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3-Ingredient High Protein Cauliflower Buns

Some of my best recipe ideas come from scratching my own itch. In this case, I published a new high protein black bean burger recipe earlier today and immediately wanted to come up with a bun alternative. In the burger recipe, I used both Flatout Foldits and plain white hamburger buns. The Foldits are great and even have okay calories and macros, but I want better than okay. Staying true to my site’s mission, I wanted my bun alternative to be higher protein than any other bun while keeping carbs and calories under control as well.

Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, zucchini, squash, and several other vegetables came to mind but making them high protein didn’t seem feasible without a long process. So, I turned to old faithful — cauliflower. And the high protein cauliflower buns were born.

Here’s how the calories and macros stack up to a generic hamburger bun.

low calorie bun alternatives

Not bad, eh? You could make an awesome grilled cheese with these buns, pair it with the black bean burgers above, or just throw a sandwich together on the go. Just for funzies, here are the macros for a black bean burger on a high protein cauliflower bun: 325 Calories. 41 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fat.

Okay, you’re here for the recipe.

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Ingredients for High Protein Cauliflower Buns

The ingredient list for this recipe is a short one. Frozen cauliflower rice — or whole cauliflower if you want to make your own — and one serving of breadcrumbs plus two scoops of protein powder will get the job done. For the protein powder, I used Now Sports Whey Concentrate unflavored.

This is the same spill I give in most recipes that use unflavored protein, but I’ll say it again. If you’re hesitant to buy unflavored protein for the fear of not using it outside of this recipe, know that you can easily flavor it with stevia, cocoa powder, and other sweeteners. Most of my recipes call for vanilla protein powder and end up as totally non-vanilla dishes. Here are a few recipes I’ve made recently with unflavored protein:

macro friendly chili cheese tater tots

Seriously, it’s a worthwhile investment.

One last note on preparing these buns in bulk. As you can see in the image below, these take up a bit of pan real estate. You could certainly stand there and pump them out one after another, but you could also try these in the oven. Disclaimer: I haven’t tried them in the oven but start with 450F on parchment paper for 5 minutes/side. Adjust time based on desired crispness. 

Three-Ingredient Cauliflower Buns with 117 Calories and 15g of Protein

Three-Ingredient Cauliflower Buns with 117 Calories and 15g of Protein

High Protein Cauliflower Buns

Yield: 4 buns
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A high protein, low carb bun alternative using cauliflower and unflavored protein powder. 


  • 1 12 oz bag Frozen Cauliflower Rice, thawed
  • 2 scoops (66g) Protein Powder, unflavored
  • 1/4 C (28g) Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt and Pepper, to taste


  1. If you haven't thawed your frozen cauliflower rice, place it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. Remove from microwave and bag to cool briefly.
  2. Mix protein powder, seasoning, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
  3. Add cooled cauliflower to protein/breadcrumb mixture, stirring until completely mixed. Don't over stir or you'll end up with an oatmeal-like mixture.
  4. Heat griddle or large skillets over low-medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Add roughly 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower mixture in small circles. Using the backside of a spoon or spatula, flatten slightly to desired thickness. 
  6. Allow the buns to brown on the bottom, similar to a pancake — likely 2-3 minutes per side. 


  • Each bun has 2 Smart Points.
  • Entire recipe (4 closed buns or 8 pieces): 470 Calories | 59P | 46C | 4F --- Per bun (closed): 117 Calories | 15P | 12C | 1F
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bun
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 15g

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What to Serve with Cauliflower Buns

And that’s it! I hope you enjoy. If you try this recipe — or any recipe on my site — tag me in your creation on Instagram. I’ll be sure to share it with everyone.

You'll love these 3-ingredient cauliflower buns that pack 15 grams of protein in a single bun!

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