For a show stopping side dish that’s as delicious as it is healthy, check out this whole roasted cauliflower. This easy to follow method enables you to get creative with seasoning and dipping sauce. It’s low carb, and a great meat substitute if that’s what you’re after.
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Is Roasted Cauliflower Healthy? Keto? Paleo?
Cauliflower is an amazing low carb vegetable that’s packed with nutrients (check out the health facts here). It makes great bread, pasta, and grain substitute for those eating keto, paleo, or gluten free!
(3 Ingredients!) For Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Whole roasted cauliflower comes together with just 3 ingredients, 4 if you choose to add a seasoning (we always do!). Here’s what to grab and some important tips:
- Cauliflower: Grab a large head of about that’s 1 1/2 – 2 pounds, devoid of any spots on it (these are an indication the cauliflower isn’t as fresh).
- Oil: I typically use olive oil when making roasted vegetables, however, you use avocado or vegetable oil as well.
- Salt: The amount of salt you add will depend on the seasoning mix–read your label, and if salt is listed as an ingredient, only salt after if you feel your cauliflower needs it. Otherwise, sprinkle your cauliflower florets in salt before roasting.
We absolutely love seasoning our cauliflower with various spice mixes based on what we’re serving it with. Here are some delicious ideas:
- Taco seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- Curry Powder
- Harissa Seasoning Blend
- Everything but the Elote (Trader Joe’s blend)
- Grated parmesan (see my roasted acorn squash for seasoning inspo), garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- Ranch dressing seasoning
Dipping Sauce Ideas
You can also skip the seasoning and serve it with a delicious dipping sauce. Or keep the seasoning and also serve it with sauce (that’s what I do!). Keep in mind what will best complement your seasoning:
How To Roast A Whole Cauliflower Head
Not much to roasting a whole head of cauliflower–let your oven do most of the heavy lifting with this easy to follow guide:
1: Prep your cauliflower head, by trimming the leaves, and slicing the root so your head of cauliflower can sit flat as it bakes.
2: Mix your oil and seasoning together in a small bowl, and drizzle 2/3’s of it through the inside of your cauliflower.
3: Coat the florets with the remaining 1/3 of the oil and seasoning with a brush.
4: Bake. Place in a large dutch oven with a lid (or a baking dish with foil on top), and bake until softened to your liking.
How do you make crispy roasted cauliflower?
Remove the lid, and broil the cauliflower for a few minutes until the florets begin to crisp–watch carefully as it’s easy to burn at this temp. I find it easiest to transfer the cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet and broiling it about 10″ from the bottom of the broiler.
How To Serve A Roasted Head of Cauliflower
The cool thing about this whole roasted cauliflower is you can serve it as a meat substitute, or a side dish, you decide! Here are a few ways we like serving it:
- As a side to proteins, such as pan seared salmon, sous vide pork tenderloin, or grilled chicken.
- Over grains with a side salad. Couscous or quinoa, and a salad with extra dressing to drizzle on top.
Although we rarely have leftovers, this whole roasted cauliflower can be stored and reheated for a snackable veggie to much on throughout the week:
- Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. It may be easiest to break the cauliflower down into florets before stashing.
- Reheat in the oven (for a crispier texture) or microwave (will soften a bit more).
- Freezing – I don’t recommend freezing whole roasted cauliflower.
Other Cauliflower Recipes You’ll Love
- Cauliflower Risotto
- Cauliflower Lasagna
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Hummus
Whole Roasted CauliflowerPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 large cauliflower head about 1 1/4 – 2 pounds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- kosher salt
Optional seasoning (make sure your seasoning doesn't contain salt. If it does, skip or use less salt).
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon harissa powder or everything but the elote (trader joe's spice blend)
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (skip salt)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Rinse and completely dry (dab with paper towels) your head of cauliflower. Making sure to keep the core intact, remove the stem (so the cauliflower can sit flat) as well as the outer leaves.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and any seasoning you're using.
- Place cauliflower cut side up in a large casserole dish or dutch oven (that you have a lid for). Pour most of the oil and seasoning along the underside of your cauliflower, tilting it from side to side, allowing the oil to trickle down through the florets and coat the inside. Now flip the cauliflower head and use a pastry brush to coat the top in remaining oil, making sure to also use the oil that dripped through. Sprinkle the top with salt (if your seasoning mix doesn't contain salt).
- Place the cauliflower cut side down in your casserole dish or dutch oven. Cover in foil, or nestle a lid on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-50 minutes. Pull your cauliflower once it has softened to your liking–for softer cauliflower, pierce with a knife to ensure it's tender. For a bit of crunch, pull earlier. Option to broil the cauliflower for 2-4 minutes with the lid/foil removed to brown the top.
- Allow your cauliflower to rest for 10 minutes before slicing (this will help to soften the core more). Serve with sauce, and enjoy!