It doesn’t get easier than oven-roasted cauliflower! This easy roasted veggie recipe yields a perfectly crisp and caramelized batch of cauliflower. It’s an excellent side for busy weeknights and an elegant small plate for special occasions.
Cauliflower has made quite an impact on what cruciferous vegetables are capable of.
Who would have thought cauliflower could become rice, pizza crust, gnocchi, and even creamy alfredo sauce?
I LOVE cauliflower, and I’m fully on board with the cauliflower craze, but roasted cauliflower will always be my favorite.
In this post, I share my tried-and-true technique for roasting cauliflower florets so they are crispy along the edges and fork-tender through the center.
What I love most is that cooking cauliflower in a toasty oven enhances its naturally nutty and buttery flavor.
I like limiting the seasonings to garlic powder and salt, but you can adjust the spices to your taste preference. The possibilities are endless.
So if you’re looking for the best way to cook cauliflower, look no further than your oven, and let’s get ready to roast.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
- Roasting makes cauliflower crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and more flavorful.
- You can keep it simple and make it with just olive oil or get creative with your pantry spices to develop your favorite flavor combinations.
- This cauliflower side dish is easy enough for weekdays and sophisticated enough for holiday entertaining.
- Cauliflower is a delicious and nutritious low-glycemic food packed with nutrients.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cauliflower – You will need roughly four pounds of cauliflower, so 1 large or 2 small heads should be perfect. If you want to add more vegetables, go for it. Select veggies that roast at the same rate as cauliflower, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and baby potatoes.
- Cooking oil – Healthy cooking oils with a high antioxidant and low polyunsaturated fat content, like olive and avocado oil, hold up well during roasting with high heat. Coconut oil and ghee also have high smoke points and are perfect for roasting crisp-tender veggies.
- Garlic powder & salt – This is just the right amount of seasoning, but feel free to add other spices like cumin, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, or red pepper flakes.
How to Make Crispy Oven Roasted Cauliflower
- Preheat the oven and prep cauliflower: First, preheat the oven to 375°F. In the meantime, remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower heads into quarters. Next, remove the core chunks from each quarter and use your hands to separate the quarters into large florets. From there, cut each large floret into smaller pieces.
- Toss with oil and seasonings: Place the florets in a baking dish, shallow casserole pan, or sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder and salt. Give everything a good toss, ensuring the florets are coated evenly in oil and spices.
- Cook cauliflower in the oven: Spread the florets out, leaving some wiggle room between each piece, then place the baking dish in the oven and roast until golden brown and tender. Be sure to toss the cauliflower once or twice as it cooks.
To make crispy cauliflower in the oven, it must be cut the same size and spread evenly in the baking dish, preferably in a single layer. If overcrowded, the heat cannot flow around the food evenly, ultimately causing steam and soggy cauliflower. Use two baking dishes or bake in batches if you need to.
The florets must be evenly coated in oil and seasonings for the best results. I usually toss everything together directly in the baking dish, but you can also put everything in a zip-top bag and give it a good shake.
For even crispier cauliflower, switch your oven to broil during the last 3-5 minutes of the roasting time. Be sure to keep an eye on the oven, as cauliflower tends to go from perfectly roasted to overcooked in the blink of an eye.
Make cauliflower steaks. Instead of florets, cut the heads into ½” thick “steaks.” Coat with oil and seasonings and roast at 375°F until both sides of the “steaks” are caramelized.
Try fun flavoring ideas. This simply seasoned cauliflower is a perfect canvas for various sauces and seasonings. Check out these ways to kick your cauliflower up a notch:
- Buffalo – Fresh from the oven, toss with buffalo sauce; serve with celery, carrots, and blue cheese or ranch.
- Italian – Toss with Italian seasoning before roasting; 5 minutes before the florets are finished, toss them with finely minced garlic and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Mediterranean – Roast with Greek seasoning; sprinkle crumbled feta, fresh chopped herbs, lemon zest, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top before serving.
This crispy roasted cauliflower is excellent alongside meaty main courses like chicken kebabs, roasted salmon, and meatballs without breadcrumbs, but it also makes a delightful hors d’oeuvre.
Garnish it with chopped fresh herbs such as fresh parsley, cilantro, dill, or basil, and serve with dips like tahini dressing, garlic aioli, and creamy remoulade sauce.
Storing: Leftover cooked cauliflower is best kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To reheat leftovers, bake at 375°F until the pieces firm back up and are heated through.
Freezing: Frozen cooked cauliflower is never quite the same once thawed, but you can freeze it in an airtight freezer-safe zip-top bag for 2-3 months and reheat it in the oven directly from frozen. However, I don’t recommend freezing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you roast frozen cauliflower florets?
Yes! Roasting is a great way to make the most of a bag of frozen cauliflower.
For the best results, preheat the oven to 425°F. Then, pull the florets from the freezer and coat them generously with oil and spices immediately before you’re ready to roast. Remember to toss the cauliflower a couple of times as they cook.
Why is my roasted cauliflower tough?
Tough cauliflower typically means that it is undercooked. Therefore, it’s important to roast it long enough that the hard plant fibers break down and tenderize.
Why does my roasted cauliflower get mushy?
If it’s mushy, there was either too much moisture trapped inside the crevices of the cauliflower or the baking dish was overcrowded.
To get crispy in the oven, cauliflower must be dry and baked in a single, spaced-out layer. Otherwise, they begin to steam and ultimately become soggy.
More Recipes with Roasted Vegetables
- Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Salad
- Roasted Eggplant Dip
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Roasted Carrots and Onions
- Roasted Asparagus
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
The easiest way to prepare cauliflower is to roast it in the oven with your favorite seasonings. Baked cauliflower makes a perfect side dish for weeknight dinners, and you can also serve it for special occasions. All you need are a few simple ingredients.
- 1 large or 2 small cauliflower heads (about 4 pounds), cut into florets
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Place the cauliflower florets on a baking dish.
- Pour the olive oil over the cauliflower. Season with garlic powder and salt.
- Mix the cauliflower making sure that all florets are covered evenly with oil and seasoning. Spread the cauliflower evenly in the baking dish making sure it's not too crowded.
- Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and starts to caramelize. Mix the florets during cooking one or two times.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 237Total Fat 14.8gSaturated Fat 2.5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11.6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 282.4mgCarbohydrates 23.4gFiber 9.2gSugar 8.7gProtein 8.9g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.