Made with just four simple ingredients, this super easy Roasted Cauliflower Recipe is shockingly addictive and bursting with delicious flavor in every single tender bite. Completely customizable, Learn How to Roast Cauliflower right at home with this step-by-step guide and tutorial.
Cauliflower is a hard vegetable to love. So when I started roasting different vegetables like asparagus, beets, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and, of course, cauliflower, everything changed.
Like little bits of tender, caramelized, buttery pieces of heaven, roasted cauliflower is not only delicious but also highly customizable. Add your favorite seasoning or sauce and cauliflower is happy to adapt into whatever flavor you’re hoping to achieve.
Today I’m keeping things basic with a simple roasted cauliflower recipe. But don’t let “basic” fool you– this cauliflower is loaded with flavor. Instead, use this recipe as a guide to learn how to roast cauliflower.
Before you know it, you’ll be popping little roasted cauliflower florets like candy. No, seriously.
How to choose a good cauliflower
Fortunately, choosing a good cauliflower is much more straightforward than, say, watermelon. That said, here are a few tips when buying cauliflower from your local grocery store or farmer’s market.
- Your cauliflower should feel heavy for its size. I usually pick up a couple of cauliflower of similar shape and size and see how they compare in weight.
- It should look creamy-white in color and be free of discoloration, browning, or wet spots.
- You want densely packed florets. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with weight.
- What do the leaves look like? Are they still vibrant and fresh-looking? Good. This indicates that the cauliflower was recently harvested.
- If the cauliflower smells bad, or even just a little off, move on to a different one.
How to store raw cauliflower
Typically when I purchase cauliflower from the grocery store, it will come tightly wrapped in some sort of a plastic or wrapped in nothing at all. The best thing to do then, once you get home, is to unwrap it and transfer your cauliflower to a loosely sealed plastic bag with a paper towel.
When cauliflower is tightly wrapped in plastic it traps moisture and thus promotes, or expedites, rot. Transferring to a loosely sealed plastic bag with a paper towel and placing in the refrigerator, however, will allow the paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
The same concept applies to cauliflower florets (versus a whole head of cauliflower).
How long can cauliflower be safely stored in the refrigerator?
I always use my best judgment here. If it looks bad or smells bad, then it’s probably bad. That said, here’s a rough guideline:
- Whole cauliflower: 4-7 days
- Pre-cut florets: 4 days or less
How do I cut cauliflower?
Despite their seemingly impenetrable exterior, cauliflower is actually quite easy to chop up or break apart into florets.
Below is the easiest way to cut a cauliflower when you want to be super exact, however, don’t get hung-up on chopping your cauliflower into the “perfect” florets. There’s no such thing.
- Start by removing the greens. It’s easiest to simply snap these off using your hands.
- Then you’ll notice a central stem in the middle. If you can’t really see it, just know it’s there, right in the middle. All the florets are attached to this central stem by their own little branches (like a tree).
- Use a large chefs knife to cut the cauliflower in half.
- From here you can chop each half in half (giving you four quarters), or simply start cutting (or breaking off) florets from the stem.
- Some florets will be much larger than the others. I like to use a knife to slice these in half lengthwise.
That’s all there is to it!
One large cauliflower should yield approximately 4-5 cups of cauliflower florets.
Simple Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients
You really only need two main ingredients to make simple, delicious, roasted cauliflower.
- Cauliflower – I think we’ve got this one covered, yes?
- Oil – I usually use olive oil to roast vegetables. It has a high smoke-point (425 degrees F) and tastes good. Another solid option, though perhaps somewhat unexpected, is Ghee. Ghee is clarified butter and comes with a smoke point over 450 degrees F. My third choice would be avocado oil.
- Salt and freshly-cracked pepper – Start with a generous sprinkle, but definitely leave room to add more if desired. The last thing you want to do is over salt your cauliflower.
This is it. Literally FOUR ingredients to the best-roasted cauliflower ever!
Roasted Cauliflower Variations
I probably stick with this classic, simple, definitely NOT boring roasted cauliflower recipe at least 75% of the time because it’s just that good.
That said, one of the best parts about this easy roasted cauliflower is how easy it is to transform and play with different flavors. Cauliflower is, after all, fairly neutral in taste, and easily adapts to other seasonings and tastes.
- Taco Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning
- Italian Seasoning
- Fresh minced garlic or garlic powder
- Chili Powder
- Sumac Powder
- Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower – If you love parmesan cheese even half as much as me, then you’ll love roasting your cauliflower with it! Follow this simple roasted cauliflower recipe, but add approximately 1/2 cup shredded parmesan when tossing in oil.
- Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower – A personal (and reader!) favorite, these delicious little bites of crispy cauliflower are roasted and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce. Just like buffalo wings, minus the guilt.
- Spicy Roasted Cauliflower (recipe coming soon!) – who doesn’t love a little Sriracha with their cauliflower?
- Lemon Roasted Cauliflower – As simple as adding fresh lemon zest before roasting and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley just after it comes out of the oven completely transforms this deliciously simple roasted cauliflower recipe into a fresh lemon version.
- Miso Roasted Cauliflower – The perfect fusion of salty, sweet and spicy with every bite.
- Curry Roasted Cauliflower – Healthy, low-carb, bites of cauliflower covered in curry spices? Don’t mind if I do.
How to Roast Cauliflower
To make delicious roasted cauliflower simply,
- Prepare the cauliflower – Wash, dry, and remove all greens from the cauliflower. Next, chop the cauliflower into 1 to 2-inch florets.
- Prepare your baking sheet – Preheat oven to 425° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. You may also lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Toss cauliflower in olive oil – In a large mixing bowl or directly on the baking sheet (as shown in the images) toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper (and any other spices or seasoning you desire). Arrange the cauliflower florets in a single layer.
- Bake – Transfer baking sheet to the oven an roast for approximately 25 minutes, or until fully cooked and just starting to brown at the edges.
- Optional- for extra crispy edges, set oven to broil and roast for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve – Remove baking sheet from the oven, season with additional salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Is Roasted Cauliflower Healthy?
The Nutrition Facts for 1 large head cauliflower (6-7″ diameter):
- Calories: 209 calories
- Fat: 2.4 g (3%)
- Cholesterol: 0 g
- Sodium: 252 mg (10%)
- Potassium: 2512 mg (71%)
- Carbohydrates: 42 g (14%)
- Fiber: 17g (68%)
- Sugars: 16 g
- Protein: 16 g (32%)
Cauliflower also comes loaded with Vitamin C (674 %), Vitamin B-6 (75%), and Magnesium (31%).
It’s also low fat, low-calorie, and low-carb vegetable that is filled with protein and fiber.
But, how healthy is roasted cauliflower?
In general, eating roasted vegetables is much better than eating no vegetables at all. It is known that roasting any vegetable will lower the levels of certain nutrients, such as water-soluble vitamins like C and some B vitamins. However, it is also known that cooking may also make it easier for certain nutrients to be absorbed. So, no matter how you look at it, eating cauliflower (raw, roasted, riced, mashed, steamed) is beneficial.
Love Cauliflower? Check out,
- Cauliflower Leek and Potato Soup (Dairy-Free)
- Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Salsa Verde Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos
- Buffalo Chicken and Cauliflower Taquitos
- Skinny Baked Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Healthy Curried Kale and Cauliflower Turmeric Soup
If you make this roasted cauliflower recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Easy Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
- 1 large head cauliflower - chopped into small florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper - to season
- Prepare the cauliflower - Wash, dry, and remove all greens from the cauliflower. Next, chop the cauliflower into 1 to 2-inch florets. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Toss cauliflower in olive oil - In a large mixing bowl or directly on the baking sheet (as shown in the images) toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange cauliflower florets in a single layer.
- Bake - Transfer baking sheet to the oven an bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until fully cooked and just starting to brown at the edges. Optional- for extra crispy edges, set oven to broil and roast for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve - Remove baking sheet from the oven, season with additional salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
- This post was originally published on January 18, 2017
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)