, Not-Chicken Paprikash.

This recipe is also featured in the story, 14 Cozy, Tomatoey Braises to Warm Your Stove Now Through March, sponsored by Muir Glen. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or Microplaned
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup paprika (mixed to taste; I did 3 tablespoons smoked, 1 tablespoon hot)
  • Ground cayenne, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt, room-temperature
  • Chopped, flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Buttered egg noodles, for serving
  1. Halve the cauliflower lengthwise (from flowery top to stem). Halve it again lengthwise. Trim any leaves from the bottom but leave the core in tact. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a very wide, high-sided pan/pot. (This will be your one-stop shop for searing, then making the stew.) Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower quarters and brown on all sides (even the flowery tops!). We’re just going for the color here—we don’t need it to cook through. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt. Leave the pan on the heat!
  2. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and stir. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and starting to caramelize. Add the garlic and stir. Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the butter. Let melt, then stir to incorporate. Add the paprika and cayenne and stir. Cook for a couple minutes to toast the spices. Add the flour and stir. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the water and stir.
  3. Drop the heat to medium-low and nestle the cauliflower quarters in the paprikash sauce. Cover the pan. Simmer until the cauliflower is as tender as you like it. Season the sauce to taste with salt. Just before serving, stir in the yogurt. Garnish with parsley. Serve with buttered egg noodles.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ainsley
  • Jordan Riley
    Jordan Riley
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • G
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

7 Reviews

Ainsley October 5, 2021
I made this for a small final :) It turned out really well! I agree with the rest of the reviews that the cauliflower didn't need to be browned, it really took on the color of the paprikash. Because I was timed, I popped the cauliflower in the oven for a bit while I prepped so I wouldn't have to simmer so long and it worked great :)
Mine also turned out bitter from the paprika, maybe using hungarian paprika instead would help (Also, toast the spices in a separate dry pan! They won't toast with any moisture present) I added a decent amount of honey to combat the bitterness, classmates & chef loved it :D
G April 9, 2020
I made this and I thought I would miss the chicken, but I was pleasantly surprised. I did add chickpeas for a little bit of protein. I cut up the cauliflower into florets and did brown it. As someone else wrote it does not need to be browned and I probably won't do it next time. I used fire-roasted tomatoes cause that is what I had in my pantry and 3 TBLS of smoked and 1 TBLS sweet paprika. Delicious! I did use the yogurt and some sherry and the texture of the sauce was perfect. I did serve it in a bowl as I would chicken paprika. For the person whose dish was bitter some times if your garlic is old or has started to sprout and you use the green part it can be bitter. Thanks for a great recipe.
ellie March 25, 2019
I've made this twice, and we've enjoyed it just as written. I used 2 tbsp smoked paprika and 1 tbsp sweet. First time I used ¼ tsp cayenne; upped it to ½ tsp second time - it was fiery and delicious. First time I served it over couscous - eh. Second time I used the egg noodles, and it made a big difference. Delicious. To comment on some prior comments: (1) Our sauce came out nice and thick both times. (2) I have no problem using yoghurt instead of sour cream - it lightened the sauce but didn't change the flavor. (3) The bitterness may have come from cooking the garlic too long? (4) To the person adding sherry - that makes sense, as a lot of tomato-based sauces benefit from a touch of sugar.
Jordan R. November 18, 2018
Definitely worthwhile! A couple of notes/my adjustments: I skipped the searing step (based on SoInconvenient's comment) and didn't find the cauliflower lacking anything. The sauce is too thin for it to really work on a flat plate and I don't have pasta bowls, so I chunked up the cauliflower before serving rather than try to cut it in my bowl; in the future I'd probably floret them from the start. Finally, I skipped stirring in the greek yogurt and dolloped sour cream directly on top.
Emma L. November 19, 2018
Glad you enjoyed, Jordan, and thanks for reporting back with these notes!
A. February 24, 2018
Yogurt?! Nooo please don't... We eat paprikash maybe with some sour cream but not yogurt. It's just.... weird?! I guess there are some dishes I really don't like to become "fancy"..
Also if you have the problem of it being too bitter: the oil/mixture was too hot or you cooked it too long. I always add paprika to semi-hot oil when the pan is off the stove, stir it in and then add the other ingredients. Has worked out just fine in my whole life.
SoInconvenient February 19, 2018
We really enjoyed this as a wintery night supper. I'm not sure browning the cauliflower is really necessary, as the flavor of the cauliflower is really dominated by the sauce. It isn't like meat where the changes the texture significantly. The sauce seemed a little bitter, I added a little sherry to the tomato sauce mixture, which was something I read in the Moosewood cookbook's recipe for Cauliflower Paprikash. I think it made for a more complex flavor.