You know the commercial where Payton Manning sings “Chicken Parm you taste so good” in the Nation Wide advertisement?
Well that’s my husband, well the loving chicken parm part, not the being a professional athlete part.
He’s slightly obsessed with the combination of breaded chicken, sauce and cheese. And he should be, it’s very VERY tasty.
But at the end of the day I find that it’s less about the chicken and more about the other elements, so I started thinking that maybe I could substitute the chicken for cauliflower and get a very similar effect.
And I did! Sure it’s a little different, but it really satisfies your need for all things chicken parm while giving you a meal that’s half the calories and is packed with vitamin C.
Just be sure to not cut the cauliflower too thick and a little extra sauce on the side never hurt anyone.
And if you’re loving this Cauliflower Parm so much that you want to make a song to go along with your tasty meal, by all means, go right ahead.
1 head cauliflower (about 1.5) pounds
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
½ cup panko
¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon water
½ pound linguine
1 cup tomato sauce, warmed
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking oil and place a large pot of salted water over high heat for cooking the linguine.
- If there are any leaves attached to the cauliflower heads, remove them but leave the stems intact. Cut the cauliflower in half vertically through the center; then cut a ½-inch-thick “steak” from the flat side of each half. Save the rest of each head for another use (*see notes at the end of the recipe).
- Mix the flour and salt together on a small plate. Whisk together the eggs and water in a shallow bowl. Toss the panko and Italian breadcrumbs together with the parmesan cheese on a second small plate.
- One at a time, dip each cauliflower steak first into the flour, turning to dust both sides and tapping off any excess; then into the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides and allowing any excess to drip off; and finally into the bread crumbs, making sure the crumbs coat all sides of the steaks. Lay the coated cauliflower on the baking sheet with parchment paper and cook until golden brown and crispy – about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Meanwhile add the linguine to the now-boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Remove the cauliflower parmesan from the oven and sprinkle with salt; top each steak with 1 tablespoon of the marinara sauce and 2 tablespoon of the mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes more.
- To serve, divide the linguine among two dinner plates; spoon half of the remaining marinara sauce over each serving and top with the cauliflower parmesan. Pass more Parmesan at the table.
NOTES: Only pieces of cauliflower from the center of the head will make nice steaks but the extra florets from the sides of the head can make “cauliflower parmesan nuggets”, Simply take these pieces and prepare them just like you do the steaks in the directions, you can either put the sauce and cheese on them or leave the sauce on the side and let your kids dip them in. The bottom line; you will end up with something your kids will go nuts for!