Cauliflower is a tasty, versatile vegetable that can be served as the main dish or side dish.
There are various ways to prepare and serve cauliflower, such as roasting and baking.
Cauliflower is versatile because it can be sweet or savory, depending on its ingredients and how it is cooked.
On flavor and taste of cauliflower, its flavor varies with the seasons.
When freshly picked in spring or summer, there is less sweetness than when harvested in autumn.
It pairs well with many ingredients, such as white wine, mustard, bacon, cheese, cream sauce, and chicken.
It goes well with other vegetables like carrots and potatoes or fruit like apples or pears.
Cauliflower can be served alongside many main dishes depending on the sauce (e.g., marinara for pasta) or ingredients added during cooking (e.g., cheddar cheese).
It is the perfect side dish for grilled meats, chicken, seafood, and rice or pasta dishes.
In this article, we will list out the top 8 side dishes that go well with cauliflower.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Cauliflower?
Cauliflower dishes are a staple in many diets and can be prepared in several different ways.
Since cauliflower is a lower-calorie option for those looking to cut back on carbohydrates, it makes sense that the food would be served as a side dish.
However, serving cauliflower as a side dish doesn’t need to be boring.
Spicy or even sweet cauliflower dishes can make a tasty meal when paired with the right side dishes.
It’s worth noting that, while cauliflower dishes are often deemed as side dishes, they aren’t unheard of to take center stage.
Cauliflower can also be made into a main dish by simply pairing the vegetable with complementary ingredients.
While this might seem odd at first, some recipes combine cauliflower with seafood or meat to pack a flavor punch.
Cauliflower dishes are also incredibly versatile and can be paired with almost any other dish or food type.
If you’re unsure which dishes would be most complementary to your favorite cauliflower dish, experimenting with different combinations can often yield interesting results.
What to Serve with Cauliflower? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are eight side dishes that compliment cauliflower dishes perfectly:
1 – Creamy Mac and Cheese
If you’ve never tried cauliflower in mac and cheese, now is the time. This recipe makes it easy to indulge without feeling guilty.
It starts with a classic roux sauce that you make using butter, flour, milk, salt, and pepper.
Once the sauce has thickened slightly (and stirred very well), you’ll stir in the cauliflower and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Then you can add shredded cheese (cheddar, Colby jack, pepper jack, or gouda) until it’s melted into the sauce.
Salt and pepper to taste. If you want to be decadent, top your mac and cheese with cooked, crumbled bacon or fried onion bits.
If you want to keep this recipe gluten-free for those with Celiac disease, sub your favorite gluten-free pasta for the macaroni.
2 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are typically known as a side dish that’s eaten during Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.
While it’s not uncommon to see them during the holidays, roasted brussels sprouts make a delicious side dish any time of year.
This recipe includes olive oil (or butter), salt and pepper, fresh garlic cloves, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and bacon.
The bacon adds a salty, smoky flavor that pairs well with the roasted brussels sprouts.
The lemon juice and parmesan cheese add a tangy and cheesy element which also complements the vegetables.
This side dish is easy to make and can be cooked in as little as 30 minutes.
3 – Lemon-Garlic Sauteed Green Beans
This dish is as easy as it gets. Cook green beans until they’re tender, and then sautee them in a skillet with lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
These ingredients come together to create a delicious side dish that goes well with any meal.
Add fresh chopped parsley for extra flavor and color.
You can also replace or supplement green beans with fresh asparagus, broccoli, or even sliced carrots.
4 – Beef Stew
Beef stew is a classic comfort dish that has stood the test of time. It’s easy to make and tastes great with all sorts of side dishes.
The beef can be cooked in a crockpot or on your stovetop.
While it’s cooking, you can sautee onions, garlic cloves, carrots, celery, and potatoes to add flavor.
Once the beef is cooked, you can add all of your ingredients together in a crockpot and let them simmer for several hours until everything is tender and delicious.
This dish goes well with any side and is sure to be a favorite.
5 – Tomato Salad
This side dish is tasty, healthy, and full of flavor.
It only takes 15 minutes to prepare this dish, so it’s perfect if you need something quick.
It starts with fresh chopped tomatoes mixed with lemon juice, olive oil (or canola oil), salt, and pepper.
The tomatoes are then combined with chopped cucumbers, fresh chopped basil, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
This salad can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container until ready to serve.
6 – Fried Okra
This side dish is a Southern tradition that can be eaten independently or paired with other dishes.
While it’s typically deep-fried, this recipe shows you how to bake it for a healthier option.
It starts by cutting the okra into small pieces and then seasoning them with salt and pepper.
Next, mix an egg and milk mixture to dip the okra in before coating it with cornmeal.
The okra is then placed on a baking sheet and baked for 20 minutes or until it’s crispy.
7 – Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped potatoes are a classic side dish that can be adjusted to fit any meal.
This recipe calls for sliced potatoes cooked in cream, butter, and broth until they’re tender.
You can then add onion (or garlic), paprika, salt, and pepper to the mix before adding cheddar cheese.
The mixture is then placed in a baking dish, topped with breadcrumbs, and baked until crispy.
Creamy scalloped potatoes are delicious alone or paired with grilled steak or fried chicken.
8 – Cheese Grits
Cheese grits are an easy Southern side dish that’s typically eaten for breakfast.
While they’re great alone, they go well with many other types of dishes.
This recipe calls for stone-ground grits that are cooked in milk and water until tender.
A mixture of cheddar cheese, butter, salt, and pepper are added before being placed in a baking dish.
The dish is topped with breadcrumbs and baked until golden.
Cheese grits are a hearty side that goes well with eggs, pancakes, or any other dish.
You can also top the grits with cheese, gravy, or bacon bits.
Cauliflower is a healthy vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways.
Consider the eight best side dishes listed above if you need something to serve with this cruciferous vegetable.
Each one of these recipes is quick and easy to prepare.
If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with your main meal, consider the classic comfort dishes, including beef stew and tomato salad.
For something lighter, try fried okra or creamy scalloped potatoes.
Finally, if you need a recipe best served for breakfast, cheese grits are sure to hit the spot.
No matter what you’re serving with your cauliflower, these eight dishes are sure to do the trick.