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Roasted Cauliflower

close up shot of the head of a Roasted Cauliflower topped with thyme in a skillet
This whole-head roasted cauliflower recipe is perfectly seasoned with simple ingredients and browned beautifully in the oven. Unlike boiled veggies, this cauliflower has a beautiful, rich flavor and looked stunning when served.
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Table of Contents
  1. ROASTED CAULIFLOWER INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS ROASTED CAULIFLOWER RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Not everyone loves cauliflower, but almost everyone loves it cooked this way, plus, it’s super easy to make with only a handful of ingredients! An entire head of cauliflower is seasoned and roasted to golden brown perfection in the oven, giving it a very pleasant mild flavor and beautiful appearance when it comes out of the oven.

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable and there are so many different ways you can prepare it. Try our cauliflower fried rice for another yummy perfect side dish. For more fresh veggies that can be roasted in the oven, try our roasted vegetables recipe.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

  • 1 head cauliflower, intact
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BAY LEAVES: If you need a substitute for bay leaves, you can use oregano. For each bay leaf use ¼ teaspoon oregano.

CHICKEN BROTH: You can use beef or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in this recipe if you were hoping for a different taste or to make it vegetarian.

PARMESAN: Add parmesan cheese to the top of your cauliflower to give it a cheesy flavor.

SPICE: Add a little bit of extra flavor to your cauliflower with a dash of red pepper flakes or chili powder added to the broth along with the bay leaves and thyme.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS ROASTED CAULIFLOWER RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 400°F.

STEP TWO: Carefully remove the leaves on the stem of your fresh cauliflower head while keeping the whole head intact. 

STEP THREE: Place the cauliflower, flat side down, in a stockpot. Add the chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, and sprigs of thyme. Bring it to a boil over high heat on the stovetop. Boil for 7 to 8 minutes or until a fork can be poked into the stems of the cauliflower with a bit of resistance.

PRO TIP:

Boiling and roasting times will vary according to the size of the head of cauliflower. It will cook more while in the oven so it’s important that there is still some resistance when checking for doneness during the boiling phase.

STEP FOUR: Then, lift the head of the cauliflower from the pot and place it stem side down in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (an 8×8-inch square glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray would also work). 

STEP FIVE: Scoop 2 to 3 ladle-fulls of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs over the cauliflower in the skillet. 

STEP SIX: Sprinkle the cauliflower with the cracked black pepper to taste and pour the melted butter over the top of the cauliflower head.

PRO TIP:

If you melt the butter when you are boiling the cauliflower, it will cool enough while the cauliflower boils to form a thicker, almost paste-like consistency. Then, when you pour it over the cauliflower, it primarily stays on the cauliflower florets during roasting and adds flavor before eventually blending with the broth in the skillet.

STEP SEVEN: Bake it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until a fork/knife slips easily into the stems of the cauliflower. Spoon some of the broth/butter sauce from the pan up and over the cauliflower to baste every five minutes or so.

PRO TIP:

If using unsalted butter, you may wish to add some salt to the head of cauliflower when seasoning.

STEP EIGHT: If additional browning is desired, turn the oven temperature up to 450°F or broil until it’s at the desired level of brownness. 

STEP NINE: Garnish your cauliflower with fresh thyme leaves and serve it immediately.

HOW TO SERVE

This delicious side dish would be scrumptious the next time you had roast chicken or Italian chicken on the menu. Add a Caesar salad or creamy mashed potatoes for even more freshness on your plate.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: You can store your whole roasted cauliflower in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You may want to cut your cauliflower head into smaller pieces before freezing. Allow to cool completely, then place in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.

This perfectly seasoned, oven-roasted cauliflower is a great way to eat your veggies. Unlike grilled veggies, oven-roasted vegetables don’t shrink down and they keep all of their best flavors. Roasting the whole head of cauliflower with a simple seasoning mix takes it to the next level. It looks impressive on the dinner table and tastes incredible!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I add other seasonings to the cauliflower?

This basic recipe is extremely flexible and you can get creative with your favorite seasonings.

Can I freeze roasted cauliflower?

This easy roasted cauliflower recipe freezes well. We’d recommend cutting it up into bite-size florets and storing them in a freezer bag for up to three months.

How do I pick a cauliflower?

Pick a head that is free from browning, wet spots or “sun burned spots.”  The cauliflower should be firm, heavy for its size with densely packed florets.  The leaves should be fresh and vibrant green which is a sign that the cauliflower was recently harvested.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of the head of a Roasted Cauliflower topped with thyme in a skillet

Roasted Cauliflower

5 from 1 vote
This whole-head roasted cauliflower recipe is perfectly seasoned with simple ingredients and browned beautifully in the oven. Unlike boiled veggies, this cauliflower has a beautiful, rich flavor and looked stunning when served.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cauliflower intact
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnish
  • cracked black pepper
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup salted butter melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Carefully remove leaves and the base stem of the cauliflower head, while keeping the head as a whole intact.
  • Place cauliflower in a stockpot. Add chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, and sprigs of thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat on the stovetop. Boil 7-8 minutes or until a fork can be poked into the stems of the cauliflower with a bit of resistance.
  • Lift the head of cauliflower from the pot and place stem side down in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (an 8×8-inch square glass baking dish would also work).
  • Use a ladle to scoop 2 to 3 ladles of the chicken stock, as well as the bay leaves and thyme sprigs over the cauliflower in the skillet.
  • Sprinkle the cauliflower with cracked black pepper to taste and pour the melted butter over the top of the head.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until a fork/knife slips easily into the stems of the cauliflower. Spoon some of the broth/butter sauce from the pan up and over the cauliflower to baste every five minutes or so.
  • If additional browning is desired, turn the oven temperature up to 450°F or broil until desired level of brownenss is achieved.
  • Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.

Notes

TIP: Boiling and roasting times will vary according to the size of the head of cauliflower. It will cook more while in the oven so it’s important that there is still some resistance when checking for doneness during the boiling phase.
TIP: If you melt the butter when you are boiling the cauliflower, it will cool enough while the cauliflower boils to form a thicker, almost paste-like consistency. Then, when you pour it over the cauliflower, it primarily stays on the cauliflower florets during roasting and adds flavor before eventually blending with the broth in the skillet.
TIP: If using unsalted butter, you may wish to add some salt to the head of cauliflower when seasoning.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1106mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 764IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
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