BBQ Grilled Cauliflower

This tasty grilled cauliflower is slathered in tangy homemade BBQ sauce. Serve it as an easy side dish or on a sandwich!

Grilled Cauliflower

Are you cauliflower addicts like we are? Cauliflower has gotten a major PR makeover in the past few years. Growing up, Alex and I only saw it raw on veggie trays. Or maybe steamed as a side (sorry, but ew!). These days there are so many creative ways to eat this tasty cruciferous vegetable. And for summer, might we recommend this grilled cauliflower recipe? It infuses a smoky flavor into the cauliflower: and painting it with our tangy homemade BBQ sauce puts it over the top. We serve it as a side dish, but it would also be perfect in a sandwich like our Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower sandwich.

Related: 15 Summer Side Dishes You Need

Grilled cauliflower with BBQ

How to make grilled cauliflower

Contrary to what you might think, making a grilled cauliflower recipe isn’t as simple as popping raw cauliflower on to the grill! Because it has a pretty tough texture, we’ll need to cook the florets prior to grilling. If you try to grill raw cauliflower, it comes out blackened but still very tough. The best way to cook prior to the grill is steaming it. We use the technique of cooking veggies before grilling them for hard veggies like potatoes and carrots.

Here’s how to make roasted cauliflower on the grill:

  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets. (See the video below for our quick and easy method!)
  3. Place the cauliflower in a pan with water, cover, and steam it for about 5 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Place the florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.*
  5. Grill for about 4 minutes per side, until tender.

*Note: If you’d like to use BBQ sauce for your grilled cauliflower, paint BBQ sauce on the cauliflower florets instead of olive oil before you put them on the grill. Then remove them and paint another coat on after they are grilled.

Related: Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich | BBQ Soy Curls

Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich
Use this BBQ grilled cauliflower in our Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

How to serve grilled cauliflower

So, how to serve this grilled cauliflower recipe? First of all, it’s a great easy side dish recipe for summer cookouts and potlucks. Serve it alongside Grilled shrimp, Greek portobello burgers, or Best grilled veggie burgers.

Another great way to serve this grilled cauliflower recipe is in a sandwich as a main dish. Substitute it for the cauliflower in this Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich: it features a blue cheese sauce and celery leaves. Or, simply place it on a bun and slather it with our Blue Cheese Dressing.

Healthy BBQ Sauce
Using our Homemade BBQ Sauce puts this grilled cauliflower over the top

Video: How to cut cauliflower

Wondering how to cut cauliflower into florets but not sure the best way? Alex and I use a genius method for cutting cauliflower that doesn’t end up with crumbles all over the counter! (Anyone have that issue?) We use this method all the time, like when we make our crispy cauliflower tacos or our delicious party favorite buffalo cauliflower with blue cheese dip. Here’s a video of me cutting cauliflower in our kitchen.

Looking for cauliflower recipes?

Here are a few more cauliflower recipes we love:

BBQ sauce

Looking for more grilling ideas?

And, if you’re looking for more grilling ideas for a cookout, we’ve got you covered:

This grilled cauliflower recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Grilled Cauliflower

BBQ Grilled Cauliflower

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.54 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This tasty grilled cauliflower is slathered in tangy homemade BBQ sauce. Serve it as an easy side dish or in a grilled cauliflower sandwich!




  1. Heat grill to medium high (375 degrees Farenheit).
  2. Cut the cauliflower into large florets.
  3. Place the florets in pan with 1 1/2 cups water and heat to high until bubbling. Reduce the heat to medium and cover; steam for 5 minutes until the water cooks out and the cauliflower is slightly tender when pierced with a fork.
  4. Place the steamed cauliflower on a baking sheet. Sprinkle it with garlic powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Then use a brush to paint the BBQ sauce on both sides of each floret.
  5. Place the cauliflower on the grill and cook until tender and blackened, about 4 minutes per side.
  6. Remove the cauliflower from the grill and place it back on the tray. Use the same brush to brush each side of the florets with another coat of BBQ sauce. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Grilled cauliflower, Roasted cauliflower on the grill, Grilled cauliflower recipe, BBQ sauce, Homemade BBQ sauce

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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