Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli (Oven and Air Fryer Methods)

5 from 7 votes
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Air fried or oven-roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli with garlic and lemon are tender-crisp, lightly caramelized, and the perfect, nutritious, low-carb, all-purpose vegetable side dish (other flavor variations below)!

A plate with roasted cauliflower and broccoli with lemon slices

The first time I tried roasted vegetables and their tender-crisp, lightly caramelized, mildly sweet, flavor-packed splendor, I was hooked! Not only are they super versatile, both to season and serve, but they’re also super simple to prepare. Which is how this roasted cauliflower and broccoli (air fryer method included) has become one of my favorite meal-prep-friendly, all-purpose side dishes.

Not only do broccoli and cauliflower pair perfectly, but when tossed in a simple garlic and lemon seasoning, you’ve officially reached crowd-pleasing, child-approved levels of crave-worthy perfection! Even if you aren’t a garlic fan, keep reading for other seasoning inspiration, including crispy roasted broccoli and cauliflower with parmesan, Asian dressing, garam masala, and more.

Best of all, you can enjoy this oven-baked or air fryer broccoli and cauliflower from fresh or frozen, with just minutes of hands-on prep and as little as 12 minutes for the air fried broccoli and cauliflower or 25-30 minutes in the oven. Simply chop the florets, toss with your seasonings of choice, and bake/air fry to perfection. Then, enjoy immediately, use for a week of meal-prep meals, or even freeze the leftover for up to 6 months!

A tray with roasted cauliflower and broccoli

Want to enjoy more simple cauliflower and broccoli recipes? Check out this crisp air fryer cauliflower, buffalo cauliflower wings, turmeric roasted cauliflower head, Asian broccoli salad, and/or broccoli apple salad!

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The Ingredients

This garlic lemon cauliflower and broccoli recipe requires just a handful of ingredients!

  • Broccoli and Cauliflower: use fresh, unblemished broccoli and cauliflower.

Avoid pre-prepared (chopped) veggies, as they are usually drier, so won’t taste or bake the same.

  • Oil: I used extra virgin olive oil, though any neutral cooking oil should work (i.e., avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.).
  • Garlic: I love using fresh garlic, but garlic powder will work in a pinch.
  • Salt & Black pepper: added to taste.
  • Lemon: serve the garlic roasted cauliflower and broccoli with lemon slices or wedges (so guests can use their desired level of lemon juice) for added brightness and take the flavors over the edge! You could also optionally add some fine lemon zest to the veggies.
Ingredients for roasted broccoli and cauliflower

Optional Add-ins and Variations

There are tons of ways to adapt the seasonings in this oven-roasted broccoli and cauliflower recipe. Just a few of my favorite options include:

  • Parsley: add a tablespoon or so of finely chopped parsley over the baked broccoli and cauliflower for extra fresh flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: tossing a little freshly shredded parmesan over the oven/air fryer broccoli and cauliflower before or after cooking, it is *chef kiss*! For a vegan version, use some nutritional yeast.
  • Sesame-soy: this Asian-inspired seasoning swaps out the olive oil for sesame oil, a teaspoon or two of soy sauce, and a sprinkle of raw sesame seeds. I also love to add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Spices: experiment with different spices like onion powder, garlic powder, chili/cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, etc.
  • Seasonings: you could also use several pre-mixed seasonings to flavor the baked broccoli and cauliflower. Including:
    • Tajin (chili lime)
    • za’atar
    • Ranch seasoning.
  • Herbs: several fresh or dried herbs would work, such as rosemary, thyme, Italian seasoning, etc.
  • Compound butter: replace the oil with a flavored compound butter for added richness and tons of flavor. I.e., this roasted garlic butter or lemon butter, etc.
  • Nuts: for extra protein and crunch, adding a handful of raw, unsalted nuts to the roasted/air fryer broccoli and cauliflower is delicious. Cashews work particularly well.
  • Other vegetables: I particularly like pairing roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, but you could also add bell peppers and Brussel sprouts or potatoes.

How to Make ?

First, preheat the oven (or air fryer, if needed) to 350ºF/180ºC.

Then chop the broccoli and cauliflower into equal-sized florets, trimming any woody ends. Then transfer the florets to a large bowl.

Chopped cauliflower and broccoli

When separating the florets, I like to start by pulling them apart with my hand, then using a knife to chop any larger pieces down to size.

Next, mince or grate the garlic into a small bowl and combine with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix. Once ready, pour the dressing over the florets and toss to combine.

Mixing chopped cauliflower and broccoli with dressing

Then, spread the florets across a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd it (otherwise, they’ll steam rather than become wonderfully caramelized and lightly crisp).

Then roast in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway, until the broccoli and cauliflower are tender in the middle with a crisp, lightly browned outside.

Cauliflower takes longer to cook than broccoli slightly, so feel free to (optionally) remove the broccoli 5-8 minutes in advance. For additional crisp/crunchy pieces, you could broil the veggies for a minute or two right at the end, to your desired level.

Before and after roasting broccoli and cauliflower

Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower

Spread the florets across the bottom of your air fryer basket in a single layer, cooking in batches to avoid overcrowding the basket.

Then cook at 350ºF/180ºC for around 12 minutes, flipping them/shaking the basket halfway through. It’s best to remove the broccoli a couple of minutes in advance, to avoid overcooking it.

Enjoy with some lemon juice and an optional sprinkle of parmesan!

Before and after roasting broccoli and cauliflower in air fryer

How to Make Ahead and Store?

Prep ahead: you can wash and chop the florets in advance and store them in an airtight container for a couple of days until you’re ready to roast them.

Store: allow the roasted/air fryer broccoli and cauliflower to cool and then transfer any leftovers to an airtight container/bag and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Freeze: first, flash freeze the florets separately until solid. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe Ziplock bag and store for 4 months.

Reheat: allow the veggies to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and either at as is or reheat in the oven for several minutes or in the microwave (though it won’t be crisp).

How to Serve?

However, it honestly pairs with most meals and would work well at a Thanksgiving and Christmas table, Sunday roast, etc.

A piece of roasted cauliflower

FAQs

Is roasted broccoli and cauliflower healthy?

Absolutely. This simple side dish is packed with fiber, several vitamins (like vitamin C!) and minerals, antioxidants, and even protein! Plus, for those who care, they’re low carb, too!

Does cauliflower take longer to cook than broccoli?

It does take longer by a few minutes. If you don’t mind the broccoli being slightly more done, then there’s no need to do anything. Though, feel free to remove the broccoli from the oven/air fryer slightly earlier than the cauliflower (5-ish mins in the oven and 2-3 in the air fryer).

Can I use frozen cauliflower and broccoli?

It’s possible to use frozen vegetables, but the results won’t be identical. Frozen roasted veg tends to be less crispy on the outside and softer inside. You’ll also need to increase the cooking time slightly (5-8 minutes usually). It can help to broil roasted frozen broccoli and cauliflower to provide more crispiness and color.

Can I omit the oil?

The oil helps to create the wonderfully crisp edges on the florets, so omitting it entirely will change the texture of the baked broccoli and cauliflower. However, feel free to experiment with reducing it further or using a cooking spray in its place – but they won’t have the amazing crispy edges that make the baked broccoli and cauliflower florets as crave-able as they are!

Roasted cauliflower and broccoli on a plate

Recipe Top Tips

  • Use even-sized florets: if they are different sizes, they’ll bake at different times, and you’ll end up with some undercooked and some burned.
  • The size of the florets matters: if you make them smaller, they’ll take less time to bake and will have crispier edges.
  • Avoid overcrowding: both in the oven and air fryer, it’s important to avoid overcrowding so that the veggies become crispy and lightly caramelized rather than steamed and just slightly “sad”.
  • The broccoli stem: you can roast this, too. In fact, it’s often even sweeter than the florets!

More Simple Vegetable Sides

If you try this crispy air fryer or oven-roasted broccoli and cauliflower recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli (2 Methods + Flavor Variations)

5 from 7 votes
By: Samira
Air fried or oven-roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli with garlic and lemon are tender-crisp, lightly caramelized, and the perfect, nutritious, low-carb, all-purpose vegetable side dish (other flavor variations below)!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 sides

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 12 oz broccoli 2 medium heads
  • 1.5 lb cauliflower 1 large head
  • 1.25 oz garlic 2 cloves
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil or another neutral cooking oil (avocado, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Check the blog post for ingredient notes and optional add-ins/flavor variations!

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven (or air fryer, if needed) to 350ºF/180ºC.
  • Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into equal-sized florets, trimming any woody ends. Then transfer the florets to a large bowl.
    When separating the florets, I like to start by pulling them apart with my hand, then using a knife to chop any larger pieces down to size.
  • Mince or grate the garlic into a small bowl and combine with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix. Once ready, pour the dressing over the florets and toss to combine.

To Roast in the Oven

  • Spread the florets across a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd it (otherwise, they'll steam rather than become wonderfully caramelized and lightly crisp).
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes at 350ºF/180ºC, flipping halfway, until the broccoli and cauliflower are tender in the middle with a crisp, lightly browned outside.
    Cauliflower takes slightly longer to cook than broccoli, so feel free to (optionally) remove the broccoli 5-8 minutes in advance. For additional crisp/crunchy pieces, you could broil the veggies for a minute or two right at the end, to your desired level.

Using an Air Fryer

  • Spread the florets across the bottom of your air fryer basket in a single layer, cooking in batches to avoid overcrowding the basket.
  • Cook at 350ºF/180ºC for around 12 minutes, flipping them/shaking the basket halfway through. It’s best to remove the broccoli a couple of minutes in advance, to avoid overcooking it.
    For slightly more tender-crisp results, you can add a tablespoon or two of water to the bottom of the basket. It will steam the florets as they cook while still allowing them to crisp up somewhat.
  • Enjoy with some lemon juice.

How to Make Ahead and Store?

  • Prep ahead: you can wash and chop the florets in advance and store them in an airtight container for a couple of days until you're ready to roast them.
    Store: allow the roasted broccoli and cauliflower to cool and then transfer any leftovers to an airtight container/bag and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.
    Freeze: first, flash freeze the florets separately until solid. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe Ziplock bag and store for 4 months.
    Reheat: allow the veggies to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and either at as is or reheat in the oven for several minutes or in the microwave (though it won’t be crisp).

Notes

  • Use even-sized florets: if they are different sizes, they’ll bake at different times, and you’ll end up with some undercooked and some burned.
  • The size of the florets matters: if you make them smaller, they’ll take less time to bake and will have crispier edges.
  • Avoid overcrowding: both in the oven and air fryer, it’s important to avoid overcrowding so that the veggies become crispy and lightly caramelized rather than steamed and just slightly “sad.”
  • The broccoli stem: you can roast this, too. In fact, it’s often even sweeter than the florets!
 
Check the blog post for serving recommendations, optional add-ins/recipe variations, and answers to top FAQs!
Course: Appetizer, Side
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: 6 Months
Shelf life: 5 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 248mg, Potassium: 544mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 355IU, Vitamin C: 107mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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