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Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower is an easy vegetarian bbq recipe. A delicious alternative to barbecue chicken, this pressure cooker cauliflower is perfect for sandwiches, tacos and appetizers!

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower makes a delicious vegetarian alternative for barbecue chicken

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower

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Have you jumped on the cauliflower train yet? I might just be its conductor. I love making Instant Pot buffalo cauliflower and also basic oven roasted buffalo cauliflower. It’s time we moved away from buffalo into a new flavor.

After making my meat loving husband this Instant Pot barbecue chicken, I knew barbecue cauliflower had to be next. And I am so glad I did because this barbecue cauliflower is so yummy and the perfect vegetarian alternative to barbecue chicken.

Flavor Packed Vegetarian Barbecue

Instant Pot barbecue cauliflower is a flavor packed vegetarian bbq dish

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower

If you are cauliflower hater, trust me when I say this is nothing like bland, sad raw cauliflower. This barbecue cauliflower has layers of flavor that will appeal to any cauliflower doubter. It’s pressure cooked in a blend of spices so the cauliflower itself is well seasoned and topped with your favorite barbecue sauce for maximum yum factor. And the Instant Pot makes it so fast and easy to make this yummy cauliflower dish.

Ingredients for Barbecue Cauliflower

Ingredients for Barbecue Cauliflower: cauliflower, water, barbecue sauce, spices, and garlic

Ingredients for Barbecue Cauliflower: cauliflower, water, barbecue sauce, spices, and garlic

This Instant Pot barbecue cauliflower uses a handful of basic ingredients. To make this vegetarian barbecue recipe you will need:

  • Cauliflower- For this recipe, I used a large whole head of cauliflower with the big stem removed.
  • Spices- Even though you will be using barbecue sauce, I like to add extra flavor so the bbq flavor isn’t diluted. A mix of garlic, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper provides the extra flavor.
  • Water or stock- You need some sort of liquid to pressure cook the cauliflower.
  • Barbecue Sauce- Use your favorite store bought sauce (this is mine) or you can make your own.

Unlike in my Instant Pot barbecue chicken, we are skipping the brown sugar for a lighter barbecue recipe. Feel free to add it if you want to have an extra bit of sweetness to your barbecue.

How to Make Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower

Put the cauliflower onto the trivet or steamer rack and put the trivet into the inner liner of the Pot. Then pour water or stock into the inner liner of the Instant Pot. The cauliflower shouldn’t be directly in the liquid. Season the cauliflower well with the spices and garlic.

The Barbecue Cauliflower seasoned and ready to be cooked

The Barbecue Cauliflower seasoned and ready to be cooked

Now secure the lid on the pot and make sure the valve is set to sealing. Then pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Once the Pot beeps, just let it naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes and then do a quick release to finish.

Cauliflower after it has been steamed in the Pot

Cauliflower after it has been steamed in the Pot

When the pressure has released, open the lid of the Pot and carefully remove the cauliflower. Drain the liquid in the pot. Pull apart the cauliflower into small florets on a plate and toss it into the pot and stir with bbq sauce.

Break the cauliflower into florets and toss with sauce.

Break the cauliflower into florets and toss with sauce.

At this point, you have a few options. You can either serve as is or turn the Pot on saute mode and cook the liquid down slightly prior to serving. Or you can take the extra step and get killer crunchy caramelized piece.

Highly recommend popping the cauliflower under the broiler for a couple minutes with some extra barbecue sauce for maximum smokiness.

Highly recommend popping the cauliflower under the broiler for a couple minutes with some extra barbecue sauce for maximum smokiness.

So how do you get best results and some barbecue caramelization? I highly recommend broiling the cauliflower briefly. To do this spread the cauliflower out onto a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick spray. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the edges of the cauliflower begin to char slightly.

Instant Pot BBQ cauliflower

After broiling it will be slightly charred and so delish

Serving Suggestions

Instant Pot barbecue cauliflower is a bowl of yummy goodness

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower

We often eat this Instant Pot barbecue cauliflower as is, sort of as an appetizer. We will also serve it over a chopped salad with romaine lettuce, black beans, and cheddar cheese. For a quick, heartier meal this barbecue cauliflower is fab over brown rice or another grain of your choice. It’s also so good in tacos- try it as a substitute for the barbecue chicken in these tacos. You could also substitute it for buffalo cauliflower in these cauliflower lettuce wraps. Really the sky’s the limit!

Tips to Make the BEST Barbecue Cauliflower

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower is a yummy vegetarian take on BBQ

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower

In my humble opinion, I think this recipe is fab as is, but you can definitely adjust it to suit your tastes by:

  • Making it hot and spicy by increasing the amount of cayenne pepper and/or using a hot and spicy bbq sauce.
  • Use a homemade barbecue sauce. I love this pineapple barbecue sauce and this beer barbecue sauce. SO GOOD.
  • For a storebought sauce, you can use your favorite. We like Stubbs.
  • Adjust the cook time up a minute for softer cauliflower or down a minute for more crunch.

Did you make this Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower? Leave me a comment below and let me know how you like or snap a pic on Instagram and tag me @seasonedsprinkles.

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Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower makes a delicious vegetarian alternative for barbecue chicken

Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower


  • Author: jfletcher
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes+release time and time to come to pressure
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 head of barbecue cauliflower 1x

Description

Post may contain affiliate links. To read my affiliate policy click here.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large head of cauliflower with the big stem removed
  • 1/2 cup of water or stock
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1/2 tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tbs cayenne*
  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 4 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 1 tsp salt**
  • 1 tsp black pepper**
  • 3/4 c of your favorite barbecue sauce

Instructions

Put the cauliflower onto the trivet and put the trivet into the inner liner of the Pot. Then pour water or stock into the inner liner of the Instant Pot. Season the cauliflower well with the spices and garlic.  The cauliflower shouldn’t be directly in the liquid.  Now secure the lid on the pot and make sure the valve is set to sealing. Then pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Once the Pot beeps, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes and then turn the valve to open so you can quick release the pressure.

When the pressure has released, open the lid of the Pot and carefully remove the cauliflower. Drain the liquid in the pot. Pull apart the cauliflower into small florets on a plate and toss it into the pot and stir with bbq sauce.

At this point, either serve as is or turn the Pot on saute mode and cook the liquid down slightly prior to serving OR

For best results and some barbecue caramelization, spread the cauliflower out onto a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick spray. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the edges of the cauliflower begin to char slightly.

Serve immediately in sandwiches, salads, taco, on pizza…

Notes

Use your favorite bbq sauce.

For extra spiciness add more chili powder and a bit of cayenne.

For best results eat all at once. It may get watery in the fridge after cooking.

  • Category: vegetarian
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: barbecue cauliflower, Instant Pot Barbecue cauliflower, Instant Pot cauliflower

Recipe rating

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Finger-Lickin' Good Instant Pot Appetizers

Sunday 18th of April 2021

[…] Instant Pot Barbecue Cauliflower is an easy vegetarian bbq recipe. A delicious alternative to barbecue chicken, this pressure cooker cauliflower is perfect for sandwiches, tacos, and appetizers. Recipe from Seasoned Sprinkles. […]

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