Quick, easy, and deliciously seasoned, this roasted cauliflower is the perfect side dish to compliment any main. About five minutes of prep, and a few simple seasonings–this is baked cauliflower the whole family will *actually* love.
Is Roasted Cauliflower Healthy? Keto? Low Carb? Paleo?
Roasted cauliflower is about as healthy as it gets. As you may know, cauliflower is high in vitamins and minerals, including some antioxidants (more on the health benefits here).
It’s also low in carbs and high in fiber, making it a great low carb vegetable for those following a keto or paleo eating plan.
How Do You Clean and Prepare Cauliflower?
If you’re short on time, buy a bag of cauliflower florets from the store. If using a whole head of cauliflower, follow these steps to get it ready for roasting:
Step 1: Remove the outer leaves
Simply pull them from the base. This makes it easier to find and slice the core.
Step 2: Slice in half
Through the crown and the stem, this step makes it easier to identify and slice the florets.
Step 3: Slice in half again
Place cauliflower halves cut side down, and slice through the center a second time. You should now have 4 quarters.
Step 4: Remove the core
Cut at an angle to remove the core from the center of the cauliflower
Step 5: Pull cauliflower into florets
They should fall apart easily now that the core has been removed. I typically slice these florets into even pieces so they roast in the same amount of time.
Switch up your baked cauliflower seasoning
Below you’ll see my basic seasoning combo for roasted cauliflower. It’s delicious, yet not cuisine specific, so it can work as a side to all sorts of dishes. Feel free to substitute the spices for your favorites, here are some ideas:
- Mexican roasted cauliflower – Swap olive oil for veggie or avocado oil. Use some chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and maybe some cotija!
- Lebanese roasted cauliflower – Add allspice and cinnamon to the seasoning, and serve with a side of tahini dressing.
- Indian roasted cauliflower – Curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger are all delicious Indian spices, feel free to use a combination here.
- Italian roasted cauliflower – Mix some Italian seasoning and garlic powder into the seasoning, and finish with a sprinkle of parmesan (like my crazy addicting parmesan roasted broccoli).
Other Ways to Cook Cauliflower
Cauliflower is delicious cooked almost every way. We love grilled, air fried, and roasted cauliflower most. Here’s a basic how to so you can decide your favorite method:
- How to grill cauliflower: Cauliflower is most easily grilled when cut into steaks, the florets will fall between the grates. Heat grill to medium, grease grates, and grill, covered, until tender–should be about 5 minutes on each side.
- How to saute cauliflower: When sauteeing cauliflower, you’ll typically want to steam it until almost tender first–I do this in the microwave with a splash of water for about 4 minutes. Then saute to crisp the outside in a pan with oil, until browned, about 2-3 minutes. (Psst–saute times will vary, but you can do this with any of your favorite roasted vegetables like roasted broccoli)
- How to air fry cauliflower: Toss cauliflower in oil, then roast at 400 in your air fryer. Toss the cauliflower every 5 minutes to ensure an even “fry”.
Can you roast frozen cauliflower?
You can, however, we much prefer the texture of fresh cauliflower, as frozen cauliflower will typically be soggy. If you want to test it out for yourself, follow the instructions below, substituting fresh cauliflower for frozen.
What to do with Leftover Roasted Cauliflower?
We love to reheat this roasted cauliflower and serve it as a side or snack whenever we’re craving veggies. But it’s also great mixed into all sorts of dishes, here are some ideas for you:
- Serve with a sauce as a snack or appetizer. Think aioli, guacamole, anything goes! I love doing this with a platter of roasted veggies–roasted broccolini and roasted onions are a great match.
- Mixed into a salad. It’s great with veggies and meat over a bed of greens. It’ll also save you a few steps if you want to make a cauliflower potato salad.
- Use as a meat substitute in tacos, wraps, sandwiches, etc. OR, buffalo cauliflower, cauliflower parmesan, you name it.
- Mash it! Mashed cauliflower is a delicious substitute for starchy potatoes, while cauliflower hummus is a great bean-free dip for veggies or chips. You can also mash it into a sauce like dairy-free alfredo.
- Dice it, and toss it into veggie sides, think tabbouleh, bean salads, or shirazi.
- Rice your cauliflower, and use it to make cauliflower risotto or Mexican cauliflower rice.
- Blend it into a soup. Cauliflower cheese soup is a wintertime staple.
- Last but not least: pasta substitute. You’ve already roasted it, so it’s ready to be tossed in your favorite sauce. Think cauliflower mac and cheese, or cauliflower lasagna.
Roasted cauliflower comes together easily and effortlessly by following the instructions below. The most common issues arise when it’s overcrowded on the pan. Here are some troubleshooting answers for you:
- Why does my roasted cauliflower get mushy? Overcrowding your pan will cause the cauliflower to steam and get soggy, rather than roast and caramelize. Always make sure there’s enough space around the florets. If you don’t have enough room on your baking sheet, divide the cauliflower on two separate pans! Using too much oil may also cause the cauliflower to become soggy.
- Why is my roasted cauliflower tough? Tough cauliflower is undercooked. When baking cauliflower, your cook time will vary depending on the size of your florets. So it’s best to use your judgment and pull the cauliflower once it’s cooked to your desired doneness. This is why I like to cut the florets into even pieces.
- Why is my roasted cauliflower not crispy? Overcrowding your pan will prevent the oil from caramelizing along the surface of the cauliflower. Also, not tossing the cauliflower well enough in oil can prevent crisp edges.
- How long is roasted cauliflower good for? We try to eat our roasted cauliflower within 3-4 days of baking it.
More Roasted Cauliflower Recipes
- Cauliflower Stuffing
- Cauliflower Baked Ziti
- Cauliflower Pizza
- Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
- Cauliflower Rice Casserole
Roasted CauliflowerPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets about 16 ounces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Option to line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
- Place florets in the center of the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, then sprinkle with seasoning. Toss to evenly coat.
- Spread into a single layer on your prepared baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd the cauliflower (if your cauliflower seems crowded, feel free to spread them out onto a second baking sheet as well). Bake in preheated oven until cooked to your liking, about 20 minutes. Keep in mind bake times will vary depending on the size of your florets. Enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- How to cut a head of cauliflower into florets: Remove outer leaves. Slice the head of cauliflower through the center. Then cut a second time through the center for 4 quarters. Remove the core, then pull apart the florets.
- Even florets will roast best! I typically slice the larger florets in half to get the same-sized pieces for even roasting.
- Mushy cauliflower? This is most commonly due to overcrowding your pan. Don’t be afraid to divide cauliflower onto 2 baking sheets.
- Tough cauliflower? It’s probably underbaked. This is why I like to cut the florets into evenly sized-pieces.
- Leftovers? Should be good in the fridge for 3-4 days.