Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower


Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish in which the starch from pasta water combines with pecorino cheese and black pepper to create a delicious sauce. Swap pasta and switch in cauliflower to pair with those amazing flavors for something simple, delicious, and healthy. Serve as a side with roasted chicken or hey, throw it back to the original inspiration and toss it with pasta. Shopping tip: Pecorino is a hard sheep’s milk cheese similar to Parmesan, but much saltier. If you can’t find pecorino at the grocery store, parmesan will work just as well.

Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
4 servings


  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 small head cauliflower)

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated on smallest holes of box grater (about ¾ cup)

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss together cauliflower, oil, and salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cauliflower is lightly caramelized and tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Toss with the cheese and pepper.

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