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Crispy Smashed Cauliflower

Prep Time

Cook Time

6 to 8

Cuisine Type

Cheese Types

Recipe Description

Loaded with fresh chives and creamy cheese, this crowd-pleasing vegetarian appetizer will be a hit at any brunch or get-together.


  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Wood River Creamery Mango Habanero Cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 450°F.

  • In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, add cauliflower. Blanch for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a large bowl of ice water. Drain.
  • In a small bowl, stir together butter, parsley, chives, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Arrange cauliflower florets on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a small pot, smash florets to even thickness. Brush evenly with the butter mixture.
  • Sprinkle cauliflower with cheese and breadcrumbs.
  • Bake, switching and rotating pans halfway through, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cauliflower is crispy around the edges, and cheese is melted and golden.

Tip: The softer the cooked cauliflower the easier it will be to smash. After blanching, pat excess moisture with a paper towel so it browns faster.

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