by Olena

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

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Olena Osipov
5 from 10 votes

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Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese is tender-crisp, golden, and full of nutty caramelized flavor. It’s a simple, healthy side dish that goes with almost anything.

We enjoy roasted vegetables year round! Fall and winter we love roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts and in the spring asparagus is a welcome addition to any meal.

roasted cauliflower with parmesan cheese in a bowl with a fork for eating

One of my favorite healthy vegetable side dishes is roasted cauliflower parmesan. It really doesn’t get any easier than chopping cauliflower into florets, mixing with oil, lemon juice, seasoning, roasting and then tossing with freshly grated parmesan.

The end result is the most buttery and nutty flavored cauliflower with crispy edges. With the option to cook from fresh or frozen, you can’t ever really go wrong when you make these oven roasted cauliflower florets.

Why Make Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower?

  • Delicious: Roasting vegetables in the dry heat of the oven caramelizes their natural sugars which not only tastes great, but smells amazing! 
  • Easy to make: Simple ingredients and 10 minutes of prep leads to the best cauliflower in the oven! 
  • Low calorie, low carb: A 1/2 cup of roasted cauliflower parmesan has only 163 kcal and 7g net carbs! 
  • Nutritious: Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and a great source of vitamin B and potassium. 
  • Diet friendly: Naturally gluten free, keto friendly and can be made dairy free!

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables! From snacking on it raw with healthy veggie dip to learning how to make cauliflower rice, to even using it as ‘faux’ potatoes in cauliflower mashed potatoes or cauliflower potato salad, its unique texture and ability to absorb flavor makes it a handy substitute for whatever you need it to be!

roasted garlic parmesan cauliflower

Ingredients for Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

  • Cauliflower: You can use fresh or frozen florets for oven roasted cauliflower.

If roasting from frozen, do not thaw cauliflower and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

  • Olive oil: Go for bold extra virgin olive rather than light olive oil or mild tasting avocado oil. Melted coconut oil would be delicious too, just make sure not to use it on frozen veggies as it will solidify immediately.
  • Garlic and lemon juice: Fresh garlic adds a punch of flavor while fresh lemon juice rounds it out and adds brightness.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.
  • Parmesan cheese: Adds a sharp, nutty umami taste and is added right before serving.
roasted cauliflower with parmesan cheese ingredients

How to Roast Cauliflower

There is a full recipe card below.

  • Cut cauliflower: You can use pre-cut cauliflower or see how to cut cauliflower in this easy 4 step tutorial. Have you been cutting it this way for ages?
  • Combine ingredients: Mix cauliflower florets, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl, so you can easily coat each piece.
  • Place on lined baking sheet: Transfer seasoned cauliflower onto tray in a single layer. And don’t overcrowd. You want moisture to evaporate instead of steaming nearby veggies.
  • Bake: At 400 degrees F for for 30-40 minutes and do not cover. High heat is key to roasted veggies.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

As easy as it is to make roasted cauliflower with parmesan, so is changing up the flavor to your liking. Here are a few of my favorite variations:

  • Curry: To the original recipe, add 1/2 medium thinly sliced onion, 1 tsp quality fresh curry powder and an additional 2 tbsp olive oil. After that, just roast as written in the recipe, omit cheese.
  • Spicy: Just toss oven baked cauliflower with 2 tbsp Frank’s red hot sauce. And why not add 3 tbsp blue cheese crumbles on top instead of parmesan!
  • Turmeric: To the original recipe, add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika and a pinch of red pepper flakes to a bowl with cauliflower florets. Finally, bake as per recipe, omit parmesan.
  • Extra crunchy: For added crunch, during the last few minutes of baking your cauliflower in the oven, toss with panko.
  • Onion: Sliced sweet onion would be delicious roasted along with cauliflower, just remember not to overcrowd your baking pan.
  • Other cheese: Feta cheese would also taste amazing!
  • Dairy free: For vegan, vegetarian friendly use nutritional yeast or a dairy free parmesan (such as Violife). For paleo, omit cheese.
  • Air fryer: In a dinner hurry and need your roasted veggies fast? Try air fryer cauliflower made in a fraction of the time.

Tips for Best Results

  • Preheat oven: This as well as the high temp equates to crispy oven baked cauliflower!
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: This will turn into mushy cauliflower not perfectly roasted.
  • Wash then dry: Wet cauliflower might steam and not roast, while that is also delicious, not the results we want for oven roasted cauliflower.
  • Add the salt: Otherwise your cauliflower will be bland.
  • Flip halfway through: For those really golden brown edges.
  • Parmesan cheese: Do not add cheese before roasting as it will burn and dry out BUT you can add it in the last few minutes, especially if you like those crispy parm bites (just like parmesan mushroom appetizers)
  • Fresh is best: This recipe contains minimal ingredients, use fresh lemon juice and freshly grated parmesan cheese for best taste.

fresh grated parmesan cheese on cutting board

FAQs

Is roasted cauliflower healthy?

Yes! While it is true that any cooking method will destroy some of the nutrients in any vegetable, on the other hand some nutrients become more bioavailable when cooked and this includes cauliflower! One cup of cooked cauliflower actually contains up to 77% of daily vitamin C. Cooked cauliflower is also easier to digest. If eating raw cauliflower is not to your liking, adding oven roasted cauliflower is a healthy option for anyone.

Can I make frozen roasted cauliflower?

Yes! You will need to increase your oven temp to 450F degrees.

How to roast cauliflower and broccoli?

You can roast both of these cruciferous vegetables together, I would just aim to cut both broccoli and cauliflower florets into similar sizes.

Why is my cauliflower mushy?

If you overcrowded the pan while the florets roasted or you cooked it too long, this could lead to mushy cauliflower oven.

Is the black stuff on cauliflower mold?

These brown colored spots are due to oxidation and happens the longer your cauliflower is stored. Just peel off the brown spots and your cauliflower is as good as new!

Do I need to boil cauliflower before roasting?

No! This will lead to mushy cauliflower.

Can I make roasted cauliflower florets in the air fryer?

Yes! Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Air fry in batches (same rule applies to not overcrowd your pan) for 20 minutes or so. After the first 10 minutes, check on your cauliflower and shake basket. Then check every 5 minutes or so until cauliflower is crispy.

How to Serve Oven Roasted Cauliflower?

Serve roasted cauliflower in oven with:

How to Store Roasted Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower?

Storing: Roasted cauliflower tastes best fresh. You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days, however keep in mind it will lose its crispiness in a container.

Reheating: Cold roasted cauliflower is delicious. If you would like to reheat it, pop on a ceramic non-stick skillet with 1 tsp of oil. It will heat through and regain a bit of a crunch.

Freezing: Oven roasted cauliflower never lasts that long in our household, but I think you could freeze leftovers. Completely cool the roasted garlic parmesan cauliflower florets, place in a freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator then reheat in oven or in air fryer.

More Cauliflower Recipes

oven baked cauliflower with parmesan in a bowl
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese is tender-crisp, golden, and full of nutty caramelized flavor. It's a simple, healthy side dish that goes with almost anything.
5 from 10 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 163kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line half sheet with silicone mat or unbleached parchment paper.
  • To cut cauliflower head into florets: Remove green leaves and cut cauliflower head into 4 quarters, starting at the base and slicing through the core. Lay each quarter on a cutting board, angle your knife and cut florets from the stem. Easy-peasy. See how to cut cauliflower in this easy 4 step tutorial.
  • In large mixing bowl, add cauliflower florets, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir gently and well with a spoon to coat evenly.
  • Transfer onto prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until soft to a touch with a fork. Mine took 35 mins – depends on the oven.
  • Sprinkle 2 tbsp of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano on roasted cauliflower. Serve immediately while hot and crisp. Warm tastes good too.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days. Cauliflower will become softer in a container but still delicious.:)

    Video

    Notes

    • Preheat oven: This as well as the high temp equates to crispy oven baked cauliflower!
    • Don’t overcrowd the pan: This will turn into mushy cauliflower not perfectly roasted.
    • Wash then dry: Wet cauliflower might steam and not roast, while that is also delicious, not the results we want for oven roasted cauliflower.
    • Add the salt: Otherwise your cauliflower will be bland.
    • Flip halfway through: For those really golden brown edges.
    • Parmesan cheese: Do not add cheese before roasting as it will burn and dry out BUT you can add it in the last few minutes, especially if you like those crispy parm bites! 

    Nutrition

    Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 399mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g

    Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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    24 comments on “Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

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    1. 5 stars
      This was quick and yummy! It’s too bad that the cauliflower florets shrink after they have been roasted because i want to eat more of it! This is definitely a healthy side dish that I will be adding to my meal prep rotation!

    2. 5 stars
      Great great recipe! When we make it at my daughter’s house we always put Parmesan cheese on top at the end. This is easy, tasty, and smells great while baking. Thanks!

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