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Whether you already know how to roast cauliflower or are looking to find out, today’s recipe will have something for you. I discovered this technique for roasted garlic cauliflower last spring when I was making cauliflower nachos. It sure made delicious “chips”, but right away I realized that slicing the cauliflower this way would also make the best roasted cauliflower recipe overall!
And it totally did.
And everyone I’ve served it for totally loves it.
So, here we go… the best method for how to roast cauliflower…
How To Cut for the Best Roasted Cauliflower
The most crucial step that makes this the best roasted cauliflower recipe is the cutting technique. Don’t be intimidated, though, because it’s super simple and I’ll show you exactly how it looks.
Basically, the idea is that we slice the cauliflower into fairly thin slices, then cut those into smaller pieces. This results in more surface area, creating more places for the cauliflower to brown and caramelize. After all, that’s the best part of roasted cauliflower!
To start, cut the cauliflower into slices, about 1/2 an inch (1.25 cm) thick, like this:
As you can see, you don’t even need to remove the leafy bottoms before you do this. We’ll get rid of those later.
Once you’re done cutting, you’ll have large, thin pieces that look like cauliflower steaks, like this:
Speaking of cauliflower steaks, I don’t have a separate recipe for those yet, but you could bake them this way if you want to. (Or just make cabbage steaks if veggie steaks are your thing!)
Note that the edge pieces of the head of cauliflower won’t have such nice looking slices, but that’s okay. Just try to get them to a uniform thickness.
Once you have your slices, just cut away the center (as much or as little as you want!), like this:
Notice that we’re cutting away the leafy parts at the same time, which is why you didn’t have to get rid of them separately before cutting the head of cauliflower. Do this with all your cauliflower – essentially you’ll have a bunch of florets that are cut thinner than typical ones.
How To Roast Cauliflower in the Oven
Once you have the cutting part done, the process for how to roast cauliflower in the oven is a breeze.
Toss the florets in oil, minced garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Feel free to throw in other spices that you like, but I kept the base recipe simple. The end result will be really nicely caramelized cauliflower, so I’m letting that flavor shine along with the garlic.
Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on a large baking sheet. This is another critical point here: make sure you don’t have pieces overlapping! Having each piece touch the pan is important.
I use this really nice non-stick pan – which has an excellent non-stick surface and no Teflon – that I grease very lightly. But, if yours isn’t great non-stick, you can line the pan with foil and grease well. You can try parchment paper if you want to, but you don’t get as much browning with it.
Here us my cauliflower right before roasting, all arranged in one layer:
Finally, stick it in the oven! Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned, then flip and repeat for another 5 to 10 minutes. The second side will brown faster.
How To Make Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Ahead
Want to meal prep roasted garlic cauliflower? It’s super easy to do. Since I’m getting ready for my low carb & keto meal plans launching, I’ve been testing meal prep even more than usual.
There are two methods for how to roast cauliflower in advance…
The preferred way is to do everything except roasting ahead of time, but save the roasting until ready to serve. Slice your cauliflower, toss it with oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and arrange on the pan, as if you are about to roast it. Then, just cover it with foil right in the pan and refrigerate.
When you’re ready to eat, pop it in the oven for fresh roasted garlic cauliflower.
But what if you want to just be able to heat and go? Then you’ll need to store it after baking. More on that below…
How To Store Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
The main questions that come up about storing roasted cauliflower are, “can you reheat it later?” and “can you freeze roasted cauliflower?”
Can you reheat roasted cauliflower?
If you want to meal prep lunches to take to work, you probably can’t make roasted cauliflower in the oven right before serving. That’s okay!
If you must roast it ahead or just want to store leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge. They’ll last 3 to 7 days.
The main difference is that the roasted garlic cauliflower will be softer when stored and reheated, but you’ll still get that delicious caramelized flavor. Totally fine if you ask me!
Can you freeze roasted cauliflower?
Yes, you can! For this roasted garlic cauliflower recipe, there are 2 ways to do it:
How to freeze roasted garlic cauliflower before baking.
This is the best option for flavor and texture, but requires a bit of extra work.
You’ll need to blanch the cauliflower first. This destroys the enzymes that cause major flavor and texture issues when freezing raw cauliflower.
After slicing as instructed above, place the cauliflower florets in boiling water for exactly 2 minutes. This is less time than normal blanching time of 3 minutes, because we cut ours into slices and the process will go faster. Then, immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Keep the cauliflower in the ice water for 2 minutes, then drain well and pat dry.
From there, you can follow the recipe instructions to toss with oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet to freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag once solid.
When you are ready to eat the frozen roasted cauliflower, you can arrange the pieces on a pan again (do not thaw first!) and roast following the instructions. (They will need at least a few extra minutes.)
How to freeze roasted garlic cauliflower after baking.
This is a good option for quick heat-and-eat meals, like work lunches or anything very last minute. Since it’s already cooked, all you need to do is reheat it. The texture is not as perfect as fresh, but still quite good!
You can reheat the roasted garlic cauliflower in the oven if it’s available to you (for best results), or simply in the microwave if time/convenience is a factor.
What Goes With Roasted Cauliflower?
Roasted cauliflower is one of the most versatile low carb side dish recipes. It goes with almost anything!
Serve it topped with chimichurri sauce, with crispy chicken thighs for a casual dinner, next to quick cooking New York strip steak, or filet mignon for date night. Or, pick one of my other low carb dinner recipes.
If you like Parmesan, try a different variation by making Parmesan roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
The Best Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Recipe
The Best Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Recipe
Roasted garlic cauliflower is the best roasted cauliflower recipe ever! Super easy with 5 minute prep. You'll love this simple, improved method for how to roast cauliflower in the oven.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (232 degrees C). Grease a very good non-stick baking sheet, or line with foil and then grease.
Slice the cauliflower into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick slices, then cut those into smaller florets - see post above for how to do that.
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with oil, sea salt, black pepper, and minced garlic.
Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Flip and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until golden on the bottom again.
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Serving size: 1/4 of entire recipe
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