Growing up I don’t think I ever had cauliflower.
I knew it existed, but I don’t think it ever walked through our door or entered our mouths for family dinners. But in the last 10 years or so I have been breaking out of my food box. I have been exploring and enjoying a world of real food.
This is the most delicious cauliflower recipe you’ll eat and on top of that it’s such an easy addition to include a roasted cauliflower in your family’s dinner plan or for a dinner party with friends.
We now get cauliflower or Romanesco weekly! At least one comes in either our Misfits Market Box or Imperfect foods delivery. If you’re interested in these, check out this article that will open in another window: https://karacarrero.com/misfits-market-imperfect-foods-family-comparison/
This post contains links to products I recommend and/or our family uses regularly and we may receive income from purchases.
In our journey to start and successfully complete Whole30, there are lots of heads of bump white veggies in our crisper. But I needed ways to mix up our cauliflower eating routine. So whether it’s making some simple cauliflower rice or trying to make an alternative to pizza crust, there are ways to get creative.
But in the end, I wanted a great side dish for my family and even for guests and dinner parties.
And this recipe fits the bill!
In fact, my three-year-old gobbled half of the entire thing down one night. She couldn’t get enough! She loves veggies now and loves to go grocery shopping with me to pick out fresh, seasonal foods with me!
What you need to make Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Whole Roasted Cauliflower video recipe
How to make oven baked cauliflower
First, go preheat your oven to 400º Fahrenheit.
Trim the bottom of the cauliflower and remove all the leaves and the hard stem – but without breaking apart the cauliflower. Go ahead and give it a quick rinse, patting it to dry.
Generously drizzle your oil on top. It’s the key to a perfectly roasted cauliflower head.
Then add salt (and pepper if you wish… I’m just not really into pepper). Using your hands spread the oil and salt all around the cauliflower. We prefer using Pink Himalayan Salt, but any will do.
Put it in a oven safe pan and cover it with foil, without leaving any gaps. Our favorite way to cook things is with cast iron skillets, but if you don’t have one, anything that you use in the oven will work. (Note that using cast iron is a great non-toxic choice and also introduces trace amounts of iron into your child’s diet which is perfect!
Cook in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes, depending on the size of your cauliflower.
Check with a knife, if it slides in easily, then it’s cooked.
Remove foil and allow it to roast for an extra 5 to 10 minutes so it turns golden brown. Keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn, especially since cast iron continues to cook a bit even when not actively being heated.
Melt 3 Tbsp of butter (clarified butter if doing whole30 or you can use melted ghee!) and mix in the parsley, then drizzle or brush it on the cauliflower while it’s still hot.
Once it’s sliced, it may need extra salt.
ENJOY! It may be the best way you eat cauliflower during Whole30… or ever.
Deliciously easy roasted cauliflower recipe your family will love
This is the easiest, most elegant way to make cauliflower that’s delicious for any occasion.
- 1 head of Cauliflower
- Olive oil or Avocado oil
- Butter or Ghee
- Parsley, chopped
- Trim your cauliflower head, making sure the green is cut from the bottom. Remove all leaves and hard stem to let it sit in your skillet correctly.
- Rinse the cauliflower and pat to dry.
- Generously drizzle oil on top of the cauliflower head, making sure it seeps into cracks. Avocado oil really shines in this recipe because of its high smoke point and good flavor.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Use your hands to spread salt and oil all around the cauliflower before roasting.
- Put in a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan and cover with foil.
- Cook in preheated oven at 400 for 40-50 minutes or until fork tender. I typically use a long sharp knife in the very middle. If it inserts and removes easily, then the roasted cauliflower is soft and done.
- Remove foil carefully and if you want a better roasted and crispy effect, let it char in the oven or broiler for 5 more minutes.
- Serve with steak, chicken, or even as a stand-alone dish.
You can do so many fun variations on this recipe, this is just a base. Consider adding hot chili powder, paprika, curry powder, or other spices to completely change the flavor up depending on the occasion.
We have found that this is such a universal dish because it’s so adaptable to other flavors. It pairs well with traditional cuisine or even with a great Thai or Indian Curry.
In short it’s a great way to add a sizable amount of vegetables to your dinner Plate.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 5 children living on a farm in New England. She believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience and has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development. She is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!
I can’t wait to try this!!!
Hope you love it! It’s one of my favorite cauliflower recipes I think.
Try adding some mustard to the olive oil.
this looks good but it has so much fat in it…. oil and butter…….
Healthy fats are not your enemy.
How many calories?
Depends exactly on how you personally make it and how big the head of cauliflower is.
Just fixed this recipe, very good, but being Italian, had to add a few garlic cloves very goid
Mines in the oven now we are garlic freaks so i rubbed crushed garlic sll over it. Smells deliceous!
YUM! We love garlic too.
This Is Mariana, again, forgot to say that I bake it uncovered, because it’s soft enough, and don’t need to cover if I boiled it first
We love roasted cauliflower – but I’ve always either sliced it as a “steak” or just roasted the florets. This looks amazing and the photography is gorgeous!!!!
We seriously love cauliflower in our house. Roasted is so delicious, isn’t it?! We’ve had it so much recently.
I love it like this and have also added shaved parm or favorite cheese over it. hanks for the reminder.
This looks so good! We will give your recipe a try. Pinning!
Thanks Theresa! Hope you love it as much as we do. 🙂
How much more need I say
Sarah | Well and Full
This looks so good! I’ve got to get on the whole roasted cauliflower train 😉
Can’t wait to try this, looks yummy!
I can’t wait to try this, the most exciting cauli I’ve ever cooked is with cheese or mashed with other veg and then roasted.
Could this be done in crock pot? How long should I cook it for?
You can cook cauliflower in the crockpot in general, but it will not golden up like is possible in the oven. If you’re cooking in a crockpot, I would say it would take 1.5-2 hours and you’ll probably need about a quarter cup of water in the bottom to help it cook.
I’ve made a lot of different cauliflower receipes. This one really looks very good. Looking forward to trying it soon.
Great receipe. Going to try soon.
I can’t wait to make it torrow! Looks absolutely amazing.
Nice recipe, thank you, I do it similar but I smoother it in Franks Red Hot Sauce and Ghee and roast in the oven. Try it as well. but like you said in your blog, a lot of white veggie and not to many ways to trick em out! LOL
I use Herbamare, it’s a dried herb, garlic, sea salt mixture, tastes great on roasted cauliflower
I thought about trying that the first time but didn’t want to risk but now that I seen you did it and liked it I’m going to try it next time…thanks
I’m a little concerned about using extra virgin olive oil – I thought it went rancid when heated especially at such a high heat. You note that it’s the key ingredient but would an oil that can tolerate heat work too?? Coconut oil or avocado oil?? Thanks
You can use your favorite oil. We have never had an issue with the evoo. We have also used avocado oil and it was very tasty.
I love the taste of coconut oil with roasted sweet potatoes, however, I find coconut oil does not pair well with veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli, so I use EVOO instead.
I use olive oil when doing all my roasted veggies and never had a rancid taste. I roast a lot more than I use to. I do a mixture of Brussels, Purple Onions, broccoli , sweet potatoes, green beans and hubby & I go to town on them. So delicious. I love cauliflower but hubby doesn’t, but I think I will try this out on a smaller version for myself. Thanks
I agree. The concern is not that olive oil will be/taste rancid but that it will be turned into transfat which is harmful to the body. Better to use ghee for both parts of the coooking. Coconut oil would be hard to spread on a cold caulifllower.
We use avocado oil often and it’s a really wonderful choice!
This was so easy and delicious. Only problem was the kids (age 8 & 10) liked it so much I will need to make two next time. Thanks for sharing!
Oh, I am SOOOO glad to hear that! My three-year-old literally ate half of one by herself the first time we made it. And of course, kids eating veggies is the goal 😉
Thank you for posting a review AFTER having made it. I know everybody love to comment on how good something looks, but a little of that goes a long way. Not trying to be mean, but I want to know how it tastes, etc. thank you again!
I’m going to make this recipe.
Thanks a million
Ohhhhh this looks absolutely yummy! Trying this tonight! Thank you for this lovely recipe!
You’re very welcome. Hope it becomes a new favorite for you.
I love it and I try to make tomorrow for diner. Thank You very much. 🙂
Hope you enjoy it!
I am so excited to try this! I have done a whole 30 diet for my husband and I for 2 30 day cycles and an now on my 3rd cycle wanting to focus on my kids eating thus way too!
We’ve let our kids cheat a little, but it’s been really successful with them. Best of luck!
Am I missing the temperature of the oven?
It’s step 1 and the first instruction. But I won’t make you look 😉 It’s 400.
Virginia May Severs
This looks absolutely delicious! I am going to make it tonight! Thanks for Sharing!
I can’t find the print button! Help!
I have a printer-friendly version available here: https://karacarrero.com/product/whole-roasted-cauliflower-recipe-card/
Evelyn Floyd Smith
Could it be sprinkled with a cheese of some sort Parmesan maybe ?
If you and your family would enjoy it, I am sure it would be a great addition!
How about just grating some block cheese (mild/med./mozzarella) on top & brown for last 5 mins or so!!
I recently bought my first Le Creuset. I used it on the stove top earlier this week but your roasted Cauliflowet recipe will be the first one I try in it in the oven. I usually bake my Cauliflower after cutting it, boiling it for a few minutes and then covering it with egg and breadcrumbs. This was the way my mother had always done it. You’re wasting so much easier. Thanks!
What an honor!! I hope you love it and, yes, definitely easier. With little ones I need something super hands-off.
What r some foods this would go good with?
Steak, carrots, asparagus, pork chops, chicken, and MANY other foods.
Hi, can we make this in a microwave covection mode? If yes then what would be the temp and duration? Thank you.
I have no idea. That’s not how I made it. Since it’s an oven-roasted cauliflower, then I would use an oven 😉
One question. Could you use a three quart oven proof bowl?
It’s whatever you have that works and fits.
Cauliflower is also great breaded with egg, milk and flour and fried…..it is delish
While that may be true, we’re eating super clean so any sort of breading or flour and dairy are off the table. And this is still super delicious.
Hi, ii is a good recipe, But I cut it usally in thik slices like Karen (“a steak”) and bake it only 20 to 30 Min … so I save A LOT OF ENERGY ( 1 hour on 400 F is huge!) and the aromatic herbs or other additions ( f.e. cheese) get better INSIDE the coliflower not just on the top…. !
the format of this recipe is terrible :-/
I am sorry that the format upset you! I have a printer-friendly one here https://karacarrero.com/product/whole-roasted-cauliflower-recipe-card/
This looks amazing. I just had a question is it on bake mode first and then roast or roast the whole time. ??
I am not sure if I completely follow. I put it in the oven and I don’t have a mode. I would assume that if you’re at the right time and temp it should be fine either way if your oven does have modes.
Sorry Kara , what I meant was should I first bake it with the foil on and then once the foil is removed should I switch it to broil for the next 10 mins so it evenly bronws
You absolutely can! I know that i cooked this at my mom’s house and it didn’t brown up the same as it did in my own oven and this could be a lovely solution.
Trying this tonight!!!
Does anyone have any nutritional information on this? It looks and sounds divine but with all that oil AND butter I’m worried about calorie and fat content. Maybe I shall try it after the wedding 🙂
It’s full of healthy fats! I am not sure on calories because we’re a whole foods family and don’t worry about calories or healthy fats but more on reducing sugar and processed foods.
My mother always cooked her cauliflower whole in the oven but near the end topped it with cheddar cheese. It was so good.
try it soon wonder where i get herbamare
I love roasted cauliflower with walnut oil. The roasted cauliflower whole looks beautiful.
Oh, that sounds really tasty. And thank you!!
Pecan oil is also really good.
You are welcome. 🙂
I’ve been doing this but cut into florets. This whole head method would be SO much easier to prep. Can’t wait to try it…have two heads at home right now!
I know! It is so pretty too.
Sorry, it looks & sounds delish, but I cannot afford to cook/bake for that long of a time! I’d have to cut it in half to shorten baking time, & sue less oil for myself. have to keep power bill more friendly. 🙂
Looks nice but I had to laugh when you said pink Himalayan sea salt. I think you mean Himalayan ROCK salt, the Himalayas are in the middle of a continent far away from the sea
I actually don’t mention that it’s a sea salt, but it actually IS a sea salt. It’s farmed from ancient salt deposits where a sea used to be.
We ALWAYS use garlic cloves with roasted cauliflower. SOOOOO yummy and mellow
I do this with cauliflower at my house too. Sometimes I randomly insert a paring knife blade around the head and then insert thin slices of fresh garlic inside. We LOVE garlic! I’ve also been toying with the idea of sprinkling the head just before serving with some different grated hard cheeses and perhaps some fresh grated nutmeg.
We love garlic too! Or at least I do and Iam probably just forcing my kids to love it. I need to try that!
I am roasting a head of garlic alongside my cauliflower tonight. Thought to mix it with the buttrr and parsley
Suggestions for avoiding the use of aluminum foil? We stopped cooking with it because it’s so bad for our health, but we love cauliflower and would love to try this!!! Maybe in a glass casserole dish that has a glass lid safe for baking? Thanks! 🙂
While we don’t cook with aluminum where it would be an integral part of the cooking surface (like we only have cast iron skillets for the most part), we do still use foil. Since it’s wrapped around the pan and not on the food/flaking off and no great alternative it’s one we still use on occasion.
Sorry, didn’t reply the the glass dish question… you’re not going to get a crispy, browned bottom in glass like you would in cast iron (not to the same extent anyway). If you had a cast iron dutch oven or something of the sort, I think that would be your best bet.
Gotta try this! Have been seeing this recipe on tv alot lately. Thanks for the recipe.
I just made this for dinner. My family and I loved it!!! The cauliflower actually took about an hour and a half to cook and it was a fairly avaerage cauliflower. However it turned out just like the picture and tasted amazing!
Ah, so sorry it took so long! I know that in my mom’s oven it took me an hour. But I love that your family whole-heartedly enjoyed it. That makes me so happy! 🙂
Have you ever tried putting your cast iron pan on the grill?
I have put my cast iron on the grill for other purposes but not for cauliflower. I would assume as long as the temperature is high enough and you check on it minimally, it should do the same job.
Just wondering.. I’m a picky eater but want to start trying some new things.. what’s the texture of this like? I haven’t ever tried cauliflower but have heard so many good things. -Sam
It’s not tough like meat but not soft like mashed potatoes. It would be somewhere in the middle. It requires some chewing, but is fairly soft.
Thank you for this recipe! Just tried it, it’s 95 degrees outside so I really didn’t want to turn on the oven, so my husband put it on his Treager grill! OMG. The two of us ate the entire head of cauliflower! Soooo good!!
Im gonna try tonight!!
This looks wonderful! I have always just cooked for myself, so my ‘cooking’ has involved buying prepackaged food items – lots of unnecessary preservatives. In the last few months, I have been following a low carb diet, and have recently been cooking more, trying to eat more whole foods. Cooking for one makes me lazy – This healthy, whole food recipe is about as easy as it gets! 🙂
Jane on Whidbey
If you have a pressure cooker, you can cook the head for about 15 minutes, and then transfer to the oven to finish. I don’t like to smell food for hours and hours, especially cabbage family veg. This gives the best of both worlds. Great recipe. I LOVE cauliflower. My mom taught me to cook the cauliflower, then toll it in some browed butter. It tastes like bacon drippings, without the chemicals. Works well with green beans, too.
I hav been meaning to troubleshoot it to see how I could get the same results with an instant pot. It’s on my list to try!
Like you I had never eaten cauliflower until I was an adult. Most recipes have all sorts p.s. cheesy sauces but this is the best. Tastes good and not so fattening. Thanks!
Thanks Pat! I love that we share in late cauliflower enjoyment haha! There are definitely so many that cover the true flavor, but there is something so rich by eating it with just oil and/or butter.
Just put mine in the oven, I substituted with coconut oil and added more then just salt and pepper, going with garlic powder, garlic salt and lemon pepper while also adding a tbl spoon of butter
I want to cut up some jalapeño peppers to add at the end but will wait till next time to see how this comes out first.
Wondering also if it’s better to cut in squares at the end before adding the butter…….and can you tell me how this holds up when eating as a left over
While we rarely have leftovers, I have found it to be just as delicious. It doesn’t fall apart or turn mushy like some sides do. I would say as far as cutting, you could, but know that’s also potentially going to add an entry point for heat so you might need to adjust your temps or check it to make sure it doesn’t get over done.
Hope you love it! I have never used coconut oil just because I wouldn’t want to mix that flavor with coconut, but if it was good I would love to know.
Can’t wait to give this a try. Thanks! This should fit perfectly into my low carb diet.
Ummm…yeah, that was amazing! I don’t know when this was posted, but I feel I am a little late to the party!! I finally pulled my head out of the cast iron skillet long enough to write this… read faster so I can get back to getting’ my nosh on! While my cauliflower was roasting I was reading the other comments and realized that mine was not going to brown up, so I decided I needed to turn on the broiler for the last 10 min… It worked! As I started to eat, (from the pan) I noticed the bottom, wherever it touched the pan, was a lovely golden brown, but not all pieces… next time I think I will cut into florets and then follow the same process. This should give me less oven time and more brownie goodness! Great method!!
How long would I roast it at 425 instead of 400?
That would take some experimenting on your part. I can only tell you my own cooking experiences.
Could I use regular olive oil or even sesame oil instead of evoo!
Yes, our favorite is avocado oil and it does well at high heat.
Just tried this for the first time awesome never eat cauliflower done any other way
Can this be cooked at 425F?
I have not done so, but if you do the time would definitely have to be reduced. But you would need to troubleshoot the recipe when you start changing it!
I made this for my family Christmas dinner. A number of people complimented me on it.
This roasted cauliflower recipe is the ABSOLUTE best! We Love it!
I rub with olive oil and smear with pesto! Super yum!
It was delish…however, for my families taste we like our veggies a little less “soft” Next time ill definitely cook for less time. But this was super good, and ill for sure make it again. (I added freshly chopped garlic to my olive oil before roasting)
Very nice, thank you for sharing, i just tried, i am going late to work just because i wanted to try this amazing dish, i haven’t tasted yet but hopefully its good, i topped with little bit of ginger though.
I cannot wait to try this ! I love alone and often times waste food because I’m just tired of it. I love vegtables and this will definitely not go to waste. Thank you !
I made this for dinner tonight with whole cloves of garlic tucked between the stems. I was not disappointed. My 2 year old kept begging for bites and kept trying to take my fork away. I can’t wait to make this again (not tomorrow b/c I’m not brave enough to go to the grocery store on Thanksgiving, but it is tempting!)
Tried this recipe last night, and it was AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing. My wife and I loved it.
it is a great recipe and will definitely try it out with my family.
It was yummy! I added Parmesan cheese. Very easy, very tender & flavorful!
Sounds like a great addition! 🙂
This was the best cauliflower I have ever made & eaten. The only change I made to your recipe was that after 10 minutes in the oven with the foil off, I turned the broiler on it for a few minutes (to speed up browning). Absolutely delicious 🤗
Awesome tip, I may have to try that next time. 🙂
I’ve made this roasted cauliflower many times now. It’s my family’s favourite! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Made it tonight, and it was a hit!!!! Thanks for the recipe! It’s going in the recipe book of keepers TONIGHT!
Amazing! Sprinkled a little curry on…
I’ve made this recipe numerous times, it’s a huge win in our home and the little ones (7-9) love it!
Thank you for an easy but delicious recipe!
Tried this recently and will definitely keep as a go to recipe! My whole family ❤️’d it!!! Made it three times in two weeks!
The best cauliflower I’ve had. And so easy. Is definitely on my list. Thank you for sharing.
Such a simple and delicious recipe. It made a wonderful side dish for our dinner tonight
Dish was amazing, my wife and daughter loved it and I will be making it again many times over, that you’ for the recipe.
As far as the coconut oil it was refined so no coconut taste just went with it because it’s healthy….in my earlier question I asked about cutting in quarters but I meant post cooking not pre.
At the end I ended up melting the butter along with diced jalapeño and a 1/4 cup of blue cheese crumbs all in the same bowl and poured over top of the dish.
Even with all my added flavores the taste of the cauliflower was very present…..just talking about it makes my mouth water I might just make it again tonight 🙂
Dear kara, we had the roasted cauliflower tonight with company over. I prepared it a few hours ahead of time completing all the steps. . Then I put it back in the oven with the foil over it for about 20 minutes at 3:50 degrees.
Sliced into the wedges like a pie as you did in your pictures. Our guests and my husband loved it.
Thank you for the recipe. This turns out elegant and beautiful. And the flavor is mild. I served it with grilled chicken and a bulgar /edamame/ tomato salad.
You are welcome! I am so glad you liked it and that it turned out well for you. You definitely made my day with your comment 🙂
I boil it first in salted water, this way the salt panatraits the colliflower, boil for 10 min,. Than I bake it in oven, and I use beaten eggs and some spyces, pour it over than bake it.
350 for 45 min or less