This is the best whole roasted cauliflower recipe you'll find anywhere, packed with so much flavor in every bite. Learn how to roast a whole head of cauliflower perfectly every time using my step-by-step tutorial.
There are so many ways to enjoy cauliflower. Now, I'm not one to use it instead of rice or pizza crust but I love making a roasted cauliflower salad as a side dish or adding it to vegetable tikka masala. We also enjoy our cauliflower fritters or roasted cauliflower soup with some crusty bread for dinner every now and then. This roasted cauliflower head is another favorite way to serve cauliflower in our home. It's an easy recipe that my whole family loves, especially when served with tahini yogurt sauce.
Table Of Contents:
Why this recipe works
- A healthy choice: Cauliflower is a healthy vegetable that's low in calories and high in nutrients. Some benefits of cauliflower include its ability to improve heart health, boost brain function, and increase energy levels. Additionally, cauliflower is high in fiber and vitamin C, and contains antioxidants that can promote a healthy complexion and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Flavors: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the cauliflower. Paired with a combination of warm spices, it makes a tasty dish.
- Versatile: You can serve whole baked cauliflower as a side dish or a vegetarian main course for any occasion. Try this showstopper cauliflower recipe as one of your holiday main dishes!
- Easy: This is truly an easy cauliflower recipe that calls for only a handful of ingredients. Trust me, anyone can make it!
- Cauliflower: You need a whole head of cauliflower for this recipe. Make sure it doesn't have any brown or soft spots and the florets are intact.
- Spices: A combination of sumac, oregano, Aleppo pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika and garlic powder adds a lot of flavor to this dish.
- Olive oil: You need a good amount of olive oil to mix with all the spices to make a paste.
- Tahini yogurt sauce: This sauce is very similar to our middle eastern tahini sauce and you need tahini, garlic, yogurt, lemon, salt and pepper to make it.
How to roast whole cauliflower
- Wash and dry the cauliflower, then remove the leaves and trim the bottom stem so it can stand. Make sure not to go too deep so the florets stay intact.
- Mix the spices with the olive oil and rub it all over the cauliflower, making sure all parts of it are fully coated with the spice mix.
- Cover with a piece of aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cauliflower comes out clean.
- Remove the aluminum foil and roast for another 10 minutes for the cauliflower to crisp up just a bit.
- Meanwhile, make the tahini yogurt sauce and set it aside.
- Drizzle the sauce all over the roasted whole cauliflower and serve.
Tips to make the best whole roasted cauliflower
- Season well: Cauliflower doesn't have a strong flavor, so be sure to rub it very well with the spice mix to make sure every bite is seasoned well.
- Trim carefully: When trimming the bottom of the cauliflower, make sure to remove most of the stem while keeping the florets intact.
- Heat: When it comes to roasting vegetables, heat plays an important role. Roast your vegetables at 400 to 425 degrees F for them to keep their shape while being crispy in the outside and tender on the inside.
The combination of spices I mentioned here gives you a delicious and tasty roasted cauliflower with a Mediterranean flair. However, you can always add or remove any of the spices you don't have on hand. If available, you can also season whole cauliflower with Lebanese seven spice, Moroccan ras el hanout or Persian advieh.
Another way to season whole cauliflower is to add some grated parmesan cheese or chopped parsley or cilantro for more flavor. Squeeze some lemon on the roasted whole cauliflower right before serving for some bright flavors.
While the tahini yogurt sauce is a wonderful addition to this dish, you can also use other sauces such as toum, ezme, zhoug or aioli to dip the cauliflower pieces in.
Serve this whole roasted head of cauliflower as a vegetarian main course with side dishes such as Greek potatoes, vermicelli rice, bulgur pilaf or herb rice. You can also serve it as a side dish with Italian skillet chicken, balsamic chicken or baked salmon with lemon and garlic.
Storage and reheating
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat using a microwave or in the oven at 250 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.
To freeze whole roasted cauliflower, Slice it into smaller pieces and place it in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw it in the fridge before reheating and serving.
Frequently asked questions
To ensure that the whole cauliflower is fully cooked, insert a knife and if it goes in smoothly, the vegetable is fully cooked and ready to serve.
You've undercooked it. If it's still tough after the cooking time is up, roasted it for another 10 minutes. When roasted well enough, the cauliflower is tender and slightly sweet.
This depends on the size of the cauliflower. It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to roast a whole head of cauliflower followed by a few minutes uncovered to crisp in slightly.
More roasted vegetables recipes
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Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce
- 1 whole cauliflower about 2 pounds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Tahini yogurt sauce
- ⅔ cup plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 lemon juice of
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Wash and dry the cauliflower, trim the outer leaves and carefully cut the bottom stem so the cauliflower can stand. Place it on a cast iron skillet.
- In a bowl mix the olive oil with sumac, oregano, Aleppo pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika and garlic powder to form a paste. Rub this mixture all over the cauliflower.
- Cover the cauliflower with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until it's tender and you can easily insert a knife in it. Uncover and roast for another 10 minutes.
- To make the tahini yogurt sauce, mix the yogurt with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle it all over the cauliflower and serve warm.
- You can use dairy free yogurt to make the tahini yogurt sauce as long as it's plain and not flavored.
- If all the spices mentioned in the recipe are not available to you, leave them out. Other additions to this recipe can be ras el hanout, advieh or Lebanese seven spice. You can also add some parmesan cheese, herbs such as parsley and cilantro and top it with some lemon juice right before serving.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or in the oven at 250 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also freeze the leftovers and thaw them in the fridge overnight when you're ready to use them.
This came out fantastic and I really enjoyed the tahini sauce on top of it. Yum!
This is a great cauliflower dish. My family LOVES it!