Whole Roasted Cauliflower is the perfect quick side dish that will complement any meal. Tender and flavorful thanks to the simple seasoning and perfect roasting method, the oven really does the work for you! Plus it’s low carb – talk about a win-win!
This Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe tastes delicious with just about anything! Try pairing alongside this five-star quality Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast, easy Air Fryer Shrimp or Baked Salmon!
Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable. We love it in this Cauliflower Salad and it’s one of our favorite easy side dishes. While I give you my tried and true seasoning pairings for this recipe, you can absolutely customize it with your own favorites! The best part about Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe is that it can be low carb, paleo, keto, and even vegan if you switch out the butter.
This side dish can adapt to any dietary needs or any diet or meal plan you may be following. It’s so wonderfully easy to make and it really takes no time at all. Whip it up as a side during a busy weeknight dinner, or eat it alone for a nutritious (and delicious) light lunch!
Check Out These Roasted Recipe Favorites
Love roasted veggies as much as we do? These are some of our favorites!
- Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Roasted Beets
- How To Roast Garlic
- Oven Roasted Herb and Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
- Roasted Marsala Carrots
What You’ll Need
With just a few simple ingredients, this whole roasted cauliflower recipe is as easy as it is scrumptious. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:
- cauliflower – One whole head of cauliflower. Make sure to cut the base of the stem but leave enough so the head stays intact. You’ll want to rinse well and remove any leaves.
- unsalted butter – Melted unsalted butter or substitute for olive oil to make this recipe vegan.
- parsley – Dried or freshly chopped will both provide an herbaceous element.
- garlic – Garlic powder works wonderfully, but if you’d like to use freshly minced garlic you’ll need about 3 cloves (or more depending on your preference).
- smoked paprika – I like the smoked flavor this adds to the cauliflower, but feel free to substitute your own favorite seasonings.
- salt and pepper – Just a light dash of each to properly taste.
- lemon juice – This is optional, but the burst of citrus is highly recommended. You’ll need one whole lemon if using fresh lemon juice. Another option is olive oil. It’s a delicious finish to this whole baked cauliflower!
How to Make Whole Baked Cauliflower
Only ten minutes of prep time allows you to just pop this in the oven to give you time to finish the rest of dinner. Let’s take a quick look at how easy this is to make:
Prep the Cauliflower and Baking Dish.
Make sure to rinse the cauliflower thoroughly and remove any stem or leaves. You’ll want to make sure the cauliflower will sit securely in the baking dish so the bottom needs to be level.
Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare baking dish.
Combine melted butter, dried parsley, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Brush generously over the head of cauliflower. Don’t forget the base and underside of the cauliflower as well to really seal in the flavors!
Place the cauliflower into baking dish and cover completely with aluminum foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Keep a careful eye so it doesn’t burn.
Serve the roasted cauliflower immediately as a side dish or even as the main event. Top with fresh lemon juice or olive oil if desired, and enjoy!
What if I don’t have a baking dish large enough for the cauliflower?
A cast iron skillet works just as well. The important part is making sure the cauliflower is completely covered in foil so it doesn’t roast too quickly and the top burns. Covering the cauliflower in foil helps it to cook evenly all the way through.
How long will the roasted cauliflower stay fresh?
This whole roasted cauliflower will stay fresh in the fridge for up to four days when stored in an airtight container. You can also freeze this recipe for meal prep! Simply thaw the prepared cauliflower, then reheat in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
Tips and Variations
Some of my best tips for the most delicious roasted whole cauliflower! Try this whole baked cauliflower recipe once as weekend and then come back and check out these variations.
- Before removing the aluminum foil for the remaining bake time, test the cauliflower to make sure it is already just about tender enough for serving. If not, the top may burn while the base is still uncooked.
- Here’s a helpful tip for serving: when removing the cauliflower from it’s baking dish, use two large forks to pick the head up as a whole. Transfer onto a cutting board before slicing with a knife into quarters. You can also chop the roasted cauliflower on the cutting board and serve with a large spoon as well.
- There are so many variations to try for this cauliflower! Here are a few suggestions:
- Mustard powder
- Parmesan (a favorite)
- Bacon bits and chives
- Rosemary and thyme
- Red pepper flakes for a hint of spice
What To Serve With Whole Roasted Cauliflower
While the dish is super delicious for a meatless dinner option, it’s also amazing as a side dish and so impressive too! Here are some of our favorite dinners to serve alongside this cauliflower:
- Salisbury Steak Recipe
- Chili Mac
- Mac and Cheese
- Garlic Herb Roast Chicken
- Chicken Piccata
- Stuffed Shells
- Tuna Casserole with Noodles
How To Make Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 cauliflower head rinsed, stem and leaves removed
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika regular paprika can be substituted
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a deep baking dish or dutch oven with parchment or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine melted butter, dried parsley, minced garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and ground pepper. Evenly brush all over the cauliflower.¼ cup unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 2 to 3 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place the cauliflower head into the prepared dish and cover with foil.1 cauliflower head
- Bake for 30 minutes and then check to see that the cauliflower is tender. If it is, remove foil and continue baking for and additional 15 minutes. If not, bake for another 10 minutes with the foil on, then removed foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the cauliflower. You want a lovely golden brown, roasted color but you don't want it to burn. If it's starting to get too dark, cover with foil again. Check to make sure the cauliflower is fork tender all the way through to the center and then remove from the oven.
- Drizzle fresh lemon juice or olive oil on top and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Add or take seasonings as desired; they are the star here, so feel free to choose whatever you enjoy the most. Recipe Notes This whole roasted cauliflower is an excellent meal for any weekday as you just need to season it, then the oven will do the rest for you! The texture will be very soft and slightly roasted on top. Taste-wise is buttery, and the rest will rely on the chosen seasonings. In my opinion, garlic and parsley are a killer match for this kind of roasted veggies!