This Whole Roasted Cauliflower Head will save you time since you get to skip the cutting step! It’s coated in a garlic and herb butter sauce, baked in the oven until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and served with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. This impressive low-carb, keto, and vegetarian side dish will take center stage at your next dinner party or holiday meal.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower Head
Some nights you just feel a bit lazy.
You don’t really want to grab the cutting board and delicately cut an entire head of cauliflower into florets.
Not to mention heating up the oven and then roasting them!
Instead, why not skip an entire step and make a whole roasted cauliflower head.
The outside gets perfectly crisp and crunchy while the inside cooks until soft and tender.
It also looks incredibly fancy when you serve it to your dinner guests!
However, if you are a fan of every part of your cauliflower being crispy, this recipe may not be for you.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and healthy way to cook cauliflower in the oven, then you’re going to LOVE this recipe!
Preparing the Cauliflower
While you do not need to go through the time-consuming process of cutting the cauliflower into florets, you will need to pull out the cutting board for a short bit.
The base of the cauliflower typically comes with tons of green leaves and a thick white stalk. These part are bitter and tough, so you do not want to keep these on when you’re roasting the head in the oven.
- Cut the green leaves (or snap by hand) to remove them.
- Pay careful attention not to cut all of the way into the parts with florets attached. (step 1 above)
- Remove the thick white stalk by making an incision at the base of it. (step 2 above)
- You want only the head of cauliflower with the florets to remain intact.
How to Make
Making a whole roasted cauliflower head is pretty simple and straightforward.
Once you have done it once, you can do it again and again with different seasonings and flavor variations!
This is the basic process of how to make whole roasted cauliflower:
Whisk together the butter, oil, salt, pepper, seasonings, and crushed garlic in a small bowl. (step 1 above)
Place cauliflower head in a dutch oven or in a baking dish. Using a basting brush, coat it with ¾ of the butter and herb sauce. Reserve the remaining sauce. (step 2 above)
Cover cauliflower head with aluminum foil and cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes. (step 3 above)
Brush remaining sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Turn the oven to a high broil and broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese begins to turn a golden brown. (step 4 above)
Roasting it in Oven
Now that you have your cauliflower head ready to roast in the oven, how long should you cook it?
A rather hot oven is key to get those crispy edges, but you don’t want it so hot that the interior of the cauliflower doesn’t cook through.
Because of this, we’ll be baking it in an oven that has been preheated to 400°F.
Depending on the size of your head of cauliflower, you will need to roast it for a total of 40-50 minutes.
The first 30 minutes it will be covered with aluminum foil to ensure the inside cooks through, and the last 10-20 minutes will be without the foil.
Once the cauliflower is cooked through and tender in the middle (you can test this with a knife) brush it with the remaining sauce and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese.
Broil the head of cauliflower for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Cauliflower – The size of the head of cauliflower is a critical step in determining how quickly it cooks in the oven. Larger heads of cauliflower will get super crispy on the outside while the inside is still undercooked. Look for a medium-sized head that is roughly 6-7 inches in diameter and no more than 8 inches across for the best results.
- Oil and Butter – Both oil and butter are used in this recipe, but you can use all of one if you prefer. Olive oil or avocado oil can both be used interchangeably with minimal impact on flavor.
- Herbs – An Italian Seasoning mix made from dried herbs was used when testing this recipe. This particular kind was made at home, but feel free to buy a store bought kind. Also, check out the other seasoning options you can try when roasting cauliflower that are mentioned below.
- Garlic – Fresh cloves of garlic are mixed together with the butter sauce. However, feel free to substitute with a bit of garlic powder instead.
- Parmesan – While this is optional, a bit of sharp, hard cheese compliments the flavors of the roasted cauliflower beautifully. Grated Parmesan works better than shredded since it will spread evenly over the entire head.
Seasonings for Cauliflower
Cauliflower is an incredible canvas for a variety of flavors. It’s a pretty neutral tasting vegetable so you can add just about any seasoning to it with great results.
A few of the best seasonings to add:
- Italian Seasoning – the mix that was originally used when testing this recipe.
- Dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, and parsley
- Greek Seasoning – this is very similar to the Italian seasoning blend used.
- Blackened Seasoning – to make it spicy and full of Cajun flavor.
- Taco Seasoning – will give it a Mexican flair with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
Serve the roasted cauliflower with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, additional Parmesan cheese, and even a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.
You can either cut the head into wedges or cut off the florets individually to serve.
A few of the best main dishes to serve baked cauliflower with include:
As mentioned previously, there are only a few kitchen items you will need to make this dish.
First, you will need a Dutch oven or a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Next, you will want to have a good basting brush. I prefer the silicone kind where the bristles do not fall out, but it’s totally up to you!
Lastly, a garlic press will help you get perfectly crushed garlic for the butter sauce!
Can I make this recipe vegan?
Use a vegan Parmesan cheese and a dairy-free butter alternative to make it vegan and dairy-free.
What if I don’t have the dried herbs mentioned?
Switch up the seasonings by using dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil or use a store bought Italian seasoning instead.
How long to roast a head of cauliflower?
Roast a cauliflower head in a 400°F oven for 40-50 minutes, or until cooked through and tender in the. middle. If you prefer ultra crispy edges, broil it for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Parmesan and Garlic Whole Roasted Cauliflower
This Whole Roasted Cauliflower Head will save you time since you get to skip the cutting step! It's coated in a garlic and herb butter sauce, baked in the oven until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and served with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. This impressive low-carb, keto, and vegetarian side dish will take center stage at your next dinner party or holiday meal.
- 1 head of cauliflower leaves removed
- 2 Tbsp. butter melted, or dairy-free butter alternative*
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. Italian seasonings
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2-3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese dairy-free if needed**
- Parsley fresh, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut and remove the leaves from the head of cauliflower. Cut and remove the thick white stalk at the base of the head of cauliflower.
In a small bowl whisk together the butter, oil, salt, pepper, seasonings, and crushed garlic.
Place cauliflower head in a dutch oven or in a baking dish. Using a basting brush, coat it with ¾ of the butter and herb sauce. Reserve the remaining sauce.
Cover cauliflower head with aluminum foil and cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes.
Brush remaining sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Turn the oven to a high broil and broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese begins to turn a golden brown.
Serve with fresh parsley and additional Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
**If vegan and dairy-free, use a dairy-free butter alternative and vegan Parmesan cheese.