In this easy recipe for roasted cauliflower, the florets are tossed with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan and then baked until golden.
It's wonderfully flavorful! High-heat baking caramelizes the cauliflower and turns it into a delicacy.
This roasted cauliflower recipe is especially good. It's delicious, and my entire family loves the cheesy topping. The cauliflower becomes wonderfully creamy as it bakes! It's a lovely side dish that goes with many meals.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this roasted cauliflower recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Fresh cauliflower: You can absolutely bake frozen cauliflower. But in this recipe, I prefer to use fresh cauliflower.
- Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. It does have a relatively low smoke point (though some say that's not an issue if using extra-virgin olive oil), so you can use melted butter instead.
- Sea salt and black pepper: Freshly ground black pepper tastes best.
- Garlic powder: You can use fresh minced garlic instead. But I like how the powder uniformly coats the cauliflower and doesn't burn as quickly as minced garlic.
- Grated Parmesan: It's best to use finely grated cheese, although coarsely shredded parmesan will work if that's all you have.
- Sometimes, I use melted butter instead of olive oil. It's delicious!
- Add ½ teaspoon of onion powder and reduce the garlic powder to ½ teaspoon.
- Add a pinch of dried thyme and/or cayenne pepper. I've tried both options and enjoyed them.
- Add a teaspoon of smoked paprika. The cauliflower will have a lovely smoky flavor and an orange-hued appearance, as shown in the photo:
Roasted Cauliflower Instructions
Baking cauliflower in the oven is easy. In fact, this is one of my easiest side dishes. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe.
You start by trimming the cauliflower and separating it into florets. Try to keep the florets about the same size - use a knife to cut the bigger ones into smaller chunks. Place the cauliflower pieces in a rimmed baking dish large enough to fit them in a single layer without crowding them too much.
Toss the cauliflower with olive oil and spices. I use my hands to ensure all the pieces are well-coated.
Bake the cauliflower for 15 minutes in a 425°F oven. Gently stir it, sprinkle the florets with parmesan, and bake them for 10-15 more minutes until golden brown and tender-crisp.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
- For crispy results, try to space the florets in the baking dish. If the florets are too crowded in the pan, they will steam rather than roast and won't come out crispy.
- You can buy a whole head of cauliflower and separate it into florets (or bake a whole cauliflower!) or buy a bag of pre-washed florets. If you opt for the second option, you'll find that some cauliflower florets are quite large while others are small, as shown in the photo below. It's a good idea to cut the large ones so they are all about the same size.
Yes. But don't wash it beforehand, as moisture can cause discoloration. Wash it right before cooking and dry it well.
I don't use breadcrumbs in this recipe, and I don't miss them. It's possible to sprinkle some almond meal or crushed pork rinds on top of this dish in addition to parmesan. But this recipe is excellent with just the cheese.
For crispy results, space the florets in the baking dish. If the florets are too crowded in the pan, they will steam rather than roast and won't come out crispy.
This versatile side dish goes with anything! But since I bake it in a 425°F oven, I like to serve it with a main dish I can cook in the same oven. So, I often serve it with one of the following main dishes:
In the photo below, you can see that I am baking the cauliflower and the salmon together - I placed the pan with the salmon in the oven 15 minutes into roasting the cauliflower:
And here they are plated together - it was an excellent meal!
The leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. I usually keep them in a glass container like this one:
Reheat the leftovers gently in the microwave at 50% power before serving them. Sometimes, instead of reheating, I add them cold to a salad.
More Cauliflower Recipes
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- 1 large cauliflower head cleaned and separated into florets (1 pound)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup Parmesan dry-grated
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Place the cauliflower florets in a rimmed baking dish large enough to accommodate them in a single layer, such as a 9 X 13 rectangular baking dish.
- Toss the cauliflower florets in the pan with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I use my hands to ensure the florets are well-coated.
- Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes. Gently stir the florets and sprinkle them with the parmesan.
- Continue baking the cauliflower until tender and golden, about 10-15 more minutes.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
- For crispy results, space the florets in the baking dish. If the florets are too crowded in the pan, they will steam rather than roast and won't come out crispy.
- You can use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder. But I like how the powder uniformly coats the cauliflower and doesn't burn as quickly in the oven as fresh garlic.
- The leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently in the microwave at 50% power. Sometimes, instead of reheating the leftovers, I add them cold to a salad.