Spiced Roasted Cauliflower on Sheet Pan

This Spiced Roasted Cauliflower is the latest recipe to join our repertoire of easy and flavorful vegetable side dishes.

We’ve been making similar versions of this dish for several months now. We love to serve it alongside Tex-Mex dinner staples, such as black bean bowls, veggie quesadillas, and tacos.

Roasted vegetables are delicious on their own, but sometimes the simplest of ingredient additions can take a side dish from good to great.

For today’s recipe, we’re turning to everyday pantry spices and few extras to do the heavy lifting! Let’s get cooking.

Whole Head of Cauliflower on Cutting Board

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients:

  • CAULIFLOWER – for this recipe, you’ll want to grab a head of cauliflower (roughly 2½ lbs). look for tightly clustered florets and little to no blemishes.small blemishes can be trimmed or shaved off with a microplane!
  • GROUND SPICES – this recipe uses a combination of bold and warm spices: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, coriander, and freshly ground black pepper. Similar to taco seasoning, but easier to adjust and control for flavor.
  • LIME JUICE – for balance and a touch of acid
  • FRESH CILANTRO – herbs add freshness and contrast for serving! if you do not like cilantro, feel free to leave it out or substitute with flat leaf parsley.
Spiced Roasted Cauliflower on Sheet Pan

Cooking Note: As explained in greater depth in this roasted cauliflower with tahini recipe, I highly recommend starting with room-temperature vegetables when roasting.

Cold ingredients will stall the roasting process. Cauliflower is bland by nature and deep caramelization is key for flavor. Be sure to allow the oven to preheat sufficiently and avoid overcrowding the florets.

How to Make Spiced Roasted Cauliflower:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the center position. Trim and cut the cauliflower into medium-large florets (here’s a simple tutorial on how to cut cauliflower).
Spices in Oil in Mixing Bowl
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, and spices and whisk to combine. Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl and using your hands (or mixing spoon), gently toss the florets until evenly coated.
Cauliflower Florets in Bowl
  1. Transfer the florets onto a half sheet pan, spreading them into an even layer so that the florets do not touch one another. Flip the florets so that any flat sides are facing down on the pan. This will improve caramelization during roasting.
  1. Roast the cauliflower until deeply caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes, checking and flipping the florets after 15 minutes or so. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving platter and squeeze the juice of ½ lime evenly over the florets. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a light sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Serve.

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower on Platter

How to Serve Spiced Roasted Cauliflower:

This makes a lovely vegetable side dish for Tex-Mex (or Mexican) main courses, such as Veggie Quesadillas or Chili Rubbed Salmon.

We love serving this spiced roasted cauliflower in rice bowls with Instant Pot black beans. Or use in vegetable tacos with your favorite toppings!

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower
Spiced Roasted Cauliflower on Sheet Pan

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro and Lime

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Spiced roasted cauliflower finished with lime juice and fresh cilantro. Serve this flavorful vegetable side dish as an accompaniment to your favorite Tex-Mex main courses or in vegetarian tacos with your favorite toppings! We also love serving it in burrito rice bowls alongside our favorite Instant Pot black beans.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower (roughly 2½ lbs)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or a touch more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lime for squeezing
  • small handful fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions 

  • Note: If possible, allow the cauliflower to come to room temperature prior to roasting. Cold ingredients stall the caramelization process.
    Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the center position.
  • Trim and cut the cauliflower into medium-large florets and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, coriander, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl and using your hands (or a large mixing spoon), gently toss the florets in the oil mixture until the florets are evenly coated.
    Spiced Cauliflower Florets in Bowl
  • Transfer the florets onto a half sheet pan, spreading them into an even layer so that the florets are not touching one another. Flip the florets so that any flat sides are facing down on the pan. This will improve caramelization during roasting.
  • Roast the cauliflower until deeply caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes, checking and flipping the florets after 15 minutes or so. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a large serving platter and squeeze the juice of ½ lime evenly over the florets. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a light sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.
    Easy Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Florets

Tips for Success: 

  • If you do not have these spices on hand, I’ve prepared a similar version of this dish with high-quality (no salt added) taco seasoning as an easy substitute.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 100kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 591mg, Potassium: 39mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 339IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg