Oven roasted cauliflower is a super easy and delicious way to prepare cauliflower!

An entire head of cauliflower is brushed with a simple homemade garlic butter and baked until tender.

Roasting adds lots of flavor while this method produces a delicious side and is easy to make!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower in a pan

Roasting cauliflower as a whole head turns it into a side dish or main that not only looks impressive, it’s absolutely delicious too!

When roasted in the oven, cauliflower will caramelize to golden brown on the outside while still being perfectly tender crisp.

My mom has been making  whole roasted cauliflower for years and she always raves about it so I knew I needed to try it so see what the fuss was all about!

Now I know why, it’s so easy and so incredibly delicious!

The great thing about roasting cauliflower is that its very versatile.  While I love the combination of garlic and parmesan (with a hint of lemon), you can really season this with anything you like.  Simply brush with butter (or olive oil) season and bake.

My friend makes an incredible Indian spiced cauliflower and I think it’d be an amazing seasoning to try roasted whole!

If you’re short on time, you can create roasted cauliflower steaks out of it by cutting it up and roasting them flat (full instructions below)!

They’ll take much less time while still providing the same delicious flavor combo!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower being brushed with butter

I know you’ll love this recipe, nothing compares to taking such an easy dish filled with parmesan, butter, and garlic, then roasting it to crispy perfection.

What Kind of Meat Goes With Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is a mildly flavored vegetable that can be prepared a multitude of different ways from Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes to Cauliflower Rice.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower is perfect to serve alongside steak, Perfect Pork Tenderloin, or even roasted chicken.

While most often I prepare this dish as a side, it’s a great meatless meal or perfect to serve if you have vegetarian friends!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower in a cast iron pan

How Do You Make Cauliflower Steaks?

Oven roasted cauliflower steaks are a great way to change up this whole roasted cauliflower.

To create cauliflower steaks out of this recipe, you’ll want to adjust your baking time but the ingredients will remain the same.

Cutting cauliflower into steaks is easiest to do with larger cauliflower (so buy the biggest one you can find). Cut the steaks at least 3/4″ but I prefer a 1″ cut so they stay in tact better.

How to Roast Cauliflower Steaks

  1. Remove the leaves from the outside of the cauliflower. (Keep the stem intact to hold the cauliflower together but trim it a little bit)
  2.  Slice your cauliflower head into 1 inch thick steaks from top to bottom.
  3. Brush your cauliflower steaks with half of the toppings and roast them about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
  4. Flip them, add additional reamining seasonings and roast about 10 more minutes or until tender crisp when pierced with a fork.

If you have already roasted your cauliflower and would like to cut it into steaks, follow the steps above but be sure to take extra care, as the inside of your cauliflower will be roasted and tender!

Keep in mind, cauliflower steaks will not always come out absolutely perfectly shaped, that’s just the way that cauliflower cuts up.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower on a plate

If you have leftover cauliflower, I have found that it keeps well in the fridge.

I love cutting it up and sprinkling it on salad, or even throwing it back in the oven to enjoy again the next day!

Another awesome option to use up any leftover cauliflower is to create a delicious Creamy Cauliflower Soup!

The roasting of this recipe, as well as the garlic and butter make the soup extra delicious!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower in a pan
4.69 from 19 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Garlic Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower

An entire head of cauliflower is brushed with a simple homemade garlic butter and baked until tender.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 head cauliflower 1 ½ lbs
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Trim leaves from cauliflower head. Place in a dutch oven.
  • Combine butter, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Brush mixture on top of cauliflower head and cover with foil.
  • Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes or until cauliflower is fork-tender.
  • Sprinkle parmesan cheese on cauliflower head and broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Garnish with parsley
4.69 from 19 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 80 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 60mg | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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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Recipe Rating


  1. I have never roasted cauliflower so I thought I would try this recipe even tho my husband does not like garlic.
    While it was baking he said, “that smells really good”!
    After he tried a slice I told him, “take the rest to your sister’s so they can try it” and he replied, “no! I want some more”!!
    I will be keeping this recipe!!5 stars

  2. HI Holly! I’m trying this tonight. After reading some of the comments I’ve decided to roast the cauliflower in my terra-cotta roaster in my oven instead of using foil. There was a comment that implied this was not a vegetarian friendly recipe. This is absolutely a vegetarian recipe (not vegan) being a vegetarian for over 30 years and cooking vegetarian meals daily I am excited to try your version. I am also going to try a vegan version for my vegan side. Substituting the butter with Olive oil and the parmesan with nutritional yeast. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 
    Happy Cooking!!!5 stars

  3. i tryed this today and the cooking time was way off it took 90 mins to cook covered and at 60 mins i had to cut it up a bit for it to finish cooking ..but i did like it alot thanks for the share

    1. I had the same experience—wound up increasing the oven temp, and still had to zap it in the microwave before returning to the oven with the cheese. I won’t be trying this one again.2 stars

  4. I just made this and it’s  just sooooo delicious! It was tender, flavorful, and I loved the zip from the lemon zest! I’ll be making this again many times! 

  5. Sadly this was an epic failure. 45 minutes yielded a still completely hard head of cauliflower. Additional cooking time did not help. Even though there was lots of flavour in the melted butter, there was absolutely no flavour in the cauliflower itself. 

    1. How disappointing! Did you cover it with foil? Cauliflower should most certainly cook within the time/temperature in the recipe!

  6. Cooking this tonight and very much looking forward to it! Although please check with your veggie friends before serving them this dish as Parmesan is not vegetarian!

    1. I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years and Vegetarians do eat dairy and cheese (I eat cheese w/o rennet). This recipe is Vegetarian friendly. I have many vegan friends I cook with. Vegans consume absolutely No dairy or cheeses. So, if one is cooking for vegan friends you could easily substitute the butter with olive oil and omit the cheese or you could substitute parmesan with nutritional yeast. I just wanted to clear that up because sometimes people are confused about vegetarians via Vegans and what we eat. 
      Happy Cooking!!!

  7. Your version on this recipe looks amazing! I’ve seen a lot of slow cooker and roasted cauliflower recipes here lately and no one’s looks as appealing as yours! I’ve just printed this recipe and I’m going to make it this week! This will go with so many main dishes!!!5 stars

  8. Oh yeah I can see how your roasted cauliflower would go great with pork tenderloin. In fact I would serve it too with sausages and maybe some mash potato at the side or sauerkraut and dumplings. =D Otherwise maybe salmon or or also prawns. I am all over your whole roasted cauliflower!!5 stars

  9. I’m obsessed with whole roasted cauliflower! This version sounds fabulous and my family would definitely love it! 

  10. I’ve been wanting to try roasting cauliflower whole for a while now. Yours looks fantastic! Love that it gets nice and caramelized on the outside but nice and tender inside. YUM!

  11. I don’t typically care for cauliflower, but between the garlic butter and the Parmesan, you just might convert me!

  12. This always makes such a great presentation at the dinner table. Roasted veggies are the best, and this cauliflower is no exception. My family would devour this in a minute.5 stars

  13. I LOVE whole roasting cauliflower. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat it. I can’t wait to try this version!