Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Roasted cauliflower is a fast and easy recipe that turns this unassuming and healthy vegetable into a star. Your family will soon be asking for this delicious side dish all the time!

bowl with spicy cauliflower

After the huge success of my Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower recipe, I decided to create another one because I know you all love cauliflower as much as I do! 😉 Cauliflower is such a versatile ingredient and can be cooked in so many different ways, like this Whole30 Mashed Cauliflower Recipe and Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole Recipe. This time, I added lots of spices that make this Spicy Roasted Cauliflower recipe so delicious.

Roasted cauliflower – healthy side dish

You may have noticed that cauliflower has become a very popular vegetable, especially as a substitute ingredient in recipes. It now appears as pizza crust, cauliflower wings and even cauliflower rice.

One of the reasons for cauliflower’s new found fame is because:

  1. It’s healthy and nutritious – it’s naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins
  2. It has a unique texture that’s easy to incorporate into recipes
  3. Its almost non-existent flavor allows it to absorb other flavors extremely well

Washing instructions

Like all fruits and vegetables, you need to make sure that the cauliflower is nice and clean before cooking it. You can get it cleaner by cutting it into florets first (see instructions below) before washing it.

  1. Cut cauliflower into florets (see instructions below)
  2. Fill a large bowl or tub (or your sink) with cold water.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets into the water and let them soak for several minutes.
  4. After soaking, place the florets into a colander and rinse under a stream of cold water.
  5. Shake off any excess water.
  6. Pat dry the florets.


Ingredients for roasted cauliflower: smoked paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, freshly ground black pepper, fine sea salt, extra virgin olive oil

This recipe is absolutely tasty and very easy to make. I think the best part of this Roasted Cauliflower Recipe is that you can use any spice you like. It doesn’t take much to make this dish explode with flavor! All you need is the following short list of ingredients:

  • smoked paprika
  • turmeric
  • garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fine sea salt
  • cauliflower
  • extra virgin olive oil

I love hot spices. But if they are too strong for you, replace them for the ones you are used to. Either way, this healthy side dish will be the star of your table.

Cutting instructions

To cut the cauliflower into florets:

1. Pull all the leaves off the base of the cauliflower and cut off any excess stem.

2. Cut the head of the cauliflower in half from top to bottom.

Step-by-step instructions on cutting a cauliflower into florets

3. Cut each half piece in half through the core so that you end up with four quarters of the cauliflower.

4. Remove the core of each quarter by running your knife between the florets and the core piece. After you have removed the core, all the florets should naturally fall apart. If you find some of the florets are still quite large, break them up into smaller pieces with your knife (or hands).

Step-by-step instructions on cutting a cauliflower into florets

Cooking instructions

Making this vegetable side dish could not be any easier. Once you realize how simple it is (and how delicious!), you’ll want to make this as often as possible!

  1. Mix together smoked paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Set spice mixture aside.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets.
  3. Place the florets on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and pour olive oil on top of them. Toss the florets until they are all evenly coated with oil. Then sprinkle the spice mixture over the florets, and mix well to combine.
  4. Roast the cauliflower until it is tender and golden brown.

You can prepare it ahead of time by cutting the cauliflower into florets and adding all the spices. Then when it’s about 30 minutes before dinnertime, place the cauliflower in the oven, and bake it for about 25 minutes.

How do you make cauliflower not mushy?

Ensure that there is enough space on your baking sheet when you roast the cauliflower. You should let there be some space when you roast them or the cauliflower florets will steam and you’ll end up with mushy cauliflower.

How do I pick cauliflower?

The heads of the cauliflower should be compact, white, and firm. Avoid any that look dry and yellow. You also want cauliflower that are dense and feel heavy for their size.

Can I use frozen cauliflower?

You can find cut cauliflower florets in the frozen section of most grocery stores. You can thaw and roast them if the fresh cauliflower section is not ideal.

Make ahead tips

  • Meal prep: you can meal prep this roasted cauliflower recipe by cutting the florets in advance so you can quickly roast them when ready to eat. Alternatively, you can roast the cauliflower beforehand, let it cool, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: you can reheat the roasted cauliflower in the microwave, air fryer, toaster oven, or regular oven. Just reheat until the cauliflower has warmed through.

Ready for more?

Now that you know how great roasted cauliflower is, are you ready to try some more recipes? I mentioned before how easy it is to incorporate cauliflower into other dishes, so now is your chance to try it for yourself. Check out this Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice, Italian Sausage Cauliflower Rice Skillet, Mushroom Cauliflower Rice Skillet Recipe, Spicy Chicken with Cauliflower Rice, Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad or Cauliflower Muffins and for pizza night, how about a Pepperoni Cauliflower Pizza Crust? Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash Cauliflower Salad, and Cauliflower Casserole Recipe are delicious recipes as well. It is should a versatile vegetable, you will love all the ways to cook it!

What to serve with roasted cauliflower:

I think cauliflower is always the best side dish because it basically goes with any protein, such as salmon, chicken breast, baked chicken, seared steak, pork chops, garlic butter shrimp, and even frittata. I love to serve it with salmon and a salad. Hm… So good!!

Also, this Roasted Cauliflower Recipe is a great option to serve for holiday parties because it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like cauliflower, right?

This is also a great side dish if you are on a low-carb, vegan/vegetarian, paleo, or gluten-free diet. I really hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it!

Want a delicious dessert to end off the meal with? Try my Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread!

bowl with spicy cauliflower

bowl with spicy cauliflower

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Roasted cauliflower is a fast and easy recipe that turns this unassuming and healthy vegetable into a star. Your family will soon be asking for this delicious side dish all the time! 
3.73 from 62 votes



  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, and preheat oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, add smoked paprika, turmeric, garlic powder salt and black pepper. Mix everything very well.
  • Place the cauliflower florets on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Pour olive oil on top of the cauliflower florets and toss until everything is evenly coated. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower, and mix well to combine.
  • Roast for about 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown. Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!


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Serving: 1/4, Calories: 111kcal, Carbohydrates: 4.4g, Protein: 1.5g, Fat: 10.6g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Sodium: 254mg, Fiber: 1.9g, Sugar: 1.8g

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Roasted Cauliflower