Whole Roasted Cauliflower, A How-To Guide

Roasting a whole head of cauliflower is really easy. The result is not only delicious but is really gorgeous to serve at the table. You’re going to love this one!


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Here’s A Video Showing How To Roast A Head Of Cauliflower Whole:

I have a thing for cauliflower. A big thing. Like, I love it almost as much as I love cheese. If you know me, that’s saying A LOT.

It’s possible that you have a thing for cauliflower too. I’m guessing that based on the fact that my cauliflower recipes are some of the most popular on this site. The Italian Roasted Cauliflower and the Cauliflower and Quinoa Bake, in particular. I get that. They’re both really easy and so so delicious. I make them all the time.

Lately though, I’ve been doing cauliflower in a different way. I’ve been roasting it whole. Have you tried this? It’s so cool. Basically, you get all the leaves off, put some oil and seasonings on it and then roast it for like an hour. The outside ends up brown, caramelized and sweet. The inside is as soft as butter.

It’s also a really impressive presentation for company. You put the whole head of cauliflower on the table and then cut it into wedges to serve. Everyone is always intrigued and ends up loving it.

Today I have a step-by-step how-to with pictures for you so that you can see what’s involved in roasting it whole. This one is pretty plain (but still gorgeous). If you feel the need you can jazz it up by serving it with a dip, this Beer Cheese Dip is the perrrrrrfect thing. And soon I’ll be sharing a recipe for a Mustard and Parmesan crusted whole head of cauliflower so be on the look out for that.

OK, here we go! How to Make a Whole Roasted  Cauliflower!


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Get yourself a nice 2 lb. head of cauliflower and pull the outer leaves off.

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Cut off the stem.

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Go in with a paring knife to cut out the core, a good inch in or so. But don’t go too far. You don’t want the head to break into florets.

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Just like this:

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Tug off any remaining leaves.

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Now it’s ready to go.

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Put some oil in a pie plate.

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Add the head of cauliflower, cut side down.

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Pour oil over top.
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Rub it around a bit.

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Add salt.
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and pepper

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Put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until it’s nice and brown and a skewer goes easily into it. Nice and soft in there.

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It will be slightly delicate because it’s so soft. Use a lifter to lift it out of the pie plate and only a serving plate.

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Take it to the table in one piece and then cut it into wedges.

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Use a pie server to serve the wedges onto everyone’s plate.

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Here’s a printable version of the instructions, with ingredient amounts, to make things easier for you. Have a great day!



Whole Roasted Cauliflower

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Roasting a whole head of cauliflower is really easy. The result is not only delicious but is really gorgeous to serve at the table.


  • a 2lb. head of cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Pull all the leaves off of the cauliflower and use a paring knife to remove a bit of the core. Don’t take out too much though. You don’t want the head to break into florets but to stay in one piece.
  2. Put 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a pie plate and rub it around. Add the head of cauliflower, cut side down. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Rub it in a bit. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until it is well-browned on the outside and a skewer pokes into it very very easily. Cut into wedges to serve.

Video by Leigh Olson. Article, photos and recipe by Christine Pittman.

12 responses to “Whole Roasted Cauliflower, A How-To Guide”

  1. Renee says:

    I don’t really care for cauliflower but I loved this recipe. I ate almost the entire head. Very, very good!

  2. Sheri says:

    I followed your recipe exactly, except that I cooked a half pound head of purple cauliflower. I checked it at 40 minutes and the florets were black and had separated so that it no longer look like a head of cauliflower (but, rather, a small bush in late fall with half the leaves fallen off) and the stems were still hard. I am very disappointed. Any idea what I might’ve done wrong?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Our recipe above is for a 2lb head of cauliflower, so if yours was only half a pound it wouldn’t have needed nearly that long in the oven. Sorry, Sheri!

  3. Kristy says:

    Hi, I’ve been wanting to try out making a whole roasted cauliflower, but I’m not sure what I could serve with it. Any ideas?

  4. Lisa says:

    Made this the other night and it was so EASY and DELICIOUS! I’d never seen a recipe before that involved cooking the cauliflower whole! I plan to make this again tonight. Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies – so versatile and amazing. Thanks!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Lisa, I know, isn’t it amazing? I thought for sure that it would be burnt on the outside and raw in the middle but it’s just good all the way through. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Jacqueline says:

    I’m cooking whole &I then making a white sauce to serve.

  6. DJ says:

    I am truly enjoying perusing and reading your recipes.  Your ideas are great – instructions detailed in a way ANYone could follow! 

  7. Stephanie says:

    I’m definitely a Cauliflower and Cheese fanatic. That roasted cauliflower looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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