Behold, the whole roasted cauliflower.
This recipe, while it may seem straightforward, threw me for a loop. I roasted 7 heads of cauliflower until I got it just right! But in the end, it was totally worth the effort.
There are a couple of secrets to the whole roasted cauliflower game. Let me show you how!
This recipe is easy, requiring just 5 ingredients and simple methods to prepare!
Tip #1: Start with a sauce comprised of spices (such as shawarma spice blend* and harissa*), a little oil, maple syrup, and salt. The result is a flavor-packed marinade of sorts that’s perfect for lathering all over your cauliflower.
*Note: learn about the origin of shawarma spice blend here and harissa here.
Tip #2: Flip your cauliflower upside down to let the sauce pour down the core, shake it around so it infuses the center, and then flip the cauliflower over and use a brush to rub the leftover sauce all over the exterior.
Tip #3: Add just a pinch more spice and salt to the exterior for even more flavor.
Tip #4: Place a pan with water on the bottom of your oven while baking so the cauliflower steams and gets softer faster. It doesn’t make the cauliflower soggy as long as you don’t over-bake – just perfectly tender all the way to the core. (A tip we borrowed from NYT.)
Tip #5: Turn the oven to broil at the last minute to get a browned outer edge.
That’s it! Just 5 ingredients and 5 tips to the perfect roasted cauliflower.
We hope you all LOVE this cauliflower! It’s:
Packed with flavor
Easy to make
& So delicious
Make this cauliflower as the main dish or an appetizer for dinner parties or weeknight meals! Because cauliflower doesn’t have many calories, we recommend serving it over some cooked quinoa with our go-to Magic Green Sauce. You could also add our Actually Crispy Chickpeas to the plate for some added fiber and crunch!
Other sides that would be amazing with this dish are Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas, Super Cleansing Slaw with Rosemary Tahini Dressing, Loaded Kale Salad, Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Gratin, and Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
The Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower (5 Ingredients!)
- 1 medium-large head cauliflower (~1 ¼ – 2 pounds or 550-950 g // ~5-7 inches or 12-18 cm in width)
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or melted coconut oil // if oil-free, sub water )
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp shawarma spice blend (or curry powder* or a blend of similar spices // plus more for exterior)
- 1-2 tsp harissa paste (optional // reduce for less spice // increase for more spice)
- 2 tsp maple syrup (if avoiding sugar, omit)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more for exterior)
FOR SERVING optional
- Magic Green Sauce
- Fresh parsley
- Cooked quinoa*
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Also fill a small baking pan halfway with water and set on the floor (bottom) of the oven. This will provide steam to help the cauliflower cook more evenly.
- Rinse and dry the head of cauliflower and carefully cut off the bottom stalk without removing too much of the core. You want the entire head intact for baking. Peel away any remaining green leaves and place in a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan).
- In a mixing bowl, mix together avocado oil or melted coconut oil, water, shawarma spice blend, harissa paste (optional), maple syrup, and salt. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more shawarma for smoky flavor, harissa paste (optional) for spiciness, maple syrup for sweetness, or salt for more intense overall flavor.
- Flip your cauliflower upside down and pour on most of the sauce. Let the sauce pour down the core, shake it around so it infuses the center, and then flip the cauliflower over and use a brush to rub the leftover sauce (including any that seeped into the pan) all over the exterior for maximum flavor. Place cauliflower core-side down before baking and add an extra pinch of salt and spice blend to the exterior for extra flavor.
- Place skillet in oven and roast for 35-50 minutes (depending on size of cauliflower) or until a knife easily pierces the core. If you prefer softer cauliflower, then roast for longer. For cauliflower with a little bite, roast for less time.
- To brown the exterior, increase heat to high broil and roast 2-4 more minutes, watching carefully as not to burn.
- Remove from oven and let cauliflower rest in pan for 5-10 minutes to continue softening the core, if needed. Enjoy as is or garnish with desired sauces and sides. We went for quinoa cooked with curry powder.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until hot.
- To remove stuck bits from cast iron pan, let warm pan soak with water in it for 5 minutes before scrubbing clean with a medium-to-firm bristle brush. See our cast iron guide for more information on cleaning and cooking with cast iron.
*If opting for curry powder, use this DIY Curry Blend or store-bought.
*Inspired by our Shawarma Roasted Cauliflower Steak and The New York Times Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Almond Herb Sauce
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional serving ingredients.
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