Vegan cauliflower bake with tofu sausage is a savory, spicy, ‘get in the oven’ meal. You'll sing the praises of this dish that features cauliflower florets roasted with our favorite vegan sausage, hemp parmesan, and a spicy olive mix.
There are four steps for making this savory baked dish. You can conquer all of them except roasting the day before or get started right away. In order of appearance, here’s the best approach. Starting with how to prepare the tofu.
1. Tofu sausage crumbles
Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you. The preparation is easy. You can gather everything while the tofu is pressing. The tofu bakes along with the cauliflower. Prepping the tofu first allows it to soak up as much of the flavoring as possible. You can also prepare the tofu and keep it covered in the refrigerator overnight.
I’ve used this exact recipe and method to make sausage crumbles to use on pizzas or to use in pasta sauces and stews. The only difference here is that we’re baking it in the same dish as the cauliflower.
2. Vegan parmesan
This recipe benefits – I mean really benefits from the salty, tangy, umami flavors of vegan parmesan.
Although you can use any vegan parmesan, we highly recommend whipping up a batch of our favorite - hemp parmesan. This is an easy 5-ingredient recipe bakes in the same hot oven as the cauliflower and sausage. Just be careful to check on it every 10 minutes because it will only need about 20 minutes to get brown sufficiently parmesan-inspired.
The recipe makes 1 cup of hemp parmesan, but you'll only mix ½ a cup with the cauliflower and sausage. A strategic oversight so that you have some leftover for the table. My advice? Put it close to you.
3. The cauliflower
Once you have the sausage and parmesan sorted, cut a large head (or 2 small heads) of cauliflower. I ended up with 8 cups of florets, but a bit more or less won’t matter.
The best way to roast the cauliflower evenly and the sausage crumbles firm and crispy at the same time is to toss the ingredients periodically. And be patient! Oven temperatures vary and so does baking time.
4. Olives for the finish
Our last blast of flavor comes from a topping of black olives, garlic, lemon juice, and red chili flakes. Finely chop the olives and garlic and then toss in ½ a fresh lemon (2 tablespoons) of lemon juice.
FAQs and Pro Tips
The longer you bake tofu, the crispier it will get. Be sure to toss it several times so that each piece bakes evenly.
Toss the cauliflower in a ¼ of a cup of vegetable broth before adding it to the baking dish.
Yes. You can also use frozen cauliflower. Be sure you thaw it and get as much moisture out as possible before roasting.
Green olives are the best substitute for black olives. If those don’t work for you, try capers, artichoke hearts, or even sundried tomatoes. Any change will result in flavor differences for the final dish but add a final note of savory that serves this recipe well.
Try substituting cumin, fennel, or anise seeds for caraway seeds. You can also add ½ a teaspoon of ground caraway.
Protein and fiber
As you dig into this yummy bake, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not 'what about fiber and protein?' No worries, you’re covered here. Tofu is a staple amongst vegans and vegetarians for good reasons. Tofu is packed with low-fat protein. No amount of pressing or baking will take that away.
Who else has protein? Let’s shout together. Hemp seeds! Yep, our vegan parmesan is more than just the savory condiment I now routinely top my salads with. It has substantive nutrition to offer you too!
Want more good news? Hemp seeds also have a lot of fiber, but of course, if you want to talk cauliflower, proceed unabated. Nutritionally, cauliflower rules. Beyond providing 10% of your daily fiber in 1 cup (and you'll be eating more than 1 cup of this recipe, I assure you. It has loads of vitamins we never think like vitamin K (not on my radar).
I’ll tell you what’s on my radar, the smell wafting from the oven. It’s making my mouth water with the promise of what's going to show up on my plate. Good nutrition is almost a hidden bonus. You don’t need to think about it because we’ve covered that for you. All you need to consider is ‘should I add another lemon wedge?’ Peace.Print
vegan cauliflower bake with tofu sausage
Join us in singing the praises of this vegan cauliflower bake featuring cauliflower florets roasted with vegan sausage crumbles and parmesan.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Main Courses
- Cuisine: plant-based
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 block of firm tofu (10 oz./283 gm.)
- 4 heaping Tbsp. tahini
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. Italian herb blend
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. fennel seeds (1 tsp. ground)
- ½ tsp. of ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (or more)
- 1 cup hemp seeds
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 4 tsp. miso paste
- 2 tsp. oregano
- ½ tsp. salt
For the cauliflower
- 1 large head of cauliflower (about 8 cups of bite-sized florets)
- ¼ cup of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- ⅓ cup of finely chopped black olives
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (about ½ a fresh lemon)
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (more if you want more spice)
- ¼ chopped parsley, mint, or another fresh herb (optional)
- Start with the tofu. Remove it from the package and rinse it. Cut it into quarters for quicker pressing. Then press the tofu for 20 minutes. Use a tofu press or between 2 flat surfaces with the top weighed down.
- While the tofu presses, mix the sausage flavoring ingredients in a bowl large enough to accommodate the crumbled tofu.
- Once the tofu has pressed and the moisture is released, crumble it into the bowl with the sausage seasonings and mix the tofu until every piece is well-covered. Set the bowl aside.
- To make the hemp parmesan, in a small baking dish, combine the lemon juice, miso paste, oregano, and salt. Then mix in the hemp seeds. You can either wait until you are ready to add the cauliflower to the oven or bake it at 4000 F (2000 C).
- Bake the parmesan for 10 minutes, then give the ingredients a stir and bake for another 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the hemp seeds are browned but not burned.
- To finish the cauliflower bake, preheat the oven to 4250 F (2200 C).
- Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets and toss them with ¼ cup of vegetable broth along with ½ a teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Mix the cauliflower and sausage crumbles together in a large, shallow baking dish or deep-sided baking tray.
- Place the cauliflower and sausage in the oven and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Toss the cauliflower and sausage crumbles. Then add 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds and ½ a cup of vegan parmesan. Mix everything. Then bake for another 15 minutes, tossing again if necessary, until the cauliflower is brown on the edges and the tofu crumbles are crisp.
- While the cauliflower finishes, mix together the finely chopped olives, pressed garlic, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. (this is also a good time to chop the parsley if using).
- Remove from the oven and stir in the black olive mixture.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, mint, or another fresh herb if desired.
- Serve with the remaining parmesan and lemon wedges (optional).
- The longer you bake tofu, the crispier it will get. Be sure to toss it several times so that it bakes evenly.
- To keep the cauliflower from drying out during roasting, toss it in a ¼ of a cup of vegetable broth before adding it to the baking dish.
- You can use frozen cauliflower for this recipe. Be sure you thaw it and get as much moisture out as possible before roasting.
- Green olives are the best substitute for black olives. If those don’t work for you, try capers, artichoke hearts, or even sundried tomatoes. All of these additional ingredients will change the final flavor of the dish. They add a final note of savory that serves this recipe well.
- Try substituting cumin, fennel, or anise seeds for caraway seeds. You can also add ½ a teaspoon of ground caraway.
Keywords: vegan cauliflower bake