This is one of the base recipes featured in our Whole Life Meal Plan. If you think that you don’t like cauliflower, then you have to try this oven roasted cauliflower base recipe. If you already like cauliflower, get ready to like it even more! We love roasting vegetables in general, but there is something almost magical about cauliflower when it is roasted!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For culinary success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Roasted Cauliflower
Combining the oil, salt, and spices together first ensures even flavor distribution.
If using a whole head of cauliflower, be sure to cut it into uniform, bite-sized pieces. If using bagged florets, break large pieces into smaller pieces.
Should you steam cauliflower before roasting? Nope! The cauliflower will cook all the way through in the oven.
Do not overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding causes steaming which will lead to mushy cauliflower!
Drizzle this simple roasted cauliflower with fresh lemon juice after cooking for a pop of bright flavor.
For best results when roasting, use our memorable acronym: ROAST WELL.
Set your oven to a high cooking temperature to achieve optimal caramelization. In general, anywhere between 400ºF and 500ºF is considered a roasting temperature.
Don’t be scared of oil! Healthy oils add nutrition, satiety, and great flavor to roasted vegetables. Make sure every piece is thoroughly coated with oil; it’s better to use a little too much than not enough. Use oils with high smoke points, such as canola or avocado oil.
If you want to roast an assortment of vegetables at the same time, select ones that are similar and will cook in the same amount of time.
Skip Pan Liners
For best caramelization and browning, place the oil-coated vegetables directly onto the pan. Although parchment paper, silicone mats, and foil make clean-up easier (we get it!), your vegetables won’t be quite as delicious.
Traditional Sheet Pan
When roasting, be sure to use a traditional sheet pan, with no more than a 1-inch rim along the sides. Deeper dishes cause vegetables to steam rather than roast – not optimal when trying to make crispy veggies! A metal pan also ensures browning.
Wash and Dry
You should always wash fresh produce before eating or cooking, but another important step when roasting is to make sure your vegetables are dry. Water generates steam, and again, we want to avoid steam to ensure the vegetables turn brown and crispy.
It is important to make your pieces approximately the same size to ensure even cooking. Small pieces cook faster than large pieces. Check out our online Knife Skills class to improve your speed and efficiency in the kitchen!
Spread the vegetables out on a sheet pan and leave plenty of space around each piece. If you overcrowd the pan, the vegetables will steam. Are you noticing a trend here? Steam is the enemy when trying to create crisp, roasted veggies!
When in doubt, use two pans. Yes, that might mean more dishes to clean, but we promise that it will be worth it!
Let them Cook!
Cooking requires patience. While it can be tempting to pull the vegetables from the oven once they are soft, make sure that they get that nice, brown exterior. For longer cooking vegetables, such as potatoes, you can stir them halfway through the cook time to brown on all sides, but it’s not totally necessary.
To learn more about how to roast vegetables, check out this article!
- Canola Oil: substitute avocado or a lower quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Cauliflower: use pre-chopped florets or a head of cauliflower. Some grocery stores carry colorful cauliflower – purple, yellow, and green. Try it out for a fun change in color!
- Spices: use just one spice, a combination of your favorites, or a pre-made spice blend. Chili powder, paprika, turmeric, cumin, and garlic powder are some of our favorites.
Because this is a base recipe, the goal is for you to customize it to your taste!
Want some extra heat? Make spicy roasted cauliflower by adding ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
There are so many seasoning options for roasted cauliflower florets. Use spices to match the flavors of your favorite cuisine.
- Indian spiced roasted cauliflower: use garam masala or curry powder.
- Mediterranean roasted cauliflower: use ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and add fresh chopped dill after cooking.
- Mexican roasted cauliflower: add ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and ½ teaspoon paprika.
Sprinkle with or toss in fresh chopped parsley, basil, dill, or cilantro after cooking for herb roasted cauliflower.
No lemon? No problem! Oven roasted cauliflower without lemon still tastes great.
Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan to make roasted cauliflower with parmesan.
As always, use our recipe as a guide, then adjust to YOUR taste!
You just need a few simple equipment items for this recipe!
Is this a Healthy Roasted Cauliflower Recipe?
Roasted cauliflower has far more flavor than raw or steamed, so if you’re working to get picky eaters to eat their veggies, this is an easy recipe to add to your rotation! The featured ingredients in this recipe are cauliflower, healthy cooking oil, and spices.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that contains many vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that may decrease inflammation and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. (1, 2, 3)
Canola oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. It also has a high smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat cooking methods, such as roasting.
Spices add flavor and nutrition to this recipe. Using spices decreases the need for salt, which may help reduce hypertension risk and therefore promote heart health. (4) Additionally, most spices contain powerful antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation in the body. (5)
Learn more about the health benefits of spices in this article!
Serving Suggestions for Oven Roasted Cauliflower
Serve this easy roasted cauliflower as a tasty side to roasted fish, beef and bean burgers, or turkey meatballs to create a balanced plate. Or combine with whole grains and beans for a balanced bowl. Combine with cooked quinoa, roasted chickpeas, shredded chicken, and a tasty vinaigrette to make a beautiful and flavorful meal!
Oven roasted cauliflower will last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, although it will definitely lose some of its crispness as it sits! Reheat in a 350ºF oven for best texture.
Want more healthy vegetable recipes?
Check out these favorites, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Base Recipe
- 12 ounces cauliflower florets (~1 large head)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons canola or avocado oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ – 1 teaspoon spices (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons grated or shredded cheese
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Lemon juice and/or zest from half lemon
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, salt, pepper, and optional spices.
- Break larger cauliflower florets into smaller pieces and add to the bowl. Using a spatula, toss to evenly coat with oil mixture.
- Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the pan. Roast 16-18 minutes or until edges are brown and florets are easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with optional ingredients to taste. Enjoy!