Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower. Plain, simple, and on its own, rather unimaginative. But roasted? Until the edges get all browned and caramelized? Totally different story. Roasted, cauliflower becomes nutty and buttery, but without any nuts or butter. Roasted, it is the perfect vehicle for garlic, olive oil, lemon and Parmesan.

I grew up with basic steamed cauliflower, which is fine and good and sometimes all that you need. But if you’ve never had roasted cauliflower, I urge you to try it! It will transform a picky I-don’t-like-vegetables eater into a cauliflower addict.

By the way, do you want to know the best way to core and cut cauliflower? Check out this short (less than a minute) video we made showing the easiest way to do it.

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted 2005.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

This recipe is more of a method than a precise recipe with exact amounts. Sprinkle as much or as little Parmesan cheese as you want.



  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or about half a lemon)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1 Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Lightly oil a large roasting pan or baking sheet. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place them in a bowl. Toss with minced garlic. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil and toss so that the florets are lightly coated with oil.

Spread the florets out into a single layer on the roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the oven hasn't reached 400°F (205°C) yet, set aside until it has.

roasted-cauliflower-method-1 roasted-cauliflower-method-2

2 Place the cauliflower in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Use a fork to test for doneness; the tines should easily pierce the cauliflower when done.

3 Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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Roasted cauliflower with bacon and garlic - from Jaden of Steamy Kitchen

Cilantro Lime Roasted Cauliflower - from Gina of SkinnyTaste

Roasted Cauliflower

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Showing 4 of 138 Comments

  • Sherri

    I will try this because: 1. I’m trying to eat more vegetables, and 2. Hubby likes cauliflower.

    I hope this way of making cauliflower takes away that ‘odor’ I smelled when my mother steamed it. I think I’m the only one that ever thought it smelled like something that shouldn’t be mentioned on a food blog.

  • Elise

    Hi Sherri – with all that olive oil, lemon, garlic, and Parmesan, there’s only enough room for a hint of cauliflower. Not nearly as strong of a cauliflower “odor” as you get when you steam them. Let us know what you think!

  • Jeanne

    Hi Elise

    I saw this recipe on your blog yesterday and went straight home to try it for dinner. Oh how delicious!! The slightly browned bits, the delicious combo of olive oil and garlic and of course a generous sprinkle of Parmesan. Heaven on a plate, and I don’t know cauliflower in a cheese sauce got so popular when you can have this! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Rick

    I made this last night – had to cover it for 5 minutes after roasting for 25 to soften….otherwise Delicious!

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