Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

$3.36 recipe / $0.84 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.47 from 13 votes
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You know you’re on to something good when you’re cooking vegetables, but it smells like there’s a pizza in the oven. And for some reason, this Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower smelled exactly like pizza.

I guess it was something about the garlic, oregano, and Parmesan that made this Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower smell so much like pizza, but it doesn’t matter. After smelling that for 30+ minutes I was ready to devour the cauliflower as soon as it came out of the oven. Did it taste like pizza? No, not really, but it had its own killer flavor. The smoky paprika, nutty Parmesan, and hints of oregano and garlic were to die for.

A bowl of Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower on a zig zag napkin, title text at the top

What to Serve with Roasted Cauliflower

You can serve this Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower as a side dish (it would go great with a pasta dish like Garden Vegetable Lasagna Roll Ups), or it can be served as an appetizer with some dipping sauces, like ranch dressing, chimichurri, 5-Minute Nacho Cheese Sauce, or pizza sauce

Can I Substitute the Smoked Paprika?

If you’re just not into smoky flavors, this recipe is actually still really delicious (just a different flavor) if you leave the smoked paprika out. The combination of garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and Parmesan is still amazing with cauliflower. If you want to add some sweet paprika for color, you can do so.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

If you’ve been around Budget Bytes for a while, you probably know that I love to roast frozen broccoli florets. While you can use the same technique with this recipe using frozen cauliflower, it does create a softer, wetter end result. I like how the Parmesan crisps up really well when you use fresh cauliflower in this recipe.

Side view of a bowl of Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Are you ready to make some pizza-smelling, mouth-watering cauliflower??

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Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

4.47 from 13 votes
Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is an easy, smoky, and savory side dish or snack for dipping in your favorite sauces.
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour



  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil and misting lightly with non-stick spray.
  • In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill), and grated Parmesan.
  • Remove the leaves from the cauliflower, then cut into small florets. Place the florets in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the florets until they are evenly coated in oil. Add about 3/4 of the Parmesan spice mixture to the bowl and toss the florets until coated again.
  • Spread the florets out over the surface of the baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer. Add any Parmesan and spices left in the bottom of the bowl to the top of the florets, then sprinkle the remaining, unused portion of the Parmesan spice mix over top.
  • Roast the cauliflower in the fully preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the cauliflower is tender. The parmesan will melt slightly and become crispy. Serve hot out of the oven.

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 107.75kcalCarbohydrates: 9.1gProtein: 4.48gFat: 7.1gSodium: 342.15mgFiber: 3.6g
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Try These Other Roasted Cauliflower Recipes:

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower – Step by Step Photos

Smoky Parmesan spice mix in a bowl with a spoon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bow, mix together 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill), and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan.

Chopped Cauliflower florets

Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, then cut it into small florets. I’m not sure how best to describe the size, just keep in mind that they will shrink a bit as they roast so you don’t want them TOO small, but larger florets will take longer to roast.

Seasoned Cauliflower florets in a bowl

Place the florets in a large bowl and drizzle 1.5 Tbsp olive oil over top. Toss the florets until they’re evenly coated in oil. Add almost all of the Parmesan spice mixture and toss again. Save about 1/4 of the Parmesan spice mixture to sprinkle over top just before baking.

Cauliflower florets on a sheet pan, ready to roast

Spread the seasoned florets over a baking sheet covered in foil and lightly misted with non-stick spray. Sprinkle any Parmesan mixture from the bottom of the bowl, as well as the reserved portion, over top of the cauliflower. That kind of creates a crust on top.

Roasted Cauliflower close up, on the sheet pan

Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until they’re browned on the edges and the Parmesan has become a little crispy. Usually I stir vegetables at least once or twice while roasting, but this time I let it be so that the parmesan gets nice and crispy-brown on the bottom of the florets. It was SO GOOD.

Overhead view of a bowl of Smoky Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower on a zig zag napkin

Feed this to any self-proclaimed vegetable hater and then see what they say.

Close up of one cauliflower floret dipped in ranch.

Also good dipped in a variety of sauces. NOM.

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  1. So I made this with reasonably priced cauliflower, why is it so expensive??
    Husband professes to hate cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers, the list goes on and on. He also hates the smell of any of those vegetables cooking…
    Anyway, I made this according to your directions, and husband loved it! He said, “I will eat cauliflower if you fix it like that every time.” And I have been fixing it, and he is eating spices he also professes to dislike!

    1. Yay! I love converting people who think they don’t like certain vegetables! Haha

  2. Do you happen to have the nutrient facts on the recipe? Like calories, net carbs, protein, and fat contents? This came up in a search for Keto and I’m curious to know 

    1. No, I’m sorry, I do not have a reliable source for nutrition information. The calculators online that most websites and bloggers use are very inaccurate and I don’t feel comfortable posting numbers that I can’t verify.

    2. I made this recipe and while cooking, my husband thought I was making pizza. Unfortunately , my husband didn’t like it. He is not a huge fan of cauliflower or vegetables. Welp, more for me I enjoyed it a lot! I devoured the entire pan by myself lol. If I make this again, I will add more salt or garlic salt for taste. 

  3. I thought you’d enjoy hearing that my 7-year-old son declared “anyone who likes candy would love this broccoli. I mean cauliflower.” He asked me to start making it on a daily basis.
    He is a bit of a health-nut, but that’s still pretty high praise!

  4. Made this tonight, and it was absolutely delicious!

    So glad the price of cauliflower dropped recently where I am in Canada, they were at almost 7$ a head a few weeks ago, but this week I was able to snag some for 2$ each.

  5. i am going to try this! and I bet it will work with frozen cauliflower flowerets too.

  6. We made this tonight and 40 minutes at 400 degrees was way too long. After 15 the cheese on the bottom was burned. Are you sure this is the right cooking time and temp?

    1. That’s the time and temperature I used, but every oven is a little different. You can try lowering the temp 25 degrees and using parchment instead of foil, which will slow the cooking on the bottom.

  7. I made this and overcooked it and the florets shrunk to half their original size. They were still edible, although definitely not “tasty”. I’m not making this again. It was a lot of work for a tiny bowl full of popcorn-sized nuggets.

  8. I was wondering if these would taste good room temp? I feel like they might make a good movie theatre snack.

  9. Great premise; was not thrilled with the seasonings personally. I made a double batch and the result desperately needed some sauce. There were leftovers that I will probably pair with a marinara dipping sauce.

  10. I could eat this all day, every day! Thanks so much, Beth! It’s a close second to my all time favorite, your Firecracker Cauliflower :-D

    1. Yes, the idea for this actually came from the Firecracker Cauliflower! :D I wanted to do a mild version of that. I still like the Firecracker the best, though. ;)

  11. Yum!!! I am making this for the 2nd time this week. I have tried a couple other roasted cauliflower recipes and have been disappointed. My husband loves it, too, and I also wanted to have it leftover, but it was gone that night!!