Roasted cauliflower is a tasty and tender-crisp side dish you can make with four ingredients in about 30 minutes.
Check out our best vegetable sides recipe collection!
As the weather cools down a little and autumn falls upon us, we slowly start craving wintery oven-roasted veggies.
And roasted cauliflower is definitely on top of our list of favorite roasted foods. It has a comforting, buttery, and earthy flavor and is super easy to make.
We toss the florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper; then we roast them in a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the cauliflower has browned outside and it's tender-crisp.
Enjoy it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some finely chopped parsley.
What we love the most about this roasted cauliflower recipe is that you can use it in many different ways.
For example, add it to your favorite pasta (red pepper pasta or pasta aglio olio), to salads (try our cauliflower salad, lentil cauliflower salad, or sweet potato salad), or have it as a snack, appetizer, or side dish.
Ps. If you own an air fryer, here's the recipe for air-fried cauliflower. Same deliciousness, half the time!
We make this recipe with a large head of white cauliflower, but you can also use orange cauliflower, green cauliflower, and purple cauliflower.
Although these varieties are less popular, they are still delicious and richer in antioxidants.
We prefer cooking cauliflower with heart-healthy and fruity extra virgin olive oil instead of melted butter.
Extra virgin olive oil is stable at high temperatures and rich in antioxidants. Regular olive oil is your next best alternative.
Salt and Pepper
We like to keep this recipe simple and use sea salt (or kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper to season our baked cauliflower.
The advantage of a simple seasoning is that you can add flavors on top of the cauliflower once it's baked, or you can use it for making other recipes.
Lemon and Parsley
Try serving baked cauliflower with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of fresh flat-leaf parsley, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
This is how they eat it in the Mediterranean, where the cauliflower is from. The lemon and parsley make it fresh, zesty, and aromatic.
Drizzle with a quick homemade tahini sauce and toasted shaved almonds for a richer, nuttier taste and a creamier and crunchier texture. That's popular in Middle-Eastern countries.
If you'd like to add your touch to this recipe, try adding a teaspoon of your favorite spice to the cauliflower before roasting it.
Some great options are garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, chipotle powder for a hot and smokey taste, curry powder, or turmeric powder.
You can also add a couple of crushed garlic cloves, sliced onions, grated parmesan cheese, or dairy-free cheese a few minutes before taking it out of the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse the head of the cauliflower and pat it dry with a kitchen cloth. Discard the leaves and the stem, then separate the florets with a paring knife.
Season with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper and toss with your hands; then arrange the florets on a single layer without overlapping.
Tip: there's no need to season the cauliflower in a large bowl. You can season it straight into the baking sheet.
Bake at 400°F or 200°C for 20 minutes, then turn the florets around with a spatula and bake for another 10 minutes, or until browned outside and tender-crisp.
Transfer onto a serving platter and optionally serve the baked cauliflower with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Serve roasted cauliflower as an appetizer or side dish, or use it to make other recipes.
Appetizer: make a platter with Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern-inspired dishes that go well with cauliflower. Try chickpea hummus, eggplant dip, zaalouk or eggplant salad, tabbouleh, or Shirazi salad.
Side dish: serve aside one of our delicious plant-based dinners, such as tofu cacciatore, tofu with mushrooms, vegan fish, and mushroom risotto. It's great with our chickpea stew, Italian bean stew, and lentil soup.
For pasta recipes: make a delicious roasted cauliflower pasta or a creamy red pepper pasta with roasted cauliflower. Add it to our quick and easy pasta aglio olio, rigatoni arrabbiata, or cauliflower Alfredo.
Add it to salads: you can add baked cauliflower florets to many salads to make them even more tasty and nutritious. For example, add it to a sweet potato salad, Italian salad, Moroccan carrot salad, tabbouleh, cauliflower salad, and creamy tofu salad.
Mix it with lentils and cumin
Try our roasted cauliflower recipe mixed with lentils and an easy cumin dressing.
It'll take you no time to put this together, and the result is an incredible, quick, aromatic, and ultra-delicious cauliflower lentil salad that will wow your guests.
This is one of our favorite ways to eat baked cauliflower. Check out our lentil cauliflower salad recipe.
Oven-roasted cauliflower steaks
Cut the cauliflower head into 1-inch thick slices, arrange it on a baking sheet, and rub the flat sides with salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic powder.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F or 200°C for 30 minutes until the cauliflower stakes are brown and slightly charred.
Optionally, add grated parmesan or dairy-free cheese on top 5 minutes before the cauliflower is ready.
Store leftover baked cauliflower leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days. Reheat in the microwave. We don't recommend freezing it.
Yes, cauliflower is super healthy. Did you know that baking cauliflower in the oven preserves most of its nutrients? Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable packed with vitamins C and K.
It contains good amounts of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It's also rich in Glucosinolates, which have anti-inflammatory properties and protect our cells from damage.
Cauliflower contains mostly water (92% water, 5% carbohydrates, 2% protein) and no starch, which means that it's impossible to make it crispy in the oven.
You can make it tender-crisp by baking it at a high temperature (400°F) and making sure that you don't overcook it.
Oven roasted cauliflower gets mushy if you overcrowd your pan, and the steam from the cauliflower doesn't have enough room to escape, making the florets mushy.
Also, it's possible that you are baking it at a too low temperature for too long. Try a 20 to 30 min bake at 400°F.
Yes, I would wash my cauliflower to remove dirt, dust, and debris from transportation and storage.
However, make sure to dry the florets well before roasting them to prevent the cauliflower from getting mushy.
More Cauliflower Recipes
If you are looking to add more cauliflower to your diet, check out our delicious:
- air fryer cauliflower
- roasted cauliflower salad with creamy dressing
- Mediterranean cauliflower lentil salad with cumin dressing
- roasted red pepper pasta with cauliflower
- easy cauliflower rice with lemon and parsley
More Vegetable Sides
For more vegetable side dishes, check out:
- 1 large cauliflower (about 2½ pounds or 1.2 kg)
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 wedges lemon
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Rinse the head of the cauliflower and pat it dry with a kitchen cloth. Discard the leaves and the stem, then separate the florets with a paring knife.
- Season with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper and toss with your hands; then arrange the florets on a single layer without overlapping.
- Bake at 400°F or 200°C for 20 minutes, then turn the florets around with a spatula and bake for another 10 minutes, or until browned outside and tender-crisp.
- Transfer onto a serving platter and optionally serve the baked cauliflower with a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
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