Garlic Chili Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

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Cast-iron skillet filled with Garlicky Spicy Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

Is pasta for breakfast a thing?

If not, I vote it should be. When you taste how amazing this pasta is, you’re going to want it all hours of the day.

Baking sheet with perfectly crispy Roasted Cauliflower

Have you ever had a sauce-less pasta? I know it sounds boring. But here’s the thing – it’s not.

Al-dente pasta tossed in garlic-and-chili-infused olive oil, fresh parsley, and vegan parmesan cheese. You won’t be missing the cream sauce one bit.

Cast-iron skillet filled with easy vegan Garlicky Spicy Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe is easy to make, requiring just 30 minutes and 10 basic ingredients.

And the flavors and preparation are so simple it makes a great weeknight staple.

Don’t worry. If you’re weary of cauliflower, try it roasted! If you season it well – in this case with red pepper flakes, garlic, and sea salt – it roasts up beautifully and pairs incredibly well with this light pasta dish.

Grabbing a serving of our vegan Linguini in garlic-chili oil for a delicious plant-based dinner

I hope you all love this dish! It’s:

Simple
Savory
Fresh
Garlicky
Subtly spiced
Dusted with vegan parmesan cheese
& Delicious

This would make the perfect quick weeknight meal when you’re craving something substantial and comforting, yet light. It’s a dish the whole family will love. To make it more substantial, pair it with a salad – the Kumquat Kale Salad and Apple Pecan Arugula Salad are two of my favorites.

If you do try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Plate of our vegan Garlic Chili Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower for a flavorful vegan dinner
Plate of Garlicky Spicy Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower for a quick vegan dinner

Garlic Chili Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

Garlicky, chili-spiced simple linguini tossed with vegan parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and garlic-roasted cauliflower! A flavorful, satisfying plant-based dish requiring just 10 ingredients and 30 minutes.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Big plate of Vegan Garlicky Spicy Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower
4.85 from 90 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

CAULIFLOWER

  • 1 small head cauliflower (large stems removed // florets separated)
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive or grape seed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic* (minced)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 heaping tsp sea salt

PASTA

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (optional // for adding more flavor to pasta)
  • 12 oz linguini or fettuccini (ensure vegan friendly | sub gluten-free pasta to keep GF)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (use extra virgin here if you have it for more flavor)
  • 3 cloves garlic (skin removed + smashed NOT minced)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (reduce for less heat)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley (plus more for serving)
  • 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • Salt + Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 C).
  • Add cauliflower to a mixing bowl with olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Toss to coat. Then spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping/stirring once at the 15-minute mark to ensure even cooking. Sample and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
  • Once your cauliflower has reached the 10-minute mark, add vegetable broth (for added flavor | optional) and about 4-5 cups water (or however much to generously cover your pasta) to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, season well with sea salt and add pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and cook according to package instructions for ‘al dente’ – 7-10 minutes. Then drain and set aside. Cover with a towel to keep warm.
  • Heat the same large pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 cloves smashed NOT minced garlic (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Sauté 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until garlic is fragrant and slightly golden brown. Remove garlic from pan and let cool slightly, then mince. Set aside for serving.
  • Next add red pepper flakes to infuse the olive oil for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add cooked pasta, parsley, pine nuts, minced garlic, vegan parmesan cheese, cauliflower, and toss to coat.
  • Remove from heat and sample pasta. Adjust seasonings as desired, adding salt or pepper if necessary. Serve hot with additional parsley, red pepper flakes, pine nuts and vegan parmesan cheese. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep for a few days covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave, or on the stovetop in a large saucepan in a bit of olive oil.

Notes

*3 cloves garlic yields ~1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic.
*Cauliflower method adapted from Tyler Florence.
*Pasta preparation adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of oil and without the optional vegetable broth.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 403 Carbohydrates: 34.4 g Protein: 8.9 g Fat: 26.6 g Saturated Fat: 3.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 283 mg Potassium: 361 mg Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 2.5 g Vitamin A: 150 IU Vitamin C: 49.5 mg Calcium: 40 mg Iron: 2.3 mg

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  1. Laura says

    This is a hit in my home. Last night my husband wanted to make a side of cauliflower and specifically requested this recipe. Mixed in with the pasta it’s even better.

  2. Emma says

    Loved this recipe! This is an absolute staple for me on pasta days. I substituted with walnuts, dried parsley, mozzarella and whole grain linguine; it was great!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Emma! Thank you for the lovely review and sharing your modifications! xo

  3. Enma says

    Soooooo good! Was a bit confused about all the good reviews when cooking but one mouthful and wow!

  4. Makay says

    This has to be one of the best dishes I have ever made! It was so good! I can’t wait to make it again tomorrow. And the next night. And the next night….

  5. Jenna says

    Delicious recipe! However, any tips for preventing garlic from clumping together in chunks? This always happens to me. It’s fine while sautéing alone in oil, but once I add the pasta and mix it all, the garlic clumps together as opposed to be dispersed equally. It’s infuriating!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it! Hmm, as for the garlic, are you referring to the garlic that is added from the cauliflower? One idea would be to chop into larger pieces.

      • Jenna says

        Honestly it’s both steps. The initial garlic added to the cauliflower never actually sticks to the cauliflower in the oven. Almost all of it falls off in the oven. And the final garlic step, the cut up roasted smashed garlic mixed in with the pasta…those clump together and aren’t dispersed evenly throughout the pasta and cauliflower.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Ah okay! We wonder if the pasta might be dry causing it not to stick? We’d suggest adding more olive oil to see if that helps.

  6. Rick says

    I’ve been into cooking many years. My vegan daughter has been with us during covid so I’ve been trying to cook for her MB is one of my goto sites. I’ve experimented with many V recipes and MB’s are so good I have to make extra for the weird eaters (what my daughter and I now call the meat eaters). This one was a home run. We were out of V parmesan so I added nutritional yeast and it seemed to work well. Love this site!

  7. Marie says

    AMAZING! Thank you. I was short a few ingredients so I subbed pecans for pine nuts, broccoli for cauliflower and per the usual MB recipe, it worked perfectly! This is my daily (yep!!) site for go-to meals.

  8. Debra says

    This recipe was delicious! I tried to follow everything as written, which I rarely do. I might add a little extra garlic next time, but overall my whole family loved it. The kids all had seconds. My husband thought it was such a nice meal that he mentioned it was as though we’d had a date night!

  9. Giana says

    Made this for the first time last night. My husband and I loved it, and deemed the recipe a keeper!

    I did not use broth to cook the pasta. I used regular grated parmesan instead of vegan. I added minced, not smashed, garlic to the olive oil in the pan, and then as soon as the garlic became fragrant, added the remaining ingredients.

    Again, this recipe is delicious. We can’t wait to have it again.

  10. Linsey says

    Made this for dinner last night and it turned out amazing. I followed the recipe exactly, but used the Yeast Free Cashew Parmesan instead of the one linked.I love that it’s super simple but full of flavor. It reheats beautifully as well.

    I often crave a simple garlic and oil pasta and I’ve finally found what will for sure be my go-to recipe. My only regret is not trying this recipe sooner. Thank you!

  11. Kim says

    This is my absolute favorite pasta- I’ve been making it about once a week. It’s my comfort food! The flavors are amazing. I’ve been cooking the cauliflower in my air fryer to avoid turning on the oven on hot days. Perfect every time. Thank you for this recipe!

  12. val says

    My husband asked for this two nights running. Also made this with brocolli in lieu of cauliflower, substituting walnuts for the pine-nuts. Both are fantastic!

  13. dani says

    This recipe was absolutely lovely! I roasted asparagus and zucchini along with the cauliflower and added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a bit of acid. I made the new vegan meatballs along with the noodles and it was an amazing meal. My boyfriend who is a meat eater could not compliment the dish highly enough. Thank you for sharing such amazing recipes, friend!

  14. Clara says

    When I first started making this I used minced garlic since I was out of whole and burned it in the olive oil! After throwing it out and starting again, I only cooked it for 30 seconds with the chili flakes and added the rest of the ingredients in. Used broccoli and cauliflower and almonds instead of pine nuts…still amazing! I will be making this again in the future.

  15. Jenny Lewis says

    My friend and I made this recipe using more oil for the cauliflower, as the head we had was significant, and a longer roast time. The broth in the pasta water was a great touch! The vegan parm is dynamite! My friend isn’t vegan and he says, “As someone who loves parmesan cheese, this was perfect and wasn’t missing anything.” High marks coming from him. I agree. I am vegan, and I don’t miss cheese or butter at all in this recipe! I give this recipe a great, big YES! Thank you!

  16. karena says

    I love, love, love this pasta dish. In this time of quarantine, it’s been my go-to comfort food. I simplify it by excluding the parmesan and pine nuts and it’s still delicious. One question: After I’ve heated the red pepper flakes in the 1/4c of oil at the end, when I add the pasta to the pot it immediately sticks to the bottom of the pot, even if I stir really rapidly. I end up having to scrape the pasta off the bottom of the pot, which results in tons of ripped apart pasta. It really doesn’t affect the taste, but in case I make this for a dinner party or something, I’d like to learn how to add the pasta at the end without it all sticking and breaking. Any tips?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karena, we would recommend cooking the pasta until just al dente next time and see if that helps? Let us know!

  17. Ashley says

    This is hands down one of my favorite pastas! I crave it all of the time now and make it probably once a month! It’s so simple and so flavorful and it’s also a great dish to bring to a gathering with non-vegans who are skeptical that vegan food tastes good because they can never tell and end up asking for the recipe!

  18. Matt says

    Made this and changed a few things. Swapped out olive oil for Macadamia oil (made locally) and added macadamia nuts roasted and crushed with a smattering of pine nuts soaked in shiraz before roasting.
    I made fresh pasta which was infused with crushed fresh basil leaves so you get a nice green fettucine tasting very slightly of basil, 2-3 minutes to al dente.
    Used our home made veggie stock which is always well stocked in the freezer and we have tons of chilli’s so we’ve learnt to dry them and crush them into both a powder and flakes so used those as well(a bit hit and miss how hot or mild they’ll be…).
    Roasted a whole head of garlic prior to beginning and just squeezed the gelatinous garlic out in the required amounts.
    Also used Italian parsley or flat leaf parsley instead of curly English parsley.

    Followed the rest of the recipe and it turned out a treat. Bon appetit and thank you for the recipe!

  19. Peggy says

    I made this tonight. I doubled all ingredients except noodles, which I used angel hair pasta. Added broccoli and chick peas to the califlower mix. I’m sad I didn’t have olive oil but I just used vegetable oil. I also didn’t have vegetable broth so I used chicken broth. I do think it made a little difference. Oh…I also used good quality frozen califlower and broccoli cooked it in Mike first then squeezed any water out. It was very beey good. I like more veggies and less pasta. I think you could transform this into a oriental meal by adding a little sesame oil and soy sauce..maybe too off with Chinese noodles. Thank you for a great recipe

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Peggy. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  20. Barbara Johnston says

    I love your recipes! This one did not disappoint. Thanks for your straightforward and spot-on flavor combos.

  21. Joan Giordano says

    What a surprise. So tasty. I will keep this on the rotation. We are trying to eat more plants but are not total vegans so we used a pecorino romano blend and a penne pasta I had on hand. Next time I will incorporate a veggie pasta (Baby steps). We also enjoyed your vegan meatballs with this which were aaaamaaazing. It does take time in the kitchen but there’s a price to pay when you’re adapting a cleaner eating lifestyle. Thanks for these great recipes. Life changer!

  22. Lisa says

    This is the first time I have ever been compelled to comment and I google a lot as I cook a lot!
    This was ABSOLUTELY delicious, light yet filling. In fact I am having some more as I type, probably afraid my husband will get home and eat the rest! I did add some fresh peas that I had, mainly for a bit of color along with the parsley.
    GREAT, easy recipe.. thank you for a wonderful dinner!!

  23. Cynthia Gioia says

    Serves 4 you say? After making it, I sampled it, as suggested, to adjust the seasonings. And while still at the counter, I again sampled it. And again. Ate half of it out of the pot standing at that counter. I’m hiding the rest in the back of the refrigerator, so no one but me can find it. I’ll make it again later this week for all to enjoy. It’s that good. It’s great! Thanks a wonderful recipe.

  24. Alysia says

    This is one of my favorite recipes! I double the cauliflower part of the recipe and add a little extra olive oil (sometimes vegan butter) at the end. I’ve even made it with zucchini noodles once. Sooooooo yummy and garlicky!

  25. Sophie Degener says

    My family enjoyed this dish a lot. It isn’t especially colorful, as most of the ingredients are the same color, and we brainstormed some ideas for increasing its visual appeal. My son decided sun-dried tomatoes might work well with this recipe (visually and taste-wise), and we all agreed to try it next time. Kicking up the amount of parsley and generously sprinkling each serving (as the recipe suggests) would also help add color.

  26. Cedar says

    My daughter recently transitioned to Vegan so I’ve been trying a few recipes too. This one was so good! I subbed chopped pecans for pine nuts because that’s what I had and used some spinach fettuccine as well for the pasta. Ah-maze-ing!!!

  27. Leesh says

    Dana, I made this tonight and am kicking myself for not doubling the recipe. Can you say DEVINE! Going to make this a few times this winter!

    Thank you for sharing!

  28. robin says

    This was freaking amazing.!! I’ll be making this a lot. I made a few changes, smoked paprika & aleppo pepper instead of crushed red pepper, because it’s my new thing. When making the sauce-I added a quarter cup of the pasta water, a pinch of oregano. I absolutely loved it!!!

  29. sam says

    Everything came out good, but I added pasta water to the sauce. I added more salt. Didn’t have vegan cheese so i used nutritional flakes. Didn’t have pine nuts, didn’t know what to sub with. Chili flakes in oil burn quickly, for me it was a few seconds only.

  30. Bunny says

    I’ve made this several times cuz it’s just that good. I like to drizzle a little sriracha on top and garnish with chopped green onions. My mom loves it too. Usually she can’t stand garlic, but she says the chili flakes help counteract some of that funk from the garlic.

  31. Julia S. says

    I was first introduced to using cauliflower in a pasta recipe by celebrity chef Maria Liberati and I have fallen in love! This recipe looks great and I cannot wait to try it because it is my new favorite combination.