Roasted Cauliflower

4.8 from 5 votes
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This perfect Roasted Cauliflower is one of the best and easiest ways to cook this cruciferous vegetable. Baking the cauliflower on high heat turns it into a sort of vegetable candy with crisp caramelized edges and soft centers – and it’s absolutely impossible to stop eating!

A bowl of roasted cauliflower with a spoon.

Why You’ll Love This Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Roasted cauliflower is one of the easiest and best ways to prepare cauliflower, if not the best! When you roast cauliflower in the oven, the heat somehow magically transforms this humble vegetable into a melting pile of flavorful florets that are absolutely irresistible. And you need just four ingredients to make it!

I like my oven-roasted cauliflower soft but crispy. To get that perfect texture and slightly caramelized flavor, I have a few tips and techniques you’ll read about below. When it’s done, the flavor is just unbelievable. There are nights when I seriously can eat half a head of roasted cauliflower all by myself, it’s that amazing. I highly recommend you add baked cauliflower to your arsenal of easy vegetable side dishes.

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Skill Level: Easy

The flavor of roasted cauliflower is just unbelievable. It’s like the ultimate vegetable candy – sweet-salty goodness that’s actually good for you! Here’s why you’ll love making roasted cauliflower:

  • Easy yet effective method. The bit of fat from the olive oil helps the cauliflower to roast beautifully in the oven without burning or getting overcooked. Let the oven do the cooking work for you – all you have to do is cut the cauliflower and season it.
  • Perfect with so many dishes. Baked cauliflower is a simple and versatile side dish that is great with meat, grains, other vegetables, or even mixed into pasta.
  • Naturally gluten-free. Like all vegetables, cauliflower is gluten-free, making it a good choice for those on a gluten-free diet.
Cauliflower florets are shown on a baking sheet.

What You’ll Need for Baked Cauliflower

You need just four ingredients to make this irresistible side dish. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.

  • Cauliflower – I try to pick up a medium or large cauliflower when I make this recipe.
  • Olive Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt: I use kosher salt in this dish.
  • Black pepper
ingredients needed to make roasted cauliflower are shown: cauliflower, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

How To Cut Cauliflower Florets

To cut your cauliflower before you roast it, first remove the leaves and place it on a cutting board. Then, using a sharp knife, cut it in half from the crown to the stem, then cut the pieces in half. Now angle the knife so that you can cut out the tough core. Repeat this process with the remaining pieces of cauliflower. With your hands, pull off the florets and proceed with the recipe.

ingredients needed to make roasted cauliflower are shown: cauliflower, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

How To Make Roasted Cauliflower

Here’s how to make easy and wonderful roasted cauliflower. You’ll find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Prepare. Preheat oven to 450°F and coat a large metal baking sheet with a small amount of olive oil.
  • Cut the cauliflower. Wash and dry the cauliflower and cut it into florets.
  • Season. Mix the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake. Spread the cauliflower it in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Flip. Remove the foil and turn the florets.
  • Finish. Return the uncovered pan to the oven and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Seasoning and Variation Ideas

I love the simplicity of this recipe which allows the cauliflower flavor to shine through. But it’s also wonderful when you add a bit more to it. Here are some of my favorite ways to dress up this recipe:

  • Add Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle a little shredded or grated Parmesan cheese over the cauliflower during the second half of baking.
  • Toss in some dried herbs. When you season the cauliflower with salt and pepper you can also add some dried herbs. Oregano, rosemary, thyme, or a combination are lovely.
  • Add fresh herbs. Or, chop up some fresh herbs and add them along with the olive oil before cooking the cauliflower.
  • Sprinkle on some truffle salt. For a flavor boost, swap the salt for truffle salt!
Cauliflower florets are shown on a baking sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you select a good cauliflower?

It’s easy to spot a good cauliflower. The vegetable should be firm, with no softness (this is a sign of spoiling so avoid any cauliflowers that seem soft). A head of cauliflower should also be pale white, with no dark spots. The stem and leaves should be fresh and green, with no rotting areas visible. And, it should smell fresh!

How long do you bake cauliflower?

For the perfect roasted cauliflower, bake it for about 35-40 minutes at a high temperature. You’ll want to check it after 35 minutes to make sure it doesn’t get too blackened or burned. The ideal roasted cauliflower is nicely caramelized but still slightly soft

Do you need to wash cauliflower before roasting?

Yes, vegetables should always be washed before roasting. Rinse it well, and most importantly, dry it thoroughly. You want to get rid of any excess moisture so that it caramelizes properly while roasting.

A bowl of roasted cauliflower.

Tips for the Best Roasted Cauliflower

Here are a few of my tips for making perfect baked cauliflower:

  • Prepare the cauliflower in advance. You can chop up a cauliflower or two and place the florets in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge until you’re ready to roast them.
  • Add enough oil. Make sure that all of the cauliflower florets are lightly coated in olive oil before you place them in the oven. Too little oil can cause the cauliflower to burn rather than caramelize.
  • Spread out the florets. When you place the cauliflower on the baking sheet, you don’t want them to be on top of each other. Try to leave enough space in between them so that they don’t get mushy during baking.
  • Roast the cauliflower at a high temperature. Follow the recipe as it’s written to cook the cauliflower on high heat so it gets perfectly soft-crisp!

A bowl of roasted cauliflower with a spoon.

Proper Storage

Here’s what to do with leftover cauliflower:

  • Fridge – Store leftover roasted cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat – To reheat, place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish and gently rewarm it in the microwave at 30-second intervals until hot.
A bowl of roasted cauliflower with a spoon.

Make It A Meal

Roasted cauliflower is the best side dish! I love to serve it with all sorts of mains, from meat to vegetarian options. Here are some ways to serve oven baked cauliflower:

A spoon lifts out roasted cauliflower florets from a bowl.
4.8 from 5 votes

Roasted Cauliflower

This perfect Roasted Cauliflower is one of the best and easiest ways to cook this cruciferous vegetable. Baking the cauliflower on high heat turns it into a sort of vegetable candy with crisp caramelized edges and soft centers – and it's absolutely impossible to stop eating!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F and coat a large metal baking sheet with a small amount og olive oil.
  • Wash and dry cauliflower and cut into florets. The smaller you cut it, the more toasty and crispy the edges will get.
  • Place the cauliflower in a pile on the baking sheet, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Toss to coat and spread into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the over and using a metal spatula, gently flip the cauliflower.
  • Return, uncovered to the oven, and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, flipping again after about 10 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
Roasted Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 59 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 433mg18%
Potassium 453mg13%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 0.5IU0%
Vitamin C 73mg88%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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28 Comments
  1. 4 stars
    Oh my goodness. You’ve been through a lot, that’s for sure. Congratulations on the sale of you home and good luck finding your new one! Your roasted cauliflower looks amazing. Love the color you’ve achieved on it.

  2. Brianne, I am such a sucker for roasted cauliflower. So glad you thought of this, because I have a head of cauliflower I need to use up! Thanks for the reminder and great share!

  3. Lori Hart

    Roasted cauliflower is a fave of mine. This looks amazing!! Found your recipe at Time to Sparkle. I am one of the hostesses of Tickle My Tastebuds and would love you to stop by and link up this recipe if you have not yet already.

    Cheers,
    Lori

  4. That’s exactly how I like my cauliflower too: soft and crispy. It sounds counterintuitive, but I know exactly what you mean. It’s the best! And many many congrats to you and your husband for getting your house under contract. One step done, now onto finding a new home. I’m sure it will all fall into place!

  5. When we bought our first home this summer, I ate so badly for a month just trying to juggle it all, so I feel ya! I am glad you received a good offer and sold your home! In other news, you can never go wrong with a basic dish like this! I love cauli in any form.

  6. Oh my goodness. You’ve been through a lot, that’s for sure. Congratulations on the sale of you home and good luck finding your new one! Your roasted cauliflower looks amazing. Love the color you’ve achieved on it.

  7. 5 stars
    Oof, that all sounds so stressful. But glad to hear you got the house-selling part (mostly) done! Onto the next step!

    I do hate when I have to eat out several times in a row just because there is no time to be home and prepare something to eat, and I love recipes like this that are so simple and quick and 100% healthy. So even if you do have to grab Mcdonalds for lunch, at least you can still have a healthy snack in between all your errands.

    I’ve never tried roasted cauliflower, only roasted broccoli. I bet it would be delicious! I love cauliflower.

  8. Roasted cauliflower is the best! I love it with a bit of red pepper flake or curry powder. I like mine borderline burnt!

    I know what you mean about moving – there are so many things to consider. Hopefully things will work out for you perfectly!

  9. Roasting cauliflower is how I finally got the hubby to eat this vegetable! I usually eat a half a head, too…it’s SO good. Glad the house is sold…good luck on the move!!!

  10. Oh Brianne! Congrats on the contract – I hope the rest of the process goes as beautifully as this recipe looks! I completely understand the stress of moving – I’ve done it 18 times in my adult life…just without the house-selling part.

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