Make this awesome healthy Instant Pot cauliflower with creamy gravy for any party night or weeknight dinner. This garlic and herb whole cauliflower will be a gorgeous addition to your dinner table.
After cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, it was time to try this delicate vegetable in it. To my surprise, it took only three minutes of high pressure to cook the whole cauliflower head in the pressure cooker. So, in less than 30 mins, you can bring this dish to the dinner table.
As opposed to cooking whole cauliflower in the oven (which takes more than 45 min), an Instant Pot is an easy and super-fast tool to cook the whole cauliflower head. However, roasting in the oven has a whole lot of different flavors, tastes, and deliciousness.
One reader says – “I’m new to Pressure Cooking and cooked this Cauliflower today. Very easy, and loved it. Definitely a keeper. Next time I’ll double up on the sauce!!! Thank You!”
- Whole cauliflower – buy large, firm, and spotless whole cauliflower head. Whenever possible, buy organic cauliflower. Usually, veggies like cauliflower and broccoli are sprayed with more pesticides to get rid of bugs compared to other vegetables. So, I always prefer buying organic cauliflower.
- Garlic – I recommend using fresh garlic for delicious flavors. Try to avoid using processed or preserved garlic as it lacks flavors. Use finely chopped or minced garlic to prepare the spice mixture, and add whole peeled garlic gloves to the gravy base.
- Herbs – use herbs like dried or fresh thyme and parsley leaves to flavor the cauliflower and gravy. Clean and finely chop fresh parsley to prepare the marinade and garnish the dish at the end.
- Lemon – this adds nice tanginess and flavor to the dish. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice in the marinade and add large pieces of lemon to the gravy base before pressure cooking.
- Onion – this will add texture and flavor to the gravy base. Just cut them into large pieces.
- Flour – helps thicken the gravy and makes it smooth and creamy.
- Broth – use good quality vegetable broth or stock to prepare the gravy. I don’t have dietary restrictions, so I use low-sodium organic chicken broth or stock to prepare the gravy.
- Herbs – you can use your choice of herbs, like oregano, cilantro, etc., to marinate the cauliflower.
- Butter – use good quality organic butter in moderate amounts instead of oil in the recipe for a little rich taste.
- Instead of vegetable stock, use bullion with water to flavor the gravy base.
- Bake it in the oven – you can marinate the cauliflower with the above ingredients and bake it in the oven instead of cooking it in an Instant Pot. Follow instructions from the oven-baked cauliflower head for details on the time and temperatures.
How to clean and prepare whole cauliflower head for cooking?
Place cauliflower on the cutting board facing stem side up. Remove large leaves and trim the stem flush to the base of the florets so that it can sit flat on a trivet or flat surface.
Then immerse the trimmed cauliflower head in warm water with some salt. Let it sit for at least 10-15 min. This will help to clean the crevices in the florets while still intact on the cauliflower head. Then rinse thoroughly with fresh running water to remove the salt. Now the cauliflower head is ready for marination.
How to make healthy Instant Pot cauliflower?
Step 1 – Prepare cauliflower head
Clean and prepare the cauliflower head for marination as described above.
Step 2 – Prepare marinade
In a small mixing bowl, combine finely chopped garlic, fresh or dried thyme, chopped fresh parsley leaves, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix everything well.
Step 3 – Marinate whole cauliflower head
Rub the prepared garlic-herbs mixture all over the cauliflower evenly. Do not forget the bottom side of it. If you have time, marinate the cauliflower for 30-60 min before cooking. Else you can directly proceed to the next step.
Step 4 – Cooking whole cauliflower in Instant Pot
Heat some oil in the Instant Pot on saute mode. Add onion pieces and whole garlic cloves and saute until translucent. Then add vegetable stock, herbs, and lemon. Now place the trivet and put the marinated whole cauliflower head on it.
Turn off the Instant Pot and turn it back on to manual high-pressure mode. Set a timer to 3 min. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 min, and then open the vent to release the remaining pressure.
Step 5 – Prepare gravy and serve
Carefully remove the cooked cauliflower along with the trivet. Turn on low saute mode. Stir in some flour and blend the gravy base using a hand blender inside the pot itself. Season the gravy with some salt and pepper according to your taste. Cook it on low saute mode for a few min or until the raw taste of the flour disappears. Enjoy the cauliflower with warm gravy.
Chef’s Tip – To get the roasted crust on the cauliflower, after pressure cooking, broil it at the highest temperature in the oven for 2-3 mins or more as per your liking.
- Cut the cauliflower into wedges and drizzle warm gravy while serving. Serve on the side plain soft rice.
- Serve it as the main holiday dish, with creamy potato mash, roasted green beans and potatoes, homemade whole wheat dinner rolls, and cranberry mimosa.
- Buy a fresh and large cauliflower head for this recipe.
- You can rub the spice mixture all over the cauliflower and marinate it well in advance before cooking it in the Instant Pot. It will make the cauliflower more flavorful. This step is entirely optional.
- Carefully cut the leaves using a knife. Otherwise, you may end up cutting big florets that will ruin the look of the final dish. Also, carefully trim the stem flush. This will help the cauliflower head to sit flat on the serving dish without leaning on any side.
Let the cauliflower and gravy cool down completely. Then cut the cauliflower into wedges or large florets. You can store the cauliflower and gravy in an air-tight glass container for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Drizzle some water and microwave the leftovers for 1-2 min or until steamy hot just before serving the next time.
Or, heat the leftovers in a small pan on the stovetop until steamy hot. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and cover the pan before heating.
More cauliflower recipes to try
More Instant Pot recipes you will love
Instant Pot Whole Cauliflower
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Healthy Instant Pot Cauliflower With Gravy
- 1 large cauliflower head
- 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion cut into large pieces
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves whole
- 1 ½ cup vegetable stock
- ½ tsp thyme or more if fresh
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- In a small bowl combine all the ingredients listed under marinade.
- Cut leaves from the bottom of the cauliflower head. Carefully trim the stem flush without cutting the florets. It will help the cauliflower to sit flat on the trivet.
- Rub the prepared garlic-herb marinade on the cauliflower head evenly.
- For the gravy heat oil in saute mode of the Instant Pot. Add onion and whole garlic cloves; cook until translucent.
- Then add vegetable stock, thyme and lemon juice. Place the trivet into the Instant Pot.
- Put the whole cauliflower head on the trivet. Cook for 3 min on manual high-pressure mode. Allow pressure to release naturally for 5 min and then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully transfer the cauliflower to an oven-safe dish or tray. Optionally, broil it 3-4 min in the oven to get a nice crust.
- Turn on the saute mode in the Instant Pot. Add flour to the gravy base and blend everything using a hand blender until it gets to a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
- Cook the gravy for 3-4 min and serve warm with the cooked cauliflower.
- Do not forget to open the lid after 5 min to naturally release the pressure and take the cauliflower out from the Instant Pot once it is opened. Else, the steam from the gravy base will keep on cooking the cauliflower.
- Gravy – you can increase the quantity of the gravy by adding more vegetable stock and flour before blending the gravy base.
I am a terrible cook, but the instant pot has made me a great cook. I adore this dish, especially the gravy. I was wondering if there are other vegetables the gravy would be good on……maybe broccoli or carrots. Yum yum yum. thank you
This was very good! Both my husband and I enjoyed it. I did read many comments before attempting and ended up only pressure cooking the cauliflower for 1 minute and then slow venting for about 2 minutes. I did broil in the oven at 425 for about 8-10 mins. Turned out great! Next time I am going to double the marinade though.
Victoria Fitton says
Absolutely delicious! Next time I will shorten the time a bit. Thank you. I will look at other recipes.
omg, this was soooo tasty! I did double the paprika in the marinade, and the lemon and garlic in the gravy… also only cooked on high pressure for 2 min with a QR – perfect firmness for those who don’t like crunch to their cooked cauliflower 😉
I am gluten free, can you make this without the flour? would that still work?
Watch What U Eat says
I never made it without using flour. However, I feel the gravy might not be as creamy in texture, but will still be tasty without the flour.
Sharon D says
Use gluten free flour?
Watch What U Eat says
You can use gluten free flour like corn starch, rice flour etc.
Vivienne Shore says
I’m new to Pressure Cooking and
Cooked this Cauliflower today. Very easy and loved it. Definitely a keeper. Next time I’ll double up on the sauce!!! Thank You!
Gary petranek says
One of the best dishes I ever made in the instant pot.
Great Recipe!!! Loved it!!! It came out perfect and delicious!!
This was so delicious! I’m excited to try variations of this recipe too!
flavour is good. Gravy is yum,. But 3 minutes plus 5 minutes manual release is WAY too long. The cauliflower was mushy and falling apart. I’d definitely make this again but only do 1 minute cook time versus 3.
This was delicious. Agreed with others that reducing the cooking time to as much as one minute under pressure would be enough. I cooked mine for 2 minutes at high pressure and released steam immediately, I couldn’t handle the cauliflower it was so soft. I did put it in a hot oven with some asparagus for 10 or so minutes, but it didn’t crisp. The gravy/sauce was great and the flavours were all perfect. I served with a small amount of rice, and a simple salad of fetta, tomato, cucumber, and yellow capsicum.
This evening I cooked (in my Instant Pot 6-quart Duo) a whole head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds after trimming. I used 1/2 c water and cooked it on a trivet with handles.
I cooked it for 1 minute at high pressure with a Quick Release and showered it in my sink (upside down) with cold water to stop the cooking.
At the end of cooking, there was almost no water left in the inner pot of the cooker. Next time I will use 1 cup water to possibly crdate more steam.
I found the texture of the cauliflower a little softer than crisp-tender, not quite mushy, but with just a little texture (“bite”). Cooking it any longer would have created an inedible mush.
Next time I will cook the cauliflower for “0” minutes since I will be using it for a salad with a vinaigrette.
I am not a cauliflower fan, but this recipe is amazing. The gravy is out of this world, and I will be using that for more of my vegan dishes.
Dallas Cline says
Delish! First thing I made (tonight) in my Crockpot Express. Great taste! Fast and filling. Thank you!
Caitlyn Erhardt says
Great recipe! I love this idea for Thanksgiving! I have some vegan friends I know would love this.
Alaina | The Passive 100 says
Wow! This looks beyond amazing. We are huge fans of cauliflower so definitely going to have to give this recipe a try. Thanks so much for sharing!
Deirdre J. @ WalkinGratitude.com says
This looks absolutely deleicious! I will definitely be giving this recipe a try soon. Loving your site!
Emma Burns-Di Lauro says
My goodness this looks divine! I can’t wait to try this for myself at home…