Flavorful cauliflower stuffing is made with cauliflower, celery, and portobello mushrooms. Its flavor profile is very close to the real thing!
I was so happy the first time I served this stuffing to my family and they gobbled it all up! I was actually planning on having leftovers for the next day - no such luck.
That was two years ago... by now, I know that if I want to ensure tasty leftovers, I need to double the recipe!
A substitute for bread stuffing
I used to make traditional bread stuffing for Thanksgiving that we all loved. When my husband and I transitioned to a low carb diet, nine years ago, I had to find a replacement.
This sausage stuffing is wonderful. But one of our usual Thanksgiving guests doesn't eat pork, so I wanted to find a vegetarian substitute.
This cauliflower stuffing is just what I was looking for. A wonderfully flavorful side dish, reminiscent of traditional stuffing thanks to the thyme-and-sage seasoning, but keto and paleo.
The only downside: it's a lot of work to chop so many vegetables! The cooking itself is a breeze - I make this recipe in the oven. But the prep work is somewhat time-consuming. I do think the end result is worth it, though.
Apart from the cauliflower, I use onions, celery, and chopped portobello mushrooms in this recipe. All of these add wonderful layers of flavor and texture to the stuffing.
The ingredients you'll need
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make cauliflower stuffing. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below:
Fresh cauliflower: Cut it into bite-size pieces. I haven't tried making this recipe with frozen cauliflower, but I suspect that fresh is the way to go.
Vegetables: Chopped onion, sliced celery, and chopped portobello mushrooms.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Freshly minced is probably better, but I'm lazy, so you know what my choice is...
Melted butter: You can use olive oil instead if you wish - see the discussion below.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should use less of it, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Dried thyme and dried sage are wonderful in this stuffing and ensure its flavor profile is very close to traditional stuffing. Do make sure the spices you use are fresh - a stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Olive oil spray: I use it to spray the dish halfway through roasting. Olive oil is delicious. But if you're unsure about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
Chopped parsley: This is mostly for garnish. Without it, the dish isn't very colorful.
How to make cauliflower stuffing
Apart from the tedious work of chopping the vegetables, this is not a difficult recipe. The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step, after prepping the vegetables, is to toss them (except for the mushrooms) with melted butter and the spices.
Now, roast them for 15 minutes at 450°F.
Next, you add the mushrooms, lightly spray the dish with oil, and roast it for 10-15 more minutes.
The last step before serving is to garnish the dish with parsley, to make it prettier. Sometimes I also sprinkle it with red pepper flakes.
Butter or olive oil?
I use quite a bit of butter in this cauliflower stuffing - 6 tablespoons. It's delicious, of course, and I don't find it excessive for 8 people (that's less than a tablespoon per person). But if you prefer, you could try using just 4 tablespoons.
You can also use olive oil instead of butter. It's very good, although personally, I'm partial to butter.
What to do with leftovers?
If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers, they keep just fine for 3-4 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
You can also make this cauliflower stuffing ahead of time, then on Thanksgiving day reheat it in a 350-degree oven.
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- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces (2 lb. whole, 1 lb. after trimming)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (6 oz)
- ½ cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt divided (not fine salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 2 Portobello mushrooms, chopped (10 oz)
- Olive oil spray
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the chopped cauliflower, onion, celery, and garlic. Toss with the melted butter, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, thyme, and sage.
- Spread the cauliflower mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Add the chopped mushrooms, stirring them into the mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of salt and lightly spray with olive oil.
- Return the pan to the oven and roast until the stuffing is browned, 10-15 more minutes. To promote browning, if your pan is broiler-safe, you can also roast for just 10 minutes, then broil, 6 inches below the heating element (not directly below or it will burn), for 2-3 more minutes.
- Garnish the cauliflower stuffing with chopped parsley and serve.