Roasted Cauliflower

VideoSide DishQuick and EasyLow CarbCauliflower

Tired of steamed cauliflower? Try roasting it! Roasting brings out nutty, buttery flavors in the cauliflower. A squeeze of lemon juice and some Parmesan cheese are all you need to turn this into an excellent side dish.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Cauliflower. Plain, simple, and on its own? Rather unimaginative.

But roasted? Until the edges get all browned and caramelized? Totally different story.

When 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.

Video! How to Make Roasted Cauliflower!

How to Cut and Core Cauliflower

It’s easy to cut and core cauliflower! Just pull off the leaves from the base, and cut the cauliflower in quarters, from the top of the crown through the stem. Lay the cauliflower quarters on the cutting board and angle the knife to cut the florets from the core.

Check out this post on how to cut and core cauliflower for the visual guide.

Can You Roast Frozen Cauliflower?

Sure! In fact if you are starting with frozen cauliflower florets, it’s better to not defrost them first. Here are some tips to adjust this recipe for frozen cauliflower:

  • Raise the oven temperature by 50°F (10°C), to 450°F (232°C). You want searing dry heat to evaporate any ice condensation on the frozen cauliflower, so that the cauliflower roasts in the oven, not steams.
  • Toss the florets generously with oil, making sure they are truly well coated, before putting them in the oven. The oil will help the cauliflower edges brown and help keep the florets from drying out.
  • Stir the florets half-way through cooking, so more sides get exposed to the high heat.

What to serve with roasted cauliflower

Cauliflower pairs beautifully as a side for chicken, so consider serving it with roast chicken, or lemon chicken. I also love baked cod or halibut with roasted cauliflower on side. Cauliflower would work well alongside grilled beef too, like these grilled skirt steak skewers.

5 More Ways to Love Cauliflower

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Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 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 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or about half a lemon)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1 Preheat oven, prepare pan: Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Lightly oil a large roasting pan or baking sheet, or line with aluminum foil.

2 Prep the cauliflower:  Place the cauliflower florets 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.

3 Spread on roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper: Spread the florets out into a single layer on the roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4 Roast until lightly browned: Roast the cauliflower at 400°F (205°C), uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly brown. Use a fork to test for doneness; the tines should easily pierce the cauliflower when done.

5 Sprinkle with Parmesan: Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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184 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tony193

    Followed this only used a cast iron shallow roasting pan. Get the pan hot first, then place the florets in so you hear them searing. I also added a little crushed red pepper flakes. Browned up nicely, then put them in Corning ware and sprinkled with very aged provolone. It added a nice little bite!


  2. Ganda C.

    Sooooo delicious!!!!
    I love how simple the recipe was … with such amazing results. Even my husband who isn’t a veggie person got 3 servings.


  3. Sandra MacLaughlin

    Best cauliflower ever!!!!


  4. Liz

    burnt garlic! UGH! The cauliflower has been ruined by burnt garlic


    Show Replies (1)
  5. Alex

    Simple, tasty, & light. Perfect amount of lemon for family.


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