This one-pan sautéed cauliflower recipe is the perfect side dish for practically any meal.
If you’re looking for a simple side dish you can make in under 30 minutes, this lemony sautéed cauliflower with capers is your new best friend. This is my go-to way of preparing cauliflower since it doesn’t require any boiling, steaming, or microwaving; you really only need just one pan!
Ingredient Notes + Substitutions
- Cauliflower: I recommend buying a whole head, instead of bagged pre-chopped cauli, since it stays fresher longer. It’s also cheaper.
- Garlic: Cauliflower loves garlic. The more, the merrier.
- Chili Flakes: Lend a little heat. Totally optional here, though.
- Capers: These salty marinated berries add so much flavor to this dish, giving it a Mediterranean vibe. If you’re not a fan, sub with chopped kalamata olives.
- Lemon Zest and Juice: Be sure to zest the lemon first, then juice it.
- Parsley: Adds freshness to this cauliflower. You can also use cilantro, basil, or mint. (Do not substitute with dried.)
How to Make Sautéed Cauliflower
Step 1: Steam the cauliflower.
Put the chopped cauliflower in the largest skillet you have and add 1/2 cup water. Cover with a lid and steam for around 10 minutes (this step softens the cauliflower). If you don’t have a lid, cover the skillet with a sheet pan.
Step 2: Brown the cauliflower.
When all the water’s gone, add oil to the pan, and cook the cauliflower uncovered until it’s golden all over, stirring occasionally, about 8 more minutes.
Step 3: Finish the cauliflower.
When the cauli is browned, add the garlic and chili flakes, and cook for 30 seconds. Then stir in all the other flavorings and turn the heat off.
How to Serve Sautéed Cauliflower
More vegetable recipes…
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- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
- Place the cauliflower in a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 cup water. Cover with a lid and cook until the cauliflower is starting to soften and turn slightly translucent, about 8 minutes. Then uncover and let all the water evaporate for about 2 minutes more.
- When the water is gone, add 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is softened and browned in places, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in 3 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Lastly, stir in 2 tablespoons each capers and parsley, and the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon. Turn the heat off.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a serving platter. Serve warm.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 80
- Fat: 7.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.5 g
- Fiber: 1.7 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
Keywords: sauteed, cauliflower, lemon, capers