If you love citrus, you’re going to fall hard for this Lemon Garlic Roasted Cauliflower! Deliciously caramelized and bursting with savory garlic, fresh lemon, and a bit of Parmesan, you might just forget how healthy it really is!
After indulgent Valentine’s Day (week? month?) eating – and considering we’re (I’m?) still coming off a junky holiday diet, veggies are exactly what we need.
Thankfully, vegetables as irresistible as roasted cauliflower exist, so eating healthier doesn’t need to be bland and boring, right?
This calcium and vitamin-packed side dish is gonna usher us right into spring, and I – for one – am all for it.
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
I can vaguely remember a time when I was not a vegetable lover.
I ate them, of course, because it was easier than sitting at the table for three hours whining about it. But they weren’t my jam.
Preparation was a huge part of my aversion to them, though.
We’ve come so far from steamed broccoli and canned green beans.
Roasted cauliflower is by far one of my favorite vegetables to nosh on. I mean, broccoli’s pale sister is delicious in every way – from raw to riced, to turned into something wild and not-at-all as sinful as it tastes, like these Nashville Hot Cauliflower Bites.
But damn, is it amazing when it’s all tender and golden and slightly caramelized on the sides…SO good. It really doesn’t even need much besides some oil, salt, and pepper to be total side dish perfection.
That said, the addition of some herbs, lots of garlic and lemon juice, and a bit of red pepper flakes makes it completely addicting. To the point where it could even become a full meal.
And that, my friends, is coming from a carnivore.
How To Cut A Cauliflower Head
A head of cauliflower may look a little squirrely, but it’s very easy to butcher. Try to cut the florets in evenly sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Place the cauliflower head, stem side down, on a cutting board.
- Using a chef’s knife, cut the head in half from the crown through the stem.
- Cut each piece in half vertically, creating 4 quarters.
- Remove the core from of each quarter, breaking off the large florets.
- Cut the large florets into smaller pieces, as evenly sized as possible.
What Is Roasted Cauliflower Good With?
Honestly, roasted cauliflower goes with just about every meal you can think of.
But if we’re considering the healthy factor of this side dish, you’re likely looking to pair it with a lean protein.
How To Roast Cauliflower
Roasted cauliflower is one of the easiest veggie sides imaginable! Just toss the veggies with the flavors, toss it in the oven, and let it works its magic.
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place your baking racks on the lowest setting – this keeps the cauliflower from scorching. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and keep it close by.
Next, cut your cauliflower head in evenly-sized florets (you can also opt for pre-cut, which can usually be found in the produce section). Place the florets in a large bowl.
Then mix up your flavor blend – olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley – in a small bowl. I used 4 cloves of garlic and the juice of a whole lemon, but feel free to adjust those amounts based on your tastes. If you’re a garlic freak, let it show here!
Drizzle the lemon oil blend over the cauliflower and toss it around in the bowl, trying to evenly cover the florets.
Spread the cauliflower in an even layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle it with some salt and pepper – be as liberal here as you’d like. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring the cauliflower once or twice so it browns evenly.
When it’s tender and starting to look golden-brown, sprinkle on some shaved or grated Parmesan cheese. Roast it for an additional 5 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the roasted cauliflower with lemon zest, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes – all to taste, of course.
LOOKING FOR MORE VEGGIE SIDE DISH RECIPES?
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING ROASTED CAULIFLOWER:
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Lemon Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets (about 8 cups)
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped, divided
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese shaved or grated
- Crushed red pepper flakes for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper; set aside.
- Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley. Drizzle the oil blend over the cauliflower and toss to coat.
- Spread florets out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring cauliflower and rotating the pan halfway through bake time, until tender and golden, with some bits starting to caramelize.
- Sprinkle parmesan over cauliflower and return to oven for 5 additional minutes until cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a serving dish.
- Garnish with lemon zest, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes as desired.