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Baked Italian Cauliflower over spaghetti

Baked Italian Cauliflower

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures


Healthy and delicious, this oil-free Baked Italian Cauliflower features nourishing cauliflower that is battered, coated in spices, and baked to perfection. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.


  • 2 lbs. cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter 
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened plain plant milk 

Crumb Mixture Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons brown rice flour (or flour of choice)
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.Place the oven rack towards the middle, avoiding the lower oven rack placement.  If using two racks, keep them toward the center and upper position.
  2. Line a 14 x 20 baking sheet(s) with parchment paper, set aside.
  3. Place the almond butter and plant milk into a small bowl, whisk until well combined. The mixture should be like a thin-set pancake batter, set aside. Note: If too thick, add a little extra plant milk. If too runny, add a little extra almond butter, mix well.
  4. Place the Crumb Mixture Ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine, set aside.
  5. Cut the cauliflower florets into uniform sizes.Don’t cut them too small, cut off the harder ends, then place into a large bowl, drizzle the almond butter/milk mixture over the cauliflower florets.  Coat the cauliflower florets with the almond butter/mixture, using your hands to ensure all sides are coated. When all are nicely coated, move the coated cauliflower to a new large bowl.  (see notes)
  6. Then start sprinkling the almond butter/milk coated florets with the seasoning mixture. Keep turning them in the bowl as you continue sprinkling them with the seasoning mixture.Make sure they are all coated really well. Then place them individually onto the parchment lined baking sheet(s), allowing space.  Giving them space will ensure they are crispy.  If they are close together, they will not get crispy as they will steam rather than crisp up in the oven.
  7. Bake in a 400 F oven for 20 minutes. If using two baking sheets, rotate them at the half-way mark (10 minutes).
  8. Serve immediately on top of your favorite pasta with your favorite marinara sauce or our Easy Healthy Marinara Sauce.


*Tips for Success:

  • You will need 2 large bowls: After you have put the cauliflower florets into a large bowl and coated them with the almond butter/plant milk mixture, you will then remove them from that bowl and add them to a clean, large bowl.  This helps when you are sprinkling the crumb mixture over the cauliflower, so it sticks to the cauliflower and not the inside of the bowl (if you only used one bowl).
  • Trimming the Cauliflower Florets: We like to buy fresh cauliflower florets in a 2 lb. bag at our local grocery store.  We then trim off any hard parts as they tend to take longer to bake.  We typically end up with about 8 to 9 cups of trimmed, uniform cauliflower florets.
  • Placing on Parchment Paper: While it is very tempting to just dump the coated cauliflower florets onto the parchment paper covered baking sheet, take the time to place them individually onto the parchment paper.  This prevents a bunch of loose crumbs from falling onto the parchment paper and burning in the oven.  Place the largest pieces on the outer edges and the smaller ones in the center.  The edges tend to get more heat than the center.

 Notes Continued:

*Oven Baking Time:  Cauliflower retains a lot of moisture.  If you like your cauliflower more tender, bake them for 20 minutes or longer and if you like them el dente, then bake them shorter.  They will not be as crispy as if they were battered and deep fried but will somewhat crispy and taste just as awesome!

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Serving:  4

*Storage:  Use within 4 days.