Roasted Cauliflower

$3.87 recipe / $0.97 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 4 votes
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I often sing the praises of roasted vegetables, but roasted cauliflower, in particular, holds a special place in my heart because of its versatility. You can season it with just about any flavor, and it makes a great addition to a lot of different foods like salads, pasta, bowl meals, wrap sandwiches, and more! Plus, it’s good for me? SOLD.

four plates of roasted cauliflower with dipping sauces.

Is Roasted Cauliflower Crispy?

Cauliflower is a high-water content vegetable, so the only way to make it truly crispy is to deep fry it. BUT, roasting cauliflower at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time can achieve caramelized, slightly crispy edges and a center that is tender-crisp. There’s no mushy cauliflower around here!

Tips for the Best Roasted Cauliflower

  • Use fresh, not frozen, cauliflower to prevent a mushy outcome.
  • Don’t cut the florets too small or they may over cook and become mushy.
  • Use enough oil to help the edges crisp without the cauliflower drying out.
  • Don’t overcrowd the sheet pan which can trap the steam and make the cauliflower mushy.
  • Use seasoning liberally to prevent bland cauliflower and don’t forget to add salt!
  • Eat your roasted cauliflower right away for the best texture. Roasted cauliflower will become softer as it cools.

How to Season Roasted Cauliflower

Here’s where roasted cauliflower gets fun (don’t laugh, I know I’m a dork). Because cauliflower has a very neutral flavor, you can add just about anything to it! Here are some seasoning ideas for roasted cauliflower:

Keep in mind that if your seasoning blend contains salt, you may not need to add any additional salt to your cauliflower before roasting.

Close up side view of a plate full of curry roasted cauliflower and dipping sauce.

Can I Use an Air Fryer?

Using an air fryer to “roast” cauliflower is a great option. The rapidly circulating hot air of an air fryer helps the moisture in the cauliflower to evaporate faster, helping it crisp up on the edges. To cook your cauliflower in an air fryer, simply season the cauliflower florets as directed below, then cook at 400°F for about 10 minutes or until crispy (depending on the size of the florets), flipping every 5 minutes.

How to Serve Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower is so much more than just a side dish! I love piling it onto bowl meals, salads, stuffing it into wrap sandwiches, adding it to pasta and more! Here are a few great recipes that use roasted cauliflower:

A plate full of Cajun Roasted Cauliflower with dipping sauce.
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Roasted Cauliflower

5 from 4 votes
Roasted cauliflower is an easy and versatile ingredient that makes a great side dish or can be added to any meal for more flavor and texture.
Four plates full of roasted cauliflower with dipping sauce.
Servings 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower ($3.49)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.26)
  • 1 tsp seasoning of choice ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp salt* ($0.02)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the outer leaves on the cauliflower, then rinse the cauliflower well. Cut the head into quarters, then slice off the core. Break the remaining cauliflower into large florets.
  • Place the florets onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, your favorite seasoning, and salt (if your seasoning does not contain salt). Toss the cauliflower until well coated in oil and seasonings. Spread the cauliflower out evenly over the baking sheet, making sure it's not too crowded.
  • Roast the cauliflower for about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, or until the cauliflower reaches your desired level of browning.

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Notes

*If your seasoning of choice contains salt, you may not need any additional salt. You can taste and add salt as needed after roasting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 101kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSodium: 189mgFiber: 3g
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Roasted cauliflower being dipped into a dish of sauce.

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower – Step by Step Photos

Cauliflower being cut into florets.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the outer leaves from the head of cauliflower. Wash the cauliflower, then cut the head into quarters. Once in quarters, slice off the core.

Cauliflower florets on a cutting board.

Break the remaining cauliflower into large florets (the cauliflower will shrink some as it roasts).

Cauliflower florets on a sheet pan being seasoned.

Place the florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season the cauliflower with a teaspoon of your favorite seasonings (if your seasoning blend does not contain salt, also add ¼ tsp salt). We did two flavors per sheet pan, but you can do just one if you’d like.

Cauliflower on the sheet pan ready to roast.

Toss the cauliflower until it is very well coated in both oil and seasoning. Spread the florets out so that they’re spaced evenly and not overcrowded.

Roasted cauliflower on the sheet pan.

Roast the cauliflower for about 25 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of browning, stirring once halfway through. The total time needed to roast the cauliflower will depend on the size of your florets, so keep an eye on them!

Four plates full of roasted cauliflower with dipping sauce.

Enjoy your roasted cauliflower with your favorite dipping sauce or as part of your favorite meal!

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Comments

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  1. Love roasted cauliflower steaks.
    No need to get fancy.
    Just olive oil, salt & pepper.
    Cut head of cauliflower into big slices about 1/2 inch thick.
    You can flip them 1/2 way through cooking time.
    So delicious even men like their vegetables if it looks like a steak.

  2. I make roasted cauliflower using this same basic recipe all the time. I find that tossing the florets in olive oil, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast is the best. The nutritional yeast gives it a buttery flavor without adding butter.

    1. YESSSSSS! I just commented that I love nutritional yeast on my roasted cauliflower!

  3. Yum, looks good! I can’t wait to try these seasoning suggestions – I’ve roasted cauliflower before but never thought to add flavors like this.

    Random question: When you take pictures for recipes, do you do it with smaller quantities than the actual recipe calls for? Seems to me like there’s no way the sheet-pan pictures above are showing an entire head of cauliflower! I’ve wondered about this on other recipe pictures too. While it results in gorgeous pics, it does make it a bit harder as a reader to anticipate quantities and know whether I’ll need a second sheet pan in order to fit it all without overcrowding …

    1. If all your florets can fit on one sheet pan without touching, great! If not, I would transfer some to another tray — as we suggest in the Tips section.

      We work to be as authentic as possible with our photos so that readers are confident they will achieve similar results. As the recipe indicates, you should use one head of cauliflower (approx. 1 lb. of florets) per tray with up to 2 different spice blends. What you see in the step-by-step process photos is a true representation of that. Since we made four different versions, we used 2 whole heads of cauliflower (which is what you see in the photo of four bowls, side by side.) Also, the cauliflower itself is part of the problem! We discovered testing this recipe that a head of cauliflower (same brand, different days) can yield anywhere from 3/4 lbs – 1 1/2 pounds of florets…which is a wildly big difference to the eye and the stomach! One of the heads we bought looked more like broccoli once we removed the shrink wrap and leaves — mostly stem! ~ Marion :)