Impress friends and family with this Garlic and Herb Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe. It’s quick and easy to season an entire head of cauliflower with a garlic and herb butter sauce, sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese, and then bake the whole thing. This vegetarian and keto side dish makes for a stunning centerpiece at a dinner or holiday party.

Garlic and herb whole baked cauliflower is a vegetarian side dish for your dinner party.

Garlic & Herb 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.

(Check out this Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower or this Oven-Roasted Cauliflower instead!)

Looking for a quick, easy, and healthy way to cook cauliflower in the oven? You’re going to LOVE this low-carb recipe!

Oil, herbs, butter, Parmesan, parsley, and cauliflower are some of the ingredients for this Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe.

Ingredients

The ingredients needed to make a whole roasted cauliflower head include:

  • Cauliflower. The size of the head of cauliflower is a critical step in determining how quickly it cooks in the oven. Large cauliflower will get super crispy on the outside while the inside is still undercooked. Find a medium-sized head that is roughly 6-7 inches in diameter for the best results. This recipe is written for white. Purple cauliflower has a different flavor but can be used.
  • Oil and Butter. Both oil and melted butter are ingredients in this recipe, but you can use all of one if you prefer. Olive oil or avocado oil can be used interchangeably with minimal impact on flavor.
  • Herbs. Homemade Italian Seasoning is super easy to pull together, but a store-bought variety works just as well. Read on for other seasoning options you can try when roasting cauliflower.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves 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 complements the flavors of the roasted cauliflower beautifully. Grated Parmesan works better than shredded since it will spread evenly over the entire head.

How to Roast a Head of Cauliflower

Here are the basic steps for making this roasted whole cauliflower head recipe:

Prepare the Cauliflower Head

Before getting started, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut or snap off the green, tough outer leaves. Be careful not to cut all the way into the florets attached.

Remove the thick white bottom of the stem by making an incision at the base of it. You want only the head of cauliflower with the florets to remain intact.

Season the Cauliflower

Whisk together the melted butter, oil, salt, pepper, seasonings, and minced garlic in a small bowl.

Place the prepared cauliflower head in a Dutch oven, cast iron skillet, or in a baking dish. A baking sheet will also work, in a pinch.

Using a basting brush, coat the cauliflower head with ¾ of the butter and herb sauce. Reserve the rest.

Roast in the Oven

Cover the head with aluminum foil and cook in the preheated oven at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Then remove the foil and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes.

Brush the remaining sauce over the baked cauliflower head, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and return to the oven.

Turn the oven to a high broil and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese begins to turn a golden brown. The high heat gives the outside that perfect crunch.

Overall cooking time will largely depend on the size of your cauliflower. Smaller ones will cook up faster while larger ones may take closer to an hour.

To serve, you can either slice off the individual florets, or you can cut into the core and serve them as steaks.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs or additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Change Up the Seasonings

Cauliflower is an incredible canvas for a variety of flavors. It’s a pretty neutral-tasting vegetable so you can add just about any spices to it to make the perfect side dish.

Next time, try a few of these simple seasoning ideas:

  • Italian Seasoning – the mix that was originally used when testing this recipe.
  • 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 as a garnish.
  • Dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, and parsley
A gluten-free and low-carb roasted cauliflower head on a white plate.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Wash and cut the cauliflower and refrigerate for up to 3 days in advance.
  • To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Return to a preheated oven or air-fryer at 350°F until heated through.

Why is my roasted cauliflower mushy?

When cauliflower is overcooked, it can become mushy. Make sure to keep an eye on it; once it’s tender, remove it from the oven.

Is roasted cauliflower healthy?

Yes, it is! Cauliflower is full of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy part of your diet. Particularly, it’s a great source of antioxidants and fiber. As an added bonus, it is perfect to replace carb-heavy foods, like rice and potatoes in your favorite meals.

How can I cook cauliflower?

The options are endless! You can roast the entire cauliflower head or just the florets, make mashed cauliflower, cauliflower casserole, cauliflower rice, and more.

Overhead shot of a paleo approved whole roasted cauliflower surrounded by a green garnish.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already gluten-free, vegetarian, low-carb, and keto as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Vegan and dairy-free: Use a plant-based Parmesan cheese and either oil or a vegan butter substitute in place of the butter.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Medium-sized is best. Too large of a head will take a long time to cook.
  • Switch up the seasonings. Try a variety of flavors each time you make this.
  • Plan ahead. This is easy to prep but does take time to cook. Be sure to give yourself at least an hour to ensure it’s cooked all the way through.
  • Don’t forget the foil. Covering with foil traps in the heat and allows the cauliflower to cook without the edges burning too quickly.
  • Check with a knife. Insert a knife into the middle to see if it is tender and done cooking.
This vegan whole roasted cauliflower is baked in the oven for a low-carb and keto recipe.

What to Serve with Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe can be served alongside your favorite main dishes! It’s perfect for special diets that avoid gluten or dairy, or are low-carb.

A few of the best main dishes to serve baked cauliflower with include Filet Mignon, Honey Balsamic Chicken, and Honey Mustard Chicken.

You can also pair it with a leaner option like Blackened Salmon or Teriyaki Glazed Salmon.

For a truly impressive meal, opt for Spatchcock Chicken or Chicken Cordon Bleu.

More Cauliflower Recipes

Can’t seem to get enough cauliflower? Try out any of these side dishes next.

Mashed Cauliflower and Cauliflower au Gratin are healthy twists on potato classics.

Both Oven-Roasted Cauliflower and Creamy Cauliflower Soup are delicious and surprisingly easy.

If you’ve never tried Air Fryer Cauliflower, then definitely put it on your menu soon!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 13 votes

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Impress friends and family alike with this Garlic and Herb Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe. It's quick and easy to season an entire head of cauliflower with a garlic and herb butter sauce, sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese, and then bake the whole thing.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 13 votes

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Wash and cut the cauliflower and refrigerate for up to 3 days in advance.
  • To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Return to a preheated oven or air-fryer at 350° until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 303mg, Potassium: 297mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 176IU, Vitamin C: 47mg, Calcium: 94mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!

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Comments

  1. I made this last week. I used nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese. Loved it! I cooked it an extra half hour and turned the oven up to 425..

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Adele! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Sandra! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

    1. I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s one of our favorite ways to enjoy cauliflower. Let me know how you like it!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! We had it Tuesday night and it’s Friday now and we’re having it again! Thank you so much for this recipe! : )

    1. Yay! So happy you enjoyed it, Jayda! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and rating 🙂