This tasty grilled cauliflower is slathered in tangy homemade BBQ sauce. Serve it as an easy side dish or on a sandwich!
Are you cauliflower addicts like we are? Cauliflower has gotten a major makeover in the past few years. Growing up, Alex and I only saw it raw on veggie trays. But these days there are so many creative ways to eat this tasty cruciferous vegetable. For summer, might we recommend this grilled cauliflower? It infuses irresistible smoky flavor into this tasty veggie: and painting it with our tangy homemade BBQ sauce puts it over the top. Serve it as a side dish or in a sandwich like our Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower sandwich!
How to make grilled cauliflower (basic steps)
Unfortunately making grilled cauliflower recipe isn’t as simple as popping raw cauliflower on to the grill! Because it has a tough texture, you’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 (or go right to the recipe):
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets.
- Place the cauliflower in a pan with water, cover, and steam it for about 5 minutes until fork tender.
- Place the florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.*
- 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.
How to serve grilled cauliflower
How to serve this grilled cauliflower? Here’s what we do:
- 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.
- Make it a main dish: serve it as a sandwich! Substitute it for the cauliflower in this Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich, which adds a blue cheese sauce and celery leaves. Or, simply place it on a bun and slather it with our Blue Cheese Dressing.
How to cut cauliflower
Wondering how to cut the florets for this grilled cauliflower 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 what to do:
- Remove the large leaves from the base of the cauliflower so that the stem is exposed; discard the leaves.
- With a paring knife, cut around the stem of the cauliflower.
- Break the cauliflower into large florets with your fingers.
- Remove any large stems, cutting the cauliflower into smaller florets as needed for the recipe.
That’s it: all you need to know to make delicious grilled cauliflower! Let us know if you make it in the comments below.
Looking for cauliflower recipes?
Are you as cauliflower obsessed as we are? Here are a few more cauliflower recipes we couldn’t live without:
- Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce These tacos with breaded cauliflower, refried beans and silky Yum Yum sauce are all about one thing: big flavor!
- Perfect Roasted Cauliflower The best way to cook cauliflower? Baked in the oven! This roasted cauliflower recipe makes it taste so irresistibly good, you can’t stop eating it.
- Roasted Cauliflower Pasta This cauliflower pasta is loaded with flavor, packed with caramelized roasted cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil!
This grilled cauliflower recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.Print
This tasty grilled cauliflower is slathered in tangy homemade BBQ sauce. Serve it as an easy side dish or in a grilled cauliflower sandwich!
- Heat grill to medium high (375 degrees Farenheit).
- Cut the cauliflower into large florets.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the cauliflower on the grill and cook until tender and blackened, about 4 minutes per side.
- 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
Looking for more grilling ideas?
And, if you’re looking for more grilling ideas for a cookout, we’ve got you covered:
- Grilled Vegetable Pasta
- Grilled Eggplant with Herbed Quinoa
- Grilled Veggie Fajitas
- Pesto Portobello Mushroom Burger
- Tomato & Grilled Eggplant Stacked Sandwich
- Grilled Teriyaki Mango Skewers
- Loaded Grilled Nachos
- Grilled Eggplant Salad with Yogurt
- Greek Grilled Veggie Skewers
- Grilled Carrots with Lime and Cilantro
- Grilled Romaine Lettuce
- Simple Grilled Paella
- 100 Grilling Recipes
- Mint Pesto Grilled Cheese on the Grill
Last updated: April 2020
About the Authors
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 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.