Are you looking for a delicious yet simple meal that’s sure to be the star of any dinner party? Then look no further than this perfectly roasted whole cauliflower head! With just three ingredients, minimal prep time, and little mess, this roasted family favorite is an easy way to make a great impression on your guests. Plus, it tastes so good no one will guess it's healthy too! Show off your culinary skills with this flavorful dish that can't help but make mouths water while delivering an explosion of fresh flavor.
We love our roasted veggies, and this cauliflower recipe makes a beautiful centerpiece for any dinner table. It's so delicious that even the pickiest eaters will love it. The outside of the cauliflower becomes crispy and caramelized, while the inside remains tender and juicy. You can also experiment with different seasonings or sauces to create your own unique flavor combinations, as we did with this spiced roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce, which makes a great side dish.
In addition to being delicious, this cauliflower recipe is also packed with nutrients. It's low in calories, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. Plus, adding more veggies to your diet is a great way.
💚 Why You Will Love It
- Crispy & Juicy: Perfect texture balance.
- Flavor Versatility: Customize with seasonings.
- Nutrient-Packed: Fiber, vitamins, low-cal.
- Simple Ingredients: Just cauliflower, oil, salt.
- Centerpiece Worthy: Elevates dinner tables.
This whole roasted cauliflower head is made with just a few delicious ingredients.
- The whole cauliflower head - steamed, fried, or roasted - is such a versatile ingredient to work with. It is the perfect side dish or can be used to make hearty meals and snacks.
- Extra virgin olive oil - brings the golden color out of the cauliflower and helps caramelize the cumin. It is heart-healthy and gives a deeper flavor to vegetable dishes like this one, so using a good quality Spanish or Italian olive oil is key!
- Fine sea salt 🌱 - yum! Rounds up all the roasting flavors!
Optional: Maldon flaky salt to serve the cauliflower. You can also rub some of it with olive oil before baking the cauliflower head.
See the recipe card for quantities.
It's not much of a substitute for the three-ingredient recipe, but if you are curious to try other simple flavorings, I recommend you use toasted sesame oil, which has a strong and decisive flavor that pairs wonderfully with cauliflower.
That's why we used tahini paste on our whole roasted spiced cauliflower with tahini sauce.
- Sharp knife and chopping board to remove the outer cauliflower leaves and inner stem.
- Baking tray - and parchment paper to put the head of cauliflower in the oven.
- Medium to large pot.
- Kitchen Brush.
Preheat oven to 480 ºF (250ºC).
Step 1: Carefully cut the outer leaves of the cauliflower and about an inch of the hard stem.
Step 2: Boil the whole head for 12 minutes in salted water until the cauliflower is fully blanched.
Hint: you can leave the head intact with its leaves. The green leaves will turn dark brown and can be great for plating the dish.
Step 3: Remove the cauliflower from the heat and drain. Pat dry with a clean tablecloth.
Step 4: Place the head of cauliflower on a prepared baking dish lined with parchment paper or a cast iron pan, top it with the oil, and brush it evenly.
Hint: optionally massage the cauliflower with Maldon salt. Make sure you add olive oil to the cauliflower upside down so the center also gets some olive oil goodness.
Bake cauliflower in the mid-rack for 15-20 minutes, watching the oven after 15 minutes to ensure the top is not too burned. A dark golden brown is what we aim for!
Step 5: Bake the trimmed cauliflower head in the preheated oven and roast until it has a lovely golden brown color.
Step 6: Place the entire head on a single serving plate and slice right in the middle.
Hint: if you want to add color, add chopped fresh parsley and black pepper. You can also add some zesty lemon juice on top to serve.
💡 Expert tips
Achieving the perfect roast starts with preparation. Before you begin, trim the base of the cauliflower without removing the core, as this keeps the whole head intact during roasting. Then, generously brush your seasoning, be it only olive oil and salt or any additional ones like soy sauce, liquid smoke, and olive oil mixture, all over the cauliflower, ensuring it seeps into the nooks and crannies for maximum flavor. This thorough coating is your secret weapon for a deliciously roasted cauliflower every single time.
The trick in this easy recipe to ensure you have a softer cauliflower is to boil it. Otherwise, you must use aluminum foil before turning it into the oven.
Then, remove the foil to get the top of the cauliflower browned.
Just for a change, here are some tweaking to the recipe, I often play with.
More umami: Before popping the cauliflower into the oven, I like to give it a good drizzle with a mixture of soy sauce or liquid smoke and olive oil. This step ensures a flavorful roast. After it's done, topping it off with tahini, pomegranate seeds, and a dab of harissa really brings the dish to life.
Complexity: Adding spices to the boiling water is one easy way to infuse the whole head of cauliflower with your favorite seasonings and colors into your cauliflower head.
Depth: Add a cube of concentrated vegetable broth and spices like smoked paprika and turmeric.
More charp flavors: Another option, if you love your garlic, is to massage the boiled head of cauliflower with garlic powder and olive oil before you bake it.
If you like to add a sour note, you can drizzle freshly squeezed lemon juice on top of the baked cauliflower.
Roasted cauliflower is an incredibly healthy and delicious vegetable side dish with many nutritional benefits. A one-cup serving of roasted cauliflower contains just 25 calories, 1 gram of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.3 grams of fat, as long as you don´t have any oil.
All in all, roasted cauliflower is a tasty and nutritious way to increase your daily intake of vegetables without overloading it with calories!
Note: see recipe nutrition facts for this specific recipe.
Store leftover cauliflower in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can freeze leftovers, but the cauliflower will be a little mushy when they thaw. If you absolutely need to freeze it, use leftovers to make a vegan "egg salad".
You can freeze your immune-boosting juice in an airtight container, but it doesn't stand up well to freezing for more than 3 months. It will never reach the same nutrient density as fresh juice, but you will still enjoy its health benefits.
📚 More cauliflower recipes
Well, cauliflower is one of our favorite vegetables to cook, as it is super versatile, so we leave you some ideas to use this fantastic vegetable.
Check out our guide on cooking cruciferous vegetables.
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Perfectly Roasted Whole Cauliflower Head (3 Ingredients)
- Preheat your oven to 480 °F (250°C).
- Remove the leaves and stem of the cauliflower head and trim the bottom so it can stand upright. Rinse the cauliflower head and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place the cauliflower head on a baking sheet and brush the olive oil mixture evenly over the entire cauliflower.
- Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until it is tender and the outside is golden brown. To check if it is done, insert a knife into the center of the cauliflower. If it is tender all the way through, it's ready.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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