Vegan meal prep made quick, easy and nutritious with this recipe for Curried Chickpea Cauliflower Bake. There are only 5 simple ingredients in this cauliflower casserole, but the flavor combination is out of this world delicious! It’s a hearty dinner that’s full of protein and fiber. Plus, it’s gluten free, and there’s a lower carb option, too.
Hi ya! Okay so we’re back on the meal prep train and I have 2 meal prep recipes this month that are simple, vegetarian friendly, and have keto or lower carb options. BAM! WE GOT THIS!
First up is this curried cauliflower chickpea bake. I think you’ll like what you hear, read, see, mm k?
Let’s discuss this burning question you might have….
Is cauliflower bake the same as cauliflower casserole?
A casserole is any dish where all the ingredients are combined in one pan and baked. By this definition, our cauliflower bake is also a cauliflower casserole. Just like tuna noodle casserole, baked dishes can easily be turned into dairy-free and gluten-free casseroles that everyone with any diet restrictions can enjoy.
Cauliflower bakes and similar dishes are so appealing because there aren’t multiple pans to monitor or wash. Everything goes in one pan and bakes at the same time and temperature. This particular dish only uses five common ingredients and is very easy to prepare.
Bakes are also easy to use for meal prep. You can completely prepare the meal and put it in the refrigerator or freezer. Just reheat it when you are ready to eat.
This low-carb, gluten-free Tex-Mex Egg and Cheese Cauliflower Casserole follows the same idea. It also only needs five ingredients, making it inexpensive and quick. Plus, everything is combined in one pan. It can be cooked immediately and served or frozen for later.
Cauliflower bake recipe variations
This cauliflower bake is a great basic vegan recipe to start with for meal prepping. Once you have mastered the technique, you can get creative with replacing or adding ingredients to make it different each time.
Try some of these updates to this cauliflower bake:
- Parmesan tastes great on cauliflower. If you aren’t vegan, sprinkle some on top. If you are vegan, use nutritional yeast for a similar flavor.
- Try different kinds of curry sauce for a different taste.
- Use cauliflower rice instead of white rice for a low-carb substitution.
- Add or substitute green beans and mushrooms to the dish. Substitute for the chickpeas for a lower carb option.
- Not vegan? Feel free to pump up the protein with cooked chicken sausage mixed in or even leftover pork.
- Need a nightshade free curry option? No prob! I’ve added that in the recipe card. – Ground cumin + turmeric + ground coriander + black pepper.
How to get protein from you vegan meal prep
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps our bodies function to its full capabilities. While meat may be the most common source of protein in the American diet, it is by no means the only one. Vegans have lots of options for adding protein to their diets. And it’s easy to slip these foods into vegan meal prep ideas.
Vegan diets are heavy in vegetables, whole grains and legumes. All of these ingredients freeze well and can be combined in many ways to create complete and filling meals.
Beans are a great source of protein. In this cauliflower bake, chickpeas provide a full serving of protein. Other ingredients that can add protein to your vegan meal prep dishes are:
- Tofu (sprouted is best for digestion)
- Tempeh (make sure it’s organic and gluten free)
- Seeds (such as pumpkin or chia)
Alright, now you know the subs, let’s make this Cauliflower Bake
- Place the cauliflower rice or rice (cooked) on the bottom of your pan. I used a combination of both.
- Toss the cauliflower florets and chickpeas with oil and spices (curry, salt, pepper, etc.)
- Layer that on top of your rice. Then stuff the spinach between the chickpeas and cauliflower. Then you just bake for about 25-30 minutes.
PREPPING THE CAULIFLOWER BAKE – SIMPLY LAYER
Now, this is where you can “next level” your cauliflower bake! As mentioned above, you have these options —> Add meat or vegan protein. Add a layer of cheese or nutritional yeast on top. Throw in a little spice with peppers or a curry sauce, etc. Seriously, all options are so good!
MEAL PREP TIP – Yes, this cauliflower bake is easy to meal prep too!
Can you freeze this cauliflower bake?
One of the keys to a great vegan meal prep recipe is that is freezes well. Most casseroles will only last for about five days in the refrigerator. If you want to plan for a month or more at a time, you will want to freeze some of these dishes.
For this cauliflower bake, cook it completely and allow it to cool. Wrap it tightly in plastic and keep it in the freezer for up to three months.
Allow your cauliflower casserole to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking it. A frozen casserole will not heat evenly.
If you want to start meal prepping, invest in a few quality dishes. You want something that will be just as safe in the freezer as it will in the oven. Glass is a great choice, see container below.
Look at the labels to be sure that it is oven-proof and freezer-safe and you’re all set!
Alright, I have babbled enough about meal prep and vegan protein. Haha, let’s shake and bake this cauliflower bake.
This vegan meal prep recipe is quick and easy to put together, using just a few simple ingredients! It’s a cauliflower bake full of fiber and plant-based protein. See the notes for a lower carb option.
- 15 oz canned chickpeas, drained (see notes for substitutes)
- 1 lb cauliflower florets (around 3–4 cups)
- 1+ tsp curry seasoning (see notes) or 2 tbsp curry sauce of your choice
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 4–5 cups cooked rice and/or cauliflower rice (you can combine if desired)
- Optional handful of spinach or leafy greens of choice
- See notes for extra ingredient options – to top (i.e cheese or nutritional yeast to top, herbs, lemon, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 350 F and oil 12×8 casserole dish or glass meal prep container. 9×13 containers work as well but you might need extra rice to fill. If meal prepping without baking, skip preheat.
- Toss your chickpeas and cauliflower florets in curry powder with 1 tbsp oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Next, layer your cooked rice or cauliflower rice (a mix of both will also work) at the bottom of your oven safe casserole dish.
- Layer the chickpea and cauliflower on top.
- Stuff spinach or herbs within the rice/cauliflower. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for vegan option. See notes for substitutes.
- Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Freeze after cooked if using for meal prep. (Freeze for up to 3 months)
- Alternatively, you can also SKIP BAKING and just store prepped casserole in fridge, covered, until until ready to bake. Store in fridge for up to 5 days.
- Sprinkle with extra curry powder, garlic, pepper, sliced lemon, etc before serving.
- Homemade curry seasoning option – 1/2 tsp ground cumin + 1/4 tsp chili flakes (omit for nightshade free), 1/8 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/8 tsp black pepper.
- Feel free to mix in a tbsp of nutritional yeast for “cheesy” vegan option. Not vegan? Add parmesan on top!
- Lower carb vegetarian option → Substitute rice and chickpeas with cauliflower rice and mushrooms or green beans.
- This is the oven safe meal prep casserole dish I use or Ello has a great 9×13 duraglass baking dish with lid.
Nutrition Below based off using half rice and half cauliflower rice as the base layer.
- Category: dinner
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: indian
- Serving Size: 1.25 cups
- Calories: 285
- Sugar: 1.5 g
- Sodium: 460 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 53 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 9.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
Keywords: meal prep, vegan, casserole, curry, healthy, gluten free, cauliflower bake, cauliflower rice
Alright my friends, if you have ANY questions about this recipe, just comment or hit reply to the email. There are so many options here!
P.S How are you doing on the anti-inflammatory kick start plan? Have you started? Are you joining? Fill me in!! If you haven’t already, check out my stories, we’re sharing all our eats and fridge organization.