Super delicious Spicy Roasted Cauliflower! It's soft, sweet, spicy, smoky, juicy and caramelized and charred in all the right places. Make it the star of the show or serve as a side or appetizer.
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower: Hello YES!
We're talking soft, sweet, smoky, juicy cauliflower with amazing charred, caramelized spots, and full-on toasty, spicy flavours. It's next-level delicious!
Roasting cauliflower really transforms it and with the added spices too ... WOW! ... It's just so good and will be your new favourite way to prepare cauliflower for sure.
Here's what you'll be needing to make my Spicy Roasted Cauliflower:
- oil (or aquafaba to make the recipe oil-free, just like we did with my healthy roasted potatoes). You will get the best possible flavour and caramelization with oil though.
Wondering what spices go with roasted cauliflower? Let's take a closer look at the individual spices that we are using for this recipe:
- cayenne pepper
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- onions powder
- chili powder
- smoked paprika (you could use chipotle powder instead)
They all work well to create a smoky, spicy blend that complements and enhances the cauliflower perfectly. Feel free to reduce the spices as needed to suit your tastes.
How To Make Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted spiced cauliflower is really easy to make. Here's how:
- Toss the cauliflower florets with oil (or aquafaba) and the spices then spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast, or you can cook it in an air fryer.
- Cook for 20 minutes, give it a good toss around then cook again for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is sizzling, caramelized, a little charred in places, and smelling amazing.
How To Cut Cauliflower Into Florets
To cut cauliflower into florets:
- Pull off any leaves.
- Cut the whole cauliflower in half with a sharp knife right down the middle.
- Then cut each half again so you have 4 pieces
- Slice diagonally to cut the stalky core out of each of the 4 pieces.
- Using your hands, break the pieces apart into florets.
- Cut any larger florets in half or thirds so they are all approximately the same size. This helps make sure they all cook evenly.
If you prefer to see the process in action watch my recipe video!
For the very best results when making this recipe follow these tips:
- Try to break/cut your cauliflower florets a similar size so they cook evenly.
- Keep some space between each cauliflower floret on the tray so they all cook evenly.
- Don't rush the cooking time. It's worth waiting for!
- Reduce the spices as needed to suit your tastes.
- I don't recommend using a lined tray. The cauliflower turns out best when it's in direct contact with the metal. However, if you're going the oil-free, aquafaba route, you will either need to use a good non-stick tray or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- If you are located in Europe/UK pay careful attention to my recipe note about the chili powder.
Follow my instructions for perfect spicy cauliflower every time or make it your own with these variations:
- Make spicy roasted cauliflower and chickpeas by adding a drained can of chickpeas about 10 minutes before the end of cooking time. Toss them all together so they are coated in the spices and the oil too.
- Use broccoli instead of cauliflower .
- Add half a cup of panko crumbs to the spices and oil to add even more texture.
- Squeeze over the juice of a lemon or lime before serving or add some wedges to the tray while roasting.
The cauliflower can be broken up into florets and tossed in the oil and spices up to 3 days ahead. Keep it in a large sealed container or freezer bag in the fridge and cook as directed when you're ready.
How To Store & Reheat
Store leftover spicy roasted cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat simply spread out on a baking tray and bake in a preheated to 400 °F (200°C) oven for about 20 minutes.
This spicy roasted cauliflower recipe is really versatile. Make it the star of the show or serve as an appetizer or side. Here are some ideas for ways to serve it:
- Pile your cauliflower high on a swoosh of hummus and serve with flatbreads. It's great with plain hummus, or beet or curry hummus. A few crumbles of salty vegan feta are amazing on it too.
- Top bowl meals and salads.
- Fill tacos, burritos and wraps.
- Over rice.
- Tossed through pasta or noodles.
- With a herby green sauce, hummus, avocado dressing or tahini dip.
- As a snack just as it is. Honestly it's so good that once you start you can't stop!
Fresh cauliflower is always my go-to. It has a way better texture when roasted so if you can use it I highly recommend you do. Frozen cauliflower florets can be used in a pinch though. Don't defrost them. If they are a little stuck together, break them apart then toss them in the spices and oil as per the recipe. Add an extra 5 to 10 minutes onto the baking time.
Yes! This is great with broccoli. It won't take quite as long to cook though. Cook for 20 minutes, toss, then put back in the oven and check again after about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove when golden and getting a little charred in areas.
A lot of spices are used in this recipe and it is quite strongly flavoured. That works really well with the cauliflower though and the spices do mellow a little when roasted. If you aren't big on strong spicy flavours feel free to reduce the spices to suit your tastes.
Spicy Roasted CauliflowerAuthor:
- 1 large head cauliflower , broken into evenly sized florets
- ¼ to ⅓ cup olive oil , or aquafaba for oil-free
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika , or chipotle powder
- 3 tbsp chili powder , American style - IMPORTANT - If in Europe/UK see recipe notes
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 425 °F (220 °C)
- Scatter the cauliflower florets onto a very large baking tray, or use two medium-sized ones. It needs to be big enough for you to spread it out in a single layer and leave some room between each floret. I don't recommend using a lined tray. The cauliflower turns out best when it's in direct contact with the metal. However, if you're going the oil-free, aquafaba route, you will either need to use a good non-stick tray or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to avoid sticking.
- Have some hot, soapy water in the sink ready to wash your hands in. You'll need it ;O)
- Drizzle the olive oil/aquafaba over the cauliflower florets, and using your hands, toss so each floret is pretty much covered.
- Sprinkle over each of the spices/seasonings and using your hands again, toss and rub so all of the florets are really well covered.
- Bake in the top half of the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and give all of the florets a really good toss around again, scraping up the oily spices in the bottom. Be careful because it can splatter a bit.
- Put back in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more until it's sizzling, and the cauliflower is soft, caramelized and there are some charred areas forming.