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 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!

Grilled cauliflower with BBQ

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):

  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets.
  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.

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

How to serve grilled cauliflower

How to serve this grilled cauliflower? Here’s what we do:

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

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:

  1. Remove the large leaves from the base of the cauliflower so that the stem is exposed; discard the leaves.
  2. With a paring knife, cut around the stem of the cauliflower.
  3. Break the cauliflower into large florets with your fingers.
  4. 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!
  • Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower As irresistible as French fries, baked in a hot oven until browned and crisp.
  • 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!
BBQ sauce

This grilled cauliflower recipe is…

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

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Grilled Cauliflower

BBQ Grilled Cauliflower

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (24 votes, average: 4.46 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

Looking for more grilling ideas?

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

Last updated: April 2020

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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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