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Instant Pot Whole Cauliflower

Instant Pot Whole Cauliflower

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian


Rubbed with warm spices and finished with a tomato-y glaze, this whole-cooked Instant Pot cauliflower dish is served with garlic and thyme bread crumbs for that crunchy finish. This plant-based, vegetarian dish will surely impress your dinner guests.


For the spice rub
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1.5 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander seed powder
1 tsp salt
1 whole cauliflower
20 g / 1 tbsp butter or dairy-free alternative
For the garlic crumbs
1 cup chopped stale bread (we used old sourdough)
1 tbsp butter or margarine/olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
For the glaze (optional) 
1.5 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce
Other toppings: pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, fresh herbs
You will need an Instant Pot trivet and ideally a steaming basket


  • Preheat the oven to 250 C / 480 F if you want to finish the cauliflower with a little roasting.
  • Mix the spice rub in a bowl and rub the cauliflower all over with butter. Sprinkle with the spices and rub them in on all sides. Place cauliflower inside a round baking tin or a steamer basket, if you have one.
  • Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot and place the trivet on the bottom. Place the cauliflower dish on top the trivet or place the cauli head directly on the trivet and close the lid. Set the Instant Pot to Manual/Pressure Cook, HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the crumbs and the glaze (if using).
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the butter or other cooking fat/oil. Once melted, add the diced bread and toss through. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a couple of times, before adding the garlic, lemon zest, thyme and salt. Stir and cook together for another minute or two, until garlic gets fragrant and golden (don’t let it burn to get too brown though, as it will turn bitter). Set aside.
  • Whisk the glaze ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Once the Instant Pot timer’s up, release the pressure manually using the quick release if you plan to finish the cauliflower in the oven. If not, allow the pressure to release naturally.
  • If roasting, transfer the pre-cooked cauliflower head carefully to a baking dish lined with parchment paper and brush the glaze all over. Pop in the hot oven for 10 minutes to get a nice crust. If not roasting, simply brush with the glaze.
  • Top the cauliflower with the garlic bread crumbs (make sure to discard excess cooking juices from under the cauliflower first so that crumbs don’t get soggy). Add any other toppings you like.
  • To serve, cut the cauliflower into wedges and serve with some crumbs over the top.


  • Serving Size: 4 florets with glaze and crumbs
  • Calories: 163
  • Sugar: 6.6 g
  • Sodium: 929.7 mg
  • Fat: 6.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.7 g
  • Protein: 5.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 12.2 mg