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Herb Roasted Cauliflower is that great side dish that’s hard to stop eating. Add to any meal or ethnic inspired meal, an unbeatable alternative to cauliflower rice … that is more delicious!
This mouth watering side dish is great for Paleo, AIP, Keto, Whole30, Vegan and Gluten-free diets.
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Better than cauliflower rice
I came to the recent epiphany that Roasted Caulilower is SO much yummier than cauliflower rice — am I right?
One is so good that it’s hard to stop eating (like the healthy vegetable version of popcorn!), and the other one is just okay, and a stand-in grain substitute. I know rice can be nice sometimes when you need the rice texture, but — I’d rather love my dinner.
So, in that spirit, I invite you to make Herb Roasted Cauliflower with me MORE often than its inferior cousin, because why not enjoy an incredibly delicious side dish?!
I used to make cauli rice most often with Mexican meals, low carb or Keto meals and for other grain-free side dish needs.
But spiced and herbed Roasted Cauliflower is the new and better option for all ethnic, Paleo, Keto, AIP, GAPS, Whole30, Vegan dinners — that’s just sooo good!
What spices and ingredients make Herb-Roasted Cauliflower so good
Some of the herbs and spices and strong flavors I’ve used in this recipe stay the same no matter what:
- ginger — My favorite spice for making foods spicy like pepper, but it’s gentler for more people.
- garlic — This cauliflower dish doesn’t taste garlicky, but the garlic powder rounds out all the flavors and makes the side dish that much more irresistible and flavorful.
- sea salt — Heightens all the flavors!
Then, the main recipe below uses a couple of basic Italian herbs, dried oregano and basil, because they’re universally good, and the dish tastes great!
But, the herbs can vary based on if you’d like your Herb Roasted Cauliflower to have a subtle ethnic flare, so it compliments the rest of your meal.
These few herbs can be interchanged on purpose, based on the flavors in your main dish. So, if you’re making a French-inspired dinner, the herbs and spices will compliment that. If your main dish is Mexican, the spices will reflect it. Etc.
Here are the simple good dried herbs and spices to use for some of the most popular ethnic meals many of us eat:
- LATIN SPICES AND HERBS — oregano and cumin (Omit cumin for AIP, optional sub is cinnamon.)
- FRENCH HERBS — thyme and parsley
- GREEK HERBS — oregano and thyme (or mint)
- INDIAN SPICES AND HERBS — turmeric and cumin
- AFRICAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN — za’atar: oregano, thyme and sesame seeds, with optional sumac
Pro tip for crispy roasted cauliflower
Don’t crowd the pan. Space all your florets apart so they’re touching the pan but not overlapping each other. This prevents steaming and allows them to roast. If your cauliflower is big, you may need two pans.
- 1 to 2 baking pans
- parchment paper optional
- 1 large head cauliflower (2 pounds) If it weighs more, you can use a little extra of each ingredient.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder dried
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon each: oregano and basil for basic recipe or Italian meals (For all other ethnic dishes, see Notes below for which herbs to use.)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or up to ¾ teaspoon
- Optional lemon wedges for garnish
- Optional: ¼ cup fresh herb sometimes chopped or chiffonade: see Notes below for which herb to use based on the ethnic flare of your meal
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Prepare 1 to 2 baking sheets with or without parchment paper. (Cauliflower browns well on both, but just slightly more without. Parchment makes an easier clean-up [and helps prevent burning]. Both options work well. If you don't use parchment, you do not need to grease the pan.)
- Chop cauliflower into somewhat even-size bite-size florets. In a large bowl, add cauliflower. Pour over it the olive oil. Then add spices, herbs and sea salt. Toss cauliflower florets thoroughly with oil and other ingredients until very well coated.
- Place cauliflower on a large baking sheet, and spread out pieces evenly so they all touch the pan but don't overlap each other.
- Roast in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or up to 30 minutes, until tender and browned in spots.
- Serve, optionally garnished with slices of lemon and/or fresh minced herb.
Which dried herbs to use for different ethnic dishes
- LATIN SPICES AND HERBS -- oregano and cumin (Omit cumin for AIP, optional sub is cinnamon.)
- For not AIP, you may also like to add one or more peppers: ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon chipotle and ⅛ teaspoon optional cayenne.
- FRENCH HERBS -- thyme and parsley
- GREEK HERBS -- oregano and thyme (or mint)
- INDIAN SPICES AND HERBS -- turmeric and cumin
- AFRICAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN -- za'atar: oregano, thyme and sesame seeds, with optional sumac
Which fresh herb to use for garnish (optional)
- Italian: fresh parsley or basil
- Latin: fresh cilantro
- French: fresh thyme
- Greek: fresh mint or oregano
- Indian: fresh mint
- African and Middle Eastern: oregano or cilantro, depending on the meal
You can pin Herb Roasted Cauliflower here:
Meals to eat with Herb-Roasted Cauliflower
- Dump and Bake Beef Short Ribs
- Coconut Ground Beef Curry with Turmeric
- Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry Sauce
- Spicy Honey Lime Chicken
- Creamy Coconut Meatball Korma Curry
- Maple Rosemary Chicken