Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (2024)

Published: by Dara · This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. · 25 Comments

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe Rate this Recipe

Cauliflower in puttanesca sauce is addictive thanks to the classic Italian spicy salty sauce - vegan version for this recipe.

Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (1)

Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan}

If you think you don't like cauliflower, I beg you to give it another chance with this cauliflower with puttanesca sauce. Believe me, I know what you're thinking. "Ugh, not another mushy, flavorless cauliflower recipe." The same thought used to turn me away from this Vitamin C and Vitamin K-packed vegetable.

Then I started roasting it with spices, grating it for salads and using it as a base for a vegan soup. Cauliflower is now something that I actually crave. Yes, crave!

Puttanesca is one of my all-time favorite pasta sauces, mostly thanks to my love of all-things salty. Kalamata olives and capers simmered in a tomato sauce. What's not to love?! It's pairs very well with cauliflower.

Jump to:
  • Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan}
  • Tips for making this recipe
  • Ingredients for cauliflower puttanesca
  • Make-Ahead and Storage
  • What to serve on the side
  • Other Cauliflower Recipes You'll Love
  • Printable Recipe

Tips for making this recipe

  • Large skillet with a lid: I pulled out my very handy Everyday Pan (seriously, I you don't have one of these, you need to buy one...stat!) and set to work. Of course, any large skillet (preferably nonstick) will do.
  • Prep Work Efficiency: Have all your ingredients measured and ready before you start cooking. The sauce comes together in a matter of minutes, so having everything within reach helps streamline the process.
  • Customize Spice Levels: Adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to suit your spice preference. If you enjoy a bolder kick, feel free to add more; for a milder flavor, reduce the quantity accordingly.
  • Versatility with Beans: I've served this cauliflower recipe as both a side dish and an entree. To make this into a meatless dinner option, stir in some white beans (cannellini/great northern) for added protein.
Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (2)

Ingredients for cauliflower puttanesca

  • Cauliflower: You'll need about 4 cups of cauliflower florets for this recipe. Either cut them from a whole head of cauliflower or buy pre-chopped cauliflower.
  • Tomatoes: I used a large can (28 ounces) of petite diced tomatoes. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use canned crushed tomatoes instead.
  • Seasoning: Use fresh garlic cloves, dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Adjust the red pepper flakes depending on the level of spice you prefer.
  • Olives: Look for pitted kalamata olives in any grocery store. Use a small sharp knife to cut each olive into quarters.
  • Capers: Briny capers add a wonderful punch of flavor. Capers can usually be found near the olives in well-stocked grocery stores.
  • Parsley: Mince some flat-leaf parsley to stir into the sauce after cooking.

See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.

Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (3)

and receive recipes straight to your inbox!

Make-Ahead and Storage

Make-Ahead: Prepare the recipe in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you've made a batch of steamed cauliflower for your meal prep, stir it into the sauce at the end.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. For longer storage, freeze the cauliflower puttanesca in a freezer-safe container for up to one month.

Reheating: To reheat, defrost in the refrigerator or on 50% setting in the microwave. Gently warm the leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.

What to serve on the side

  • Pasta or Rice: Serve the cauliflower puttanesca over your favorite pasta or a bed of fluffy rice for a complete and hearty meal. Add some protein, such as poached chicken breasts or cannellini beans.
  • Salad Greens: A green salad tossed with balsamic vinaigrette is an easy side dish.
  • Grated Parmesan or Vegan Parm Substitute: Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese or a vegan Parmesan substitute over the cauliflower just before serving.
Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (4)

Other Cauliflower Recipes You'll Love

  • Baked Cauliflower Casserole with Goat Cheese
  • Sloppy Joe Cauliflower Rice Recipe
  • How to Steam Cauliflower

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and comment underneath the recipe card below. Thank you!

Printable Recipe

Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (9)

Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce

Cauliflower becomes utterly crave-worthy when simmered in a spicy, salty puttanesca sauce.

4.72 from 7 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Side Dishes

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 Cups

Calories: 116.2kcal

Author: Dara Michalski | Cookin' Canuck



  • Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Avoid burning the garlic.

  • Stir in the diced tomatoes, kalamata olives and capers. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes.

  • Add the cauliflower, stirring to coat and cover. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

  • Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper if necessary and serve.


Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I provide nutritional information for my recipes as a courtesy to my readers. It is calculated using the LoseIt! calculator. While I attempt to provide information that is as accurate as possible, you should calculate the nutritional information independently before relying on it.


Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 116.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.5g | Protein: 4.1g | Fat: 4.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 672.7mg | Fiber: 4.6g | Sugar: 7.2g

Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I'll be sure to find it.

This post was originally published on October 1, 2014 and updated on February 20, 2024.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (10)

More Side Dishes

  • Sautéed Asparagus with Garlic Breadcrumbs
  • Maple Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
  • 50+ Healthy Thanksgiving Sides
  • Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Reader Interactions


    Leave a Comment

  1. Correen

    Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (15)
    Nice mix of ingredients, I think I'll had a little more hear. Can't wait to give it a try.


  2. Stephen Aberle

    Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (16)
    Lovely. I’d like to try it with roasted cauliflower. I think it would add that little something. Also a touch of miso and a little preserved lemon brine.


  3. Millican Pecan

    Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (17)
    I agree with the comments above....puttanesca is my all time favorite pasta sauce, and now you have make it even better with the cauliflower...I can't wait to try this when I cook with my best friend...we are always on the lookout for flavorful, healthy recipes. And your description makes it seem easy...thank you for sharing!


  4. Nutritionist Mira

    Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (18)
    Just awesome recipe with full of nutrient. Many Thanks for posting this recipe, I will must try to home. As a Nutritionist I appreciate this recipe with all healthy ingredients. I hope you will upload more recipes like this.


  5. AD

    Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (19)
    I have made this recipe several times now and it is definitely a keeper !

    I usually pre- cook 3 saucages (hot Italian .... or if you really like it spicy .... then use chorizo ) cut them into 1 inch pieces and toss them in as well.

    OMG .... So tasty !


  6. KalynsKitchen

    Happy Saturday! Just letting you know I featured this recipe in my monthly round-up of 25 Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Recipes from October 2015. Hope a lot of my readers will come over here and try it!


  7. Kevin+@+Closet+Cooking

    Love the sound of using cauliflower in puttanesca!


  8. Susan+@+SimpleHealthyKitchen

    oh yum! and only 3 WW points! ( I just joined )pinned and on the "must make list" and thank you for including my creamy cauliflower & cheddar soup in your post.
    I'm loving the cauliflower...holds, or maybe I should say "takes on" the flavor of whatever you put with it..and it's healthy and low in calories. Cant wait to try your puttanesca!


  9. Shelley@TwoHealthyKitchens

    Fabulous idea! I'm a cauliflower lover already ... and a huge fan of both olives and capers ... so this kinda has my name written all over it! Plus this is so quick and easy (and healthy, too)! Pinning for sure! 😀


  10. Gwen+@SimplyHealthyFamily

    I love cauliflower and I adore Puttenesca! Can't wait to make this one, Pinned!


« Older Comments

Cauliflower in Puttanesca Sauce Recipe {Vegan} | Cookin' Canuck (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated:

Views: 6775

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.