Instant Pot Whole Cauliflower in Spiced Meat Sauce

Oct 17, 2021 | Healthy Living, Recipes

Adapted from Melissa Hartwig’s Whole 30 Slow Cooker cookbook, this easy and quick recipe is a nourishing chilly-weather meal. The whole cauliflower nestles in the meat sauce and infuses with the spiced, tomatoey flavor. The sauce uses Greek-style seasonings, with garlic, onion, oregano, chili and cinnamon. The preparation takes about 20 minutes and then everything cooks together on high pressure for ten minutes. Because of meals like this, the Instant Pot has become an essential tool in our kitchen!


1 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
About 1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
About a cup or two of beef bone broth
1 medium head of cauliflower, leaves removed
Handful of chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large skillet, sauté the beef and onions on medium heat, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned—about 8 to 10 minutes. If the meat sticks at all, you can add a little butter or ghee to the pan. When the beef is cooked through, add the garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Cook another minute or so, stirring to combine. Add the tomato paste, stir, and cook another minute. Turn off the heat.
  2. Trim the cauliflower stem so the head sits upright. Add the beef to the Instant Pot, along with the diced tomatoes and enough of their liquid and the beef broth to make the sauce very moist but still thick. Place the trimmed cauliflower on top of the sauce.
  3. Lock the lid in place, and cook on Manual, High Pressure, for ten minutes. Use quick release.
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the pot and cut it into four wedges. Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir a handful of chopped parsley into the sauce. Serve the sauce with the cauliflower on top, garnished with more fresh parsley if you like.


A scene from the ranch, with the first snow on Sopris:


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