Simple Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Head

4.78 from 9 votes
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This turmeric roasted cauliflower makes for a delicious and nutritious vegan main or side dish for tons of meals. It can be prepared as a whole roasted cauliflower, cauliflower steaks, or florets. Plus, this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and low-carb!

Baked cauliflower head in a baking tray

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy my favorite veggies. Though this definitely isn’t a new concept, this turmeric roasted cauliflower is one of the recipes I’m currently obsessed with. Using a simple combination of turmeric, salt, garlic, ginger, and lemon, this cauliflower is flavorful yet simple enough to pair with tons of meals.

A baked turmeric covered cauliflower head cut in two

With holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approaching, a whole roasted cauliflower recipe is a wonderful option for the meat-free guests at the dinner table while also working as a side dish for other guests too. Plus, it can be prepared whole, as ‘steaks’ or in florets, depending on how you wish to serve it. Larger bits will remain softer. Meanwhile, cauliflower florets become lovely and crispy around the edges. 

I’m focusing on a whole-roasted version for this particular recipe, as it’s my current favorite go-to. However, I’ll also include notes for the other methods in the recipe notes. 

Baked cauliflower head in a white plate

While there are tons of ways to spice/flavor baked cauliflower, I’ve decided to use this simple turmeric blend. I’ve already talked about turmeric’s health benefits time and time again (like in this golden milk recipe); however, it also adds wonderful flavor and doesn’t require tons of different herbs or spices to accompany it (though it’s versatile enough to pair with several spices!). 

By using simple methods of upping the flavor of veggies, it becomes even a treat for the hardened veggie-conscious out there (or at least, it certainly helps to get picky eaters intrigued!). Plus, this recipe requires just 10 minutes of hands-on time, and the rest is doing its thing in the oven.

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The Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower ingredients
  • Cauliflower – use a medium-sized head of cauliflower. Try to use organic when possible to reduce pesticide consumption.
  • Garlic Cloves – you can use garlic puree or garlic powder if you’re unable to use fresh garlic.
  • Turmeric Powder – I use homemade turmeric powder.
  • Ginger – technically optional for those who aren’t keen on ginger. I love it, though.
  • Lemon – lemon juice adds wonderful ‘zing’ and extra flavor. You could also use lime juice.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil – use any fairly neutral oil that is suited to roasting – olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.

Optional Extras

  • For spice: You could add some chili powder or red pepper/chili flakes.
  • For smokiness: Add some smoked paprika. This can be used in place of ginger or alongside it.
  • Other: Cumin is another option that goes very well with the rest of the ingredients. If you’re making this a vegetarian option, then you could also add some cheese towards the end of the baking process – such as parmesan cheese.

The Step By Step instructions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC and (optionally) line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Remove the leaves and stem of the cauliflower, then clean it well. Make sure to keep the florets intact though, so don’t remove too much of the stem.

Removing leaves from a cauliflower head

Finely chop or grate the garlic cloves and ginger. Mix them with the turmeric powder, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Steps for mixing turmeric spices and oil

Pour the oil mixture all over the cauliflower – underside included. Do this over the baking sheet, so you don’t waste any of the flavors.

Chef’s note: It’s a good side to start by pouring some of the oil seasoning on the underside of the cauliflower and shaking it lightly to encourage it to drip down into the core of the cauliflower, between the florets. Then turn it over and baste the top.

Steps for preparing cauliflower for baking

Brush the mixture all over – make sure to cover all the little nooks. Add a bit more oil if needed to help distribute the mixture all over the cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower in the middle of the prepared sheet, florets upwards, and bake for around 1hr15 (though this will vary depending on the exact size of the cauliflower head).

A cauliflower head covered with turmeric oil mixture over a baking tray

Chef’s note: The cooking time will vary depending on whether you’re cooking it whole, like steaks or florets. Florets will take between 20-30 minutes, steaks will take slightly longer, 25-35 minutes.

You’ll need to place a small dish of water in the bottom of the oven to help the cauliflower steam as it cooks.

Cauliflower in the oven with a small tray under it

Baste the cauliflower with the oil/spice mixture several times during the cooking for extra flavor.

Once baked, slice and serve.

Baked cauliflower head in a baking tray

Chef’s note: If you want crispier results, then you can remove the dish of water towards the last 10-15 minutes of cooking and/or lightly broil the cauliflower for a few minutes at the end of the bake time.

How To Serve

You can cut the roasted cauliflower into steaks (disks), or wedges (like cake slices), then serve alongside tons of dishes. Here are just a few ways to enjoy it.

Baked cauliflower head in a white plate

You can also serve this turmeric roasted cauliflower with several sauces, such as this 5-Ingredient Delicious Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce, or some sour cream or lightly spiced yogurt (natural/Greek dairy yogurt or dairy-free almond). You could also serve with a hot sauce, herby green pesto type drizzle (like this Delicious Vegan Basil Pesto (with pistachios)), etc.

How To Store

Roasted cauliflower can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for between 4-5 days. It is also freezer friendly for between 2-3 months.

You can eat the cauliflower cold or re-heat in the microwave or oven.

Recipe Notes

  • If you plan to bake these as individual florets, you can toss the cauliflower in a large bowl with the seasoning/oil mixture. There’s no need to re-baste once they’re in the oven.
  • The smaller the pieces of cauliflower are when roasting, the crispier they will become.
  • As a simple alternative to this turmeric spice, you could create a baste with my Italian seasoning mix, garlic, salt and pepper, and oil. Then, optionally, sprinkle with some parmesan/ dairy-free hard cheese (or even nutritional yeast). 
  • You can also bake the turmeric roasted cauliflower in a dutch oven, covered with the lid or some foil, until tender (between 45-60mins). 

If you try this turmeric roasted cauliflower recipe, then let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.

Whole Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

4.78 from 9 votes
By: Samira
This turmeric roasted cauliflower makes for a delicious and nutritious vegan side dish or main. It can be prepared as a whole roasted cauliflower, cauliflower steaks, or florets. Plus, this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and low-carb!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 4 sides

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 Tbsp ground turmeric powder
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Clean the leaves and remove the stem of the cauliflower. Make sure to keep the florets intact.
  • Finely chop the garlic cloves and ginger. Mix them with the turmeric powder, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.
  • Pour the oil mixture all over the cauliflower – underside included. Do this over the baking sheet, so you don't waste any of the flavors.
    Chef's note: It's a good side to start by pouring some of the oil seasoning on the underside of the cauliflower and shaking it lightly to encourage it to drip down into the core of the cauliflower, between the florets. Then turn it over and baste the top.
    Brush the mixture all over – make sure to cover all the little nooks. Add a bit more oil if needed to help distribute the mixture all over the cauliflower.
  • Place the cauliflower in the middle of the prepared sheet, florets upwards, and bake for around 1hr15* (though this will vary depending on the exact size of the cauliflower head).
  • You'll need to place a small dish of water in the bottom of the oven to help the cauliflower steam as it cooks. Baste the cauliflower with the oil/spice mixture several times during the cooking for extra flavor. Once baked, slice, and serve.

How To Store

  • Roasted cauliflower can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for between 4-5 days. It is also freezer friendly for between 2-3 months.
    You can eat the cauliflower cold or reheat in the microwave or oven.

Notes

* The cooking time will vary depending on whether you’re cooking it whole, like steaks or florets. Florets will take between 20- 30 minutes, steaks will take slightly longer, 25-35 minutes.
Chef’s note: If you want crispier results, then you can remove the dish of water towards the last 10-15 minutes of cooking and/or lightly broil the cauliflower for a few minutes at the end of the bake time.
 
  • If you plan to bake these as individual florets, you can simply toss the cauliflower in a large bowl with the seasoning/oil mixture. There’s no need to re-baste once they’re in the oven.
  • The smaller the pieces of cauliflower are when roasting. The crispier they will become.
  • As a simple alternative to this turmeric spice, you could create a baste with my Italian seasoning mix, garlic, salt and pepper, and oil. Then, optionally, sprinkle with some parmesan/ dairy-free hard cheese (or even nutritional yeast). 
  • You can also bake the whole roasted cauliflower in a dutch oven, covered with the lid or some foil, until tender (between 45-60mins). 
Course: Main, Side
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 5 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1side dish, Calories: 175kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 627mg, Potassium: 519mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin C: 85mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 2mg

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

4.78 from 9 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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12 Comments

  1. Reyn says:

    Hi please update your recipe to include all ingredients in the steps. I just made it following the steps and didn’t realize I was supposed to add ginger, lemon, and pepper to the marinade mix until I read the comments.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Reyn,
      So sorry about the confusion. The steps are updated.

  2. Steve says:

    3 stars
    When and where and how do I use the lemon

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Steve,
      Sorry about this. The lemon juice is added to the olive oil-ginger mixture.

  3. Stiver says:

    Ingredients is listing one lemon, but there is no mention of how to incorporate with the lemon into the recipe at all, am I overlooking something?

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi, sorry about that, I included the juice and zest of one lemon in the oil and spices (it gives it a nice zesty flavour).

  4. Zina Neborski says:

    Why does your recipe list 1 lemon in the ingredients? What am I missing? I don’t see lemon mentioned anywhere in your recipe!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Zina,
      The lemon juice is added to the olive oil-ginger mixture.

  5. BJ Melancon says:

    Your ingredient list includes a lemon but nowhere in your write-up or in the recipe instructions does it indicate what to do with the lemon. Do you used the juice? The zest? How much? Mixed with the oil and spices, or squeezed over the cauliflower once cooked?

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi, sorry about that, yes it was included in the juice and zest of one lemon in. the oil and spices (it gives it a nice zesty flavour).

  6. Sanette Pixley says:

    5 stars
    I was bit skeptical with the ginger but put it anyway. And boy! It didn’t disappoint! My husband who hates ginger just ate it and said I should share this recipe to his father cause they love cauliflower. We ended up finishing 1 big head of cauliflower. We paired it with Samira’s air fyer sweet potatoes! That one is a must also. My toddler loves it as well.

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Sanette! So happy you gave this recipe a try 🙂