Italian Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake

Delicious and with a big protein punch, this vegetarian quinoa bake is going to get scooped up so quickly!

Delicious and with a big protein punch, this vegetarian quinoa bake is going to get scooped up so quickly!


Here’s A Video Showing How To Make This Quinoa Meal:

Do you do Meatless Monday? I don’t, really. But I do try to eat at least one vegetarian dinner per week.

At my house, we’re really used to a lot of protein so when I do make a meatless dinner, I try to make sure it’s really hearty and satisfying in the protein department. I love this recipe because it’s gluten-free and high in that needed protein because of the quinoa.

One of the tricks to satisfying this protein need is to include at least two protein sources per meal. That’s why my Gallo Pinto recipe, a Nicaraguan dish that has beans and rice topped with a fried egg, is one of our go-to vegetarian dishes too.

Today’s recipe for Italian Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake is similar. It has both high-protein quinoa and cheese. Combined with the meaty texture of roasted cauliflower, it’s satisfying from the first mouthful.

I hope you love it as much as I do,

Christine xo

Italian Cauliflower Quinoa Bake

Italian Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Entree


You’ll wish every day is Meatless Monday with this bake. Cauliflower offers a meaty texture. Quinoa adds protein.


  • 30 oz. cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp.  oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 30 oz. tomato sauce (no sodium, add salt to taste)
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a 13 x 9-inch pan combine cauliflower, olive oil, salt, oregano, basil and black pepper. Toss and roast until cauliflower is lightly browned in spots, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions (will yield about 3 cups cooked). Drain if needed and fluff with a fork. Transfer it to a medium bowl and add the tomato sauce, 4 ounces of the cheese and salt to taste (if desired).
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and add the quinoa mixture to it. Stir.  Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake until cheese is melted and tomato sauce is bubbly, 15-20 minutes.

If you like the idea behind this cauliflower dinner, I bet you’ll also like this Italian Roasted Cauliflower side dish. It’s one of my most popular recipes on Pinterest and I’m excited that so many people are loving it.

Video by Leigh Olson. Article and recipe by Christine Pittman.

This post originally appeared in August, 2015 and was revised and republished in October, 2018.


Italian Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake

26 responses to “Italian Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake”

  1. Saloni says:

    Love roasted cauliflower. Cannot wait to try this recipe! Don’t have tomato sauce, have some fresh tomatoes and also passata. How can I make tomato sauce out of it?

  2. emma says:

    so delicious! I threw in a few frozen peas for a little color and roasted the cauliflower until very light brown. Also I made a tomato sauce by simmering some crushed canned tomatoes with garlic and oregano for twenty minutes and then using a hand blender to mix it :). Great recipe, I definitely will make again! Lol I got impatient at the end so I just baked the casserole (?) for ten minutes at 450 and then broiled for three min to get the mozzarella/provolone mixture nice and golden! 

  3. Rebecca Olvera says:

    Any idea what the nutritional value is for this dish? It is delish and would love to make/eat more often but I need to track my calorie intake (weight loss goals) and especially the carbs intake (diabetic and need to manage my intake). Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  4. carol jaan says:

    Added some frozen spinach and a splash of wing sauce when combining tomato sauce with Quinoa! a hit!

  5. Gail says:

    What an awesome dish..and fast.Okay as with all things, I changed it up a bit. Didn’t have mozzarella cheese, so substituted, parmesan, feta and cheddar in equal amounts. I like spicy stuff, so when I cooked the quinoa,I added about 1 tablespoon of a spicy italian herb mix I have. When I put the quinoa and the cauliflower together , I added in about 4 cups of fresh spinach, then added the cheese topping. Cooked it an extra 5 minutes. This is an absolute keeper.. THANK YOU. you made my night, I love to experiment, and this dish was easy and fast for a weeknight dish.

  6. Kicki says:

    This looks amazing! Do you know if this will freeze well?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Kicki, I think it should freeze well. You might want to use less sauce if freezing so it doesn’t end up liquidy.

  7. Susan Vazoulas says:

    I made this for dinner and it was delicious! It tasted just like parmagian. We are thinking of adding other veggies to the mix  next time. Thanks for a delicious way to eat cauliflower!!!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Susan, So happy you liked it! I bet all kinds of veggies would work in there. Broccoli and carrots for sure.

  8. Genevieve says:

    Just had this for supper. We all loved it, including my 8 month old and 3 year old! I didn’t cook the cauliflower as long as stated so as to keep some crunch to the dish. YUMMY!

  9. Susie says:

    Yum! I used mama jess bean good organic pasta sauce and Kerry Gold Dubliner cheese as that is what was on hand, otherwise followed directions. It is delicious! Next time I may add broccoli and maybe carrots. Thanks for the great idea.

  10. Roxana says:

    I love baked cauliflower! <3

  11. Carrie says:

    This may be a dumb question, but do you use frozen or fresh cauliflower?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Carrie, not dumb at all. I used fresh, which is why you need to roast it on its own to soften it a bit before adding the other ingredients. I’m not positive, but I’m betting that if you used frozen you could skip that first roasting step since frozen cauliflower, once defrosted, is softer than fresh. If you try it with frozen, please let me know how it turns out. I’d love to be able to add the info to the recipe. Have a great weekend!

  12. Michaela McCarthy says:

    This is delicious. The entire family loved it!

  13. Jessica says:

    Just came out of the oven!  Looks great!  Can’t wait to share it with the fam!

  14. Carly says:

    Made this for my lunches this week. So yummy and filling!

  15. This looks incredible Christine! My family would devour this.

  16. Marly says:

    My hubby was resistant to giving up meat back in the day as well. He was for sure a meat and potatoes guy…and he was a super picky eater as a child (so I hear). But now? OMG! He’s vegan! He actually went vegan before me and inspired me to make the leap from vegetarian. I’m not saying your hubby will do the same, but it is interesting how your taste buds can change over time. And this Italian Cauliflower Bake? Looks amazing!! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  17. I love everything about this girl!! 

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