crispy and cheesy smashed cauliflower

Crispy and Cheesy Smashed Cauliflower

Move over junk food, these craveable cauliflower bites may just take the place of loaded cheesy snacks. Made with just cauliflower, seasoning and cheese, these come out so crispy and flavorful I’d probably recommend doubling the recipe. Here’s a peek into the process: First, I steam the cauliflower briefly so it’s soft enough to smash and flatten – and then I season the bites and bake them in the oven. I bet this would be amazing in the air fryer too if you have one and want to experiment. You could also do this with broccoli or potatoes. Have fun making and devouring this super simple smashed cauliflower recipe and as always, share your creations with me on instagram!

Crispy and Cheesy Smashed Cauliflower


  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into medium size florets (not too big not too small)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons preserved lemon paste*
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon each paprika, onion powder, Italian herb blend
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • lemon wedges, chives


  1. Preheat your oven to 400℉.

  2. Add cauliflower to a large pot and cover base with a few inches of water. Steam cauliflower for about 4-5 minutes, just until it's soft enough to smash but still undercooked. Not mushy! I'd stay close to the pot and keep checking. Once done, drain and pat dry.

  3. Place cauliflower on a large sheet pan and very gently smash it with a large fork or your clean or gloved hands until it flattens slightly. Drizzle oil, garlic, preserved lemon paste, parmesan, spices, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until pieces start to look browned and crispy.

  4. Garnish with lemon wedges and chives.

Recipe Notes

*If you cant get your hands on preserved lemon paste, substitute the zest of one lemon and about a tablespoon of lemon juice.

This recipe was adapted from hungry happens by Stella Drivas Lemon Garlic Parmesan Smashed Cauliflower recipe.


If you like my Crispy and Cheesy Smashed Cauliflower recipe try:

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