How to Roast Cauliflower

By Sally Cameron on January 19, 2014

Cooking Basics & How To, Gluten-Free, the daniel plan, Vegan, Vegetarian

Roasted cauliflower tastes so incredible you cannot stop eating it. No kidding. It’s like the candy of the vegetable world. At least that is my experience. I made it to go with last week’s kale salad recipe and it came out so good I wrote a separate post and recipe for you. You’ve got to try this! It could change anyone from a cauliflower hater to a cauliflower lover. Never done it? It’s so easy! Here is how to roast cauliflower.

roasted cauliflower |

About Cruciferous Vegetables

Cauliflower is a non-starchy, low-glycemic, cruciferous vegetable packed with vitamins (especially vitamin C and other antioxidants,) minerals and fiber. It’s a terrific vegetable to get more of in your diet.The cruciferous vegetable family includes broccoli, broccolini, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and collard greens. For terrific health benefits, add lots of all of these vegetables to your diet. Cauliflower is super versatile; rice it, puree it, mash it, and here is how to roast it.

How to Roast Cauliflower

As a kid, eating cauliflower meant mom steaming it until it was soft then smothering it in cheese sauce. Not any more. Here is my grown-up version of an often overlooked and unappreciated vegetable. Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and concentrates flavor. Roasting cauliflower with granulated garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil brings out a nutty, rich flavor that makes it irresistible.

Because vegetables are mostly water, moisture is released during roasting in a hot oven. Quantity shrinks, so roast more quantity than looks right per serving because the final servings will be reduced. I roast a head of cauliflower for just the two of us, and I could eat the entire pan. I told you it was good!

caulifower florets

Prep Work

Cut the core out of the head of cauliflower, then break off large florets with your hands. Trim stems. Slice florets into wedges about 1/2″ thick. Place wedges onto a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Roast for 22-25 minutes, depending on your oven. You want the top edges to be browned, but when you flip the pieces over they are mostly golden brown.

Roasted cauliflower

How to Buy Cauliflower

While you may occasionally find cauliflower in orange and lavender shades, white cauliflower is most widely available.  Look for heavy, tightly packed heads without any brown spots or discoloration. Cauliflower will keep about a week in the refrigerator. You can roast colored cauliflower too and it stays colorful.

Equipment Tips

I cannot live without rimmed baking sheets, mostly the quarter sheet and half sheet size. They are handy in many ways in the kitchen. Use them in this recipe for roasting your cauliflower.

Parchment paper is another must-have for me. It lines rimmed baking sheets making them easier to clean and acts as a buffer against the direct heat of the oven against a metal pan. Buy parchment in rolls in the grocery store alongside of foil, or buy packages of pre-cut half sheets at cooking stores and online. One package lasts years, but it is something you will not be without once you understand how useful it is.

cauliflower head

After you roast your cauliflower, you can also try this roasted cauliflower and garlic soup. It’s creamy and wonderful.

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Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting cauliflower brings out its natural, nutty sweetness. Make more than you think you need. It is terrific! Add to a kale salad, toss with pasta or zucchini noodles, or enjoy as a side dish. Chop it up and mix with rice for a combination grain-vegetable side.


  • 1 large head of fresh cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Equipment
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Baking parchment roll or pre-cut sheets


  • Pre-heat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment paper. Break off any green leaves from a head of cauliflower.  Cut the core from the head and with your hands, break off large florets. Slice florets into approximately 1/2″ wedges. You will have some rounded ends and pieces. Don’t be concerned.
  • Scatter cauliflower onto rimmed baking sheet, laying flat sides down. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic. Roast for 22-25 minutes until the top edges are browning, and the bottom edges are browned and golden.


Serving: 2
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  1. Nora Kanitz - January 20th, 2014

    I made the kale salad with the roasted cauliflower, beets and pumpkin seeds and it was delicious. So good for us also !

  2. Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon - January 20th, 2014

    Sally, I just made this with a sprinkle of curry powder. It is delicious. While I do not have a problem (yet), I love the thought of low glycemic food.


  3. Sally - January 20th, 2014

    Great Madonna! I’ve thought about using curry powder too. Just another layer of flavor! Thought about doing a big batch with curry and pureeing it for soup. Or combining with roast butternut squash…

  4. Hari Chandana - January 21st, 2014

    Looks tempting!!

  5. Sally - January 21st, 2014

    Hari, it is terrific! I hope you will try it and report back.

  6. Angela - January 24th, 2014

    A word of warning to anyone trying this…..I just ate the entire head of cauliflower, it is so delicious! The poor cauliflower has suffered from being forgotten in favour of broccoli and now kale, but this is a great way of reviving this forgotten veg! It will be a staple from now on, I sprinkled some Bombay spices with sesame seeds on it….very good, thanks for posting!

  7. Sally - January 24th, 2014

    Thanks Angela! That’s what I tell people! Several times know I have roasted an entire small head for myself and eaten almost all of it. Glad you enjoyed it. Growing up, my mom used to steam it and smother it with cheese sauce. This is better! I have another use for the roasted version too. Will have to post the recipe. Chopped some and used it mixed with Carnaroli rice like a light risotto. It was terrific.

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