Carb-Friendly Cauliflower, Italian Style

What's for dinner tonight? Pasta, bread, and pizza? Italian cuisine makes our mouth water, but admit it, some of our favorites can be a little heavy on the carb side. Looking to cut back but still enjoy a traditional bite from the boot? You're in luck. Here are three lower carb replacements. All you need is a little bit of cauliflower.   

Photo:  Core-Condition

Photo: Core-Condition

Meat lovers pizza. The secret is in the crust.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated

  • 1 egg

  • Diced chicken, sausage, pepperoni or other protein

  • Grater, knife or food processor

  • Pinch of salt, pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning or other seasonings

  • Paper towel or cloth and parchment paper

Step 1: Start off with a quick rinse for sanitation purposes. Cut the stems and heads and place into a covered pot to steam the cauliflower until tender. 

Step 2: Now you need to cut it into small pieces. Use a food processor or grate or cut your cauliflower manually. Use a cloth or paper towel to remove excess water by squeezing, dabbing and doing whatever you have to do to get it as dry as possible. 

Step 3: Combine the dried cauliflower with one egg to help hold it together. Add seasoning such as salt and oregano for taste. 

Step 4: Shape your mixture into a rectangle or other desired geometric figure on a cookie sheet or parchment paper.

Step 5: Let this bake for 5-10 minutes to allow it to get a head start in the oven before adding toppings. 

Step 6: While this is happening, prepare your protein. Consider chicken, sausage, salami, or pepperoni.  

Step 7: Remove your crust and top with sauce, cheese, and protein. Bake until cheese is in a state of bubbly perfection. 

In a rush or not feeling like finding your inner Martha Stewart? You can find pre-made crust in the frozen section of your local grocery store. 

Need a visual of how it’s done? Check out this quick tutorial.


Vegan Eggplant Lasagna. The secret to this one is in between the mix.
What you’ll need:

  • ½ eggplant, diced

  • 1 cup vegan cheese

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • Italian seasoning for taste

  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce

  • Food processor

  • Mixing bowl

  • Baking dish

For this one, you'll follow the same process as the previous recipe for the cauliflower. After cutting the cauliflower into small bits, steam until tender. Follow steps one through four, but skip the egg. 

Step 1: You'll just have to really dry out your noodles! You can even use the oven or microwave to help remove extra droplets.

Step 2: On a baking pan, lay out your cauliflower noodles, shaping each one to the desired size. Bake 5-10 minutes. 

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, combine sauce, eggplant, and seasoning of your choice. Add a layer of pasta, sauce, noodles, vegan cheese crumbles, and repeat. Bake until golden, or about 20 minutes. 

Step 4: If you are not in the mood to make your own noodles, cauliflower noodles can be found in the frozen section of your local grocery store. 


Shrimp Alfredo. The secret to this recipe is in the sauce. 

You’ll be replacing the whipping cream and cream cheese with puréed cauliflower, which will substitute the calories and carbs, and still give you the thickness needed. 

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • 1 package of fettuccine noodles

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Vegetables including mushrooms, peas, broccoli

  • Shrimp

  • Salt, pepper, other seasoning

  • Food processor

Step 1: Steam your cauliflower until tender. Purée in a food processor with 1 tablespoon water.  

Step 2: Prepare desired pasta, vegetables, and shrimp while the cauliflower is steaming. Sautee vegetables with garlic. Turn on low heat to keep warm.  

Step 3: Start off with small amounts. Remember, you can add but you can’t take away. Heat heavy cream, stir in puréed cauliflower and seasoning. Whisk regularly. Add in water to make less thick or, or cauliflower mix to thicken. 

Step 4: Pour sauce over pasta. Stir in vegetables and shrimp. 

Step 5: Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy. 

From mac and cheese to mashed potatoes and rice, there are a ton of other recipes with the low carb cauliflower replacement.