Marry Me Cauliflower is a vegetarian twist on Marry Me Chicken with creamy sun-dried tomato sauce coating low calorie, budget-friendly pan-fried cauliflower. Perfect for a fancy date night dinner!

Other “fancy” cauliflower recipes we love are cheesy cauliflower steaks and cauliflower risotto.

Marry me cauliflower in sun dried tomato sauce garnished with basil in a skillet.

Everyone loves anything cooked in a rich cream sauce. While I love my Instant Pot Italian chicken breast because it’s so easy, I tried to make the viral marry me chicken on the stove and found it a bit messy.

That’s how I came up with this marry me cauliflower recipe. It turned out so good, you’ll want to make it again and again!

What Is Marry Me Cauliflower?

Marry me cauliflower puts a veggie spin on the popular marry me chicken, swapping sauteed chicken for flour-dredged cauliflower in cream sauce with sweet sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, spinach, and basil.

The “Marry Me” name comes from the irresistible flavor that some say is so good it could prompt a marriage proposal after just one taste.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Scrumptious: Charred cauliflower has a crispy outside with a melt-in-your-mouth inside, and the creamy sauce is to die for!
  • Healthier alternative: The perfect vegetarian substitute to chicken with fewer calories and less fat.
  • Budget friendly: We make the sauce with everyday pantry items, and cauliflower is easy on the wallet.
  • Versatile to serve: This healthy dinner idea can be served as a main dish or a side dish. See below for serving ideas.

Ingredients for Marry Me Cauliflower

Here’s a short list of fridge and pantry staples you’ll need to make marry me cauliflower.

Cauliflower, spinach, heavy cream, chicken broth, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, flour, parmesan cheese, olive oil, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Cauliflower: Pick cauliflower with a total weight of 2.5 pounds, more or less a bit is fine. It might seem like a lot but we will remove leaves and some of the core.
  • Flour: We’ll coat the cauliflower in flour to achieve a charred, crispy crust. I used all-purpose flour, feel free to use whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour for the same effect.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic makes everything taste better!
  • Sun dried tomatoes: Infuses the sauce with a delicious Tuscan flavor. Save the oil from the jar, we’ll use it too.
  • Chicken broth: Low sodium chicken broth adds richness to the sauce. You can use vegetable broth instead, if you’d like.
  • Heavy cream: A small amount makes the sauce extra creamy. Swap for half and half for a lighter sauce.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan is best for a salty, savory taste.
  • Spinach: Fresh baby spinach adds a burst of color and nutrition.
  • Oil: For frying. To start, I used mostly the same oil sun-dried tomatoes are packed in. At the last frying step, I used a bit of olive oil for that olive oil flavor. It saves money and food, but you can use whatever you like.
  • Basil: Garnish with fresh basil.

How to Make Marry Me Cauliflower

Here is a quick visual run down how to make marry me cauliflower that your family will fall in love with!

There is a full recipe card with measurements and instructions below.

Step by step process how to make cauliflower with marry me sauce in a skillet.
  • Prep the cauliflower: Slice the cauliflower into steaks and then into smaller pieces. Coat the cauliflower in flour on both sides. I like to do this while the skillet is preheating and during the frying process.
  • Pan fry cauliflower: Preheat the skillet and add oil. Working in batches, place the dredged cauliflower in a single layer in the skillet, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, then let it pan fry for 3-4 minutes or until browned on each side.
  • Make the sauce: Scrape off any burnt bits, add a bit more oil and the garlic. Saute for 30 seconds while stirring, then pour in the broth, heavy cream, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese. Stir and let simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower and spinach: Add the cooked cauliflower back to the skillet, spoon some sauce on top, and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Then add baby spinach and do the same.
Sauteed cauliflower in creamy sauce with sun dried tomatoes and spinach in a skillet.

Tips for Best Results

Here are my go-to tips for making cauliflower in marry me sauce.

  • If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil: Use that oil for sauteing all ingredients in this recipe, it adds another layer of flavor.
  • Slicing cauliflower: Be sure to slice it flat so there’s more surface to brown, instead of just chopping the cauliflower.
  • Use quality Parmesan cheese: The smooth, creamy texture melts more evenly and adds a rich depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Be gentle: The skillet will be full and it will be hard to stir. Do not stir vigorously at each step, it will be mush if you do. Instead, carefully spoon the sauce on top the cauliflower and tuck the spinach in between. The heat will take care of mixing all ingredients together.
  • Make it gluten-free: Feel free to use all purpose gluten-free flour. Almond flour will work too, but sauce might be less thick.
  • If you are not a fan of cauliflower: Use chicken cutlets instead. I tried it and recipe was great, just more messy to make. You can also use chickpeas, tofu or white beans for a vegetarian twist with added protein.
Marry me cauliflower served over pasta in blue bowl with a fork.

What to Serve Marry Me Cauliflower with?

I served it as a main dish garnished with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese over cavatappi pasta, but you have plenty of options to change things up.

How to Store and Reheat

Store: Transfer any extras into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Reheat: When it’s time for round two, warm it up in the microwave for a few minutes or simmer in a skillet with a splash of broth while covered.

Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing, cauliflower tends to lose its delightful texture and get a bit soggy when thawed.


Can I use store-bought cauliflower florets?

I prefer not to because I like to cut it myself for a larger flat surface to brown. However, if you choose to, I recommend to concentrate on dipping tops of florets in flour and browning them, they’re your largest surface. Make sure to use about 2 pounds total.

Can I use frozen cauliflower?

It’s not ideal but possible. Defrost it, give a gentle squeeze, and follow the recipe. You will have to cook it for less time and it will come out more mushy, which is fine.

Can I use cauliflower rice?

You may use 2 pounds of cauliflower rice but it will be a bit different dish, more like mashed cauliflower in delicious sauce nonetheless. You can also skip the flour in this case.

More Cauliflower Recipes

More Creamy Side Dishes to Try

Close up of cauliflower in creamy marry me sauce in a bowl with a spoon.
Marry me cauliflower in sun dried tomato sauce garnished with basil in a skillet.

Marry Me Cauliflower

Marry Me Cauliflower is a vegetarian twist on Marry Me Chicken with creamy sun-dried tomato sauce coating low calorie, budget-friendly pan-fried cauliflower.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 287
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes



  • Cut cauliflower into steaks and then into smaller pieces. Use some of the core but discard the end and leaves. In a large shallow plate add flour and coat cauliflower on both sides, shaking off the excess. I usually do this as skillet is preheating and as frying goes.
  • Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and add a bit of oil. Add dredged in flour cauliflower in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and pan fry for 3-4 minutes or until browned on each side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining cauliflower.
  • Scrape off any burnt bits and pieces and return skillet to medium heat. Add a bit of oil and garlic, saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broth, heavy cream, sun dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese. Stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add previously cooked cauliflower, spoon some sauce on top and gently stir a bit, cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add spinach, gently tuck it in between cauliflower pieces, cover and simmer for another 1-2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Turn off heat.
  • Garnish with basil and serve as a side dish or over pasta for a vegetarian main dish.



  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheat: Reheat in a microwave for a few minutes or simmer in a skillet with a splash of broth while covered.
  • I don’t recommend to freeze Marry Me Cauliflower, it will become soggy.


Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 244mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g
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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  1. 5 stars
    Made the Marry Me Cauliflower last night. It was delicious. Looking forward to having the leftovers. It’s certainly a recipe we will use over and over.

    1. You’re so welcome, Suzanne! Glad this is getting added to the repeat list! I appreciate your review.

  2. Sounds good! To prepare vegetarian I’ll use vegetable broth. Parmesan cheese is most definitely not vegetarian because it uses animal rennet, but there are vegetarian parm options out there!

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