Roasted Cauliflower – WellPlated.com

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Lightly charred and crispy at the edges, sweet and caramelized within, Roasted Cauliflower is the most transformatively delicious way to enjoy this cruciferous veggie (especially if your only experience of it so far has been avoiding it raw on a veggie tray!). It’s easy to make, pairs with anything, and you’ll inhale it right off of the sheet pan!

Why You’ll Love Crispy Roasted Cauliflower

  • Roasted Veggies are Delicious Veggies. 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! From Roasted Butternut Squash, to Roasted Brussels Sprouts, to this medley of Oven Roasted Vegetables, they taste sweet and caramelized.
  • Versatile. Since cauliflower is mild, the seasonings are ultra-flexible. You can pair it with whatever else you’re having for dinner. Whether you’re cooking Baked Salmon, Air Fryer Chicken Breast, or Stuffed Pork Chops, roast cauliflower is a perfect pairing.
  • Always in Season. As much as we love Roasted Asparagus, it’s not great out of season. You can get good quality cauliflower at a reasonable price year-round.

For more ways to cook cauliflower, check out Air Fryer Cauliflower and Whole Roasted Cauliflower.

Roasted cauliflower in a bowl

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower

  1. Cut the Florets. Place on a baking sheet.
Seasoned cauliflower florets on a baking sheet
  1. Season and Toss. Use enough olive oil to moisten them and any seasonings you like. Move them into a single layer. (You do not need to cover baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, though you can if you like.)
  1. Roast. Cook cauliflower at 425°F for 22 to 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. ENJOY!
Easy roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet

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

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

Roasted cauliflower goes well with just about any protein, including both meat and seafood.

Crispy roasted cauliflower florets

More Ways to Use Roasted Cauliflower

A baking sheet with roasted cauliflower

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.

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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