10 Best Spices for Steamed Cauliflower for Maximum Taste

When you pick the right spices for steamed cauliflower, it can elevate this humble vegetable from a bland side dish to a tasty treat.

Cauliflower on its own is rather boring and flavorless, so why not jazz up your steamed veggie with a few herbs and spices?

From classic combos like garlic powder and paprika to more exotic flavors like ginger and turmeric, I’ve created a list of 10 tantalizing seasonings that will take your steamed cauliflower to the next level.

Get ready to unleash the full potential of this nutritious cruciferous vegetable!

Steamed Cauliflower Spices

1. Garlic powder

Garlic Powder

If you don’t want to bother with fresh garlic, garlic powder is a great substitute.

With its intense flavor, garlic powder brings life to otherwise bland cauliflower.

Just sprinkle some on your steamed or roasted cauliflower and it will be transformed into an irresistibly savory side dish that pairs well with almost any dinner entree.

And if you like a bit of heat, add some crushed red pepper for an extra kick!

2. Paprika

Smoked Paprika

Ah, paprika!

This mild-flavored spice can take steamed cauliflower to the next level with its sweet yet slightly smoky flavor.

To use it, simply sprinkle some over your steamed cauliflower and add a dash of sea salt for more taste.

Paprika also pairs well with garlic powder, so consider adding both seasonings together to give your dish an extra kick.

3. Curry powder

Curry Powder

Curry powder is super versatile and adds a bold flavor to steamed cauliflower.

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When cooking, it’s best to add the curry powder towards the end of the cooking process; this will help retain its flavor and aroma.

  1. Start by melting some butter in a pan over medium heat, then toss in your florets and stir for about 5 minutes until they turn bright green.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of curry powder, stirring quickly so that all the florets are evenly coated.
  3. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and let steam for 8-10 minutes until tender yet crisp—the perfect side dish!

4. Cumin


Cumin is a rich and hearty spice that adds a warm, nutty flavor to steamed cauliflower.

To get the most out of cumin’s flavor, it’s best to toast it first in a dry skillet before adding it to the cauliflower.

This helps bring out its aroma and enhance its taste while also releasing essential oils found in cumin seeds.

Once you’ve browned the cumin briefly, mix with some garlic powder, salt, and pepper for an easy seasoning blend that will make your steamed cauliflower extra special.

5. Black pepper

Black Pepper

Black pepper adds a ton of flavor to steamed cauliflower without overpowering its delicate taste.

Simply sprinkle freshly ground black pepper onto the surface of the cooked cauliflower before serving for an added punch of flavor.

It’s also great mixed into melted butter, then brushed over the top of steamed cauliflower for a unique twist.

For those who prefer more heat, add some cayenne pepper to the mix as well!

6. Rosemary


Rosemary is piney, resinous, astringent, and peppery – all qualities that combine to make it a perfect addition to steamed cauliflower.

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To really bring out the flavor of rosemary before adding it to your dish, try smashing or grinding the herb in a mortar and pestle until its oils are released.

Then add the rosemary to steamed cauliflower just before serving for an aromatic kick of flavor.

Alternatively, you can mix some finely chopped rosemary with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice for a zesty dressing.

7. Thyme

Dried Thyme

Thyme has a sharp, almost minty flavor that pairs wonderfully with steamed cauliflower.

To bring out the herb’s bright flavor and aroma, add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme to your steaming water before adding the cauliflower.

As you steam it, the herbal notes will mingle with the other ingredients in your dish for a flavorful result.

If you prefer a more intense flavor, increase the amount by up to one tablespoon; just be sure not to add too much and overpower your dish!

8. Ginger


Ginger is spicy and peppery, with a hint of sweetness, making it the perfect addition to steamed cauliflower.

To use it in this dish, grate fresh ginger into a paste or powder and add one teaspoon for every four cups of steamed cauliflower.

Alternatively, you can also add slices of fresh ginger to the pot when cooking the cauliflower for an even stronger flavor.

Whichever way you choose to incorporate it, its unique flavor will give your dish just the right kick that will elevate it from an ordinary side dish to something extraordinary.

9. Nutmeg


Nutmeg is known for being nutty, warm, and slightly sweet.

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When using it in steamed cauliflower, a good rule of thumb is to use 1/4 teaspoon per head of cauliflower.

Start by seasoning the steamed florets with a pinch of salt then sprinkle the nutmeg on top.

For extra flavor, you can also add a bit of garlic powder or smoked paprika to the mix as well.

The combination will add depth and complexity to your dish that everyone at the table will love!

10. Turmeric


Turmeric is overwhelmingly earthy and bitter, with a hint of pepper.

It can really add depth to steamed cauliflower, but it should be used in moderation as too much of it will overshadow the delicate flavor of the vegetable.

To bring out its unique flavor without overpowering your dish, try using about 1/4 teaspoon per head of cauliflower.


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10 Best Spices for Steamed Cauliflower

The right spices can turn a boring steamed cauliflower into a flavorful and delicious dish. In this article, I'm sharing 10 of my favorite spices to use when cooking up steamed cauliflower. I'll cover how to use each one properly, as well as how to combine them for a unique flavor profile.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 2 minutes
Course Spices
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 15 kcal


  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Black pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Turmeric


  • Pick your favorite spices from this collection to use with your cauliflower.
  • Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!