A simple tutorial on How to Cut Cauliflower florets to avoid awkward, messy, and nonuniform sizes. From prep to storage this easy 4 step method is one you will use over and over again when making cauliflower recipes.

This is how I prepare cauliflower for roasting, boiling, ricing, grilling, and even mashed potatoes substitute!

Cauliflower head on a cutting board with knife.

Learning how to cut cauliflower is a game changer when it comes to food prep.

There are so many ways to enjoy it whether it’s simple steamed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, air fryer cauliflower, grilled or even used as a substitute for rice in cauliflower rice recipes.

More often than not you’ll need to cut your head of cauliflower into florets and that’s where this time-saving method of properly cutting your cauliflower comes in handy.

How to Cauliflower Step by Step

This step-by-step guide will show you an easy way to cut cauliflower that will save you so much hassle and doesn’t end up with crumbles all over your counter!

Cauliflower head trimmed of leaves on a cutting board with a knife.

Step 1: Remove outer green leaves with a paring knife.

Rinsing a head cauliflower under cold water.

Step 2: Rinse cauliflower under cold water.

A cauliflower cut into four quarters on a cutting board with a knife.

Step 3: Cut cauliflower head into 4 quarters, starting at the base and slicing through the core with a utility or chef’s knife.

A knife slicing the top from each cut cauliflower quarter.

Lay each quarter on a cutting board, angle your knife and cut florets from the stem.

That’s it! All you have left to do is separate large florets by hand or you can use a knife to cut them into smaller bite sized pieces.

My Cauliflower Has Brown Spots, Can I Still Use It?

Yes, oxidation may cause the top of your cauliflower to develop a few brown spots. If you see any brown spots, shave them off with Microplane grater or cut off with paring knife.

If it smells bad, though, or has darker black spots all over it, it is time to throw it away.

More FAQs

When is cauliflower in season?

While you can find it year round in supermarkets, it is generally in season winter through late spring.

At farmers markets, it will typically be spotted September through November, although this could vary due to your climate.

Can I use this same method for other colors of cauliflower?

Yes! If you are lucky enough to find a purple, orange, or green cauliflower (Romanesco) just cut it the same way.

Can I eat the cauliflower leaves and stems?

Yes, definitely. Especially if it is organic cauliflower, but even with conventional cauliflower nothing goes to waste. Lots of vitamins and nutrients in the entire head of cauliflower.

Chop the core (stem) and incorporate it with the recipe you are using florets in. It gives it a lovely crispy tender texture. Wash green leaves well, chop and add them to stir fries and healthy cauliflower soup along with cut up cauliflower core.

How to Store Cut Up Cauliflower

Pat dry the florets with linen towel before storing. You want to get rid of as much moisture as possible, otherwise they will get soggy, and possibly moldy, quickly.

Store in a bowl covered with a beeswax wrap, linen towel or plastic wrap with an opening. You want some air to circulate to avoid mold growth. Dried and cut up cauliflower will stay fresh in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Favorite Cauliflower Recipes

This delicious vegetable has so many uses from enjoying with Greek yogurt veggie dip, to serving it as a side dish, to incorporating it in healthy dinners. You’ll never run out of reasons to need to know how to cut a head of cauliflower!

For More Cooking Tutorials

A head of cauliflower on cutting board with knife.
A head of cauliflower on cutting board with knife.

How to Cut Cauliflower

How to Cut Cauliflower into florets to avoid awkward, messy, and nonuniform sizes. Easy 4 step method is perfect for cauliflower recipes.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 24
Diet Gluten Free
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 head of cauliflower

Instructions 

  • Remove green leaves with a paring knife and rinse cauliflower head under cold water.
  • Cut cauliflower head into 4 quarters, starting at the base and slicing through the core with a utility or chef’s knife.
  • Lay each quarter on a cutting board, angle your knife and cut florets from the stem.
  • That’s it! All you have left to do is separate florets by hand.

Video

Notes

  • Store: Pat dry florets with linen towel and refrigerate in a bowl covered with a beeswax wrap, linen towel or plastic wrap with an opening for up to 7 days. You want some air to circulate to avoid mold growth.
  • Other colors of cauliflower: Use the same method for purple, orange or green cauliflower.
  • Brown spots: This occurs due to oxidation. Remove with microplane or shave off with sharp knife.
  • Leaves and stems: Save for use in soups or stir fries!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 29mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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