Oven Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER IS BURSTING WITH FLAVOR, CARAMELIZED EDGES AND THE QUICKEST SIDE DISH TO EVERY MEAL ALL MADE IN ONE PAN! 

Roasted Cauliflower is a healthy, quick and easy dinner side that is extremely versatile and shockingly addictive.  It is the answer to all your side dish woes made with minimal effort, HUGE flavor and no dishes to clean up!  

Roasted Cauliflower is 100% customizable with your favorite seasonings.  You can make basic Roasted Cauliflower, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower or my favorite Curry Roasted Cauliflower (as pictured).  Any way you serve this easy Roasted Cauliflower recipe, you will have a crave-worthy winner full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals!

a spoonful of curry roasted cauliflower


 

You are sure to love this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower!

I LOVE roasted vegetables from Roasted Broccoli to Roasted Carrots to Roasted Root Vegetables to Roasted Asparagus to Roasted Potatoes., and now I can add Roasted Cauliflower to the list!  But I have to admit, I used to not love or even like cauliflower.  I thought it was SO boring.  And then I discovered oven Roasted Cauliflower and its like I was seeing in color for the first time.

Instead of seeing cauliflower as a plain, bland vegetable, I saw it transform into a nutty, buttery flavored delight with golden caramelized edges and the perfect vehicle for Parmesan, lemon, salt, pepper, curry, turmeric, paprika and every other palate pleasing flavor.

Who knew Roasted Cauliflower could be so crazy delicious?!  Once you learn how to roast cauliflower (and I use the term “learn” loosely because roasting cauliflower is so easy – you don’t have to stand over them or even stir!), you will never want to make cauliflower any other way!

It might take you a couple times to find your personal favorite way to prepare Roasted Cauliflower, but once you do, I promise you’ll be reaching for the Roasted Cauliflower instead of chips or cookies.

showing how to make roasted cauliflower by laying cauliflower on baking sheet and roasting until golden
up close of a bunch of cumin roasted cauliflower with crispy ends
showing how to make roasted cauliflower by chopping cauliflower into uniform florets

Oven Roasted Cauliflower ingredients

Cauliflower is very mild in flavor which means it is virtually a blank canvas for whatever seasonings you are in the mood for – feel free to get as creative as you would like!

BASIC ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Roasted Cauliflower transforms into a mouthwatering, caramelized snack with just a few simple ingredients:

  • Cauliflower florets: see section on how to cut cauliflower.
  • Olive oil: use extra virgin olive oil for more flavor.
  • Salt: salt is a MUST otherwise your cauliflower will taste bland.
  • Pepper: use more or less to taste.  You can always add more salt and pepper to taste after you taste your roasted cauliflower. 
  • Garlic powder:  I find the flavor of garlic powder gets more evenly distributed than minced garlic but you may use 2 cloves minced garlic if you prefer.

How to choose cauliflower

It’s a sad day when you go to make roasted cauliflower and your beautifully creamy white cauliflower is now spotty bad news.  To pick cauliflower that will stay fresh longest, pick a head that is free from browning, wet spots or “sun burned spots.”  The cauliflower should be firm, heavy for its size with densely packed florets.  The leaves should be fresh and vibrant green which is a sign that the cauliflower was recently harvested.

With just these 5 ingredients, you are in for nutty, buttery deliciousness.

Cauliflower Seasoning

That being said, I always like to add a little extra oomph to my roasted cauliflower with some of the ideas below:

showing how to make roasted cauliflower by drizzling with olive oil

CURRY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

This is by FAR my favorite way to prepare Roasted Cauliflower.  I CRAVE Curried Roasted Cauliflower like a cookie monster craves cookies.  I make it for snacks, for dinner sides and for more snacks.  Patrick also loves this roasted cauliflower preparation.  It has a mild kick to it but is more flavorful than “spicy” and still kid friendly.

To make Curry Roasted Cauliflower, follow the basic Roasted Cauliflower recipe but add 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder when you add the rest of the seasonings. Now be prepared for this outrageously simple, crazy delicious roasted cauliflower recipe to blow.  your.  mind.

showing how to make roasted cauliflower by seasoning cauliflower and tossing with spices

PARMESAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is one of the most popular ways to make roasted cauliflower.  It adds to the natural nuttiness of the cauliflower.

To make Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan, roast Cauliflower until tender then sprinkle with ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan then cook 3-5 minutes or until the Parmesan melts.  You can use more or less Parmesan to taste.

Lemon ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Lemon is often paired with garlic and Parmesan when roasting cauliflower or it can be added without the Parmesan.  To make Roasted Cauliflower with lemon, simply stir in 1 tablespoons lemon juice and lemon zest to taste after roasting.

a spoonful of Parmesan roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet

CHEESY ROASTED BROCCOLI

You can add any type of cheese from cheddar to pepper jack to your Roasted Cauliflower once it is tender then continue to bake until the cheese is melted.

HERB ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

You can enhance the flavor of Roasted Cauliflower by adding 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or a variety of fresh herbs.  I like to add Italian seasoning when I am adding Parmesan and/or lemon juice.

OTHER INGREDIENT IDEAS:

You can add virtually anything to Roasted Cauliflower!  Here are a few more ideas:

  • Cajun seasoning
  • Turmeric
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Red chili flakes

I also love serving oven Roasted Cauliflower with nuts such as cashews, sliced almonds, pistachios and peanuts.  It is also fabulous with chopped cilantro, dried cranberries, blueberries and lemon or Italian dressing.

showing how to make roasted cauliflower by tossing with curry, salt and pepper

How to Roast Cauliflower

  1. Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  We want a very hot oven so the cauliflower cooks quickly and the hot surface area of the pan caramelizes the natural sugars for a wonderfully nutty flavor and crispy tops.
  2. Prepare baking sheet:  I recommend lining a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup but you can also add the cauliflower directly to the baking sheet. Either way, spray surface with nonstick cooking spray.  I do NOT recommend parchment paper because the cauliflower doesn’t caramelize as well.
  3. Cut cauliflower: Try and cut cauliflower a relatively uniform size. The exact size of the cauliflower florets is up to you.  Larger florets will need to roast for more time, smaller florets will roast for less time.
showing how to make roasted cauliflower by chopping cauliflower
  1. Dry cauliflower: Dry the florets with a kitchen towel or salad spinner because the dryer the cauliflower the crispier it will become.
  2. Toss ingredients together: I like to toss all the ingredients together on the baking pan because it saves an extra dish but you can also toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  In either the pan or bowl, drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and any additional seasonings. Stir until very evenly combined.  I like to use my hands vs a spatula because I feel it combines everything more evenly, getting the spices in all the nooks and crannies, but that is up to you.
showing how to make roasted cauliflower by tossing with olive oil and seasonings on a baking sheet
  1. Spread in an even layer: Spread the cauliflower in an evenly layer on a baking sheet so they are not touching.  This ensures the florets will cook evenly and so they will roast and not steam.
showing how to make roasted cauliflower by laying seasoned cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet
  1. Roast:  Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and the tips are slightly charred.
  2. Flip cauliflower: Flipping your cauliflower halfway through is optional – I skip it. It promotes even cooking but if you skip flipping then one side will get extra crispy – which is how I like it.
  3. Serve!  I think roasted cauliflower is best served piping hot so plan accordingly.
top view of curry roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet

How to cut cauliflower for this Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Cauliflower is very simple to cut.  The only important factor is to try and cut the florets into a uniform size to ensure even cooking, but don’t stress too much about it.

To cut the cauliflower:

  1. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice cauliflower in half from the top of the crown through the stem.
  2. Quarter the cauliflower into 4 pieces, slicing vertically.
  3. Slice the core off of each piece, leaving just the florets.
  4. Break the large florets off the core with your fingers.
  5. Use a knife to slice the large pieces into smaller florets, roughly the same size.

What temp do you roast cauliflower?

Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees F or until tender with crispy tops.

There are several factors that affect the tenderness of the roasted cauliflower such as floret moisture, floret freshness, floret size and actual oven heat.  So just test your cauliflower after 25 minutes and cook on if you like it more tender OR if you like the edges more crispy/charred.

How long to Roast Cauliflower

Roast cauliflower at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes OR until cauliflower are fork tender and the edges are slightly charred.

How to store fresh and Roasted Cauliflower

Even if you select a fresh cauliflower, it can get moldy very quickly without proper storage.  When you get your cauliflower home, unwrap it from the cellophane which can trap moisture and promotes rot.  Transfer the cauliflower to a sealed plastic bag with a paper towel inside to absorb any excess moisture then puncture several holes near the head of the cauliflower.  Store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for 4 to 7 days.

How long does Roasted CAULIFLOWER Last?

Roasted cauliflower can be stored in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

What Should I do with Roasted CAULIFLOWER Leftovers?

There are never any Roasted Cauliflower leftovers at my house, but in the rare case you get the pleasure, leftovers are delicious plain or added to pastas, rice, omelettes and even pizza!

Can I Make Roasted Cauliflower Ahead of Time?

If you want to prepare your cauliflower in advance, then I suggest tossing it with with the olive oil and seasonings, spreading it out on the baking sheet and then refrigerating.  When you are ready to eat then oven roast your cauliflower.

rows of cumin roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet with crispy ends

How do I reheat this Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

You can reheat roasted cauliflower in the microwave or on the stovetop but for crispier cauliflower, heat it in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.

What to serve with Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower is fabulous with virtually everything because it is a chameleon when it comes to seasonings.  Start with the basic oven Roasted Cauliflower recipe, then add seasonings to suite your cuisine.

Need a side for your Asian dinner?  Pair Roasted Cauliflower with turmeric, curry powder, Chinese 5 spice or ginger and serve it with Tandoori Chicken, Asian BBQ Salmon, Lemongrass Chicken, Mongolian Chicken or Asian Caramel Pork.

Need a side for your Italian dinner?  Pair oven Roasted Cauliflower with Italian seasonings, garlic and Parmesan and serve it with Lasagna, Spaghetti, Chicken Parmesan, Baked Penne, Million Dollar Mac or Shrimp Fettuccine.

Need a side for your comfort food dinner? Pair Roasted Cauliflower with smoked paprika and/or cheese and serve it with Beef Brisket, Spice Rubbed Steaks, Baked Ham, French Dips, Chicken Cordon Bleu or Oven Fried Chicken.

up close of a spicy roasted cauliflower floret

Oven Roasted Cauliflower FAQs

IS THIS ROAST CAULIFLOWER RECIPE HEALTHY?

Even though cauliflower may not be the typical green, leafy vegetable we think of as healthy, it is actually considered a superfood by many. In fact, 100g cauliflower contains more vitamin C than 100g of oranges!  To be honest, the health benefits of Roasted Cauliflower are not why I make it, I make it because it is highly addictive.  Still, it is nice to know your addiction is healthy :)!
Some health benefits of cauliflower include:
– Cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need such as vitamin C which is an anti-inflammatory that can boost immune health and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
– Cauliflower is high in fiber which reduces inflammation and promotes digestive health.
– Cauliflower is a rich source of antioxidants including sulforaphane, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which are beneficial in protecting against several chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
– Cauliflower is high in choline, an essential nutrient that many people are deficient in which supports metabolism, brain development and the nervous system. It also helps prevent cholesterol from accumulating in the liver.
– Cauliflower is rich in allicin which may reduce the occurrence of stroke and heart disease.

IS CAULIFLOWER GOOD FOR LOSING WEIGHT?

With the New Year, I’m sure many of us have made resolutions to eat healthier and Oven Roasted Cauliflower can help with that goal!  Cauliflower is a non-starchy vegetable that is a good source of fiber so it slows digestion which promotes fullness and therefore reduces overall calorie intake.
Cauliflower is low in calories (only 25 calories per cup), but high in vitamins, high in water (92% of its weight is water), and high in fiber – all properties that may assist in weight loss – which means you can eat a large quantity of cauliflower without any guilt!

Why is my roasted cauliflower mushy?

Roasted cauliflower can become mushy if it’s overcooked, not properly dried before roasting or not spread out into an even layer, causing the cauliflower to steam.

Can you cook cauliflower too long?

Yes, overcooking cauliflower will cause it to become soft and mushy. Remove the cauliflower form the oven when it is tender with slightly charred ends. If your cauliflower is fresh, it will take longer to roast than if your cauliflower has been hanging out in the fridge for a few days.

up close of a curry roasted cauliflower floret laying on a baking sheet

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top view of spicy roasted cauliflower in a bowl

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

top view of spicy roasted cauliflower in a bowl

Roast Cauliflower Recipe

Oven Roasted Cauliflower is bursting with flavor, caramelized edges and the quickest side dish to every meal all made in one pan! It is the answer to all your side dish woes made with minimal effort and no dishes to clean up!  Roasted Cauliflower is 100% customizable with your favorite seasonings.  You can make basic Roasted Cauliflower, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower or my favorite Curry Roasted Cauliflower (as pictured).  Any way you serve this easy Roasted Cauliflower recipe, you will have a crave-worthy winner full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals!
Servings: 6 servings
Total Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

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Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into bite-size florets about 7-8 cups
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder * optional – see notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • Add cauliflower florets and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings and toss until evenly coated. Spread cauliflower out in an even layer so the florets aren’t touching.
  • Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes OR until cauliflower are fork tender and the edges are slightly charred.
  • Best served immediately.

Notes

*Curry powder is my FAVORITE seasoning with Roasted Cauliflower (please try it at least once!). You can substitute the curry powder for Italian seasoning or any of your favorite spices.
PARMESAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER:  Use 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning instead of the curry powder.  Roast Cauliflower until tender then sprinkle with ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan then cook 3-5 minutes or until the Parmesan melts.  You can use more or less Parmesan to taste.  You can also add lemon juice, lemon zest or nuts.
CHEESY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER:  You can add any type of cheese from cheddar to pepper jack to your Roasted Cauliflower once it is tender then continue to bake until the cheese is melted.

OTHER SEASONING IDEAS:

You can add virtually anything to Roasted Cauliflower!  Here are a few more ideas:

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46 Comments

  1. K Fetter says

    Just made roasted cauliflower tonight following your instructions, and it was a big hit! Thank you also for noting how to properly store cauliflower – great information to have.

    • Jen says

      I’m so pleased you loved it, thanks so much!

  2. Karen Brundy says

    Loved this simple, but delicious vegetable dish. I made the one with curry. So easy to make, yet so tasty. Keep those recipes coming our way!!. Also, love the fact that you have recipes for the conscientious eater….well, conscientious most of the time. You are also there when we want to cheat. Great selection of recipes. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. You are a blessing to many

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for making my day Karen! I eat a variety of foods, so I like to share them all – I’m so please you appreciate them!

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