I’ve never been this excited about a simple veggie before. I’ve found the secret to the best roasted cauliflower ever!

No fancy ingredients are needed; cauliflower, oil, salt & pepper – it’s the method below that really makes best cauliflower in the oven!

plate of The Best Crispy Roasted Cauliflower

Here’s Why This Is The Best Roasted Cauliflower Hands Down …

  • The method in this recipe is somewhat unique but paired with the tips below, you’ll have the best ever cauliflower (just look at the photo above!).
  • I’ve shared my tips below for perfect roasted cauliflower – simple but effective.
  • It’s simple to make with just a few ingredients.
  • It comes out crisp and browned with lots of flavor.

How to Roast Cauliflower

  1. Preheat oven & baking sheet (recipe below).
  2. Make sure cauliflower florets are dry (they will steam instead of roast if they have 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

Holly’s Tips For Roasted Cauliflower

Dry the Cauliflower: The 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 or use prewashed florets.

Cut a Flat Side: Place each floret flat side down so it gets nice and brown.

Generously oil the cauliflower for best results.

High-Temperature: The key to caramelization (and flavor) is ensuring that the outside has a chance to brown before the inside overcooks so cook at a high temperature (425°F).

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

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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 53 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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The Best Crispy Roasted Cauliflower in the oven with writing
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The Best Crispy Roasted Cauliflower on a sheet pan and plated with a title

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  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