Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower

13 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe

Roasted cauliflower generously coated with garlic and paprika has become one of my favorite vegetables over the past five years. Cauliflower florets become tender on the inside and delightfully crispy on the outside with a little kick of spice.

This is a deliciously simple roasted cauliflower recipe that results in some of the most flavorful cauliflower I’ve ever had.

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Roasted Cauliflower

Are you a cauliflower lover or a skeptic?

I’ve definitely encountered disappointing cauliflower over the years. I’ve never outright disliked it but it wasn’t my favorite vegetable.

My whole relationship with cauliflower changed when I discovered roasting it. Roasting cauliflower really brings out the best of its taste and texture!

I truly never realized how delicious cauliflower could be until I covered it in a little spice and oil then popped it in the oven. My family loves it just as much as I do and they’re always excited to see it appear on the dinner table.

Steamed and boiled cauliflower is often (but not always) flavorless with a slippery rubbery texture. Roasted cauliflower done right is mild yet nutty and a little earthy.

When you roast cauliflower with a generous coating of olive oil, the oil gets absorbed in all the tiny nooks and crannies of the florets. That oil fills the vegetable with flavor and creaminess while the outside gets crisp.

Add a simple coating of garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and you have a side dish that’s almost addictively good.

The combination of paprika and garlic powder sounds simple but I promise that it’s mind blowingly good. The paprika brings just a touch of smoke and spice to the cauliflower while the garlic powder zaps it with bold savory flavor.

While I LOVE fresh garlic, you definitely want to use the powdered stuff in this recipe. The tiny granules of garlic powder mixed into the olive oil along with paprika create a delicious coating for the cauliflower that gets garlic flavor into each and every bite.

I find that this cauliflower is irresistible when piping hot still on the tray. The first time I made this, I wound up eating almost half the tray while waiting for the rest of the meal to finish cooking!

Roasted cauliflower is at its best served hot and fresh right out of the oven but if you have leftovers, feel free to store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. They’ll lose their crispness but would be a great addition to a lunchtime salad served cold!

How to Cut Cauliflower Into Florets

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to cooking cauliflower is mastering how to cut this cumbersome vegetable into florets. While it takes the correct approach, it’s not too difficult to do with a little practice.

If you just hack away at a head of cauliflower, you’re likely to end up with a bunch of uneven pieces and a big crumbly mess.

To cut cauliflower into florets, start by cutting a head of cauliflower into quarters through the core. All the individual stems of the cauliflower are connecting to one another through the core at the center of the head.

Every cauliflower head is a little unique, but once its quartered the florets will start to naturally fall apart. Use the tip of your knife to break them away from each other gently or even your hands. Some heads of cauliflower will have bigger florets with a long enough stem that you can use a knife to slice them away from each other.

Aim for florets that are as uniform as you can. While there are bound to be variations in size and shape, the closer in size the florets are the more evenly they will cook.

How to Roast Cauliflower

Roasting cauliflower is not only one of the tastiest ways to prepare this cruciferous veggie, it’s also one of the easiest.

After cutting your cauliflower into florets, place them in a large mixing bowl and coat them in olive oil and whatever spices you desire. While I use my favorite garlic and paprika spice blend in this recipe, a simple blend of salt and pepper can also be delicious.

I prefer coating the vegetables in oil using a bowl instead of just tossing it all together on the baking pan. This step helps get the cauliflower evenly coated which makes a HUGE difference in taste and texture.

When the cauliflower is well coated in oil and spices, it’s time to put it on a baking sheet. Make sure the florets are spread evenly over the pan then bake until lightly browned and crispy. In my oven, this takes anywhere from 15 – 20 minutes.

Did you know that preheating the sheet you use to roast the cauliflower helps each floret of cauliflower get that nice crisp exterior? When I remember to do that it really makes a difference.

Sometimes, I squeeze a little lemon juice over the cauliflower after pulling it out of the oven. The lemon juice adds a nice tang to the dish but it’s not necessary. My family and I like this cauliflower recipe equally both with and without the lemon juice.

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower is irresistible! - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Cauliflower Recipes

Along with this amazing Roasted Cauliflower recipe, I’ve also found a ton of other ways to prepare cauliflower that my family enjoys.

My kids are nuts over Spicy Caramelized Cauliflower. It’s a super easy recipe that adds my favorite homemade barbecue sauce to oven roasted cauliflower. Even my kids who previously thought they didn’t like cauliflower ate every bite of this side dish.

Another recipe that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters is Creamy Cauliflower with Cheese and Bacon. After all, is there anyone who’d turn up their nose at perfectly cooked veggies smothered in cheesy sauce and crispy pieces of bacon? I think not.

While I usually roast my cauliflower in florets, you can also roast a whole cauliflower head whole! This Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Dijon Sauce looks like an impressive and delicious way to get your veggies. It would make a fun centerpiece main dish for vegetarians and also work well as a side.

Cauliflower Fried Rice, Dairy Free Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup and Cheesy Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese are more cauliflower recipes you might enjoy.

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a rack in the upper middle section of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a slipat mat or parchment paper and set aside. In a small cup or bowl, combine the oil and the spices and stir to combine. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and pour the oil and spice mixture over it. Toss with your hands to coat each floret thoroughly. Spread the cauliflower across the lined baking sheet and then place in the oven.
  2. Roast the cauliflower for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender, slightly crisp and browned on the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and squeeze lemon over the top if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

I’ve served Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower with dozens of meals over the past couple years. This has become one of my favorite side dishes. This cauliflower pairs nicely with Italian Red Wine Roast BeefIndian Chicken Bits, or Oven Baked Crispy Chicken.

Get New Recipessent to your inbox!
We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Garlic and Paprika Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Home Cooking In Montana
Pin Print Review
Servings: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 small head of cauliflower about 2 pounds, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: squeeze of lemon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a rack in the upper middle section of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper and set aside. In a small cup or bowl, combine the oil and the spices and stir to combine. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and pour the oil and spice mixture over it. Toss with your hands to coat thoroughly. Spread the cauliflower across the lined baking sheet and then place in the oven.
  • Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender, slightly crisp and browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and squeeze lemon over the top if desired. (We liked it both with and without the lemon.) Serve hot and Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

Pin this nowto remember it later
Pin this recipe0

{originally published 1-17-13 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/8/2019}

Filed under: , ,

Tagged with:

Related Posts

Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

Reader Interactions