Cauliflower With Pine Nuts and Bacon

This cauliflower with pine nuts and bacon recipe dresses up the vegetable. Cauliflower is boiled briefly, then sautéed with toasted pine nuts, bacon or pancetta, and garlic.

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon
Elise Bauer

Cauliflower lovers unite! I'm always looking for ways to dress up my favorite white vegetable.

Here's a quickie, inspired by Southern Italian flavors. A little bacon (or pancetta), some toasted pine nuts, some garlic (of course), oregano, and red pepper flakes, and your cauliflower is ready for a debutante ball. Or a midweek meal. Enjoy!

Cauliflower With Pine Nuts and Bacon

Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets (see How to Cut and Core Cauliflower)

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

  • 1/4 pound bacon or pancetta, cut into batons

  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Lemon juice, to taste


  1. Boil the cauliflower in salted water:

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. Toast the pine nuts:

    While the water is heating, toast the pine nuts in a dry sauté pan until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them, as pine nuts go from toasted to burnt quickly. Set the pine nuts aside when they are toasted.

  3. Fry the bacon:

    Add the bacon to the pan and fry gently over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside with the pine nuts.

  4. Sauté the garlic, add the cauliflower, pine nuts, bacon, oregano and red pepper flakes:

    Sauté the garlic for 1 minute on medium-high heat then add cauliflower, pine nuts, bacon, oregano and red pepper flakes.

    Toss to combine and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Do not let the garlic burn.

  5. Add the lemon juice, season:

    Turn off the heat and add salt and lemon juice to taste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
155 Calories
11g Fat
6g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 382mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 43mg 214%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 290mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.