Learning how to roast veggies is a good way to cook them and this roasted cauliflower recipe is no exception. In fact, cauliflower has become a big staple when on a low carb diet. It is so easy to make and delicious to eat, either by itself or as a base for other recipes.
In this recipe for roasted cauliflower, we will show you how to make cauliflower in the oven, and how you can use it after.
Years ago cauliflower was not the most popular vegetable on the dinner table. Now things have certainly changed and all kinds of things are being made out of cauliflower…pizza crust, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and the list goes on.
When you learn how to roast cauliflower it will lead you down the road to lots of other yummy foods you and your family will love.
What is Roasted Cauliflower?
Roasted cauliflower is just like it sounds, fresh cauliflower that is roasted in the oven. If you like cauliflower already, then you will love it even more after roasting it in the oven.
It takes on an almost nutty, buttery flavor when it’s cooked this way, along with being a bit crusty and caramelized on the top and certainly not mushy at all.
Is Roasted Cauliflower Healthy?
Roasted cauliflower is absolutely healthy. It’s one of those great veggies that are high in fiber, which in turn is good for your digestion and your immune system. Here are some of the nutritional benefits:
- Cauliflower has a lot of vitamins and minerals in it.
- High in fiber
- Good for digestion
- Full of antioxidants
- Helps in weight loss/low in calories and carbs
Roasted cauliflower is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Just one cup of roasted cauliflower has 92% of the Vitamin C you need in a day!
Is it Good for Losing Weight?
Eating roasted cauliflower is a great option for losing weight. Any time that you eat a lot of veggies, especially if they are roasted in the oven, they are low in calories, carbs, and fat.
You can feel free to load up your plate with cauliflower instead of other fattening side dishes that are high in carbs and calories and it will be good for you and make it easier to lose weight.
Does Roasting Cauliflower Kill Nutrients?
Roasting vegetables doesn’t kill nutrients, but it actually keeps them in better than cooking them in other ways. Anytime you roast veggies in the oven it locks not only the flavor in but also locks in the nutrients, the vitamins, and minerals.
Roasting cauliflower in the oven is definitely a better way to cook vegetables than boiling them on the stove.
Is Roasting Cauliflower Better than Steaming?
As far as timing goes, steaming is much faster than roasting, it’s about 3 times faster. However, if we are talking about which is healthier, roasting is always the best choice.
As far as taste, I think when you roast veggies they are so much tastier and we always prefer this method.
No matter what way you prepare your veggies, they are a much healthier choice on your plate than most other things, especially when you have dietary restrictions.
What Recipes Can I Use Roasted Cauliflower In?
We have a few recipes on our site that focus on cauliflower, so learning how to cook cauliflower in the oven is a good base that you can then use for making the other recipes.
These 2 recipes are our favorites that can be made out from this roasted cauliflower recipe:
What Ingredients are in Roasted Cauliflower?
- Cauliflower – A very versatile veggie and is now used in a lot of low carb or gluten-free recipes as a good replacement for pizza crust, potatoes…etc.
- Olive Oil – A nutritious oil that adds so much flavor to your recipe for roasted cauliflower.
- Salt – This spice enhances the flavors of our food.
- Pepper – Black pepper adds just a twinge of spice.
- Garlic powder – One of the best seasonings that go with so many foods. Everyone loves garlic and it gives a good flavor quickly.
- Onion Powder – And who doesn’t also love onions, so it’s a quick way to get that onion flavor.
What Seasoning Should I Use for Cauliflower?
When it comes to spices and seasonings it’s really a personal matter of taste. Some people like simple flavors like salt, pepper, maybe a little garlic powder, but if your taste buds are more advanced you may want to add some other spices.
- If you want to have an Italian flare with your oven-roasted cauliflower then you could add some fresh garlic and some Italian seasoning.
- If you want baked cauliflower for some Mexican meal then use some taco seasoning or cumin.
- If you like spicy food then add some crushed red pepper to your baked cauliflower.
- When having a steak dinner or burgers, then shake some Montreal steak seasoning on the oven-roasted cauliflower.
How to Choose Cauliflower?
If you want to make the best cauliflower, let’s first start with instructions on how to pick out a good head of cauliflower.
It’s kind of easy to pick out a fresh cauliflower. You want one that will last the longest. When you go to the store, look for a cauliflower that is free from brown spots, or black spots which means mold.
Cauliflower should be firm and white in color, and it should feel heavy. The cauliflower should be fresh and the leaves should have a vibrant green color, which confirms that it is fresh.
Until you are ready to roast cauliflower, then store it in the refrigerator. When you buy a fresh one it will last a few days before having to use it.
In order to choose a good cauliflower, pick a nice big head because they are usually sold per head rather than by the pound. I love it when they are large because when they are small I may buy 2, but when they are large I only need one.
Sometimes I buy several heads when they look really good and then I make up a few recipes from them.
Can You Roast Frozen Cauliflower?
While we prefer to use fresh, if you have frozen cauliflower then feel free to use it to make this roasted cauliflower recipe.
- Take it out of the freezer but don’t thaw it out. It will roast better if it stays frozen.
- Raise the oven temperature 50 degrees more for frozen cauliflower than for fresh cauliflower. That way the dry heat will help to evaporate any ice crystals or condensation, so that the cauliflower will roast in the oven instead of steam.
- By coating the frozen cauliflower with olive oil it will help the cauliflower edges to brown.
- Halfway through the roasting process, stir the florets so that all of the sides will brown up better.
Can You Roast Raw Cauliflower?
Raw cauliflower is great for roasting and it doesn’t need to be par-cooked ahead of time. You may think it won’t cook right and end up being too crunchy, but it won’t. It comes out great.
Every time I make roasted cauliflower I cook it starting from raw.
Tools to Use
Like with anything that we want to do successfully, we need the right tools. When making this baked cauliflower recipe you only need a few things.
- Cutting board – Use a large cutting board so that when you are cutting the cauliflower it doesn’t fly all over the counter.
- Knife – Use a large knife which will make it easier to cut the florets.
- Baking Pan – Use a large baking tray to hold a good amount of florets.
- Large Spoon or Spatula – This is for stirring up the florets half way during the roasting process.
Best Temperature to Bake Cauliflower in the Oven
The best temperature to make oven-roasted cauliflower is 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If you roast it at a lower temperature it will get mushy, and if you roast it higher then it will burn.
That’s why 425 degrees is “just right,” a lesson from goldilocks…
How Long to Roast Cauliflower
As you will see, it doesn’t take too long to make this roasted cauliflower recipe. Just stick the cauliflower in the oven at 425 degrees and roast it for 25-30 minutes and it comes out perfect.
Do You Wash Cauliflower Before Roasting?
If you can wash vegetables before cooking them that’s always a good thing to do. We suggest rinsing off your cauliflower before cutting it into florets.
However, once you rinse it off, you need to use it for your baked cauliflower recipe right away. If you were to wash it and then put it in the refrigerator for a few days, it’s easy for the cauliflower to begin to get moldy from the moisture.
How Do You Cut Cauliflower for Roasting?
Next, we need to properly cut our cauliflower before roasting it. Let’s show you how in a few easy steps.
First of all make sure that you have a big enough cutting board so that when you cut the cauliflower all of the little pieces stay on the board versus going all over your counter and making a mess.
STEP 1: Trim off any brown spots that might be there. Take off the leaves.
STEP 2: The next step is to cut the cauliflower in half and then in quarters.
STEP 3: Hold the quarter of the cauliflower vertically and use a knife to slice off the woody center. You will then be surprised how the florets just fall right off.
STEP 4: If the florets are not small enough then you may have to cut them a little smaller.
It’s best to try to make the florets uniform in size for a more even cook.
How to Make Roasted Cauliflower in the Oven
We are going to give you step by step instructions on the best way to roast cauliflower.
STEP 1: The first step is to preheat your oven to 425 degrees. If the oven is hot it will roast the cauliflower better and help it to caramelize to give you that nutty, buttery flavor.
STEP 2: Rinse off and thoroughly dry the head of cauliflower.
STEP 3: Cut the cauliflower florets, trying to cut them the same size if possible so that they will cook evenly. (See above for a little more detailed description of how to cut the cauliflower into florets.)
STEP 4: In a large bowl, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and olive oil and combine all of the ingredients well.
STEP 5: Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl and toss all together.
STEP 6: Next, get your baking sheet out. Transfer the cauliflower to the baking sheet, and spread out evenly so that all of the pieces will cook the same.
STEP 7: Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but also crispy and caramelized.
- Halfway through the process of roasting cauliflower, stir up the florets so as to make sure that they are all browning up nicely.
Once the cauliflower is done baking, serve or use it in another recipe!
How to Roast Cauliflower (Pre-Cooking It)
Should you pre-cook or steam cauliflower before roasting it?
What’s nice about roasting cauliflower is that you do not need to pre-cook it at all. Putting it in the oven raw will still make it come out and great and it’s the way we prefer to do it.
However, there are a few benefits from either partially cooking it ahead of time, either banching it or steaming it.
Here are some of the benefits of blanching cauliflower:
- Can get rid of any strong odor that is common to cauliflower
- Blanching also plumps up the florets
- Shortens the roasting time.
If you want to pre-cook it, here is what you do:
- The most common way is to blanch the florets in salted boiling water for just a couple of minutes and then drain. Then follow the directions above for roasting cauliflower in the oven.
- So then after blanching the florets, now it’s time to roast it in the oven. Follow the instructions up above for roasting cauliflower in the oven.
If you decide to blanch your cauliflower before roasting, just make sure you don’t do it for too long or else it will come out mushy.
Best Tips for Oven-Roasting Cauliflower
When making a recipe that you have never made before, it’s always good to have tips. Here are our best suggestions for how to cook cauliflower in the oven:
- Be sure to make oven roasted cauliflower at a high temperature to achieve the best crispy results.
- When you cut the florets try to cut them pretty close in size so that they will cook evenly.
- Make sure to coat all of the florets with olive oil so that they will caramelize the best way.
- Be sure to use a baking sheet that is big enough to be able to have enough room to stir the florets while roasting.
- Only roast cauliflower in a single layer. If you have too many florets to fit in a single layer on one baking sheet then use 2 sheets.
- Do not cover the cauliflower with foil or else it will steam and get mushy instead of roast and get crispy.
Why Is My Roasted Cauliflower Mushy?
One reason that your roasted cauliflower might be mushy may start in the beginning step of washing. If you do not dry it off completely then your cauliflower is wet from the beginning.
You need to make sure to roast cauliflower at a high temperature so that it can crisp up, not just bake. That is an easy way to make sure you always get the best roasted cauliflower.
Make sure to stir it during the roasting process to make sure that all sides are able to crisp up.
If you cover the cauliflower tray with foil it will trap the moisture in and in turn, make it mushy.
How to Prevent Burning Cauliflower in the Oven
Your oven-roasted cauliflower may burn in the oven if you put the temperature any higher than 425 degrees.
It can also burn if you do not toss it in olive oil. The oil will help keep it from burning, it gives it a layer of protection and causes it to roast and caramelize instead.
Which Takes Longer to Cook Broccoli or Cauliflower?
Roasting is a great way to eat veggies and is nice if you can make up a medley of more than one type at a time. In order to make a medley of more than one type at a time, you need to see which ones are compatible with each other in cooking times so that when you take your veggies out of the oven some are not raw and others too soft.
Broccoli and cauliflower are lumped in together like “veggie relatives” but FYI, broccoli cooks faster than cauliflower, so if you want to roast them together then you should start the cauliflower florets first and about 5-10 minutes later you can add the broccoli florets. Mix them together and continue to cook them another 10 minutes or so.
Different Variations of Baked Cauliflower
Once you learn how to make roasted cauliflower, you can add different spices and other ingredients to make different variations. Here are some of our favorites:
Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower: Mix in ½ cup of parmesan cheese.
Cheesy/Cheddar: 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese melted over the top.
Italian Garlic Tomato: Add some chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon italian seasoning and 1 small can of chopped tomatoes, and throw it back in the oven for 5 minutes.
Spicy Taco: 2 tablespoons Taco seasoning sprinkled over the florets, and you can even add a little crumbled ground beef.
Just mix the cauliflower using these ingredients and then follow the normal instructions for roasting.
Can I Roast Cauliflower Whole in the Oven?
Another way to roast cauliflower is to cook it in the oven whole. It’s so easy to roast cauliflower this way.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Pull off the leaves and cut off the stem.
- Put some oil in the bottom of a baking dish. A round pie plate is just the right size and shape but any pan will do.
- Place the head of the cauliflower flat side down.
- Pour some more oil over the top. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, until golden brown and soft all the way through.
- Cut it into wedges.
This is another easy way to make roasted cauliflower in the oven. Obviously cauliflower steaks are not really beef, but it’s cauliflower cut into large, thick slabs.
They are really tasty when seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning, the same yummy stuff that I put on my steaks everytime I cook them.
Cutting your cauliflower into “steaks” is mmm good. These are especially tasty for our vegetarians and vegans that don’t eat meat.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut off the leaves and the stem from the head of cauliflower.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cut through the head and then cut slices 1-1.5 inch thick.
- Mix some oil, and spices of your choice in a bowl and then brush it on the slices.
- Bake them on the lined tray for 15-20 minutes.
GRILLED: For another variation of cauliflower steaks, try cooking them on the grill. Just char them on the grill about 2 minutes on both sides, then place them on a grill pan for about 20 minutes to complete their cooking process.
Roasted Cauliflower in Air Fryer
Another way to roast cauliflower is in an air fryer. This is great because it’s easy to use and it cooks your cauliflower quickly. It doesn’t heat up your kitchen on a hot summer day and the clean up is a snap!
Using the air fryer will make your cauliflower nice and crispy and in less time than the oven.
Just follow these simple steps:
- Just toss it in some olive oil and sprinkle it with salt.
- Air fry it at 400 degrees for about 13 minutes and stop it a couple of times to shake the basket which will move the florets around.
- If it does not look done then cook the oven-roasted cauliflower for another couple of minutes.
Diets This Recipe is Good For
- Keto/Low Carb – Cauliflower like most other vegetables are good for a low carb way of eating.
- Paleo – A perfect choice and a favorite for this way of eating.
- Gluten-free – There is no gluten in roasted cauliflower.
- Vegetarian – A good veggie for a vegetarian.
- Vegan – This is a good choice for a vegan.
- Nut-free – Not nuts in roasted cauliflower.
- Dairy-free – There is no dairy when you make roasted cauliflower, only if you take the cauliflower and then proceed to use it in a cheesy recipe.
How to Serve Oven-Roasted Cauliflower
When your oven-roasted cauliflower is done cooking, there are so many things you can do with it. You can either serve it as a side vegetable along with your meat or fish, or you can take it and then proceed to use it in other recipes, like cauliflower mac and cheese, and cauliflower casserole.
As a side dish, serve it on the side of:
- Pork Chops
- Chicken, grilled or baked
- Salmon, Swordfish, Shrimp…and the list goes on
- You can also throw some butter on the cauliflower, for extra rich flavor.
What to Do with Leftovers
Once you are done eating your baked cauliflower and you have some leftover, then you can store it in the refrigerator. Then you can either eat it the way it is or you can use it in another recipe. Here are some ideas to make with any leftover roasted cauliflower:
- British Piccalilli – Hot mustard, ginger, turmeric, which is combined with the cauliflower to make this tangy pickle to put on meats, sandwiches, or charcuterie boards….
- Cauliflower Popcorn – Add some spices of your choice to some sour cream and dip the florets into the dip.
- Throw some florets on top of your favorite salad.
- Add some nuts, all kinds of nuts to the cauliflower.
- Make cauliflower soup.
- Turn it into Cauliflower Rice.
- Cheese fritters, fried.
Meal Prep with Roasted Cauliflower
It’s always nice when you can make things in advance and then use them at a later time. It’s like doing something once and then reaping the benefits later on. I love to cook things in an abundance ahead of time and then enjoy the leftovers later when I may not have as much time to cook.
I also love to get a good sale on things and then not having to pay full price later on. So if cauliflower is on sale, sometimes half price, you can get 2 heads for the price of one. That is a great time to stock up and roast a bunch of cauliflower and then you can have it ready to use in recipes or freeze it.
One time-saving trick is to get your cauliflower washed, cut, and prepared and put on the cookie sheet. Cover it with foil or plastic and refrigerate until you are ready to bake it.
How to Store Roasted Cauliflower
The best way to store leftover roasted cauliflower is to put it in an air-tight plastic container in the refrigerator and it will last up to a week. If your house is anything like our house, it will all be eaten up way before the week is over.
How to Reheat Baked Cauliflower
Reheating baked cauliflower is very simple. Just stick it on a baking sheet and heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Can You Freeze Roasted Cauliflower?
If you have leftover roasted cauliflower you can freeze it and save it for a later date. It will last 6 months in your freezer if wrapped properly.
I like to put it in an airtight plastic container and then put the container into a ziploc freezer bag for double protection against freezer burn.
When you want to eat it after it’s been frozen, take it out of the freezer but do not thaw it out. Just pop it on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to crisp it back up.
You can either eat it as a side dish or use it in a recipe, mixed with cheese, bacon, etc.
More Roasted Vegetable Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other roasted vegetables then try our:
This recipe is a guide on how to roast cauliflower, which then can be served as a side dish or used as a base for other yummy recipes. Cauliflower is a base for other great low carb foods such as pizza crust, potato salad, mac and cheese, and the list goes on. It’s easy to make roasted cauliflower and delicious to eat and fits into a good amount of diet plans.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp black pepper
- The first thing to do in order to make this recipe for roasted cauliflower is rinse off your head of cauliflower. Just be sure to dry it off so that the moisture does not stay in the head because then you’re roasting cauliflower may get mushy.
- The next step is to cut it. If you have never cut a head of cauliflower before, don’t be nervous because it is a very easy step.
- Get a large cutting board so that when you do your cuts the cauliflower will stay on the board instead of all over the counter.
- Next trim off any brown spots that might be there and take off all of the leaves.
- Cut your veggie in half and then in quarters.
- Hold the quarter of the cauliflower vertically and use a knife to slice off the woody center. You will then be surprised how the florets just fall right off.
- If the florets are not small enough then you may have to cut them a little smaller, trying to keep them uniform in size for a more even result when roasting them.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and get a large baking sheet.
- In a large bowl combine all of our spices and olive oil. Now add your cauliflower florets to the bowl and toss it all together.
- Place it all on a large baking sheet spreading it out evenly so that all of the pieces will cook the same.
- Bake 25-30 degrees or until the roasted cauliflower is tender but also crispy and caramelized. Halfway through the roasting process, stir up florets to make sure that they are all browning up nicely.
Be sure to roast cauliflower at a high temperature to achieve the best crispy/ caramelized result.
When you cut the florets try to cut them pretty close in size so that they will cook evenly.
Make sure to coat all of the florets with olive oil for best results roasting cauliflower in the oven.
Make sure to use a baking tray that is big enough to hold all of your cauliflower in a single layer for best results. If you have too much then you may have to do it on 2 trays.
Do not cover the cauliflower with aluminum foil or else you may end up with mushy cauliflower.
3.5 NET CARBS PER SERVING
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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