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Lightly charred and crispy at the edges, sweet and caramelized within, Roasted Cauliflower is transformative, especially if your only experience of cauliflower so far has been avoiding it raw on a veggie tray.

A baking sheet with roasted cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower is nutritious, and you can season it any which way.

It makes eating vegetables a pleasure!

If you’re still waiting to fall in love with (or even tolerate) vegetables, roasting is the #1 way to get more of them in your diet and enjoy it at the same time.

Oven Roasted Vegetables taste sweet and caramelized.

They lose their bitterness and are warm and yummy, versus cold and crunchy, which makes them more appealing to kids and picky eaters.

Healthy roasted cauliflower florets

Reasons to Love Roasted Cauliflower

While you can roast just about any kind of vegetable—Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Carrots and Roasted Broccoli are all on regular rotation around here—roasted cauliflower is an especially excellent veggie to roast.

  • It is in season year-round.
  • Since cauliflower is mild, the seasonings are ultra-flexible.
  • You can pair it with whatever else you’re having for dinner.
  • Compared to other cruciferous veggies, like Roasted Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower is not bitter, making it perfect for picky eaters.

Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Cauliflower is incredibly rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron. Plus, it’s high in fiber and low in calories and low carbohydrates.

Roasted cauliflower in a bowl

The Best Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

At this point, I’ve roasted well over 100 heads of cauliflower, and I’ve learned tips along the way.

This post has everything you need to know to roast the best cauliflower of your life.

Ready for crispy (not mushy!) roasted cauliflower that you’re going to find yourself inhaling straight off the sheet pan?

This is it!

Easy roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet

Cauliflower Roasting Tips

Roasting perfectly crispy outside and tender inside cauliflower is easy, with a few simple tips:

  • Cut the cauliflower into evenly sized florets, maximizing the number of flat edges. The more flat edges that touch the pan, the better the caramelization. The more even the size, the more even the roasting. See step-by-step photos below.
  • Use Enough Oil. Each floret should have a nice coating. You don’t need to drown them in oil, but make sure they do not feel dry or the cauliflower will burn. 
  • Season it Up. Salt is a must for roasted vegetables or they will taste bland. Even simple salt and pepper will make cauliflower come alive. Or try making spicy roasted cauliflower or roasted cauliflower Parmesan for a change of pace.
  • DO NOT CROWD THE PAN. This is the roasted vegetable golden rule. If you crowd the pan, the cauliflower will steam instead of roast, and your cauliflower will end up mushy.
  • Use a High Oven Temperature. 400 degrees F to 425 degrees F is ideal for roasting cauliflower. I roast cauliflower at 425 degrees F for 22 to 30 minutes, until it’s tender inside and crispy outside.

Cutting Cauliflower for Roasting

The more flat edges on your roasted vegetables, the better your results (it’s why I flip my Brussels sprouts cut-sides down when making Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic).

Here’s how to cut a head of cauliflower into florets for roasting.

It is easy, effective, and yields excellent results.

A vegetable being cut on a cutting board
  1. Slice off the leaves and stem end so you have a nice, flat base.
A head of cauliflower on a cutting board
  1. Stand the cauliflower head up on the cut size and cut it into four slabs or “steaks” (see this Cauliflower Steak if you’d like to cook them immediately without further cutting). Remove the inner core.
Chopped vegetables on a cutting board
  1. Slice each slab into 1/2-inch florets, creating bite-sized pieces with flat surface area.

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower

  1. Cut the florets (see step-by-step photos above), then transfer your cut florets to a baking sheet.
Seasoned cauliflower florets on a baking sheet
  1. Toss them with oil and seasonings. Move them into a single layer. (You do not need to cover baking sheet with parchment paper, though you can if you like.)
  1. Roast cauliflower at 425 degrees F for 22 to 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. ENJOY!

How to Season Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is mild, and blends well with a wide range of seasonings.

I love to use a simple yet impactful blend of paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese.

Feel free to dream up your own seasoning mixture, herbs, or try one of these variations:

  • Salt + Pepper. You cannot go wrong with these two classic flavor additions that help make the cauliflower taste its best.
  • Spicy Roasted Cauliflower. Swap the spices listed in this recipe for 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Italian Roasted Cauliflower. Use the spices recommended in this recipe, adding 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Garnish your roasted cauliflower with chopped fresh herbs like parsley and lemon zest with a splash of lemon juice.
  • Curry Roasted Cauliflower. Swap the spices in this recipe for 2 teaspoons curry powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
  • Mexican Roasted Cauliflower. Omit the paprika, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan. Add 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon cumin. Garnish roasted florets with lime zest and chopped fresh cilantro.
A bowl of roasted cauliflower florets

Cauliflower as a Main Event

Once roasted, cauliflower becomes almost meaty. Here are a few ways you can cook it to turn it into a filling vegetarian meal.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate florets in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in a skillet on the stove.
  • To Freeze. Yes, you can freeze roasted cauliflower. Place florets in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen or let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, cut the cauliflower into florets. Refrigerate the florets in an airtight container.

What to Serve with Roasted Cauliflower

Thanks to its mild flavor, roasted cauliflower goes well with just about any protein, including both meat and seafood.

Crispy roasted cauliflower florets

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Baking Sheets

Whether you’re roasting veggies, making a one-pan meal, or baking cookies, these rimmed baking sheet pans are exactly what you need.

Vegetables so tasty you can’t stop eating them?

With roasted cauliflower, the dream is real!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Necessary to Boil Cauliflower Before Roasting?

No, it is not. Simply cut your cauliflower into florets, coat them with oil, then roast at a high temperature. Within 25 minutes, you’ll have tender roasted cauliflower. I would avoid boiling because it will make the cauliflower damp and mushy.

Why is My Roasted Cauliflower Soggy?

Roasted cauliflower can quickly become soggy and mushy if the pan is overcrowded, so make sure to leave room between the florets. Using too much oil is another common culprit. Ensure that the florets have enough oil to caramelize but not too much to become soggy. A light coating is perfect.

Can I Make this Recipe in the Air Fryer?

Sure! See this Air Fryer Cauliflower for a recipe.

Help! My Cauliflower Tastes Bitter.

Although cauliflower can be bitter when raw, roasting does a great job of neutralizing it (in other words, roasting cauliflower makes it not taste like cauliflower). If it is still too bitter for your taste, top it with a little acid, such as a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Roasted Cauliflower

4.63 from 8 votes
How to make perfect Roasted Cauliflower that's crispy outside, tender inside and not soggy. A simple side dish that goes with everything!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Servings: 4 servings





  • Depending upon the size of your pan, coat 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. You need enough pan surface area to hold all of the florets in a single layer without touching. Position a rack in the center of the oven (if using 1 baking sheet) or the upper and lower thirds (if using 2 baking sheets) and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Cut off the stem end of the cauliflower head so that you have a flat base.
  • Stand it up on the base then cut it into four even wedges, slicing from the top of the head down through the stem. Trim away the inner core areas, leaving most of the wedge intact.
  • Next, starting at one of the flat sides, cut the wedge into ½ inch “steaks” so that you have maximum flat surface area. Some of the florets will fall away. With the knife or your fingers, break up any remaining florets that are stuck together. If any florets are wider than 1 1/2 inches, slice them in half again (the goal is to maximize flat surface area, for the best caramelization).
  • Transfer the florets to a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the paprika and/or Italian seasoning (if using). Toss to evenly coat. Spread the florets into a single layer, dividing them evenly between the two pans if needed. For max caramelization, flip the florets so that the widest, flattest sides are touching the surface of the pan.
  • Roast the cauliflower until it is dark and crispy at the ends and caramelized in the center, about 22 to 30 minutes, depending upon your oven's power and how closely the florets are spaced on the pan. Halfway through the baking time, toss the florets and spread them back into a single layer, rotate the baking sheet(s) 180 degrees F, and (if using 2 pans) switch their positions on the upper and lower racks. Sprinkle with parmesan (if using) and additional salt to taste. Inhale immediately.


  • TO STORE: Refrigerate cauliflower in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Yes, you can freeze roasted cauliflower. Place cauliflower florets in a single layer on a baking sheet, then freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen florets to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen.


Serving: 1(of 4); without optional seasoningCalories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gPotassium: 12mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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    1. This was delicious. We added a small amount of dry ranch dressing to the spices. My husband and I ate about 2/3 of a cauliflower head in one sitting we loved it so much.5 stars

  1. I made something similar to the Italian. Had to improvise a bit cause I did not have any basil on hand so went with marjoram, oregano, sweet paprika, onion and garlic powder, olive oil and a bit of truffle oil and it was yummmmy!!5 stars