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. You’ll inhale this crispy roasted cauliflower right off of the sheet pan!
Why You’ll Love Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted cauliflower 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.
- Since cauliflower is mild, the seasonings are ultra-flexible. You can pair it with whatever else you’re having for dinner.
- It’s in season year-round. As much as we love Roasted Asparagus, it’s not great out of season.
- Compared to other cruciferous veggies, like Roasted Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower is not bitter, making it perfect for picky eaters. (Picky eaters love Roasted Sweet Potatoes too!).
How to Make Roasted Cauliflower
- Cut the florets, then transfer your cut florets to a baking sheet.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Chicken. This dish would make an excellent side for Pan Fried Chicken Breast, Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast, or Grilled Chicken Tenders.
- Salmon. Serve this dish with Baked Salmon, Pan Seared Salmon, or Blackened Salmon.
- Pork. Stuffed Pork Tenderloin or Air Fryer Pork Chops would be delicious with this recipe.
- Tofu. For a meatless meal, pair this recipe with Crispy Tofu or Air Fryer Tofu.
More Ways to Use Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Cauliflower Parmesan. Recipe in The Well Plated Cookbook.
- Cauliflower Steaks. A true knife-and-fork experience! See Cauliflower Steak.
- Roasted Cauliflower Tacos. A hearty, spicy meatless main that vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will enjoy.
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad Salad. Try Roasted Vegetable Salad and Curry Roasted Cauliflower Salad.
- Cauliflower Soup. Blend it into Cauliflower Chowder or add it to Broccoli Cauliflower Soup for a change of pace.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Sheets. Perfect for making this recipe.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. Essential for easily slicing larger vegetables and fruits.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. This cutting board will stay put while you chop.
Cauliflower Roasting Tips
- Cut the Cauliflower into Evenly Sized Florets. The more even the size, the more even the roasting.
- Maximize Flat Edges. The more flat edges that touch the pan, the crispier the cauliflower will be. See step-by-step photos for how to cut cauliflower.
- 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. See more ideas above.
- Don’t Bother Boiling. You don’t need to boil or soak cauliflower before roasting. If you do, it’s likely your cauliflower will end up mushy.
- DO NOT CROWD THE PAN. This is the roasted vegetable golden rule. If you crowd the pan, the cauliflower will steam instead of roast. If your cauliflower is soggy, you likely crowded the pan.
FOR CLASSIC ROASTED CAULIFLOWER:
- 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.
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