Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

Don’t like cauliflower? Think again. (Broccoli, on the other hand, you are free to dislike.)

Previously, I never really had feelings for cauliflower. It was just…always there. But then! I see cauliflower everywhere. It’s on Pinterest. It’s in Lori’s pizza crust. It’s on the menu of Pizzeria Delfina. I’ve thought more about cauliflower in the past three days than I have my entire life so I finally figured it was time to do something about it.

And then, finally, I discovered what all the hype was about!

I gave my cauli a nice whack and then drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil and rubbed it down with a quick homemade spice mix of cumin, sea salt, cayenne and garlic powder.

Then, popped her into the oven at 400 to roast for half an hour while I poured a glass of wine and pinned my heart out…

When it was done, the cauliflower had started to caramelize and took on a deliciously nutty, spicy flavor! Move over roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower has come to town and she ain’t leaving any time soon. Not in this house, anyway.

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

serves 2-4 as a side dish

Print this recipe!


1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all spices together in a small bowl or cup.

Drizzle olive oil all over cauliflower florets and sprinkle with spice mix. Toss together and lay out on a lined sheet tray.

Roast spicy cauliflower for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally.



40 minutes


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  • Kathryn
    January 17, 2012 at 4:00 am

    I normally eat my cauliflower covered in cream or cheese so I’m delighted to find a healthier way to cook it!

  • Katrina
    January 17, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I like a good cauliflower recipe! Love this!

  • Erika - The Teenage Taste
    January 17, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Ooooh, this looks yummy! I love roasted veggies! 😀

  • Olivia
    January 17, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I smother all my veggies with olive oil; no special preparations though.

    Pizza crust MUST have grains…dough…I’m not into these “grain-less” pizzas (shiver).

  • Niki
    January 17, 2012 at 4:32 am

    I actually love cauliflower especially in the Indian dish aloo gobi 🙂

  • Jess@recipesandrunning
    January 17, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Great post! Give cauliflower soup a try next!

  • laura
    January 17, 2012 at 4:34 am

    omg, you have got to be kidding me!!
    this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been raving about spicy cauli for weeks now to my friends & now, I have a recipe I can lead them too.

    I’m so glad you posted this Jenna.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    January 17, 2012 at 4:43 am

    What timing! I just made roasted cauliflower soup and realized that I have a huge mental barrier towards cauliflower. I couldn’t eat the soup. What’s a girl to do?

  • Bev Weidner
    January 17, 2012 at 4:49 am


  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    January 17, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Pinterest, spiced cauliflower and wine are three of the finer things in life. 😉 I used to think cauliflower was such a boring veggie, but have been loving it lately! This spice blend sounds really good so I’m going to give it a try next time. 🙂

  • Blog is the New Black
    January 17, 2012 at 5:06 am


  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    January 17, 2012 at 5:09 am

    I’ll actually eat cauliflower any which way… I love it so much! Haha, this is better though 🙂

  • Liz
    January 17, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Wow, I have to try this. I think the only way I’ve ever had cauliflower is boiled (or in more enlightened times, steamed) plain or with a cream or cheese sauce. That fact is kind of strange, considering I’m moved towards roasting many of my veggies, including Brussels sprouts and asparagus. I’m well aware of the transformative quality roasting has on Brussels sprouts… why shouldn’t it be the same for cauliflower?

    Have you tried these roasted with just olive oil, salt, and pepper (my go-to mixture for roasting just about anything)? This spice mixture looks delicious, but I think I’d like to try it “plain” to see what the natural flavor of cauliflower can do (get a baseline, so to speak) before playing with additional spices… or else I might think the only good way to eat it is with the spices.

  • Kristin @ FoodFash
    January 17, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I was wondering what the cauli pics were all about on Instagram! The spicier the veggie, the better (in my book). I’ll have to check these out!

  • Notyet100
    January 17, 2012 at 5:43 am

    This one is nice way to prepare cauliflower,..:)

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb
    January 17, 2012 at 6:00 am

    given my obsession with roasted veggies (and brussel sprouts in particular), i’m thinking i’ll like this one…

  • Heather
    January 17, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Perfect timing! I was looking for a roasting recipe for the head of cauliflower in my fridge. Making this tonight!
    Also, I just want to let you know that Eat Live Run is my FAV blog to read. I wish you posted 10 times a day. Thank you, Jenna, for contributing a quality blog and lovely, delicious recipes for the world to see!

  • Em (Wine and Butter)
    January 17, 2012 at 6:05 am

    SO yummy and extra delicious with sour cream dip – try it!

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    January 17, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I love cauliflower … sooo good. Have you ever tried putting them into the food processor and turning them into a “mashed” potato type dish??

  • Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life
    January 17, 2012 at 6:24 am

    uh, yum! this looks like the perfect addition to the cauli-frenzy.

  • HRCK the Herald
    January 17, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Cauliflower has recently been switched from my “weird” to “favorite” list. It’s delicious and can be seasoned so well! Thanks for another recipe for it.

    Also, my sister adds it to macaroni and cheese for her kids. I love it, and the kids do too!

  • Kari
    January 17, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Have you tried using frozen florets before? Will it have the same bake?

  • Mansee
    January 17, 2012 at 6:30 am

    My mom use to make this a lot when I was growing up. Cauliflower is used a lot in Indian cooking, so I’ve always loved it!

  • jenna
    January 17, 2012 at 6:35 am

    this is seriously my most favorite thing to eat! i love roasted cauli!! perfect!

  • Charise
    January 17, 2012 at 6:47 am

    This is basically how I cook cauliflower – drizzle w/ oil, sprinkle w/ assorted spices, roast @ 400. So basic, but so good!

  • Nichole @ Newlywed Nichole
    January 17, 2012 at 6:56 am

    So my husband and I do lo-carb and I have become bored w/ cauliflower…this recipe sounds per-fect though! Can’t wait to try

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl
    January 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Roasting cauliflower is the best way to eat it! I wish everyone knew this.

  • Living The Sweet Life
    January 17, 2012 at 6:59 am

    How delicious – – I love how crispy the chard edges become. Great recipe 🙂

  • Angharad
    January 17, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I have to vehemently disagree re: broccoli! Have you ever roasted it? Funnily enough, the same epiphany will take place as here…it’s amazing!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    January 17, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Love this Jenna! Looks delicious.

  • Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    January 17, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Cauliflower is one of my favorites. I have not gotten around to roasting it yet! I love the spices you used!

  • Carissa @ ChoiceSustenance
    January 17, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Roasted cauliflower is seriously addicting! We find ourselves eating it right off of the baking sheet before it makes it to the table.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    January 17, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Don’t be hatin’ on broccoli, it’s my favorite veggie! haha
    Cauliflower isn’t so bad either though but for some reason I don’t buy it nearly as often.

  • The Many Thoughts of a Reader
    January 17, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Yum! That looks good.

  • Maria
    January 17, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I have to try this!

  • Urban Wife
    January 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Yes! I love cauliflower and this simple recipe will be gracing our dinner table this week.

  • Cait's Plate
    January 17, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Can’t go wrong with roasted veggies!

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    January 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I love roasted cauliflower! Perfect with pasta too 🙂

  • Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama
    January 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Welcome to the wonderful world of roasted cauliflower. 🙂

  • Emily
    January 17, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I love roasted cauliflower! I love making the roasted “steaks” of cauliflower with the salsa in Molly Wizenberg’s book. Love your choice of spices too, which would also work really well with the same salsa, I’m pretty sure 🙂

  • Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate
    January 17, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Cauliflower has always been one of my favorite fiber-rich veggies, but you are so right in that it is popping up everywhere these days! Your recipe looks so simple and delicious – an awesome side dish for sure.

  • Lisa
    January 17, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I recently became addicted to roasted brussel sprouts and I love any veggie roasted up in the oven. I really need to give this one a try. I always thought cauliflower was an underrated vegetable!

  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed
    January 17, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I am roasting cauliflower tonight and I love love love the idea of making it spicy! I wish my hubs could handle heat-wimparoonie. Only sichuan man on the planet who prefers whole milk to whole chili.

  • Sonia the Mexigarian
    January 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I love it roasted and tumeric or curry powder soaked in. delish.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    January 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Cauliflower is so versatile and can be used as “raw” rice in raw sushi when shredded in the food processor to roasting it with spices. When I saw that pizza crust of Lori’s the other day, I really had the urge to pick up some cauli…and now, even more. Yours looks great!

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles
    January 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Yummy! Roasted cauliflower is like the best thing ever! Although if you dislike broccoli you should try it roasted with garlic and then with lemon and parmesan cheese sprinkled over top after ;D <3 roasted veggies!

  • Alycia
    January 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Oh yum! This looks delicious! I love roasting cauliflower – it totally changes the flavour. I usually roast it up with a head or two of garlic and then puree the whole thing with stock and cream into a soup….mmmm.

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    January 17, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I lovd roasted cauliflower! Heck, I love most all roasted veg, and yes- broccoli too..

  • Nicole @ Giraffelegs
    January 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Yumm I need a new way to get some veggies into my life..this is perfect.

  • Michelle | Gold-Hearted Girl
    January 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    One of my favorite dishes!

  • Deanna B.
    January 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I love cauliflower any way I can get it. Spicy roasted sounds amazing.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    January 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Mmmm the cauliflower at Pizzeria Delfina is really good and a staple on their menu. It’s amazing what some spices can do to a seemingly, dare I say it, boring vegetable…I love cauliflower because it can adapt to any flavor, really!

  • Emily @ The Swallow Flies
    January 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I am always looking for more ways to enjoy vegetables, so thank you for this amazing-sounding recipe!!! I believe I’ll be making it later this week. 🙂

  • Karen
    January 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

    This looks like a great alternative to my favorite curried roasted cauliflower w/onions and chickpeas (similar to mama pea’s cracklin cauliflower.) I love versatility of cauliflower!

    I know how much you love smothering your food in cheese 🙂
    so I am thrilled to see you post a recipe starring a vegetable in all it’s natural glory 🙂

  • Leanne
    January 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I am so excited! Your post is perfectly timed, I am planning on having Cauliflower tonight for dinner so I can’t wait to try it this way roasted with the yummy spices!

    BTW, I made the spicy cajun pasta the other night and I wanted to tell you how wonderful it was! I used shrimp like you had suggested and it turned out fabulous!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    January 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I’m a big fan of roasted cauliflower but have never used cumin or cayenne pepper. I will have to try that ’cause I love spicy!

    Lori’s pizza crust looks great! Never would have thought of that.

  • Hannah
    January 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Try roasting brocolli…it will change your life!

    • Kara
      January 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Yes! That is exactly what I was going to say! Broc with some garlic and red pepper flakes, in the oven the same way, and then a squirt of lemon when it is done… YUM. There are no words for the fabulosity!!

  • Corey @ Learning Patience
    January 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    LOVE love love roasted cauliflower! So tasty. 🙂

    xoxo from Trinidad

  • Moni'sMeals
    January 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    nice call! Love the spice here too. I love roasting cauliflower and using curry! Yum.

  • Irina G (Fit Flexitarian)
    January 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    This is a REALLY nice recipe and I swear that my cafeteria at work has been serving something similar for months. I’ve been trying to work up the courage to figure out how to make it myself, so this is totally well timed. Thanks! 😀

  • sally kate
    January 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    AND if it’s out of season or particularly pricey in your neck of the woods- it works just as well with the frozen bagged cauliflower! (and then its already chopped)

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble
    January 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I love cauliflower. Actually I love all veggies, including broccoli!

  • Elise
    January 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I LOVE roasted cauliflower. Usually I just season it with S+P, but next time I might have to try your spice-mix instead!

  • Kristen @ semihealthy
    January 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    January 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I love cauliflower, especially mashed. This looks good.

  • Lot-O-Choc
    January 18, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Roasted cauliflower is the best thing ever I love it..I like mine to get really really browned though! Mmmm!

  • Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten Free
    January 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I love roasted cauliflower! I can eat a bowl of it like popcorn. So good!

  • Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner
    January 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I love cauliflower and will definitely be making this to go along with dinner this weekend. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Tara@Sugar Spice and Bacon
    January 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I LOVE roasted brussels sprouts (like eat them once a week love) so you have me intrigued that these can even compete! I’ll give them a try for sure 🙂

  • Amanda
    January 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    You HAVE to read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moritairy!!

  • Kristin
    January 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I love cauliflower and love roasted vegetables, so this is PERFECT! I can’t wait to try it. Dr. Oz just said cauliflower is on the list of one of the most important vegetables you can eat.

  • Erika
    January 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Roasted cauliflower may be my favorite food. I have habanero olive oil that I use to roast it with a sprinkle of salt & pepper. It’s amazing.

  • Lindsay
    January 19, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Just made these- wonderful! But I made a few changes that I think helped a lot. First, I like my food spicy so I bumped up the cayenne pepper to 1 tsp. and also added a shake of red pepper flakes. But more importantly, I added some breadcrumbs just to give it a little texture- great addition! These were delicious!

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  • Kristin
    January 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Tried it as posted. It was delicious! Definitely adds something special to cauliflower. Think I am going to try to spice mix on some shrimp tonight. Thanks Jenna!

  • Sandy
    January 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Excellent! I loved it and my husband hasn’t stopped raving about it. Cauliflower is now on my list of things to buy often.

  • Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama
    January 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I love roasted cauliflower. I made it once with roasted olives and put over pasta. Delicious!

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  • Jennifer
    January 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    My new favorite food.

  • Tasha
    January 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I made this last night and it totally turned my roasted cauliflower around! It was so easy and it gave my usual roasted veggie dish a nice little kick.

  • Lisa
    January 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    If you like the roasted cauli, roast broccoli and give it another try. Roasting changes the way it tastes in a good way! You won’t believe how good it is, I promise.

  • Cait H.
    January 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    This was fantastic. Everyone – make this today!

  • Jen Merschel
    January 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I’m made this 3 times in the past 10 days. So good! Love the spice and love that I can throw it together faster than brussels sprouts.

  • Zulkey
    February 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I printed this out a while ago and just got around to making it tonight! So tasty. I could eat the whole recipe but I feel like that would maybe be a bad idea. 😉 Thanks!

  • Bex
    March 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Made this tonight and couldn’t stop eating it with my bare hands straight off the baking sheet. So easy and delicious! Thank you!

  • Adrea
    March 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Roasted cauliflower really is the way to go! I never knew this, but now I forever will.

  • bend used cars
    March 30, 2012 at 11:08 am

    This looks so good! I will have to make this soon.

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  • Lakshmi
    April 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I usually make a similar dish stove top rather than baked. Goes well with roti/Indian bread. I also like to add some potatoes, cumin seeds and dried mango (amchur) which gives it a nice tangy taste! garnish with some cilantro.

    Will have to try this approach next time 🙂

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    Wow! This was the best cauliflower that I’ve ever eaten! I will be using this recipe again and again. Thanks for sharing!

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    October 20, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Another quick way to make it is to lightly coat the cauliflower in olive oil, sprinkle on a little salt, then sprinkle with curry powder. Even my non-Cauli hubby loves it that way! We both love raw cauli in our salads, too. And I add it and other veggies to low sodium beef flavor Ramen noodles for a fast hot lunch. Cook the veggies in the broth a bit first, then add the noodles. Cauli is a wonderful cancer fighting vegetable. Eat plenty!

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  • April Knight
    November 28, 2019 at 6:50 am

    I like Cauliflower! I will try!))
    I found one interesting recipe – Baked Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
    Delicious!! Try!)