Can you eat cauliflower stalks?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat cauliflower stalks?” with an in-depth analysis of cauliflower stems, ways to cook cauliflower stalks, the nutritional composition of cauliflower stems and the health benefits of eating cauliflower stalks. 

Can you eat cauliflower stalks?

Yes, you can eat cauliflower stalks or stems. The stalks of cauliflower have a delicate taste and texture. The external layer of the skin on the lower half of cauliflower stalks are somewhat tough, so they should be peeled before adding them to recipes. 

On the other hand, the top half of the stalks are pretty tender and do not need peeling. Cauliflower stalks can also be used to make soups, stews, and stocks. Grated cauliflower stalks can also be used to prepare coleslaw or they can simply be tossed in a salad.

To prepare the cauliflower stalks, you will need to remove the fibrous exterior layer that surrounds the central part. You can use a peeler to remove it just like a cucumber. Or use a knife to shave it away. You can then cut the stalks as you wish, in circles, wands or shreds, which are all great. 

What is cauliflower?

Cauliflower originated in France during the 16th century. It is a variety of cabbage, Brassica oleracea botrytis, that has a large edible head of packed white flowers on a very short thick stem with green leaves. The flower head of this plant is used as a vegetable, however, we can also use its stems and leaves in cooking. 

Cauliflower belongs to the group of plants called brassicas, which incorporate broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. All of them have been grown from wild cabbage.

Cauliflower grows as a seasonal plant from seed. The white flower heads are eaten mostly, which are like broccoli, but they lack flower buds.

Cauliflower is low in fat and starch but high in vitamin C and dietary fibre. It consists of more beneficial nutrients than many other cabbage-type plants. 

However, the quantity of these nutrients is reduced by boiling: i.e., half of them are lost when it is boiled for 10 mins. Whereas these nutrients are not destroyed during steaming, microwaving, and stir-frying, so they are the best ways to cook them.

The nutritional profile of cauliflower stalks

Cauliflower stems have long been thrown into the trash. But interestingly, they have a good nutritional profile. A fresh cauliflower stem provides: 

  • Moisture: 88.76 %
  • Ash: 0.9 g 
  • Protein: 1.8 g 
  • Fat: 0.2 g 
  • Carbohydrate: 5.94 g 
  • Iron: 0.8 µg 
  • Total carotene: 41.40 µg
  • Dietary fibre: 2.4 g 

Cauliflower stem recipe

A simple and delicious way to cook cauliflower stems is by roasting them in an oven and serving them with a sauce. For this purpose, you will need:

  • Leaves
  • Stems 
  • core from 1 cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

This recipe is for 4 to 5 people. It is American cuisine and takes 5 minutes for preparation, and 20 minutes for cooking. 

Yummy dip sauce

To prepare a yummy dipping sauce, you will need:

  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • Greek yoghurt, or sour cream
  • 1 large grated clove of garlic
  • Some lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Toss the chopped cauliflower leaves, stem, and core in about two tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan and use a spatula to toss everything around, return the pan to the oven, and roast for another 10 minutes or until you see a nice golden brown colour.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the yummy dipping sauce and serve along with warm cauliflower leaves and stems.

Other ways to use cauliflower stems


You can roast peeled cauliflower stems after cutting them into 1- to 2-inch pieces right along with the plant’s white head. Add some with olive oil, season and put it into an oven at 375 to 425℉, until tender.


Cauliflower stems can be easily used to prepare the soup. Peel, simmer, blend along with the white head for an added flavour.


You can also use cauliflower stems to make a quick pickle. After peeling, cut them into half-inch wide batons and immerse them in hot vinegar with a little salt and sugar and any spices that you want. Allow them to cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight and use it within 3 weeks.


The stems of cauliflower are great in salads. Chop peeled stems and toss them in a salad.

Other FAQs about Cauliflower that you may be interested in.

Can you eat an overripe cauliflower?

Can you cook cauliflower leaves?

Can you cook cauliflower in the microwave?


In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat cauliflower stalks?” with an in-depth analysis of cauliflower stems, ways to cook cauliflower stalks, the nutritional composition of cauliflower stems and the health benefits of eating cauliflower stalks. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.