This whole roasted cauliflower is a spectacular side dish that’s super to prepare. Learn how to roast an entire head of cauliflower with just 5 minutes of prep for an incredible taste.
Roasted Cauliflower? Been there and done that. But cooking an entire cauliflower head? We’ve got your attention now.
This whole roasted cauliflower head recipe is a delicious side dish that is quick and easy to prepare. This Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe can be made in your air fryer, instant pot, or oven, and while each technique is somewhat different, they all taste amazing.
The end product is a delicious dish that is as spectacular in presentation as simple to make.
When I am making dinner and need a fantastic veggie side that doesn’t require much effort, this whole baked cauliflower is one of my go-to side dishes.
Watch our quick video to see exactly how to make the whole roasted cauliflower.
Why MakeWhole Roasted Cauliflower?
Whole roasted cauliflower isn’t just another side dish – it’s a statement. Here’s why it’s capturing the hearts (and stomachs) of food lovers everywhere:
- Minimalist Ingredients: Relying on staple ingredients, this dish seamlessly fits into any meal plan.
- Versatility: Perfect for vegetarians, it can easily be adapted for vegan or spicy flavor profiles.
- Nutrition Packed: Cauliflower is a powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.
Ingredients For This Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
The ingredients for this whole oven roasted cauliflower are simple and easy to find. I’m sure you may already have some in your pantry. Don’t skip the garlic!
- Cauliflower – A medium whole cauliflower head with no blemishes or brown patches. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, adjust the baking time to make sure it’s cooked properly. A larger head might require a bit more time in the oven to achieve that perfect tender heart, while a smaller one will be ready sooner.
- Butter – Unsalted butter is the gold standard here, giving you control over the dish’s saltiness. If you opt for salted butter, tread lightly when adding additional salt. The butter not only adds richness but also helps achieve a golden crust on the cauliflower.
- Olive Oil – This is a flavorful oil. However, if you don’t have this kind of oil in your kitchen, you may substitute it with avocado oil.
- Italian Seasoning – A harmonious blend of various dried herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
- Garlic – If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder as well.
- Parmesan Cheese – While you might be tempted to skip it, think twice! Its addition elevates the dish from great to gourmet. However, for a dairy-free or vegan twist, nutritional yeast is a handy alternative.
- Fresh Parsley – to garnish.
- Salt and Pepper – to taste.
How To Make Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
If you’re wondering how to roast a whole cauliflower head, learn that it’s incredibly easy in just a few steps.
Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). This ensures the oven reaches the ideal temperature by the time your cauliflower is ready to roast.
The next step is to get the cauliflower ready for roasting. Lay the cauliflower on a cutting board with the stem side facing upwards.
Using a sharp knife, carefully trim away any outer leaves and then slice off the bottom part of the stem. This not only removes the tough part of the cauliflower but also lets it sit flat in the baking dish, ensuring even cooking.
The Garlic Butter Sauce
The sauce is what infuses the cauliflower with a burst of flavor. To prepare it, take a mixing bowl and combine the melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Whisk these ingredients together until they’re well combined. This sauce will act as a marinade, giving the cauliflower its delectable taste.
Dressing the Cauliflower
With your sauce ready, position the cauliflower in a baking dish or Dutch oven with the core side down. Using a basting brush, generously apply the sauce over the entire surface of the cauliflower. Make sure every nook and cranny is coated, as this ensures a uniformly flavored roast.
The Baking Process
Initially, you’ll want to cover the cauliflower with aluminum foil or parchment paper. This covering helps steam the cauliflower, making it tender. Place it in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
After this initial baking, remove the foil and let it bake for another 10-20 minutes. The exact time will vary based on the size of your cauliflower, but you’re looking for a tender texture. Test this by piercing the cauliflower with a knife or fork; it should go in easily.
The Final Touch
For that added touch of perfection and a golden-brown crust, sprinkle the roasted whole cauliflower with Parmesan cheese. Then, switch the oven setting to broil. Let the cauliflower roast under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes or until you see a beautiful golden hue on top. But keep a close eye on it during this phase to avoid burning.
Tips and Variations
- Spice It Up: While this recipe uses a specific blend of spices, feel free to swap them out with your favorites. Whether you’re a fan of curry flavors, zesty lemon-pepper, or smoky chipotle, there’s no limit to variations.
- Crispiness Level: For a crust with a golden-brown hue and crispy texture, bake your cauliflower for 30 minutes initially, and then roast it for an additional 15-20 minutes. This two-step process guarantees a tender interior with a crunchy outer layer.
- Testing for Perfect Doneness: The best indicator of a well-cooked cauliflower is its tenderness. Use a knife to pierce the cauliflower gently. If it slides in with minimal resistance, it’s ready. If not, give it a few more minutes, but always monitor it closely to avoid overcooking.
- Cheese Twist: For a richer flavor profile, consider adding a layer of grated cheese like cheddar or mozzarella during the final roasting minutes. It melts and adds a gooey, delightful layer.
- Herb Infusion: Brushing the cauliflower with herb-infused oil, like rosemary or thyme, can add an aromatic twist to the recipe.
How Long It Takes To Roast A Whole Cauliflower?
Cooking whole cauliflower, typically, 35 to 45 minutes at a standard roasting temperature (around 400°F or 200°C). Start by covering the cauliflower to ensure even cooking and moisture retention. For that extra golden and crispy finish, uncover and place under the broiler for a few minutes.
How To Store
- You can store leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Personally, I like to eat it cold, because it’s good anyway. Awesome, right?
- After baking, you can choose to freeze the whole roasted cauliflower head. Simply cut it into slices or pieces, set it aside to cool thoroughly, and store it in an airtight container.
Or, if you have any leftovers from this recipe, the great idea is to make some mac and cheese with it.
What To Serve With Whole Roasted Cauliflower
You will be happy to know that whole cauliflower recipes pair perfectly with the type of meat you like. So even if you prefer chicken, pork, beef, or turkey, this Whole Roasted Cauliflower will be the perfect side dish that you will ever try.
So if you have any cauliflower in your kitchen, just turn on the oven and choose one of the following recipes to enjoy with.
- Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Crispy Chicken Parmesan
- Turkey Breast With Garlic Herb Butter
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Pork Chops with Super Creamy Mushroom Sauce
More Easy Cauliflower Recipes
- Cheesy Cauliflower Steak
- Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Easy Cauliflower Hummus
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Roasted Broccoli And Cauliflower
- Super Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- The Best Low Carb Keto Falafel
Garlic Butter Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
- Preparation: Preheat oven to 400°F/ 200°C.
- Prepare the Cauliflower – Lay the cauliflower on a cutting board with the stem side facing up. Remove as much of the thick white stalk as possible, as shown in the video below.
- Make the Sauce: In a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
- Dressing the Cauliflower: Position the cauliflower in a baking dish or Dutch oven with the core side down. Brush the sauce generously over the entire cauliflower, ensuring it is evenly coated.
- Baking: Cover the cauliflower with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender (a knife or fork should pierce easily). The baking time will depend on the size of the cauliflower.
- Final Touches: Sprinkle the cauliflower with the Parmesan cheese. Switch the oven to broil and roast the cauliflower for another 3-5 minutes, or until it turns golden brown on top.
- Garnishing: Remove from the oven, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, and serve hot.
- If you prefer a little spice replace Italian Seasoning with a Taco Seasoning Blend or sprinkle a few red pepper flakes.
- For a vegan whole roasted cauliflower, omit the butter and add olive oil instead. Parmesan can easily be replaced with two tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
How do we calculate the nutrition info?
These nutrition facts listed are determined using nutrition information from the USDA Food Database. Our nutrition facts are accurate, but if you are using different products, please make your calculations. Net carb count is calculated by subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols because they don’t raise blood sugar.
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