Four ways to Make Roasted Cauliflower

how to slice cauliflower

I don’t suppose this roasted cauliflower recipe has much to do with Halloween, but it is the perfect side dish for fall and winter. I don’t get excited about raw cauliflower. Roasted cauliflower, though—I’m obsessed. Have you tried it?

how to slice cauliflower

Raw cauliflower transforms into golden, caramelized deliciousness in the oven. If you roast it with just olive oil, salt and pepper, it’s a tasty snack (I could eat it like French fries).

You can also use basic roasted cauliflower to add bulk and tasty roasted flavor to other veggie dishes, like my lentil tacos and farro salad. It’s neutral enough that it doesn’t overwhelm other flavors, so it goes well with a variety of cuisines.

cauliflower, Parmesan and lemon

As much as I love basic roasted cauliflower, it’s the perfect vehicle for creative flavorings. I came up with three amazing flavor combinations this week, and I can’t decide which one I love best!

The Italian version was inspired by the same Bon Appetit recipe that inspired my cauliflower steaks with spaghetti marinara recipe. If you sprinkle the cauliflower with finely grated Parmesan about halfway through cooking, the Parmesan turns into a luscious golden crust that’s truly irresistible. (By the way, you can buy vegetarian Parmesan at Whole Foods—look for their 365 brand and Bel Gioso’s vegetarian versions.)

The Mexican version is spiced with cumin and chili powder, and I added pepitas halfway through cooking so they get nice and toasty. Garnish with cilantro and lime zest for the perfect Mexican side dish for my veggie enchiladas!

For the Indian version, I tossed the cauliflower with curry powder before roasting, and finished it off with cilantro and red pepper flakes, for extra kick. Just try not to eat it all right off the pan. 🙂 Which version is your favorite?

wonder woman dogCauliflower with Mexican spiceshow to roast cauliflowerRoasted cauliflower with Mexican flavors (cumin, chili powder, pepitas and lime!). It's the perfect healthy side dish for your favorite Mexican recipes! cookieandkate.comAmazing roasted cauliflower with crispy Parmesan and fresh parsley (you've gotta try it!) - cookieandkate.comCurried roasted cauliflower recipe - I can't get enough! cookieandkate.com

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Serves: 4 servings
Learn how to roast cauliflower, plus three delicious variations! You’ll find Italian, Mexican and Indian versions with this roasted cauliflower recipe. Recipe yields 4 side servings of roasted cauliflower.
Ingredients
Basic roasted cauliflower
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Italian version, you’ll also need:
  • ¾ cup (about 1 ounce) finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
  • Finely grated lemon zest, for garnish
  • Red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to spice), for garnish
For the Mexican version, you’ll also need:
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Finely grated lime zest, for garnish
For the Indian version, you’ll also need:
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to spice), for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  2. To prepare the cauliflower, use a chef’s knife to slice off the nubby base, then quarter it into four even wedges. Slice off the inner core areas, leaving the rest intact (see photo). Then slice each piece into ½” wide pieces, breaking apart any particularly large florets.
  3. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed and the cauliflower is lightly coated in oil, adding drizzle of oil if necessary.
  4. If you’re making basic roasted cauliflower, arrange the cauliflower in an even layer and bake until it’s deeply golden on the edges, tossing halfway, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. If you’re making the Italian version, arrange the cauliflower in an even layer and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss, and then sprinkle the Parmesan over the cauliflower. Return to the oven and bake until the cauliflower is deeply golden on the edges, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Sprinkle the cauliflower with parsley, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  6. If you’re making the Mexican version, sprinkle the cauliflower with cumin and chili powder and toss until well blended. Arrange the cauliflower in an even layer and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss, and sprinkle the pepitas over the center area of the pan (if you sprinkle them too close to the edges, they might burn). Return to the oven and bake until the cauliflower is deeply golden on the edges, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Sprinkle the cauliflower with cilantro and lemon zest.
  7. If you’re making the Indian version, sprinkle the cauliflower with curry powder and toss until well blended. Arrange the cauliflower in an even layer and bake until it’s deeply golden on the edges, tossing halfway, about 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle the cauliflower with cilantro and red pepper flakes (if using).