Roasted Cauliflower

This oven roasted cauliflower has crisp, golden brown edges and a delicious nutty flavor. You'll want to devour it straight off the baking sheet!

Oven Roasted Cauliflower on baking sheet with wooden spoon

I make roasted cauliflower almost every week. It’s SO simple, it’s healthy, and it’s absolutely delicious. The florets come out of the oven with crisp, golden brown edges and a rich, nutty flavor. They’re perfect for serving as a side dish, tossing into a salad, a grain bowl, or a pasta…or eating straight off the baking sheet.

You’ll find my go-to roasted cauliflower recipe below, along with my best tips and tricks for cooking it perfectly every time. I’ve also shared a few of my favorite ways to serve roasted cauliflower. Yes, this roasted veggie is great on its own, but with a little lemon zest, fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, it’s even better.

hands holding cauliflower

How to Roast Cauliflower

To make this roasted cauliflower recipe, you’ll just need 4 ingredients: olive oil, salt, pepper, and a head of cauliflower.

  • Start by preheating the oven to 425°F. Don’t go any lower with the oven temperature here – a hot oven helps the florets crisp up and caramelize as they cook.
  • Then, break the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. I like to break mine with my hands rather than cutting it with a knife. This way, I get prettier florets!


  • Next, season the cauliflower. Toss the cauliflower florets with plenty of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Don’t skimp on them! A generous drizzle of olive oil and a big pinch of salt are crucial for making really flavorful roasted cauliflower.

Hands breaking cauliflower into florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet

  • Then, bake! Spread the florets in an even layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, leaving a little space around each one. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the florets are tender and browned around the edges.
  • Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy the roasted cauliflower straight off the sheet pan, serve it as a side dish, or add it to salads, grain bowls, pastas, and more.

Hand drizzling olive oil over florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe Tips

  • Use convection bake if you have it. If your oven has a convection setting, now’s the time to use it! Similar to an air fryer, a convection oven circulates air constantly. This helps the cauliflower brown beautifully and cook quickly. In a convection oven, it could be ready in as little as 20 minutes, so start checking it early!
  • Leave some space between the florets. If they’re too crowded, they’ll steam and soften in the oven instead of getting brown and crisp around the edges. If you need more space, use two baking sheets.
  • Break the florets into similar sizes. That way, they’ll cook evenly. You don’t want to small florets to burn before bigger ones are tender!
  • Don’t toss the core and greens. Waste not, want not, right? Chop the core into bite-sized pieces and roast them along with the florets, turn them into cauliflower rice, or boil and blend them into a creamy sauce or soup! If your cauliflower has good greens attached, you can cook those too. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them on a separate baking sheet until the leaves are lightly browned and crisp.

Hands tossing cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet

Roasted Cauliflower Serving Suggestions

Lightly crisp and browned around the edges, oven roasted cauliflower is a fantastic addition to salads, pastas, tacos, and grain bowls. It’s also a delicious side dish on its own! Serve it simply, with sea salt and black pepper, or try one of these variations for a fun twist:

  • Toss it with lemon zest and fresh herbs such as chopped parsley, fresh thyme, or minced rosemary.
  • In the last few minutes of baking, remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle it with grated Parmesan and minced garlic. Bake for about 2 minutes more, until the cauliflower is crisp and the cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle the baked florets generously with vegan Parmesan.
  • Spice it up! When the cauliflower has just come out of the oven, toss it with your favorite spices while it’s still warm. I like mine with chili powder, curry powder, or za’atar.
  • Or add a sauce. Drizzle the roasted cauliflower with pesto, romesco sauce, tahini sauce, chipotle honey vinaigrette, or chipotle ranch dressing. Regular chipotle sauce would be great too!

How do you like to serve roasted cauliflower? Let me know in the comments!

Roasted cauliflower recipe with lemon zest and herbs

More Roasted Vegetable Recipes

If you love this oven roasted cauliflower recipe, try roasting one of these vegetables next:

roasted cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

rate this recipe:
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
This easy roasted cauliflower recipe is an essential veggie side dish! It's simple and delicious - the florets come out of the oven with crisp, golden brown edges and a rich, nutty flavor.


  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for roasting
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling

Additional Seasoning Options

  • Zest of 1 lemon, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, optional
  • grated parmesan, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Break the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread evenly onto the baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes, or until browned around the edges.
  • Season to taste. If desired, toss with the lemon zest, parsley, and/or grated parmesan, and serve.




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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Janet

    Will make today. I am sure it will be awesome.

  2. Sandra Coyle

    I’ve been roasting cauliflower for years exactly the same way. My mom used to deep fry it. She fried everything. She would serve it in pita pockets with mustard. I’m going to try the different additions, lemon, herbs and cheese. Refrigerated leftovers can be crisped up again in your toaster oven. Delicious.

    • Phoebe Moore

      So glad you enjoyed the cauliflower!

  3. Maria Angelica

    5 stars
    Do you wash the cauliflower? Or you just break it into Florets and put it in the oven? Thanks 😊

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yes, wash the cauliflower and let it dry, then break into florets.

  4. Pamela Jhon

    5 stars
    I have never heard of roasted cauliflower before but I’m glad to do it today. Happy to learn a new thing. Thanks.

  5. Maz

    Can I prep this for salads before hand or will the cauliflower go soggy?

  6. Eha

    Have loved the ‘humble’ cauliflower since childhood but am only now, on ‘the other side’ coming to relish it baked ! Your lesson is welcome add. yes – garlic and herbs do come into the equation – loved the post . . .

  7. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute to the oil

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Bella, I like to roast veggies with a bit of olive oil, even a small drizzle will do.

  8. Ashley Hoober

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! My daughter is vegetarian and she approves!

  9. Susan

    I am amazed by what roasting does to cruciferous vegetables. I like cauliflower, but I especially like it roasted. The best way I’ve ever had Brussels sprouts is roasted, and that is now the only way I cook them. Yum! Broccoli also roasts up well.

  10. Emily from

    I agree!! Such a yummy snack or side for dinner. I hated it as a kid and now I’m obsessed.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.