Spicy Roasted Cauliflower is a perfect side dish for a quick and easy weeknight meal. It takes just five minutes to cut and toss it all together. Pop it in the oven for a flavorful, low carb side that pairs well with everything from poultry to beef and pork roasts. You can make the recipe as is. Or, like me, cut the red pepper flake quantity in half ( or omit it all together.) And use about half the garlic. Because I am a spice wimp! At which point you will have Quick and Easy Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!
At the store, choose a head of cauliflower that is uniform in coloring and free from browning. The cauliflower should be firm, heavy for its size with dense florets. The leaves should be fresh and green, a sign that the cauliflower was recently harvested. When you get it home, place cauliflower head and a paper towel in a plastic zip bag. The paper towel will absorb any moisture, keeping the cauliflower fresh. When ready to make roasted cauliflower, slice the head from crown to the base of the stem, making four quarters. Slice the core from each quarter and discard. Break and cut the florets into pieces that are fairly equal in size so they will roast more uniformly. Dry florets with a kitchen towel so they don’t spatter and will absorb the flavors more readily.
Once you have tossed the cauliflower and seasoning ingredients thoroughly, place the florets on a parchment (or foil) lined baking sheet so pieces are not touching. The florets will cook evenly and carmelize around the edges with a delicious crispness. The high oven temperature also promotes carmelization. Bake for 25-30 minutes OR until the cauliflower is fork tender. Serve immediately.
Cauliflower is rich in vitamins and minerals in some surprising ways. Cauliflower contains as much vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory that can boost immune health, as an equal weight of oranges. Cauliflower is high in fiber which reduces inflammation and promotes digestive health, as well as helping you feel full longer. It is a good source of antioxidants which are beneficial in protecting against chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Cauliflower is high in choline, which supports metabolism, brain development and the nervous system. Cauliflower is a source of allicin, which may reduce the occurrence of stroke and heart disease. Delicious AND healthy!
- 1 large head cauliflower, rinsed, dried, and separated into florets
- 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided
- Preheat oven to 425˚F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut cauliflower into quarters, remove the core from each section and break apart florets.
- Add cauliflower florets, olive oil, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes to a large bowl and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spread seasoned cauliflower on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes at 425˚F, stirring once to ensure cauliflower cooks evenly.
- Remove from oven and set the broiler to high. Evenly sprinkle cauliflower with ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and place under the broiler until golden brown (approximately 2 minutes).
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
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