I often sing the praises of roasted vegetables, but roasted cauliflower, in particular, holds a special place in my heart because of its versatility. You can season it with just about any flavor, and it makes a great addition to a lot of different foods like salads, pasta, bowl meals, wrap sandwiches, and more! Plus, it’s good for me? SOLD.
Is Roasted Cauliflower Crispy?
Cauliflower is a high-water content vegetable, so the only way to make it truly crispy is to deep fry it. BUT, roasting cauliflower at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time can achieve caramelized, slightly crispy edges and a center that is tender-crisp. There’s no mushy cauliflower around here!
Tips for the Best Roasted Cauliflower
- Use fresh, not frozen, cauliflower to prevent a mushy outcome.
- Don’t cut the florets too small or they may over cook and become mushy.
- Use enough oil to help the edges crisp without the cauliflower drying out.
- Don’t overcrowd the sheet pan which can trap the steam and make the cauliflower mushy.
- Use seasoning liberally to prevent bland cauliflower and don’t forget to add salt!
- Eat your roasted cauliflower right away for the best texture. Roasted cauliflower will become softer as it cools.
How to Season Roasted Cauliflower
Here’s where roasted cauliflower gets fun (don’t laugh, I know I’m a dork). Because cauliflower has a very neutral flavor, you can add just about anything to it! Here are some seasoning ideas for roasted cauliflower:
- Curry powder
- Cajun seasoning
- Everything bagel seasoning
- Taco seasoning
- Chili seasoning
- Garlic herb seasoning
- Ranch seasoning
- Parmesan cheese
- Buffalo sauce
Keep in mind that if your seasoning blend contains salt, you may not need to add any additional salt to your cauliflower before roasting.
Can I Use an Air Fryer?
Using an air fryer to “roast” cauliflower is a great option. The rapidly circulating hot air of an air fryer helps the moisture in the cauliflower to evaporate faster, helping it crisp up on the edges. To cook your cauliflower in an air fryer, simply season the cauliflower florets as directed below, then cook at 400°F for about 10 minutes or until crispy (depending on the size of the florets), flipping every 5 minutes.
How to Serve Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted cauliflower is so much more than just a side dish! I love piling it onto bowl meals, salads, stuffing it into wrap sandwiches, adding it to pasta and more! Here are a few great recipes that use roasted cauliflower:
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls
- Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad
- Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce
- 1 head cauliflower $3.49
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.26
- 1 tsp seasoning of choice $0.10
- 1/4 tsp salt* $0.02
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the outer leaves on the cauliflower, then rinse the cauliflower well. Cut the heat into quarters, then slice off the core. Tear the remaining cauliflower into large florets.
- Place the florets onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, your favorite seasoning, and salt (if your seasoning does not contain salt). Toss the cauliflower until well coated in oil and seasonings. Spread the cauliflower out evenly over the baking sheet.
- Roast the cauliflower for about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, or until the cauliflower reaches your desired level of browning.
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How to Make Roasted Cauliflower – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the outer leaves from the head of cauliflower. Wash the cauliflower, then cut the head into quarters. Once in quarters, slice off the core.
Break the remaining cauliflower into large florets (the cauliflower will shrink some as it roasts).
Place the florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season the cauliflower with a teaspoon of your favorite seasonings (if your seasoning blend does not contain salt, also add ¼ tsp salt). We did two flavors per sheet pan, but you can do just one if you’d like.
Toss the cauliflower until it is very well coated in both oil and seasoning. Spread the florets out so that they’re spaced evenly and not overcrowded.
Roast the cauliflower for about 25 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of browning, stirring once halfway through. The total time needed to roast the cauliflower will depend on the size of your florets, so keep an eye on them!
Enjoy your roasted cauliflower with your favorite dipping sauce or as part of your favorite meal!