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Grilled Cauliflower

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If you haven’t started making Grilled Cauliflower yet, it is time to run to your grills and get going. This simple side dish cooks in just 10 minutes and is the perfect summer dish. You can also make these cauliflower steaks on the grill for or try some grilled broccoli.

Grilling cauliflower will be your new favorite grilled side dish. The nutty flavors and slightly charred edges are magic. My whole family gobbled these up before even realizing they were polishing off a plate of veggies and hadn’t even they touched their meat. In our house, that’s a big deal.

More importantly, making cauliflower on the grill instead of inside, is a huge time saver. To be honest, I am lazy when it comes to mealtime. The last thing I want to do is cook my protein on the grill, veggies in the oven, and a grain on the stove. It is just too many things to keep track of and too many things to clean. That means all summer long you better believe we are eating grilled veggies and our grains have been meal prepped or are coming out of a freezer bag. Cooking everything in one place, ideally outside with a glass of rosé, is the way to cook in the summer.

How to Grill Cauliflower

There are a few tricks when it comes to grilling cauliflower that you need to keep in mind to get a perfectly charred, tender cauliflower. The main thing to keep in mind is how you cut the cauliflower.

  • Grilling Cauliflower Florets: Let’s start the easiest option first – florets. Since cauliflower florets are smaller, they cook quickly on the grill. However, they do sometimes fall through the grates of the grill. A quick solution to this problem is to use a large piece of foil or a grill basket. This is my preferred option since it is easy and fast. Plus it doesn’t require any extra cooking methods and utilizes the entire cauliflower.
  • Grilled Whole Cauliflower: Lots of restaurants are making whole grilled cauliflower these days. It’s a delicious preparation but it is time-consuming for the home cook. For most recipes, you will want to place the cauliflower on foil or in a grill basket. Then you will want to let it grill for between 45-60 minutes so it is charred on the outside and tender all the way through. One downside is that you only get charred, crispy edges on the outside and the seasoning is only on the outside. When you grill florets, you end up with browned edges on all the cauliflower, plus it is ready in ten minutes. You can also boil the whole cauliflower ahead of time for faster cooking, but it will still take 25-30 minutes.
  • Grilled Cauliflower Steaks: Another popular option, especially for a vegetarian entree, is a cauliflower steak on the grill. This is a delicious option and one that I make quite often. First, you slice the cauliflower into 1-inch steaks. Then season them up and grill for about 7-10 minutes per side until cooked through. The only downside to this method is that you will be left with some extra florets since you can’t get steaks out of the whole head of cauliflower. If you make steaks, you can always throw the florets on a piece of foil to cook on the side.
  • Cauliflower Wedges on the Grill: One last option, is to make wedges. You can cut the cauliflower into 6-8 large wedges that can be grilled directly on the grates.  Season the cauliflower, brush it with oil and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until tender.

Grilled cauliflower on a black plate with chimichurri.

How long do you cook cauliflower on the grill?

Grilling cauliflower normally takes between 8-12 minutes when you are grilling florets. Steaks will take 15-20 minutes and large wedges will also take 15-20 minutes. For a whole cauliflower, it will take between 45-60 minutes. There are specific instructions for each size in the instructions above. 

Can I Grill Cauliflower in Foil?

Cauliflower can be cooked in foil on the grill. There are two different reasons to use foil when cooking cauliflower. The first is just a simple hack if you don’t have a grill basket to keep the florets from falling through the grates. In this method, you leave the foil open so that the cauliflower cooks the same way as it would on an open grill. If you close the foil and create a packet to cook the cauliflower, it will steam at the same time due to the water getting trapped in the foil packet. This will lead to a more tender cauliflower with less char and brown crispy edges.

Grilling cauliflower on a white cutting board with a bowl of herbs in olive oil.

What to Season Cauliflower with on the Grill?

You can season cauliflower with almost any spice combination when are grilling it. Think about what you are making for dinner and try to match the same flavor combination. You can also toss it with something after it grills. This is perfect for things like barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, or even a light salad dressing. Here are some of my favorite cauliflower seasonings.

  • Blackening spice: If you love spice, make this simple homemade blackening seasoning or buy a store-bought blend. Look for one without added sugar.
  • Lemon pepper: You can store-bought lemon pepper seasoning or make a quick homemade version using equal parts fresh lemon zest, garlic powder, fresh black pepper, and salt.
  • Chili lime: If you are having a Mexican style meal, consider using chili lime seasoning. Trader Joe’s make a great one that isn’t super spicy or you can use a combination of chili powder, fresh lime zest, and salt.
  • Steak seasoning: Steak seasoning or Montreal seasoning is readily available in almost all markets and usually contains black pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, dill, red pepper flakes, and salt. 
  • Garlic and herb: Use a combination of garlic powder and your favorite dried herbs or fresh garlic and fresh herbs. 
  • Curry: I love the combination of curry powder and cauliflower. You can use garam masala, normal curry powder, or any other curry blend.
  • Old Bay: Old Bay is a classic seafood seasoning but in my opinion,  it tastes delicious on pretty much everything.​
Calories 78, Total Fat 5g, Total Carbohydrate 7g, Protein 2g, Serving Size 1 cup

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