A healthy, low-calorie hors d’oeuvre with subtle sweet and savory flavor. These melt-in-your-mouth nibbles clock in at only 20 calories each! JUMP TO RECIPE
Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres are the stars of any holiday party. Who can resist all those beautiful puff pastry creations, the rich cream cheese dips, and other delicious bites in the shape of wreathes, snowmen, and reindeer. As much as I love all these (and believe me, I always make a point to sample at least one of each), it’s nice to have some lighter alternatives to these yummy, but often very heavy, appetizers. Enter Cauliflower Puffs! These fluffy and healthy nibbles literally melt in your mouth and are only 20 calories each, so feel free to gobble up as many as you want. Tis the season!
Cauliflower Puffs are simple to make. Just purée cooked cauliflower in a food processor, along with the other ingredients, then place mounds of the mixture onto a sheet pan, and bake. You can prepare the raw mixture ahead of time and bake them right before serving. They’re best served warm but taste great at room temperature too, which makes them great for parties. I use frozen cauliflower florets for extra convenience but you can also you fresh if you wish.
Anytime you can transform a vegetable into something that looks and tastes more like a treat, you’re onto something! (If you didn’t know better, you think the photo above was a cookie, right?) These Cauliflower Puffs taste subtly sweet with some terrific savory flavor as well thanks to salty Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. I used garlic powder is this recipe instead of a garlic clove because I thought it would do a better job of evenly distributing the garlicky flavor, but feel free to substitute 1 clove of garlic for the 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder; there shouldn’t be much of a difference in taste.
If there was an award for the most versatile vegetable, cauliflower would surely win. I love that I keep discovering new and delicious ways to use this cruciferous vegetable. Cauliflower Puffs are yet another recipe to add to my ever-growing list. If you’d like to see other unique ways to cook with cauliflower check out: Roasted Cauliflower with Feta, Tomatoes, Walnuts, and Capers, White Cheddar Cauliflower Donuts; Curried Cauliflower Blender Soup; Curried Cauliflower Skillet Pizza with Apple, Cheddar, and Chicken; Mac and Cheese in Cauliflower Sauce; Cauliflower Monte Cristo Sandwiches; Shaved Brussels Sprouts Over Crispy Cauliflower Cakes; Baby Kale Caesar Salad with Cauliflower Fritters; Sweet Potato Cauliflower Cakes with Dairy-Free Cashew Sour Cream; and Cauliflower Roulade.
If you make Cauliflower Puffs don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
- 1 pound of frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove of fresh garlic)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Cook cauliflower according to package directions and transfer to the work bowl of a food processor, draining any excess water.
- Add the butter, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Start the food processor and pour the beaten egg through the feed tube. Process for 1 minute, stopping once halfway through to scrape down the sides.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat (see notes #1).
- Place 20 small mounds of the mixture on the baking sheet using a ½-ounce ice cream scoop (see notes #2).
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes until very lightly golden brown on top.
2. You can also use a teaspoon to portion the batter onto the baking sheet. Use a heaping teaspoon full for each puff.
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