This recipe has the secrets to the very best roasted cauliflower with tons of flavor!

No fancy ingredients are needed; cauliflower, oil, salt & pepper, and a great technique (plus a few tips) make the best crispy cauliflower in the oven!

I’ve never been this excited about a simple veggie before.

The Best Crispy Roasted Cauliflower on a plate

Hands Down The Best Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is an easy side with a mild flavor and this roasted cauliflower recipe is a game-changer. While it can seem like a humble veggie (that I really really love) this method turns it into an amazing side dish.

If you’ve done much cooking, you know that brown bits in a pan have lots of flavor. Following the recipe (and tips below) ensures your cauliflower gets lots of browning and caramelization which makes for tons of flavor.

How to Roast Cauliflower

  1. Preheat oven & baking sheet (per recipe below).
  2. Make sure cauliflower florets are dry (it will steam instead of roast if has moisture)!
  3. Break off large florets and use a knife to cut a flat edge. Add to a bowl and drizzle with seasonings, & oil.
  4. Place, flat sides down, on the preheated baking sheet and bake without turning, until crispy. Serve warm.

Use fresh cauliflower for the best results. While you can roast frozen cauliflower, it doesn’t brown as well and has a softer texture.

Raw Cauliflower on a baking sheet

The Secrets to Great Roasted Cauliflower

Dry the Cauliflower: Cauliflower should be very dry (no water from washing!) so it doesn’t steam. If time allows, wash and shake dry up to 2 days before roasting. Prewashed florets is another great opton, otherwise, shake it very well or even spin it a little in a salad spinner until dry.

Cut a Flat Side: The flat side of each floret will go onto the pan and this will help it reach a deep golden brown color. Generously Oil the cauliflower for best results. Instead of florets, the cauliflower can be cut into steaks or wedges. Cauliflower steaks or larger wedges will need a little bit longer to bake.

High-Temperature: Cooking at a high temperature (425°F) ensures lots of color, which makes for lots of flavor. The key to caramelization is ensuring that the outside has a chance to brown before the inside overcooks.

Preheat the Pan: Place the empty pan in the oven to preheat while you prepare the cauliflower. Setting the florets on a hot pan ensures they crisp and brown beautifully.

Do Not Stir or Flip: Just like when you make fried mushrooms, it takes some time to develop a nice crust. Let the underside of the cauliflower get a nice crust without stirring it.

Crispy Roasted Cauliflower on a baking sheet

Variations

  • Once roasted, sprinkle the cauliflower with parmesan cheese, or a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parsley before serving.
  • Change up the seasonings to your liking, try lemon zest, a dash of paprika or even curry powder.
  • Other vegetables can be added to the pan like carrots or asparagus.

More Cauliflower Favorites

Did your family love this Crispy Roasted Cauliflower? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

The Best Crispy Roasted Cauliflower on a plate
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The Best Roasted Cauliflower

Oven-roasted cauliflower turns out crispy & caramelized every time! With just 4 simple ingredients, this healthy side dish can be enjoyed all year long.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 1 head cauliflower clean & dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or as needed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Place an empty baking sheet in the oven to preheat while you prepare the cauliflower.
  • Break off large florets of cauliflower and use a knife to cut a flat edge.
  • Place the cauliflower in a large bowl or container with a lid. Add oil and seasonings and shake very well to coat. If the head of cauliflower is extra-large, you may need extra oil.
  • Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and place the cauliflower florets, flat sides down, on the heated baking sheet.
  • Place in the oven and roast 15-20 minutes without turning the cauliflower. Larger florets or cauliflower steaks may need extra time.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

Dry Cauliflower: Moisture from washing will cause this dish to steam. Buy prewashed florets or wash them the day before cooking if possible. Otherwise, shake it very well or even spin it a little at a time in a salad spinner until dry.
Cut a Flat Side: The flat side of each floret will go onto the pan and this will help it reach a deep golden brown color. Generously Oil the cauliflower for best results.
High-Temperature: Cooking at a high temperature (425°F) ensures lots of color, which makes for lots of flavor. The key to caramelization is ensuring that the outside has a chance to brown before the inside overcooks.
Preheat the Pan: Place the empty pan in the oven to preheat while you prepare the cauliflower. Setting the florets on a hot pan ensures they crisp and brown beautifully.
Do Not Stir or Flip: Just like when you make fried mushrooms, it takes some time to develop a nice crust. Let the underside of the cauliflower get a nice crust without stirring it.
5 from 28 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 99 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 434mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. My husband’s all-time favorite cauliflower. I’m one who does a variant of the recipe. I used red pepper infused olive oil and some smoked paprika. I cooked our salmon in the same pan for the last 15 minutes. Delicious.5 stars