Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip

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Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Dipping Sauce — Even people who say they don’t like cauliflower will love this version! Oven roasted cauliflower is easy to prepare, and I’ve given detailed instructions on bake times and oven temperatures. 

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

Best Ever Roast Cauliflower 

Cauliflower is pretty trendy right now. But this isn’t a trendy recipe.

It’s a classic roasted cauliflower recipe. You know, the kind of recipe you actually make.

Recently I’ve seen recipes for cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower florets made to be like buffalo wings, cauliflower puree that’s a stand-in for alfredo sauce, mashed cauliflower as a sub for mashed potatoes, cauliflower breaded and baked or fried for chips, and the list goes on.

Except I’m not that creative, I’m on vacation, and I eat tons of cauliflower exactly like this.

Drizzled with a little coconut oil, seasoned with smoked paprika or turmeric, and baked for about 20 minutes. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and full of flavor.

It’s filling, hearty, comforting, and stays al dente. There’s enough texture retained so it’s not at all mushy and has plenty of chomp factor.

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

The smoked paprika, along with the natural flavors that are brought out when you roast vegetables, make the cauliflower so tasty.

While I don’t mind the raw bitey-ness that raw cauliflower has, some people do, and roasting tempers and mellows it.

Normally I eat my vegetables fairly plain and basic, which some may call ‘boring.’ However, when it comes to vegetables, basic and ‘boring’ is what I always go back to.

But if you’re trying to twist someone’s arm to eat more vegetables, the easy, 30-second cauliflower dipping sauce can’t hurt. It’s made with with equal parts sour cream and shredded cheese. 

I can demolish a head of cauliflower by myself. So good.

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

Ingredients for Oven Roasted Cauliflower 

To make roast cauliflower in the oven, you’ll need: 

  • Fresh cauliflower
  • Coconut oil 
  • Smoked paprika 
  • Salt and pepper

For the cauliflower dipping sauce, you’ll need: 

  • Sour cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

How to Make Oven Roasted Cauliflower 

This is such an easy roasted cauliflower recipe that’s easy to customize using your favorite spices. Here’s my preferred method for roasting cauliflower in the oven: 

  1. Place cauliflower florets on a baking tray, arranged in a single flat layer.
  2. Evenly drizzle or massage with oil. 
  3. Evenly sprinkle with smoked paprika, and optionally sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Roast at 375ºF until cauliflower is done to taste.
  5. Serve with the creamy Parmesan dipping sauce. 

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

What Temperature to Roast Cauliflower? 

I prefer roasting my cauliflower at 375ºF. A slightly lower temperature gives the cauliflower time to cook from the inside out before it starts to caramelize on the bottom. 

How Long to Roast Cauliflower? 

I find 20 to 25 minutes at 375ºF is perfect! 

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

Can the Coconut Oil Be Substituted? 

I love roasting vegetables with coconut oil and don’t think it makes the cauliflower taste like coconut at all. Use olive or another favorite oil if you’re concerned.

Can You Roast Frozen Cauliflower? 

Technically, yes. You can roast frozen cauliflower straight from the freezer, just add a few minutes to the bake time. 

However, I find that frozen cauliflower is mushy once roasted and doesn’t retain any bite or texture, which is what I love about classic oven roasted cauliflower. 

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

Tips for the Best Roasted Cauliflower 

To oil the cauliflower: I prefer to dip my fingers in the melted coconut oil and run my fingers over the florets so they don’t become over-oiled nor have oil pooling on the baking tray.

Roasting time: Note that the top side of the florets stays whiter while the base could be caramelizing/browning quite a bit, so make sure to check the undersides when testing for doneness. I don’t bother flipping it midway through roasting, although you could.

For the dipping sauce: You can use cream cheese or mayo, including vegan or lite versions, instead of sour cream. I had Parmesan handy, but most any cheese will work.

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip - Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Healthy & easy!

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4.50 from 10 votes

Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Parmesan Dip

By Averie Sunshine
Even people who say they don't like cauliflower will love this version! Oven roasted cauliflower is easy to prepare, and I've given detailed instructions on bake times and oven temperatures. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients  

  • 1 head of washed and trimmed cauliflower, broken into 1 to 2-inch florets
  • about 1 tablespoon coconut oil, or your favorite oil
  • about 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or use turmeric, Old Bay, seasoning salt, grill seasoning, garlic powder, or your favorite spices or seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper, optional and to taste

Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup sour cream, or cream cheese or mayo; use lite or vegan versions as desired
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, or your favorite shredded cheese; use lite or vegan versions as desired

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or with foil; set aside.
  • Place cauliflower florets on baking tray, arranged in a single flat layer, not quite touching, if possible.
  • Evenly drizzle or massage with oil. I prefer to dip my fingers in the oil and run my fingers over the florets so they don’t become over-oiled nor have oil pooling on the baking tray.
  • Evenly sprinkle with smoked paprika, and optionally sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Bake for about 2o to 25 minutes, or until cauliflower is done to taste, noting that the top side stays whiter while the base could be caramelizing/browning quite a bit, so make sure to check the undersides, too. I don’t bother flipping it midway through roasting, although you could.
  • While cauliflower is baking, make the dip by stirring together the sour cream and cheese in a small bowl; set aside until serving.
  • Remove cauliflower from oven and serve with the dip as soon as it’s cool enough to eat. Cauliflower is best warm and fresh although can be kept airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; eat chilled or gently reheat as desired. Extra dip will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 174kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 330mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g

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

More Easy Roasted Vegetable Recipes: 

Crispy Parmesan Ranch Potatoes — The BEST roasted potatoes you’ll ever eat!! Tender potatoes seasoned with ranch mix and topped with a CRISPY Parmesan breadcrumb topping! So DELICIOUS you don’t even need a main course!!

Crispy Parmesan Ranch Roasted Potatoes - The BEST roasted potatoes you'll ever eat!! Tender potatoes seasoned with ranch mix and topped with a CRISPY Parmesan breadcrumb topping! So DELICIOUS you don't even need a main course!!

Parmesan Balsamic Roasted Broccoli — A super simple side dish that’s perfect for anything from busy weeknights to holiday celebrations!

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts— These balsamic Brussels sprouts are easy to make and pair perfectly with any main dish. Serve with Parmesan and chopped pistachios to amp up the flavor!

Roasted Cheesy Asparagus — Even picky eaters will LOVE asparagus when it’s roasted with onions and covered with melted CHEESE!! A fast and EASY side that’s perfect for busy weeknights!!

Roasted Rainbow Carrots — Lightly caramelized around the edges, crisp-tender in the center, and seasoned with rosemary, thyme, and parsley!! A trusty side that you’ll make again and again for holidays or easy weeknight dinners!!

Parmesan and Herb Roasted Potatoes— These herb roasted potatoes are sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and are made with seasonings you already have on hand. So easy to prep, and crazy delicious!

Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes — You can’t go wrong with warm sweet potatoes that are soft and tender in the middle and lightly crisped and caramelized on the outside! The simple honey-cinnamon dip is and creamy, loaded with flavor!!

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was VERY easy to prepare and a big hit when I had to bring an appetizer for my foodie friends without a lot of time. Roasted cauliflower as an appetizer – what a concept! And so healthy too!! I used light sour cream to keep the calories down. This recipe is a keeper!

  2. 5 stars
    This was VERY easy to prepare and a big hit when I had to bring an appetizer for my foodie friends without a lot of time. Roasted cauliflower as an appetizer – what a concept! And so healthy too!! I used light sour cream to keep the calories down. This recipe is a keeper!

  3. I LOVE this!! I love cauliflower so this is like…”lick-the-screen-good” for me!!

  4. This looks AWESOME!!!! Always great to find a new creative way to cook veggies… I will be keeping this recipe handy :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Roasted cauliflower is the way to go. It’s timeless. That dip makes eating cauliflower even more delicious. Love!

  6. I made this last night! I usually just use salt and pepper to season roasted veggies but the paprika added a nice touch. And the sour cream-parmesan dip was dangerously good!

  7. I actually prefer some veggies raw rather than cooked. Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peppers. I love ’em raw. But I love this roasted cauliflower recipe as well. I think I’m gonna have to give it a try one day. Pinned!

    1. I love raw veggies as a rule. But many people are put off by raw cauli, broc, peppers..even though I am totally fine with them, as you are! Roasted is a great option then too! Thanks for pinning :)

  8. This sounds so incredibly good! I love roasted cauliflower so I can only imagine how much better it would be with that delicious parmesan dip!

  9. So cauliflower is trending. When you went over the list, I was amazed. Well thank you for making me ‘contemporary’ which is actually the theme of my last blog. So perfecto! As it happens I already like cauliflower. And this recipe is easy and delicious without putting myself in stocks with guilt over too many calories. What a relief! I love turmeric, but ever since I tasted smoked paprika I can’t get enough of it. So we know the direction I am moving to.

    1. I used to love turmeric but ever since I tried smoked paprika, that’s my go-to, for sure! And yes, cauli is very trendy right now. Everywhere I turn, there’s something new with it!

  10. I’m a recent cauliflower convert (shocker) and I NEED to try it roasted. We’ve only eaten it pureed so far, but roasted sounds so much better.

    1. Ok yes, knowing you, that IS A Shocker! But I am so proud of your! Pureed is really only my thing for soups but chewing, texture, roasting, so good! Roast it with coconut oil for some extra good stuff!

  11. Bring on those classic veggie recipes — they’re my absolute favorites! I love roasting them (especially Brussels sprouts until they get crispy… seriously addictive) or steaming them followed by a generous shower of Cajun seasoning. I’m still new to cauliflower, but so far I’m in love! I think I need to go buy some smoked paprika… I can’t believe I don’t have any on my spice shelf!

  12. I also love cauliflower any which way. Have you seen the whole baked cauliflower dishes some restaurants serve? Pretty impressive. But this seems a whole lot easier to eat. Both broccoli and cauliflower acquire the most lovely little crunchy bits when roasted. Definitely my favorite way to eat them :)

  13. I eat about a head of cauliflower a week. I should really grow it in my garden, but I think I’d need to use so much space it isn’t really worth it. I have tried cauli crust (meh) and cauli rice (delish!), mashed cauli (LOVE) and caulifredo (been making that shit for years) and also my spinach artichoke dip with cauli.

    I love it. So versatile!

    1. I know you love it and have all kinds of ways to integrate it. That spinach/artichoke dip sounds awesome and I still need to make that since some of my fave things ever are spinach/arti dip AND cauli!

  14. Simple, roasted veggies are the best. Cauliflower is especially tasty when roasted because it gets that awesome caramelized flavour. Love this simple dip, too. Pinned!

  15. Did you ever see that roasted curry cauliflower that Kevin did?
    Oh my heavens!
    I could drink this dip Av.
    How was Easter?
    Aruuuuuba! That’s how. :-)

    1. Ironically I think I pinned that recipe of Kevin’s today if you mean Closet Cooking. It came up when I started pinning this one as Related Pins! Hope you had a great Easter, sweetie!

  16. Cauliflower dip is absolutely the best thing I’ve seen all day! What a great use of this veggie! I don’t like it plain, but I love it dipped up and served with some chips!

  17. Cauliflower and parmesan.. this is great combination, I just recently posted cauliflower fritters with parmesan of course and they were delicious!

  18. This looks absolutely delicious! My boyfriend would love to eat this. He’s a cheese dip lover ;) I think I could devour a whole batch of this too. Also, I think this definitely makes a great party snack. :3

  19. I’ve been seeing oven-roasted cauliflower popping up EVERYWHERE lately, and I have been telling myself that I need to try it. I love how crispy and golden yours look and OMG that parmesan dip looks like the perfect accompaniment! pinned and so trying soon! :)

  20. I think cauliflower was made to be roasted. One of my absolute veggie recipes. I love your dip! Yummy! = )

  21. YUM! I really do think that cauliflower is way underrated on it’s own. It doesn’t have to be all transformed to be amazing. Simple roasting is perfect! Although, I do admit to making cauliflower rice frequently. That stuff is so versatile and makes me feel like I’m eating tons of carby rice when I’m not. Win win!

    1. Cauli rice is another one I forgot to add! I used to do that years ago more often. Kind of forgot about it but should do it again for the reasons you said!

  22. Love the photo of the cauliflower just sitting on top of the dip! This is something I could eat all the time :)

    1. Thanks for saying that! White/orange food and white dip, with weird vacation lighting, not a super easy shoot but whatever :)

  23. Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite dinners. Add in a few onions and Brussels sprouts and I’m a happy girl. I usually season with curry powder, turmeric, black pepper and olive oil. Now that’s what I want for dinner tonight!

    1. That’s what I want for dinner, too! And with the Brussels. YUM! That’s another of my faves!

  24. Roasted cauliflower is addicting, and I can only imagine that this dip makes it even more so!

  25. I am a HUGE fan of cauliflower – I know I’d love this! It sounds great to me without the dip, but I’m sure the dip makes it that much better! :)

  26. Averie- I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter! That parmesan dip looks and sounds awesome! I love roasted cauliflower! To me it’s a great substitute for something like fries – so much healthier and still tastes great! Pinned :)

    1. I’d totally prefer this to fries! For real. Something about cauliflower, weird, but I love the stuff! Thanks for pinning & hope you had a nice Easter, too!

  27. That’s what I think when I see all the cauliflower creations–why mess with perfection? Roasted cauliflower is about as close to vegetable perfection as it gets. We eat our weight in the stuff. I’ll bet it’s fantastic with this parm dip, too!

    1. why mess with perfection? Roasted cauliflower is about as close to vegetable perfection as it gets. <--- AMEN and my thoughts exactly!

  28. I love roasted cauliflower…I sometimes use garam marsala or other curry spices and they come out with that same yellowish tinge that your turmeric does….so good and I’m with you I could demolish a head myself too.

  29. Roasted vegetables are the best and yours look gorgeous– love the last photo!! Must try that dip–it also sounds good for green beans, asparagus, parsnip fries….pretty much anything!

    1. Thanks for saying you like it! It was so good I wanted to reach in and just keep dipping away :) And yes it’s a great little dip for anything from chips to veg. I mean, cheese + sour cream/cream cheese, you can never go wrong! :)

  30. I have tried the cauliflower pizza crust – it’s good! The alfredo sauce…not so much.
    I love roasted cauli and this sounds delish….especially that parmesan dip! Yum and pinned!

    1. I’ve never actually tried it as alfredo sauce but thanks for LMK you have…ummm yeah, duly noted :) And thanks for pinning!

  31. Sometimes you’ve just gotta keep it simple right? Except now I’ll never be satisfied with roasted cauliflower without creamy parmesan dip, thanks a lot!! :) Looks great Averie.

  32. Love this! We’ve always got cauliflower in the kitchen, and now I know what I’ll be doing with it next :)