Easy Sauteed Cauliflower


Sautéed Cauliflower

Looking for an easy side dish? Making sauteed cauliflower is easy to do, and it makes a fabulous tasting side dish in a matter of minutes with minimal effort.

Sautéed Cauliflower in a white bowl

We are so excited to share this recipe with you and walk you through the step-by-step instructions of how to make this recipe. This dish is so simple, yet tastes so good, it will have you coming back for more. 

Sauteed Cauliflower

Ingredients needed to sauté cauliflower

Cauliflower head.  When making sautéed cauliflower, it is best to use a small fresh head of cauliflower. You will want to wash it and remove any dirt that it might contain. Then cut the cauliflower florets off the head. 

Garlic. Adding garlic gives a bit of flavor to your cauliflower. We recommend using freshly minced garlic for the best overall flavor. You can use freshly minced, or you may substitute this for minced garlic in a jar. 

Olive oil. We recommend using olive oil as you sauté the cauliflower. If needed you may use another type of oil, such as avocado oil for sautéing. 

Seasonings. When making sautéed cauliflower you can use pepper, salt, and a garlic salt seasoning if desired. 

How To Make Sauteed Cauliflower 

How to cut cauliflower florets

To make sautéed cauliflower, it’s important to begin by cutting your cauliflower florets. The easiest way to do this, is to carefully stick your knife near the base of the cauliflower. Start by removing one little bunch of cauliflower, then continue using your knife to carefully cut away each little tree shaped portion of the cauliflower. 

Repeat this process until you have removed all the miniature tree shaped portions of your cauliflower, these are your cauliflower florets.

Place the cauliflower florets into a colander or strainer and rinse them under cool water. Using your fingers to gently rub any dirt away from the florets. 

Let the cauliflower dry before you begin cooking it. 

Steaming the cauliflower

Steaming your cauliflower is optional, but we do recommend it if you want your cauliflower to cook faster and be more tender. 

To steam the cauliflower quickly and easily, place your cauliflower florets into a microwave safe dish.

Add ¼ cup of water into the bottom of your dish and cover it with a microwave safe plate as a lid.

Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, just until your cauliflower is nice and steamy. Drain any remaining water. 

Sautéed Cauliflower with parsley

How to sauté cauliflower

To sauté your cauliflower, place a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of your skillet.

Add minced garlic and allow it to sauté for a minute. After the garlic has started to sauté, add your cauliflower florets, drizzle the cauliflower with additional olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and garlic salt as desired. 

Allow the cauliflower to sauté, over medium high heat, keeping a close eye on it, until the cauliflower begins to brown.

When some of the pieces start to turn brown, use the spatula and gently turn the cauliflower over and continue sautéing it until it is nicely browned on both sides, and is tender.

Please note, if you steamed the cauliflower in the microwave first, it will be much more tender than if you skipped that step. 

When the cauliflower has begun to turn a light brown color on each side, remove it from the pan and add it to your serving dish. Then serve right away and enjoy! 

Serving Suggestions

Sautéed cauliflower is best enjoyed fresh from the stovetop. When serving this dish, there are several different ways you can enjoy it. Below are a few topping ideas that you might enjoy along with this recipe for sautéed cauliflower. 

Sautéed Cauliflower lightly browned

Optional Toppings

Shredded cheese

Cheese sauce

Bacon bits

Dried cranberries

Green onions


Soft Cauliflower. If you like the cauliflower to be on the soft side, then we recommend that you first steam cauliflower before sautéing it.

You can do this easily by microwaving it for a few minutes with a little bit of water.

However, if you enjoy your cauliflower a little bit harder, then you can completely skip the steaming step, and jump right to sautéing it. 

Use Fresh Cauliflower. For the best results when making sautéed cauliflower, we strongly recommend that you use a fresh head of cauliflower, rather than frozen. Fresh gives you the best overall taste as well as texture. 

Storing leftovers

Room temperature. We recommend the sauteed cauliflower be left at room temperature for no more than two hours before it is stored in the fridge. 

In the fridge. Any leftover sautéed cauliflower should be transferred to an airtight container, or sealed securely in a plastic storage bag. Then place it into the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. 

How to Reheat Sautéed Cauliflower

In a skillet. The easiest ways to reheat sautéed cauliflower is in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat the skillet over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Add your cauliflower, and heat until it is warmed through. 

In the oven. You can also reheat your leftover cauliflower in the oven if desired. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then place cauliflower onto a cookie sheet. Bake the cauliflower at 350°F for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until it is warmed through. 

In the air fryer. Another great way to reheat your leftover cauliflower is in the air fryer. Preheat air fryer to 350°F, then add the leftover cauliflower. Air fry for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until your cauliflower is warmed through. Please note the times may vary depending upon the size of your air fryer. 

In the microwave. Microwaving your leftover sautéed cauliflower is a quick and simple way to reheat it. Place it first into a microwave safe container, then microwave for one to two minutes until it is warmed.

cauliflower in a bowl with parsley


Garlic Butter Sautéed Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs

Sautéing your cauliflower with melted butter and breadcrumbs is another delicious variation.

To make this, substitute olive oil for melted butter, then sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the cauliflower as it sautés on your stovetop. 

Sautéed Cauliflower and Tomatoes

When sauteing your cauliflower, a delicious way to enjoy it, is to also sauté cherry tomatoes with the cauliflower. This will add a pop of color to your white vegetable, and an additional pop of flavor. 

Broccoli and Cauliflower Sauté

Adding broccoli to the sauteed cauliflower is another great way to enjoy this recipe. You can simply add your broccoli florets along with the cauliflower florets as they cook. 

Sauteed Cauliflower with Bacon

Because bacon goes with pretty much everything, why not try adding some cooked bacon pieces to your sautéed cauliflower. This gives you added flavor, and deliciousness. 

Cauliflower in a bowl


Should you wash cauliflower before cooking?

Yes, we strongly recommend that you wash the cauliflower before cooking it. You can often find a bit of dirt, or even a bug mixed in with a fresh head of cauliflower, which makes it very important to wash it first. 

How do you cut and core cauliflower?

We recommend that you cut off the cauliflower florets from the main stem. The easiest way to do this with cauliflower is the first find a place near the base of the head to stick your knife. Then cut off the small tree shaped cauliflowers until they are all removed from the head. 

Is it Necessary to Boil Cauliflower Before Cooking?

It is not required that you first boil the cauliflower before cooking it. This is completely optional, but if you like the cauliflower to be nice and tender, we do recommend it. 

How Long Does Cauliflower Last in the Fridge?

Uncooked cauliflower that is still attached to the head will likely last between 7 and 10 days in the fridge. However cooked cauliflower will last much less time. On average it only lasts between three and four days. 

Can You Freeze Cauliflower?

Yes, you can freeze cauliflower if desired. It is the best frozen raw or blanched, but it is possible to freeze it. 

Garlic Sauteed Cauliflower

Our easy and delicious recipe for garlic flavored sautéed cauliflower makes a fabulous side dish that is simple to prepare and can be enjoyed in a few minutes. This dish is great because it goes with any main meal, and provides tasty flavors, that will balance out the whole meal. 

We hope that you’ll get this recipe of dry, and we hope that you like it! Be sure to leave us a comment below and let us know what you think! 

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Sautéed Cauliflower Recipe

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Faith is the resident baking expert of this sister duo, and first started baking at age ten when she learned to make chocolate chip cookies on her own. From there she went on to have her own night of the week to make dinner for the whole family. She is excited to share amazing recipes and a love of food, and help you become kitchen smart!

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