Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Garlic is easy to prepare and is so buttery and delicious. A whole roasted cauliflower head can be the star of the show or a healthy side. 

A roasted cauliflower in a gray dutch oven with a blue and white dish towel.

We recently saw a clip on the news featuring a restaurant that made some amazing oven-roasted cauliflower and I got the urge to make one. The restaurant owner has a philosophy of respecting the food, leaving the cauliflower head in one piece so as to not “hurt” the flower. I’m not sure about that logic, but it is certainly delicious! Even my cauliflower hating husband loves

🥘 Ingredients Needed

• olive oil
• ghee (or butter)
• dried parsley,
• a lemon
• kosher salt
• ground black pepper

The ingredients in whole roasted cauliflower laid out and labeled. Cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, lemon, ghee, salt, pepper, and parsley.

🍽 Equipment Needed

To prepare oven-roasted cauliflower, you just need a pie pan, dutch oven, or square glass baking dish. Then some foil, a small bowl, and a basting brush or daring fingers.

🥣 How to Make It

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Next, clean your cauliflower by removing the leaves, cutting off the stalk at the bottom, and washing it off in the sink. Pat dry and put in your baking dish of choice. You should end up with a big pile of green leaves and a stalk that you can save for bone broth. (Pictures 1 – 2)

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of ghee or butter with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Mince or press 3 small garlic cloves or 2 large garlic cloves and mix into your butter. Add to that 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of parsley, and a few shakes of red pepper flakes. Melt in the mixture in the microwave for 10 – 15 seconds. (Picture 3)

Totally smother your cauliflower with this mixture using a pastry/basting brush or your fingers, as long as the mixture is not too hot to touch. (Picture 4 – 5)

A collage of images showing the process of roasted a head of cauliflower. Steps 1 -5.

How Long Do You Bake a Whole Head of Cauliflower?

Bake your cauliflower in a covered dutch oven or small baking pan, such as a pie pan – covered with foil at 400°F for 30 minutes. (Picture 6)

Next, remove the foil or lid and bake at 425°F for 15 more minutes to crisp up the outside. (Picture 7)

Finally, put your lid or foil back on and bake at 425°F for another 5 – 10 minutes and then remove and serve. (Pictures 8 – 9)

When the cauliflower is ready, you should be able to pull off the florets easily or pierce a knife into the center of the cauliflower. If it is not done, roast at 425°F with the lid on for another 5 – 10 minutes.

A collage of images showing the process of roasted a head of cauliflower. Steps 6 -9.
A whole head of roasted cauliflower on a white plate with a piece cut out on a blue and white dish towel.
A roasted cauliflower in a gray dutch oven with a blue and white dish towel.
A roasted cauliflower on a white plate.

How Do You Serve a Whole Roasted Cauliflower?

You can serve your roasted cauliflower as an appetizer or side dish. It is stunning on a plate and pieces can easily be pulled off to share.

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A roasted cauliflower in a gray dutch oven with a blue and white dish towel.

How to Roast a Whole Head of Cauliflower

5 from 5 votes
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Garlic is easy to prepare and is so buttery and delicious. An oven-roasted cauliflower head can be the star of the show or a healthy side dish.
Author: Kari
Servings: 3
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Ingredients  

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon ghee You can also use butter.
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced Use 3 cloves if they are small, 2 if they are large.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest This comes out to be about half of a lemon.
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt I made this with 1 tsp salt and it seemed too salty – adjust based on your preferences.
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes Just a few shakes of red pepper flakes is perfect.

Instructions 

  • Clean one head of cauliflower by removing the stem, leaves, and core and rinsing it off. Pat dry and place in a dutch oven.
    1 head cauliflower
  • Combine your ghee, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
    2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoon ghee, 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, ½- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Microwave for 10 – 15 seconds to melt the ghee.
  • Slather this mixture all over your cauliflower using a silicone pastry brush or your fingers.
  • Bake at 400°F, covered with the lid of your dutch oven or with foil for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid/foil and bake at 425°F for an additional 15 minutes.
  • If your cauliflower is soft enough to pierce through with a knife, it is done. If you cannot pierce the cauliflower easily, cover and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. Your cauliflower should be easy to pull apart.
  • Carefully remove from the pan and pull apart to eat/serve.

Special Equipment Needeed

  • Pie pan and aluminum foil or dutch oven
  • Pastry Brush

Nutrition

Serving: 0.3head of cauliflowerCalories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 4gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 1029mgPotassium: 585mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 94mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Keyword: cauliflower, paleo, vegetables, whole30
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Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great side dish, cauliflower is such versatile veg and takes flavor so well. Really adore your addition of lemon zest, perfection! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe really appeals to me, first because it’s pretty! I love cauliflower but I also have one eater who doesn’t really like it. I’m going to try it without the ghee but use olive oil instead. I so appreciate the comment about the amount of salt, since I’ve been using pretty small amounts lately and it helps me estimate.