Italian Oven Roasted Cauliflower

How to make roasted cauliflower better than ever by adding delicious Italian flavors!

Italian Roasted Cauliflower, easy and delicious!I’m in love with roasted vegetables. They brown at the edges and get so sweet and delicious. Way tastier than steaming or sauteeing them, definitely. What I love even more than their flavor though is how much easier they are to make than any other preparation. When you steam or sauté vegetables the timing is really specific; even a minute too long can result in overcooked mush. You have to stand over them, watching and stirring to make sure that they don’t overcook.

With roasted vegetables, you can walk away. I set a timer so I don’t forget about them though.
When the timer beeps, if I’m free, I check them and, if ready, I take them out. If when the timer beeps I’m in the middle of coloring with the kids or chatting with G or folding a stack of laundry, I leave them in the oven longer knowing that they’ll be fine. Roasted veggies are simply more forgiving than other types. A few extra minutes can even make them better since more time means more browning.

My favorite roasted vegetable is roasted cauliflower. I never used to be a huge fan of cauliflower at all but roasting it was like a gateway drug. I became addicted to it roasted and then started to love it every other way. And while I now do all kinds of things with cauliflower (I even mashed it with chicken to make healthy chicken nuggets), I always go back to what got me hooked, sometimes adding some new flavors or methods to keep it interesting.

Sometimes I do a Whole Roasted Cauliflower like this:

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Sometimes I add a mustard Parmesan crust:

Mustard Parmesan Crusted Whole Cauliflower

 

Sometimes I roast the cauliflower and then mix it with quinoa, cheese and tomato sauce, like a baked pasta dinner but with quinoa instead:

Italian Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake

And sometimes I make Italian Roasted Cauliflower, like today’s recipe:

Italian Oven Roasted Cauliflower
To make it you whisk together tomato paste, olive oil and a bit of Dijon mustard. Note that the oil won’t fully incorporate. That’s o.k.. It might even be a good thing since I think that’s why some bits of tomato paste stay separate on the cauliflower and end up browning more.

Then you add Parmesan cheese and seasonings before combining the mixture with cauliflower florets. Bake until it’s slightly darkened in spots and has the desired tenderness. For me, I like it not quite fork-tender, about 20-25 minutes at 425ºF. If you like it softer, you might want to roast it for longer at a slightly lower temperature so that it doesn’t get too dark before it gets soft enough.

Here’s my quick Italian Roasted Cauliflower recipe:

Italian Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted vegetables are as sweet as syrup. This Oven Roasted Cauliflower is no exception, except that for this one Italian ingredients are added to all that browned veggie sweetness for even more delicious flavor. And, the best part, it's easy to make! If you like your cauliflower more tender, roast at a lower temperature for long (e.g., 375F for 35 minutes).

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, tomato paste and dijon mustard. Note that the olive oil will not fully incorporate. That's o.k.. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the oregano, garlic poweder, salt and pepper.
  3. Break a head of cauliflower into florets and add them to the tomato paste mixture. Stir using a spatula to make sure the sauce is getting onto the cauliflower, which should end up stained red. Us the spatula to transfer all the cauliflower and sauce to a large baking sheet.
  4. Roast until darkened in spots and is tender-crisp when stuck with a fork, 20-25 minutes. Stir gently with a metal spatula and, if desired, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese to serve.

36 Responses to “Italian Oven Roasted Cauliflower”

  1. Annie Johnson — May 4, 2016 @ 7:53 pm (#)

    WOW! This stuff is amazing! I’m really trying to eat my veggies and cauliflower is NOT a favorite, but when I saw this I decided to give it a try. What can I say, you’ve changed my mind! This recipe is so good that I can’t stop eating it!!! Thank you for a great recipe. Even if you don’t like cauliflower you should try this one, you’ll love it!!!

    • Christine Pittman — May 6, 2016 @ 1:00 pm (#)

      Annie, Thank you so much! I’m delighted that you like it. Have a great weekend!

  2. Annie — April 19, 2016 @ 1:44 pm (#)

    I was looking for something different in a common vegetable, and did make this… it was delicious! We will be making this again. My thoughts: no more than 20 minutes in oven, and a little less tomato paste – worked perfectly for us. Great creation!

    • Christine Pittman — April 28, 2016 @ 10:20 am (#)

      Annie, I’m delighted that you liked it. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Betty — April 13, 2016 @ 9:02 am (#)

    Going to fix this tonight. It looks delicious. 

    • Christine Pittman — April 28, 2016 @ 10:23 am (#)

      Thanks Betty. How did it turn out?

  4. May EatCookExplore — March 25, 2016 @ 1:53 pm (#)

    Love this idea. I’m defintiely going to try roasting cauli’s Italian style. 

  5. Isabelle — December 15, 2015 @ 4:00 pm (#)

    This recipe looks amazing! I’ve never seen cauliflower baked with a tomato based sauce before. I can’t wait to try it. I will also share this recipe for others to enjoy!

  6. Angela — October 9, 2015 @ 9:17 pm (#)

    I love cauliflower.
    This recipe looks perfect to me.

  7. Kristal — May 17, 2015 @ 1:29 pm (#)

    I LOVEE roasted cauliflower! Cant wait to try this recipe!

  8. Gerilee Ternitsky — March 31, 2015 @ 8:16 am (#)

    This is a delicious recipe!  Family loved it.  Thanks

    • Christine Pittman — May 7, 2015 @ 12:35 pm (#)

      Gerilee, Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m delighted that everyone liked it!!

  9. Anna — January 8, 2015 @ 12:21 pm (#)

    Can’t wait to try this one!

  10. Julie — October 29, 2014 @ 6:23 pm (#)

    I had to come back to tell you that I made this last night and my family LOVED it! We roast veggies all the time but this has to be one of the most delicious variations ever! Thanks so much!!

    • Christine Pittman — November 12, 2014 @ 12:22 pm (#)

      Hi Julie, Thank you SO MUCH for making my recipe and for coming back to tell me about it. I am beyond delighted that you and your family enjoyed it. I hope you’re having a great day! -Christine

  11. Jane's Adventures in Dinner — October 21, 2014 @ 2:43 pm (#)

    This looks so great. I always had a bit of a hate on cauliflower for WAY too long but roasting is magical.

    • Christine Pittman — October 23, 2014 @ 11:32 am (#)

      Agreed! Once I started roasting cauliflower I came to appreciate it more and more. I even like it raw now, which I couldn’t handle at all in my 20s. Hope you’re doing great, friend!

  12. Thalia @ butter and brioche — October 19, 2014 @ 8:31 pm (#)

    What a delicious way to use and cook cauliflower! I regularly am on the lookout for new and delicious ways to cook veggies so you can definitely consider I will be recreating the recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Christine Pittman — October 21, 2014 @ 8:22 am (#)

      Thanks Thalia! I am also always on the lookout for ways to cook veggies. I get bored so easily!
      Christine

  13. Betsy Barnes — October 18, 2014 @ 9:52 pm (#)

    Oh my, this absolutely looks amazing! I love cauliflower, however, I have never roasted, definitely giving this one a try :)

    • Christine Pittman — October 21, 2014 @ 8:24 am (#)

      Betsy,
      Thanks! Cauliflower is truly one of my favorite veggies to roast, with or without the Italian flavors. If you try it, let me know what you think :)
      Christine

  14. Stephanie K — October 18, 2014 @ 6:49 am (#)

    I haven’t roasted cauliflower before and was intrigued by this recipe. I’m picking up a head of cauliflower on my next shopping trip, thanks to you, so I can try this out.

  15. Carly — October 17, 2014 @ 11:18 am (#)

    Mmm! I love roasted cauliflower. I’m definitely making this next week!

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