How to Make Roasted Cauliflower

Oven roasted cauliflower with a sprinkle of spice becomes sweet and caramelized for a healthy side dish or filler for so many vegetarian main meals.

As a kid, I loved vegetables, but cauliflower was on my top two yuckiest vegetables to eat list—Brussels sprouts being the other. But as an adult, it’s easily become one of my favorites, especially when roasted to supreme sweet and caramelized goodness, making it so delicious I can literally eat an entire head of cauliflower in one sitting.

It’s like candy. Who knew?

Because let’s be real, steamed or boiled cauliflower can be, um, a bit bland—unless it’s covered in cheese. But when it’s drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with spices, then roasted in a hot oven, cauliflower’s natural sugars caramelize and concentrate for a perfectly tender cooked floret with a crisp, lightly charred bite. It becomes one of the easiest, most flavorful vegetarian side dishes or main ingredients for vegetarian bowls, tacos, and so much more.

Cauliflower is having it’s heyday as a healthy helper to help lose weight (only 25 calories per cut) plus a high fiber content that helps you feel full, and as an anti-inflammatory loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants.

Plain and simple, it’s just good for you.

Cauliflower with spice mixture on a baking sheet | foodiecrush.com

Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients

The beauty of cooking roasted cauliflower is exactly what makes it so “meh” when boiled or steamed: It’s somewhat flavorless.

This makes it the perfect candidate for roasting with simple seasonings that in different combinations will produce an entirely different tasting caramelized flavor.

Here’s what’s in this cauliflower recipe:

  • Cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • Ground cumin

Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan | foodiecrush.com

How to Cut Cauliflower

You can roast whole heads of cauliflower for that big WOW factor, but for every day dinner or meal prep that makes it manageable, cutting the cauliflower into smaller florets, then roasting in the oven is the fastest healthy solution.

Preparing and cutting cauliflower for roasting is easy to do. The only guidelines to follow is to have a sharp knife and cut the florets close to the same size so they roast evenly.

How to cut the cauliflower:

  • Slice the head of the cauliflower in half from the top of the crown through to the stem.
  • Cut out the core of each of the halves and remove the leaves.
  • Trim the cauliflower into large florets, then into smaller florets. Use the knife or break with your fingers.
  • Cut the florets into roughly the same size, with each floret displaying at least one cut side that lays flat on the baking sheet to become caramelized.

Spice mixture | foodiecrush.com

The Spice Mixture

You can always keep your roasted cauliflower clean and simple by seasoning with only salt and pepper. But adding a few more spices really makes it bloom.

For one head of cauliflower you’ll need:

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Double, triple, or even quadruple this spice rub and keep it on hand for future roasted vegetables, chicken, or meats.

Other Seasoning Ingredient Ideas

There are loads of variations you can try to season your cauliflower. To kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, add other ingredients like:

  • Garlic powder
  • Curry powder
  • Dried oregano with Parmesan cheese
  • Smoked parika
  • Garam masala
  • Cajun seasoning

Roasted Cauliflower | foodiecrush.com

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower

A few tips to make the best roasted cauliflower:

Cut the florets into similar sizes. Cutting them with one flat side encourages a crisp, caramelized side that’s the best part.

There’s no need for an extra bowl. Toss the cauliflower with the oil and spices right on the baking sheet.

Don’t line for extra caramelization. Usually I line my baking sheets with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up. Roasting veg is one time I don’t. Direct contact of the sheet pan with the olive oil coated cauliflower adds extra caramelization.

Roasted Cauliflower | foodiecrush.com

The Best Temperature to Roast Cauliflower

Roasting the cauliflower at a high temperature adds a bit of char and crispness to the exterior while the interior softens, but doesn’t get mushy.

Roast the cauliflower in a preheated oven at 425°F for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for 10 more minutes or until desired doneness. So basically, roasted cauliflower can be done and ready to eat in under 30 minutes.

Can I Make Roasted Cauliflower Ahead of Time?

Yes! Definitely make roasted cauliflower before eating and refrigerate it for meal prep or snacking through the week. Roasted cauliflower will last in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Roasted Cauliflower | foodiecrush.com

More Cauliflower Recipes to Try

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.

Roasted Cauliflower | foodiecrush.com

Print

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower

Save time and dish washing duties by tossing the cauliflower, oil and spices directly on the baking sheet. Place the cauliflower florets cut side down for the most caramelization.

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American

Keyword roasted cauliflower

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 8

Calories 50kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  • Slice the head of the cauliflower in half from the top of the crown through to the stem. Cut out the core of each of the halves and remove the leaves. Trim the cauliflower into large florets, then into smaller florets. Use the knife or break with your fingers. Cut the florets into roughly the same size, with each floret displaying at least one cut side that lays flat on the baking sheet to become caramelized.

  • Scatter the cauliflower on a high sided baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, chipotle chile powder and cumin. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower and toss well to coat. Lay the florets in an even layer, cut side down. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Flip half way through cooking time if desired.

  • Serve hot or refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

More Roasted Vegetable Recipes

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