Enticing the kids to eat their veggies can be a challenge, but when you make simple vegetable recipes like this Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese, it can be much easier!
Easy Cauliflower Recipe
I know that part of what stress us parents out about feeding kids is that often, it’s so demoralizing to spend time cooking them a meal or dish that they then refuse to eat. And while there’s no magic formula to always prevent that, I’ve found that making much simpler recipes—like this Cauliflower with Cheese—can help reduce the pressure on everyone. This side dish takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and requires no special cooking gear or techniques. And it’s mild, yet flavorful, which is a combo that kids often enjoy!
There’s nothing all that involved about this recipe. It’s simply steaming the cauliflower florets and then tossing with flavorful enhancements—butter or olive oil (if you need dairy-free or just prefer olive oil) and cheese. We usually find that cheese helps almost any veggie go down easier. You can use grated Parmesan (which tends to have better flavor than shredded for some reason) or another shredded cheese that your family enjoys.
How to Cook Cauliflower with Cheese Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this cauliflower recipe.
- Chop your cauliflower—or take a shortcut and buy it already washed and chopped into florets. You want them to be about in bite-size pieces, so either chop them roughly or break the florets off. Discard the stem and leaves.
- Place into a saucepan with about an inch or two of water. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.
- Drain well. Stir in butter or olive oil and sprinkle with cheese. We like Parmesan, but you can also use shredded cheddar!
What to Serve with this Cauliflower Recipe
Can I make this cauliflower recipe ahead?
You can for sure prep the cauliflower if you buy it in a whole head. Simply cut into florets and discard the stem. Wash and dry well. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I often use quart-size Mason Jars. One head of cauliflower typically yields about 4-5 cups, so you can portion it into one or two family dinner sides depending on the size of your family. You can also cook the cauliflower and let it cool fully, then reheat briefly with the cheese.
- Try to cut the florets into roughly equal sizes so that they cook evenly.
- Stir it once to help the cauliflower cook evenly.
- Season to taste with salt and know that you can add fresh herbs (like snipped parsley or basil) if your kids like additional flavor.
- Use a cheese your kids like!
Bamboo bowls by Bobo & BooPrint
Use as much cauliflower as you need to feed your family. Store any uncooked florets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets (or about 4–6 cups)
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2–3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Add about 1 inch of water to a medium saucepan. Add the cauliflower, cover, and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 additional minutes after that, lowering the heat slightly if it’s rapidly boiling.
- Remove lid and drain cauliflower in a colander. (I usually use the lid to hold the cauliflower in place in the pot and drain the water out to avoid having to wash the colander!) Stir in the butter or oil and salt and top with cheese. Serve!
Use another type of cheese such as shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or even crumbled goat cheese.