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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
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There’s not much better than a big pan of roasted cauliflower! Baking this vegetable in a hot oven transforms it into something transcendental. The flavor becomes sweet and buttery, and flavored with salt and garlic, it’s about as irresistible as french fries. (Just like this roasted broccoli.) If you’re new to the roasted cauliflower train: it’s going to blow your mind. If you already know how incredible cauliflower can be: here’s a basic recipe for our favorite way to cook this healthy veggie.

Want another spin? Try Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!

How to roast cauliflower: the basic steps

This recipe is so easy, you can memorize the method. In fact, we don’t want you to feel tied to this at all! Just remember these general steps, and you’ll be able to mix up a batch of roasted cauliflower in your sleep.

  • Chop the cauliflower. The hardest part! We’ve got some instructions and a video below to delve in further.
  • Mix with olive oil and kosher salt. For a medium-sized head, we use 2 tablespoons EVOO and ½ teaspoon-ish kosher salt. Use the measurements once, then you can drizzle on without measuring.
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. This makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Roast about 30 minutes at 450 degrees, until tender and crispy and browned on the outsides. Just remember that cauliflower takes about 30 minutes. The exact timing will depend on how small you cut the florets and varies based on oven.
Roasted cauliflower

How to flavor roasted cauliflower

The best flavors we’ve found for flavoring roasted cauliflower: garlic and lemon! Here’s what we do:

  • Grate on fresh garlic. Use a microplane to grate fresh garlic onto the tray, then toss it with the cauliflower florets. We use this trick with our roasted broccoli too, with great results.
  • Toss with lemon zest (optional). To heighten the flavors with a zing, add lemon zest too.
  • Go further: add Parmesan. There’s not much that doesn’t taste better with Parmesan cheese.
  • Go ever FURTHER: Add toasted pine nuts (or toasted almonds) and some chopped parsley. YUM!
Roasted cauliflower

Ways to serve roasted cauliflower

Once you’ve finished baking this roasted cauliflower, you’ll probably want to just eat it off the tray! (It usually doesn’t make it very far in our house.) It works both as an easy side dish and as a component in a larger recipe. Here are some great ways to serve it up:

How to roast cauliflower

A few tasty variations

Once you’ve mastered the basic method, there are lots of ways to add flair to your roasted cauliflower! Here are a few of our favorite fancy ways to make it:

Roasted cauliflower

Tips on how to chop cauliflower

Ever wondered how to chop cauliflower without ending up with crumbles all over the counter? Alex and I have a great method that’s quick and avoids the mess. Go to How to Cut Cauliflower or see the video below.

  1. Remove 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.

This roasted cauliflower recipe is…

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

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Roasted cauliflower

Perfect Roasted Cauliflower

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


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.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 pounds or about 6 to 7 heaping cups florets)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional (and/or shredded Parmesan cheese)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Clean and chop the cauliflower into medium florets. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the olive oil and kosher salt.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and crispy at the edges, stirring once.
  4. When the cauliflower is done, remove the pan from the oven. Grate the garlic and lemon zest onto the pan and use a spoon to gently toss it all together (separating any grated garlic that clumps together). Taste and if the flavor doesn’t pop, a few more pinches kosher salt. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

More cauliflower recipes

There are lots more cauliflower recipes for serving this incredibly tasty veggie! Might we suggest:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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