This vegetarian cauliflower piccata is a simple and delicious entree recipe packed with flavor! Cauliflower steaks are breaded and baked, then topped with a homemade lemon caper piccata sauce.

Platter of cauliflower piccata with gold serving spoons on a light grey backdrop

As a Registered Dietitian, I love to create vegetable recipes that taste irresistible. Since using cauliflower in unique recipes is super trendy right now, I decided to make a vegetarian version of chicken piccata using cauliflower! Piccata sauce uses some of my all time favorite flavors, including lemon and capers, and it pairs perfectly with crispy baked cauliflower.

What is piccata sauce?

Piccata is an Italian dish, traditionally made with chicken or veal that has been pounded flat. The meat is breaded and cooked in a pan. Piccata sauce is made from lemon juice, capers, butter, and olive oil. The sauce has a zesty, tart flavor and is relatively light compared to other heavy Italian sauces.

For this vegetarian cauliflower piccata recipe, you’ll make your own piccata sauce using the typical piccata ingredients, but pour it over breaded cauliflower instead of meat.

This recipe will serve four to six people as a main entree.

Ingredients in cauliflower piccata

Here is everything you will need to make this recipe:

  • Head of cauliflower
  • All purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted butter
  • Lemon
  • Dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc (or water)
  • Capers
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning

Ingredient and dietary restriction substitution suggestions

  • Make it vegan. Swap out the eggs for 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and use vegan butter in place of butter.
  • Make it gluten free. Use a gluten free flour blend instead of all purpose flour, and use gluten free breadcrumbs.
  • You can use yellow onion in place of shallots if you cannot find them.
  • If you can’t find seasoned breadcrumbs, you can add 1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, salt, and Italian seasoning to regular breadcrumbs.
Cauliflower piccata ingredients measured out on a grey backdrop

Step by step instructions

Start by prepping the cauliflower. Remove any leaves from the cauliflower by cutting into the hard core at the bottom of the vegetable. Cut the cauliflower into 1/2 inch thick “steaks”. It’s OK if you only get a few full steaks – just cut the rest of the cauliflower into large pieces.

Prepare three separate shallow bowls or plates for breading – one with seasoned flour, one with whisked eggs, and one with breadcrumbs. Coat each piece of cauliflower in the flour, then the egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs.

Arrange the breaded cauliflower on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy on the outside, but can be easily pierced with a fork.

White the cauliflower is in the oven, prepare the piccata sauce. Start by cooking minced garlic and shallots in olive oil in a saute pan.

Add capers, lemon juice, white wine, butter, salt, and parsley. Continue to cook for a few minutes. until the alcohol from the wine has burned off.

Plate the baked cauliflower steaks on a serving platter, then pour the piccata sauce over it. Garnish with more fresh parsley and freshly cracked pepper.

Piccata sauce in stainless steel saute pan with wooden mixing spoon

What to serve with cauliflower piccata

Cauliflower piccata makes a beautiful vegetarian entree for any meal. You can pair this recipe with pasta, rice, or your favorite salad recipe.

Serve cauliflower piccata with a protein to make it an even more balanced and filling meal. You can keep it completely vegetarian by serving it with some tofu or tempeh. It would also be delicious paired with salmon, shrimp, or other seafood.

Close up of breaded cauliflower steak with piccata sauce and fresh parsley on top, on a white serving platter

Storing leftover cauliflower piccata

You can store this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat it, place it in an oven safe dish. Heat in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until hot.

Cauliflower nutrition benefits

Cauliflower is a packed with nutrients! It is in the same family as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. One cup of cauliflower provides:

  • 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • 2 grams of plant-based protein
  • 45 mg of choline (about 10 percent of your daily needs)
  • 85 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs
  • 10 percent of your daily Vitamin B6 needs
  • 14 percent of your daily folate needs
  • 20 percent of your daily Vitamin K needs

Cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, is high in sulfur compounds. These plant compounds have high antioxidant activity, and might help reduce blood pressure and help prevent certain types of cancer (1,2).

Hands serving from of cauliflower piccata with gold serving spoons on a light grey backdrop

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Close up of a platter of cauliflower piccata with gold serving spoons

Cauliflower Piccata

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This vegetarian cauliflower piccata is a simple and delicious entree recipe packed with flavor! Cauliflower steaks are breaded and baked, then topped with a homemade lemon caper piccata sauce. 


Ingredients

Scale

Baked cauliflower

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Piccata sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or water)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the core and leaves of the cauliflower using a sharp knife.
  3. Cut the cauliflower into 1/2 inch thick “steaks”. If the cauliflower steaks break up, just cut into large pieces.
  4. Set up a breading station. Fill one shallow bowl or plate with all purpose flour whisked with garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Fill another bowl with the two eggs whisked. Fill a third bowl with the seasoned breadcrumbs.
  5. One at a time, coat each piece of cauliflower in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Place the breaded pieces on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown and crispy on the outside, but fork tender.
  7. While the cauliflower cooks, prepare the piccata sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan.
  8. Add the garlic and shallots. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Add the capers, lemon juice, wine or water, butter, parsley, and salt. Continue to cook for a few minutes, until butter is melted and the alcohol has burned off a bit.
  10. Plate the roasted cauliflower on a serving platter. Pour the piccata sauce over each piece.
  11. Garnish with more fresh parsley and freshly cracked black pepper.

Notes

Ingredient and dietary restriction substitution suggestions

  • Make it vegan. Swap out the eggs for 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and use vegan butter in place of butter.
  • Make it gluten free. Use a gluten free flour blend instead of all purpose flour, and use gluten free breadcrumbs.
  • You can use yellow onion in place of shallots if you cannot find them.
  • If you can’t find seasoned breadcrumbs, you can add 1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, salt, and Italian seasoning to regular breadcrumbs.

Storing leftover cauliflower piccata

You can store this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat it, place it in an oven safe dish. Heat in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until hot.

Keywords: cauliflower piccata, piccata sauce, vegetarian piccata