Recipes > Side > Oven Roasted Cauliflower Base Recipe

Oven Roasted Cauliflower Base 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!
roasted cauliflower base recipe on a blue plate

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 recipe success, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for the Best Roasted Cauliflower

Combine the oil, salt, and spices together first to ensure 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!

For best results when roasting, use our memorable acronym: ROAST WELL

Right Temp

Set your oven to a high cooking temperature to achieve optimal caramelization. In general, anywhere between 400ºF and 500ºF is considered a roasting temperature. 

Oil Generously

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. 

Alike Items

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. 

Even Cuts

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! 

Leave Space

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. 

Learn more about how to roast vegetables in this article!

Ingredient Substitutions

  • 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!
  • Canola or Avocado Oil: substitute a lower quality extra virgin olive oil.

Base Recipe Variations

Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! Keep it simple or spice it up!

Use these additional ingredients for even more flavorful cauliflower.

  • Fresh Herbs: add hearty or dried herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme at the beginning of cooking. Add delicate herbs such as parsley, basil, dill, or cilantro after cooking.
  • Garlic: substitute ½ teaspoon pre-minced garlic, ½ teaspoon garlic flakes, ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Spices: use chili powder, paprika, cumin, turmeric, or your favorite spice blend. Make spicy roasted cauliflower by adding ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • Parmesan: substitute Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, or Asiago.
  • Lemon: add or replace lemon juice with fresh lemon zest for an extra bright pop of flavor!

Try out these spice combinations for cuisine-inspired cauliflower.

  • 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. 

Want some roasted cauliflower recipe inspiration?

Use this recipe variation for inspiration, then have fun exploring other flavors and ingredients to YOUR taste!

Equipment Recommendations

For recipe success, use the following pieces of equipment:

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

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that contains many vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that may decrease inflammation and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Canola or Avocado Oil

Both canola and avocado oil contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. They also have high smoke points, making them ideal for high-heat cooking methods, such as roasting.

Spices

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. Additionally, most spices contain powerful antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation in the body.

Learn more about the health benefits of spices in this article!

Serving Suggestions for Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Serve this easy roasted cauliflower as a side to roasted fish, beef and bean burgers, or turkey meatballs to create a balanced plate. Or combine with whole grains, beans, and vinaigrette for a balanced grain bowl. Combine with cooked quinoa, roasted chickpeas, massaged kale, and this vegan tahini dressing to make a beautiful and filling salad!

Storage Tips

Allow cauliflower to cool, then store in an airtight container. 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!

Rosemary Roasted Carrots

Roasted Russet Potatoes

Crispy Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Zucchini Sticks

Roasted Diced Sweet Potato

roasted cauliflower base recipe on a blue plate

Oven Roasted Cauliflower Base Recipe

This is one of the base recipes featured in our Whole Life Meal Plan. We love roasting vegetables in general, but there is something almost magical about oven roasted cauliflower!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Side, Vegetable
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons canola or avocado oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces cauliflower florets (~1 large head)

Additions to YOUR taste

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced (~½ teaspoon)
  • ¼-1 teaspoon spice(s)
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • Sprinkle lemon juice and/or zest from half lemon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, salt, and optional hearty herbs, garlic, spices, and pepper.
  • 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 fresh herbs, parmesan, lemon juice, and/or lemon zest to taste. Enjoy!

Notes

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.
 
Check out this recipe for flavor inspiration!
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower
Keyword Oven Roasted Cauliflower

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Tallon E.

    My family never made cauliflower growing up, but it’s probably because they didn’t know that it could taste this good! I love adding turmeric, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne for a more flavorful variation.

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