Oven-Roasted Whole Cauliflower Head
Are you looking for a simple and healthy way to enjoy cauliflower? Try this oven-roasted whole cauliflower head that’s bursting with flavors and is full of nutrients.
This whole roasted cauliflower is coated with a delicious blend of spices and baked until tender and golden.
You can serve it as a main course with a salad or a side dish with your favorite protein. It’s also great for meal prep.
This roasted whole cauliflower recipe is easy to make with only five ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time. Ready to make this amazing whole roasted cauliflower? Let’s get started!
- What’s A Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Head?
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- How To Roast Whole Cauliflower In The Oven
- Serving Cauliflower Head
- Tips For Perfect Roasted Cauliflower
- Storage Instructions
- Allergy Swaps
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Cauliflower Recipes
- Oven-Roasted Whole Cauliflower Head
What’s A Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Head?
A whole roasted cauliflower is, as the name of the recipe implies, a cauliflower roasted in the oven without cutting it.
It’s a great way of making a feature dish that both tastes delicious and looks the part.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I love cauliflower recipes for so many reasons. First, cauliflowers are low-carb, low-calorie, and great healthy, fulfilling vegetables available almost all year round.
Next, you can pretty much make any dish from cauliflower.
It’s an excellent base for cauliflower pizza crust or delicious on its own. Check my roasted cauliflower or steamed cauliflower for inspiration.
This is a great way of using cauliflower. You can serve this Whole Roasted Cauliflower as a side dish or vegan main dish for a family gathering.
How To Roast Whole Cauliflower In The Oven
If you don’t know how to enjoy cauliflower, you will be surprised by how flavorsome this Whole Roasted Cauliflower is!
Plus it’s super simple to prepare.
All you need to roast a whole head of cauliflower are:
- Head Of Cauliflower – Use a large cauliflower. If yours is smaller, you may need less oil.
- Avocado Oil or olive oil
- Lemon Juice
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Marjoram
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese – Or vegan Parmesan cheese alternatives.
Before you start, cover the bottom of a large cast-iron pan with parchment paper. This step is optional. You can also spray some cooking oil at the bottom of the pan.
However, I found it easier to pull out the cauliflower from the pan using the hanging parts of parchment paper.
Plus, the paper makes the cast-iron pan easier to clean later. Set aside.
You can also use a large 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Cover the bottom with oiled parchment paper. Set aside.
Oiling The Cauliflower Head
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a small bowl, stir oil and spices: lemon juice, cumin, dried oregano, dried marjoram, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Set it aside.
You don’t need to cut the cauliflower for this recipe.
Instead, flip the cauliflower head upside down and cut out the tough outer green leaves using a small sharp knife. Discard the green parts or use them later in a cauliflower soup.
Rinse the cauliflower head to remove any dust and impurities. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel, so the oil mixture sticks well to the florets.
Now, place the cauliflower head upside down, feet facing you. Pour half the marinade inside the cauliflower core so it drips down along the core.
Hold the core and rotate it, so the marinade gravitates inside the cauliflower head.
Flip over and place the cauliflower head, foot down on the cast-iron pan.
Using a pasty brush or hands, rub the remaining oil mixture all over the top of the cauliflower head.
Close the cast-iron pan with its lid and place the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven.
If you are using a baking dish, place the cauliflower in the center of the baking dish and cover it with a large piece of foil to tent the dish and encase the cauliflower.
Bake the cauliflower head for 40 to 60 minutes or until you can easily insert a pick in the thicker part of the cauliflower.
The cauliflower flesh must be soft and not hard in the middle, meaning the cauliflower is cooked through.
Remove the lid or remove the foil. Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese on top of the cauliflower and keep baking for 10 minutes uncovered until golden brown.
Or, you can switch to broil mode to add a lovely grill look on top of the cauliflower.
Serving Cauliflower Head
Remove the baked cauliflower head from the oven and serve it with some of the following on top:
- Tahini Sauce
- Drizzle of lemon juice
- Toasted Sliced Almonds – simply dry roast sliced almonds on a baking sheet at 180C for 5 minutes.
- Fresh Herbs like chopped parsley or coriander
- Sea Salt
- Chili Flakes
Best dishes to pair with roasted cauliflower head:
- Chicken Breast In A Cast-Iron Skillet
- Sunny Side Up Eggs
- Creamy Spinach Chicken
- Tuscan Chicken Breast
- Lemon Peppers Chicken Tenders
- Blackened Chicken
- Baked Pork Chops
Tips For Perfect Roasted Cauliflower
Making this recipe is quite easy, but I have a few tips and tricks to make it even easier and tastier every time.
- Use A Dutch Oven – To keep the cauliflower moist, cook it in a large Dutch oven with the lid on. Otherwise, you have to put foil on the cauliflower and keep it moist with liquid.
- Pour The Sauce Inside The Cauliflower – The more sauce goes inside the florets, the better it tastes, so take your time when pouring sauce and flip the cauliflower to make sure it reaches everywhere.
This whole baked cauliflower is quite large to store in the fridge.
The best is to cut the head into small chunks, place them in airtight containers and refrigerate them for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze the baked cauliflower for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the fridge the day before and rewarm in the microwave or saucepan.
Below are some ingredients swap ideas to help you adapt this recipe if needed.
- Gluten-Free – All the ingredients in this recipe are gluten-free.
- Low FODMAP– Skip the onion and garlic powder. Instead, you can use other spices, like paprika, turmeric, or coriander.
- Low-Sodium – You can skip the salt in the recipe.
- Lemon-Free – Use lime juice or skip it if you don’t like it.
- Oil Alternatives – Any oil works for this recipe. High smoke point oils smoke less at high temperatures. They are, therefore, healthier oil choices for roasting vegetables. This includes avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- Dairy-Free – Replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast or dairy-free parmesan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are my answers to your most common questions about how to roast a whole cauliflower head.
Yes, you can air-fry a whole cauliflower head.
First, make sure the head fits the air fryer basket.
Next, cover the bottom of the air fryer basket with foil – it makes it easier to pull out the whole head of cauliflower at the end and reduce cleaning time.
Finally, air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 35 to 50 minutes. The baking time depends on the size of the head.
When it becomes easy to insert a thin toothpick or knife blade in the center of the cauliflower, it’s ready to remove from the air fryer.
Yes, you can meal prep the whole cauliflower the day before and rewarm it in the oven before serving.
Or, you can marinade the cauliflower with the oil mixture up to 24 hours before.
Store it in the fridge and bake before serving.
You can use this recipe with white cauliflower, purple cauliflower, or green cauliflower.
Keep in mind that colored cauliflower varieties are smaller in size, and therefore they bake faster.
More Cauliflower Recipes
Here are some more recipe options to cook with cauliflower:
Have you tried this cauliflower recipe? Share a comment or review below.
Oven-Roasted Whole Cauliflower Head
Want My Kitchen Equipment?
- 1 large Cauliflower Head
- 5 tablespoons Avocado Oil or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Dried Marjoram
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ cup Freshly Grated Parmesan note 1
- ⅓ cup Sliced Almonds toasted
- ¼ cup Parsley finely chopped
- 1 pinch Sea Salt Flakes
- 1 pinch Chili Flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Cover the bottom of a large cast iron pan with foil or parchment paper. It's optional but makes it easier to clean.
- Remove the green outer leaves from the cauliflower and cut the cauliflower foot to make it flat. It should stand still on its foot on a flat surface.
- Rinse and dry the cauliflower. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, stir all the marinade ingredients.
- Turn the cauliflower head upside down, feet facing you. Pour half of the sauce and wait for it to drip down the core of the cauliflower. Rotate the head, so the sauce spreads around the inside of the cauliflower.
- Flip over and place it on a large cast-iron pan.
- Brush the remaining sauce on top of the cauliflower head using a pastry brush- you can also massage it by hand, if it's easier.
- Close the lid and bake the cauliflower for 40 to 60 minutes. Depending on how thick your cauliflower is, it can take more or less time. Insert a knife in the center. If it's tender in the center, it's ready.
- Remove the lid and sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese if used.
- Keep baking uncovered for 10 minutes, then serve.
- Serve with toasted sliced almonds and freshly chopped herbs as a side to chicken recipes like cast-iron chicken breast, gluten-free meatballs, or Greek yogurt ranch dip.
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