Cauliflowers are a pretty versatile veggie to use in recipes. You can steam, roast, bake, fry them, dip them in cheese fondue or have them as is. You can also add them to vegetable rice, soups or even make garlic cauliflower mash, kebabs, and mac n cheese – the possibilities truly are endless. However, my personal favorite is definitely cauliflower rice – yes, you read that right! My family simply can’t get enough of it. 

However, if you are anything like me, then you can understand just how annoying it can get to try and figure out the right way to cut this strange-looking veggie. Most often, you want to cut it in a way that the gorgeous florets remain whole – sadly, that’s rarely the end result when you don’t know the right way to cut cauliflower. In fact, back in the old days, I used to really struggle with cutting cauliflower in a way that the florets come out whole. However, I have finally mastered the art of cutting cauliflower in two different ways – yes, I’m pretty proud of myself. 

Interested in learning how to cut cauliflower? Read on to find out two easy ways to cut cauliflower. 

How to Cut Cauliflower

Here are two easy ways in which you can cut cauliflowers:

Method 1 

When it comes to cutting cauliflower, this method is pretty easy. However, it does leave you with some florets cut in half. Here’s what you need to do to cut cauliflower:

Things You Will Need


  1. The first thing you need to do is to pull the leaves off the base of your cauliflower so that only the head and the stems remain.
  2. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board and take a sharp knife to cut it in half from the top of the head through to the foot of the stem.
  3. Place the cut cauliflower side down on the cutting board and cut them in half again.
  4. Place a cauliflower quarter on the board and use the knife to cut out the core. Make sure you hold it at an angle to make your job easier. Repeat the process with the remaining quarters.  
  5. Gently pull apart the cauliflower florets one by one.
  6. Make sure to put the cut-up florets in a colander and wash them under running water.

That’s it! You can now use the chopped cauliflower in your recipes.  

Interested in learning how to cut avocados the right way? Click here to find out! 

Method 2

If you want to cut cauliflower in a way that the florets remain intact, then this method is just right for you. Here’s how to cut cauliflower into florets:

Things You Will Need


  1. Remove the leaves of the cauliflower. You can save them to use in vegetable stocks or soups.
  2. Turn the cauliflower upside down so that the stem is facing up.
  3. Use a sharp knife to slice off the stem. Just like the leaves, you can save it for later use in stocks, stir-fries, etc. 
  4. Now you need to prepare the cauliflower florets. Hold the cauliflower head in your hand upside down.
  5. With your dominant hand, hold a knife at a 45-degree angle and with a circular motion, slice into the smaller stems around the head.   
  6. This way, you will have sliced whole cauliflower florets. If you want, you can cut the inner stems further on each floret.  
  7. Make sure to put the florets in a colander and wash them under running water. 
  8. Check the washed florets and if you spot any brown blemishes, chop them off with a knife.

That’s it, you can now use the beautifully cut florets in different recipes.  

For further clarification, check out this helpful video on how to cut cauliflower into florets!

Do You Wash Cauliflower Before Cutting? 

Ideally, you should rinse cauliflower after cutting it into florets. This is because trying to clean the dirt from cauliflower before cutting it into florets will not work as dirt and germs will remain trapped in the crevices of the tightly-knit florets. 

How to Wash Cauliflower

If you still want to wash the head of cauliflower before cutting it, the best way to do so is to submerge the head in a bucket of salty water. You need to make sure to completely submerge the cauliflower head in the water. 

Add around 2 tablespoons of salt per quart of warm water. Gently submerge the head with the florets down in the water. Let the head sit in the salted water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the head and then rinse it with tap water. 

As for cleaning the cut florets of cauliflower, simply place them in a colander and make sure to thoroughly wash them under running water. This will remove the dirt from the florets. 

Can You Eat the Stem of Cauliflower?

I have got good news for you; the stems that people usually throw away are actually edible! You can sauté them, add them to cauliflower soup, stocks, veggie stir-fries, and even grate them to use in coleslaws and salads. 

However, just remember to clean them thoroughly before using them. Also, make sure to peel and discard the outer tough skin of the stem, especially toward the bottom of the stem, as it is pretty tough and fibrous. As for the rest of the stem, you can use it however you want. 

Tips and Tricks

When it comes to buying, cutting, and storing cauliflower, here are some tricks and tips to remember:

  • When buying cauliflower, make sure to choose one that has a creamy white color and a head full of closely packed florets with no wet or browning spots. Also, look at the leaves – they should be vibrant and green.
  • Make sure to take a good whiff; if it has a strong smell, it’s past its prime and might take a bit unpleasant.
  • Instead of discarding the leaves and stems, use them in different recipes. If you are using them with the florets, make sure to cut the stems to the size of the florets to ensure even cooking. 
  • Always rinse the cut up florets and stems of cauliflower in a colander to get rid of any residual dirt.
  • Make sure to unwrap store-bought cauliflower from its cellophane packing as soon as you get home. 
  • You can keep whole heads of cauliflowers in a loosely sealed plastic bag in your fridge for about 4 to 7 days. As for cut florets, you can store them in the fridge for 4 days.

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on how to cut cauliflower. Make sure to follow the tips and tricks I have mentioned to always buy the best cauliflower to add the healthy boost of veggies to your meal. Also, always use the stems and leaves in your recipes as they tend to add more flavor to the dish.

About the author

Meet Go-Go-Gadget Renee'. Her passion for #kitchen gadgets is matched only by her love for tech. A real #foodie, she's all heart for red wine and delicious meals. #CookingChewTribe

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