How to Cut and Core Cauliflower

How to quickly and safely core and cut cauliflower. Use this simple trick for a safer, easier way to prepare cauliflower for a recipe.

How to Cut and Core Cauliflower
Elise Bauer

Are you prepping cauliflower by cutting out the core first and then breaking the head into florets? (No shame in this, it's how I did it for 40 years until my friend Chef Kathi Riley set me straight.)

There's an easier way.

Cut the whole head into quarters first, and then angle the knife to cut out the cores.

Note that the cauliflower cores and leaves are perfectly edible; the cauliflower cores are much like broccoli cores. If you want, peel them and slice them for snacks, or chop them and cook them the way you would the florets.

Use Cauliflower to Make These Recipes

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

How to Cut and Core Cauliflower

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Yield 4 to 6 cups cauliflower


  • 1 head cauliflower


  1. Remove the leaves:

    Pull the leaves off the base of the cauliflower.

    Elise Bauer
  2. Cut in half:

    Cut downward from the top of the crown through the stem.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Cut again:

    Lay the cauliflower halves cut side down on the cutting board and cut them vertically again.

    Elise Bauer
  4. Remove the core:

    Lay a cauliflower quarter on the cutting board and angle the knife so that it cuts out the core. Repeat with the remaining quarters of cauliflower.

    Elise Bauer
  5. Pull apart the cauliflower florets.

    Use your hands to divide up the cauliflower florets. If needed, use the knife to further chop.

    You can chop the core and leaves and cook them along with the florets.

    Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
21 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 21
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 41mg 207%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 133mg 3%
*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.