Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower is delightfully addictive, healthy and so easy to prepare! Learn how to make the best oven roasted cauliflower, perfect for serving with almost any meal. Includes a step by step recipe video. 

close up of roasted cauliflower on pan

If you’ve ever wondered how to cook cauliflower, roasting it in the oven is a delicious option and my favorite way to prepare this versatile veggie.

Roasting brings out the rich, savory flavors of cauliflower and other vegetables. As cauliflower bakes in the oven, the edges become browned and caramelized while the centers become fork-tender. Roasted vegetables are a quick and easy side dish and my favorites include roasted broccoli, roasted carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted zucchini, roasted potatoes and this roasted cauliflower.

Cauliflower is a mild-flavored vegetable in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. According to Wikipedia, its name comes from the Italian word cavolfiore, which means “cabbage flower.”

bite of cauliflower on a fork held over a bowl of roasted cauliflower

This roasted cauliflower recipe can be kept simple with just olive oil, salt and pepper (how I prepare it most often) or dressed up with different spices and seasonings. With plenty of flavor ideas below, this healthy side dish will never be boring.  Cauliflower is also delicious in the Air Fryer when you follow my Air Fryer Cauliflower recipe or try my similar Air Fryer Broccoli recipe or Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts.  

How to Cut Cauliflower

whole head of cauliflower next to olive oil, salt and pepper

To cut a whole head of cauliflower into florets, first cut the cauliflower into quarters. head of cauliflower cut into quarters

Then slice the core out. The last step is to separate the florets. Cut large florets in half or into thirds so that you end up with bite-size pieces. cauliflower cut into florets

How to Roast Cauliflower

Here’s a quick look at the recipe steps. You’ll find the full recipe in the recipe card below.

  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Roasting at a high temperature helps the edges of the cauliflower to become golden brown and caramelized.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. I like to line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  3. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil and toss to coat the pieces.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. I prefer using coarse Kosher salt but any salt will work. cauliflower florets on a pan tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper
  5. Bake for 23 to 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork and browned on the edges. Stir about half way through the baking time to help the cauliflower pieces cook evenly.

Recipe Tips

  • Dry the cauliflower florets well. If there is extra moisture on the florets they will steam in the oven instead of roasting and caramelizing.
  • Try to cut the cauliflower pieces approximately the same size so that they will cook evenly.
  • Place any flat edges down on the pan to increase the surface area in contact with the pan. This will give you more delicious browned edges. 
  • To make roasted broccoli and cauliflower, use half cauliflower and half broccoli florets in this recipe.

roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet

Seasoning Ideas

We love the flavor of roasted cauliflower simply prepared with olive oil, salt and pepper and that is how I prepare it most often. Since cauliflower is mild-flavored, it is a great blank canvas for many typed of seasonings. Here are some suggestions, use what you like!

  • Before roasting, toss with dried herbs or spices. Try smoked paprika, sweet paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, curry powder, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • After roasting, sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, or fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme.

Roasting Frozen Cauliflower

You can roast frozen cauliflower with just a few modifications to this recipe. 

  1. To roast frozen cauliflower, preheat your oven to 450° F. The hotter oven temperature will heat the frozen cauliflower more quickly and will help it to brown on the edges.
  2. Put a rimmed baking sheet in the oven as the oven preheats (do not use parchment paper unless it is oven safe to 450 degrees).
  3. Once the oven and pan are hot, place the frozen cauliflower in a bowl and toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper. You may want to adjust the amount of olive oil depending on the amount of cauliflower.
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and carefully spread the cauliflower into a single layer on the baking sheet. (Remember, the pan is hot!)
  5. Roast for 23 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges and tender when pierced with a fork.

What to Serve with Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of my favorite side dishes because its mild flavor goes with almost any meal. Try it with Crock Pot Pork Chops, Instant Pot Butter Chicken, Chicken Parmesan, or Baked Chicken Thighs. See more quick and easy dinner ideas.

You can even add roasted cauliflower to tacos, mac and cheese and casseroles. It can be used in place of meat in many of your favorite recipes. 

How to Store & Reheat Roasted Cauliflower

  • Refrigerator: Store baked cauliflower for 4 days in an airtight container.
  • Freezer: Wrap cooked cauliflower airtight and store for 3-4 months.
  • Reheat in a 350° F oven or in the microwave.
  • Leftover cold roasted cauliflower is delicious added to salads.

roasted cauliflower in a serving dish

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower is a healthy side dish that is delicious with so many meals. This easy roasted cauliflower recipe can be kept simple or dressed up with different flavors and seasonings.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cauliflower recipes, roasted cauliflower
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 114kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • other seasonings (as desired, see notes for ideas)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Rinse the cauliflower and pat dry. Cut the cauliflower into quarters, cutting down through the center core. Cut the core out of each quarter and discard the core.
  • Separate the cauliflower into bite-size florets. If there is still some moisture on the cauliflower pieces, dry them well.
  • Place cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 23 to 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through the bake time. The roasted cauliflower is done when the edges are lightly browned and it is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve.

Notes

  • To roast frozen cauliflower, increase oven temperature to 450° F and preheat the pan in the oven (do not use parchment). When oven and pan are hot, toss cauliflower in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and then carefully spread out on the hot baking sheet. Roast for 23-30 minutes, until tender.
  • Seasoning Ideas: Toss with smoked paprika, sweet paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, curry powder, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes before roasting. After roasting, sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, or fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.
  • Nutrition facts do not include added salt or other seasonings as these will vary.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 101mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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