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Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs

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This Roasted Cauliflower Recipe changed my husband’s mind about this once-maligned vegetable! The caramelized florets are sweet, tender and irresistible!  Now he and I both nibble on the tasty florets before they make it to the serving dish!

Oven Roasted Cauliflower enhances the natural sweetness and makes an absolutely delicious side dish with nutty, buttery undertones.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs in a white ceramic bowl with red handle forks

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs

By now, many of you know that I have a husband with a picky palate.  Slowly, over our nearly 35-year marriage, I’ve gotten him to try and actually enjoy broccoli, asparagus, the occasional zucchini (he still calls it cucumber!), and just lately, cauliflower.

It was this roasting method that finally swayed him.  This Roasted Cauliflower may convert your cauliflower avoider into a lover, too!

Oven Roasted Cauliflower in a white serving bowl

Tips for Roasting Cauliflower

I’ve learned a few tricks to help make your first and subsequent attempts at roasting cauliflower, or other vegetables, utterly delicious!

  • Cut your cauliflower into small florets, about 1/2 to 1-inch pieces. You want all pieces to be approximately the same size. I discard excess core and stems, but you can roast them, too or save for making soup or cauliflower rice.
  • Wash your cauliflower ahead of time, so it has a chance to dry. The oil won’t stick well to damp florets.
  • Place the dried florets in a large bowl, add the oil and toss to coat every single piece. I realize it’s an extra bowl to clean, but it really helps get each floret coated well with oil. Then add the Parmesan and bread crumbs and toss again.
  • Use a large sheet pan to roast the cauliflower so the florets aren’t crowded together. If they’re too close, they tend to steam instead of roast.
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Remember the Parmesan is salty, so don’t go overboard, but it’s still important to add salt.
  • Roast at high heat for best results, 400-450º.
  • Make sure you toss the cauliflower about halfway through the cooking time. That helps as much surface area to brown as possible.

The Nutritional Benefits of Cauliflower

We all know the vegetables are good for you and that a balanced diet should include loads of fruits and veggies. But did you ever wonder about the specific benefits that come from eating cauliflower? Well, there are plenty!

  • Cauliflower is high in fiber. In fact, there are 3 grams of fiber in every cup. You might not want to eat a cup of raw cauliflower, but sweet, roasted cauliflower is another story!
  • This vegetable is also rich in nutrients, especially Vitamin C!! It’s also a source of Folate, B6, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Potassium, and more.
  • Cauliflower contains Choline which is needed for memory and learning.
  • Cauliflower is full of antioxidants that help rid your body of free radicals along with decreasing inflammation and possible protection against cancer.
  • This cruciferous vegetable can help with weight loss. As a substitute for rice, cauliflower rice is a tasty low carb option. High in fiber, cauliflower also helps fill you up, helping to minimize overeating.

 

3 process images of roasted cauliflower

Raw Cauliflower – Cauliflower coated with olive oil, bread crumbs and Parmesan – Roasted Cauliflower  

Oven Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Vegetables caramelize and sweeten when cooked with intense, dry heat.  I will never steam cauliflower again. The addition of Parmesan and bread crumbs just provides additional flavor and texture.  Bill and I sneak bites right off the baking sheet when it’s fresh out of the oven. It’s just that good!

I’m still working on my 17-year-old, but I’m sure he’ll be converted into an oven roasted cauliflower fan one of these days! He’s nowhere as persnickety as his father, so I have high hopes! If you make tiny florets when you roast your cauliflower, you will have popcorn cauliflower, and it’s as addictive as it’s namesake!

Three Keys for Roasting Cauliflower

There are 3 keys for oven roasted cauliflower. First, the oven must be hot. 400º works well, but you can also crank your oven to 425-450º if you’d like even more browning. Just watch carefully. Put your cauliflower on the lowest rack as this helps the bottom of the florets brown, too. And last, but also very important, is to have the cauliflower in a single layer so that it roasts instead of steams.

Overhead view of Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs in a round white bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Roast Frozen Cauliflower?

Yes, but roast it from the frozen state instead of defrosting first. You want it to steam, not roast. You will not be able to add toppings, and fresh is preferred, but frozen works in a pinch.

How Do You Reheat Roasted Cauliflower?

At our house, we microwave the leftovers to reheat. But if you'd like to bring back a little crispiness, sauteing the leftovers in a skillet is a better option.

Is Roasted Cauliflower Low-carb?

If you roast your cauliflower with just olive oil and Parmesan, it's definitely low-carb. Once you add the bread crumbs, the amount of carbs per serving does increase.

Can You Freeze Roasted Cauliflower?

You can freeze simple roasted cauliflower without any toppings, but this version would not defrost well.

More Recipes You’ll Love:

For a heartier cauliflower dish, check out this Cauliflower Bacon Gratin. Bill gave it his seal of approval, too!

This recipe was first shared in January 2011. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Roasted Cauliflower in a white bowl with two red handled forks

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs

Roasting cauliflower with Parmesan and bread crumbs will make anyone love this maligned vegetable!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch florets
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, then add bread crumbs and Parmesan and toss again. Spread out over large baking sheet, making sure the florets are not too crowded. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 30-40 minutes, flipping at the halfway point, until the cauliflower tender and browned slightly.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 307mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g

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