This Curried Cauliflower Bake with Chickpeas features simple ingredients and bold flavors for a plant-based dish the whole family will love! With minimal prep time, it’s quick to make and loaded with plant-based protein and fiber. Vegan option, too!
Crazy for Cauliflower Bake
We love a good casserole recipe around here! Not only are they easy to prepare, but made in one dish, they’re also a breeze to clean up.
Loaded with flavor, nutrients, and plant-based protein, this recipe is one of our go-to meals when we need something that will satisfy a crowd without breaking the bank. With a quick cook time and a total time of under an hour, it’s so good even the meat lovers won’t be able to resist!
Prepare a big batch to keep on hand, and enjoy quick, delicious meals throughout the entire week.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Below is an overview of the ingredients needed to make this loaded cauliflower casserole bake. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete details and nutrition information including calories, carbohydrates, protein, etc.
- Chickpeas – Use canned chickpeas. Just be sure to rinse and drain them well first!
- Cauliflower – Use pre-chopped cauliflower florets, or chop a head of cauliflower yourself.
- Olive Oil – This adds flavor and healthy fats and helps create a beautiful golden exterior.
- Seasonings – Curry powder, minced garlic or garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika create a savory flavor with just a hint of heat.
- White Rice – Use pre-cooked white rice such as Jasmine or Basmati rice.
- Frozen Peas – This is optional but is a great way to add nutrients, fiber, and plant-based protein.
- Cheese or Dairy Free Alternative– We use feta and parmesan cheese to create a cheesy cauliflower casserole. However, you could use nutritional yeast if preferred to keep this cauliflower bake dairy-free.
- Toppings – Add fresh herbs and lemon slices for a pop of color and vibrant flavor that balances out the savoriness of the dish.
How to Make This Curried Cauliflower Bake with Chickpeas
- Prepare. Before you begin, preheat your oven, and grease a rimmed baking sheet or large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Season. Add the chickpeas and cauliflower to a large bowl, and toss with the oil and seasonings. Then, spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking dish.
- Roast. Transfer the mixture to the oven, and roast until the cauliflower and chickpeas are fork tender and golden.
- Prepare the rice. While the ingredients bake, prepare the rice according to the package instructions and steam the vegetables.
Prep Tip – To prevent dryness, use freshly steamed rice, and toss it with a little olive oil before combining it with the casserole.
- Combine. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and reduce the temperature. Add the cooked rice and peas to the dish, if using. Then, add a drizzle of oil, and toss to combine.
- Bake. Transfer the mixture back to the oven, and bake again.
- Garnish. Drizzle the dish with extra oil, and add a garnish of fresh herbs or lemon slices. Season to taste, and enjoy.
- Low-Carb – To make this recipe low-carb-friendly, swap out the white rice with cauliflower rice instead. Just make sure to bake it first to get some of the water out and prevent the recipe from becoming soggy.
- Seasonings – Feel free to use store-bought curry powder. Or, make your own by combining ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (omit for nightshade-free), ⅛ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon ground coriander, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to make the recipe your own.
- Swap the Cheese – Mix and match different cheeses such as sharp cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese for a completely new flavor profile in this cheesy cauliflower bake.
- Vegan Option – To keep this cauliflower bake recipe plant-based, omit the feta and parmesan, or use dairy-free alternatives like vegan cheese sauce, gluten free tempeh, sprouted tofu, nutritional yeast, or store-bought plant-based feta.
- Veggies – If you want even more nutrients, feel free to mix in any extra veggies you have on hand. Broccoli, peppers, and carrots will all taste great! Potatoes would also taste great.
- Protein – Amp the protein by including tempeh, shredded chicken, ground turkey, beef, or crumbled bacon.
- Toppings – For extra flavor and texture, try sprinkling gluten-free panko bread crumbs on top during the last few minutes of baking.
Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?
Sure, just make sure to thaw and drain it first! Otherwise, your curried cauliflower bake is likely to become soggy.
Why Does Baked Cauliflower Become Watery?
Cauliflower has a high water content. Therefore, when it bakes, and overbakes, it releases some of that water, causing your recipe to become soggy.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat in the microwave, a skillet over medium heat, or in the oven just until warmed through.
Can I Freeze Leftovers?
Yes, once cooled, leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before warming.
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