Cauliflower Casserole – Cauliflower Marranca

Mushroom Cauliflower Casserole
Mushroom Cauliflower Casserole
Mushroom Cauliflower Casserole

This Cauliflower Casserole, called Cauliflower Marranca, is from The Moosewood Cookbook. I first discovered this venerable cookbook by Mollie Katzen years ago when I was experimenting with vegetarianism.  Back then, the Moosewood Cookbook was a must have for every vegetarian. I may not have cooked the whole book, but I did cook a lot of recipes from it. Many of them are still favourites today.

This cauliflower casserole dish is one of those favourites. I haven’t made it for ages, and it’s been on my mind.  And then I came across a beautiful, bright orange cauliflower. And I knew exactly what to make.

Cauliflower Marranca is a simple casserole of cauliflower, mushrooms and millet. I’m using quinoa in place of millet because I have it on hand. You can easily use any other grain. Try barley, faro, or buckwheat.

I was delighted to see bright orange and purple cauliflower in a local store.  I’m always drawn to beautiful colours in my produce. And these look like giant spring flowers. Like a veggie Easter bouquet. The cauliflowers are gorgeous, and I wanted one of each. I stopped myself, though, because that’s a lot of cauliflower to use up. You better believe I’ll be going back for a purple one, though.

These colourful veggies are not genetically modified.They get their beautiful colours from the presence of anthocyanin.  Which sounds scary, but it’s actually an antioxidant. And antioxidants are a wonderful thing. Not only are these beauties nice to look at, but they pack even more nutrition than a white cauliflower. And white cauliflower is no slouch, right? The beta carotene content of the orange cauliflower means 25% more vitamin A.

My orange cauliflower did a lot for the appearance of this dish. As tasty as it is, it wasn’t the most appealing visually. Mushrooms add a nice earthiness, too. And the simple flavours of garlic, basil, and lemon really shine. This casserole is a perfect side dish, or a vegetarian main. It makes a nice packed lunch, too.

Cauliflower Casserole
Cauliflower Casserole

Cauliflower Casserole – Cauliflower Marranca

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Cauliflower Casserole – Cauliflower Marranca


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into 1 inch peices
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of one lemon
  • paprika, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350° Grease a 9 x 13" baking pan
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium high
  3. Add onions, mushrooms, salt & pepper and basil. Cook, stirring, until onions are soft.
  4. Add cauliflower and garlic to the pan and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, until cauliflower is becoming tender
  5. Add lemon juice and quinoa and stir to combine everything.
  6. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  7. Dust with paprika.
  8. Bake 30 minutes


-If you use an oven safe or cast iron skillet to saute the veggies, you can do all of this recipe in one pan. Just put the whole thing in the oven. -The original recipe has the option of adding cheese. You can mix in 1-2 cups grated cheese of your choice before baking.

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Cauliflower Casserole
Cauliflower Casserole

Recipe adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen

12 thoughts on “Cauliflower Casserole – Cauliflower Marranca

    1. Hi Elaine. The Moosewood Cookbook still lives on my cookbook shelf. It’s like an old friend. 🙂 This recipe is yummy. Thanks for commenting and have a great weekend!

  1. I had never heard of this dish or the cookbook, but this sounds simple and wonderfully flavourful! Cauliflower is a great versatile vegetable to use with spices. Great warming dish to eat when the temperature is still cold outside!

    1. Hi Gabby. I think it was first published in the 1970’s. It’s a classic, and worth checking out. And I agree about cauliflower; I love it.

  2. What a beautiful dish! I love that the colour has added nutrients and isn’t achieved through genetic modification. I also appreciate that you’ve used quinoa instead of millet, which makes it gluten-free, and that you’ve shown that it can work without cheese. Have a great weekend!

  3. I do not own that cookbook (surprisingly), – this dish sounds wonderful. My Chef at work used to call that particular colour Cheddar cauliflower. It does look like the cheese is already adorning it, doesn’t it?

  4. Hi Colleen! I want to make this for dinner tonight, but am just wondering how much quinoa to use? I can’t find it on the recipe. Love your site and recipes! It is a go to for me when I need inspiration 😊

    1. Karin, thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. How did I leave that out? I’ve fixed the recipe, thanks to you, and 1 cup of cooked quinoa is how much to use. I hope that I have replied in time for dinner. 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean the world to me!

  5. Colleen, beautiful as always. I used to have the moosewood cookbook as well. It’s one of the cookbooks that has been in print the longest which is interesting as most cookbooks today stay in the sotres for a brief moment before they are gone. I cooked some barley yesterday and wondered what to make with it, I think now I know.

    1. Hi Dina, thanks for stopping by! I love that cookbook. I know it was published in the 70’s so yes, that’s a long time in print. Sadly, I lost my original, 1977 version, given to me by a friend, in our house fire. But I now have the 2000 version, and many of the same recipes are there, as well as the hand lettered, homey style, which is so charming. And I didn’t realize that the Moosewood Cookbook is in the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame.

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