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This stunning whole roasted cauliflower is coated in an Asian-inspired mix of miso paste, sesame oil, ginger, and chili garlic sauce and then roasted until it's dark and delicious. It's a delicious and hearty vegetarian main or side that's surprisingly easy to make. Ready in just 55 minutes!
This roasted whole cauliflower has a lot going for it. It's easy to make, it looks beautiful on the table, and it's healthy, too!
If this is your first time making a whole roasted cauliflower, you're in for a treat. To start, you don't have to bother with chopping the cauliflower into florets. Simply trim the leaves and the stem off so it sits flat, rub on the sweet and savory seasoning paste, and bake it until tender.
It's perfect for adorning the table at special dinners, and it's suitable for all eaters (gluten-free, vegan, and keto). We like to bring it to the table whole and let guests watch as we slice it into wedges before serving.
The ingredients and methods are simple enough that we even make it on weeknights, served with a simple side of rice and tofu as a healthy vegetarian meal.
If you weren't already a cauliflower lover, we bet you will be now!
Whole roast cauliflower ingredients
With just a few pantry ingredients and a head of cauliflower, you can make this impressive dish at home.
Here are the ingredients you'll need:
- Cauliflower – a whole large cauliflower head is the star ingredient in this recipe.
- Sesame oil – this nutty and fragrant oil is a big flavor enhancer for this dish. We find that toasted sesame oil has a more rich taste, but you can also use raw.
- Cooking oil – any neutral cooking oil works well. We like extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
- Miso paste – miso is a versatile ingredient that adds a unique salty savoriness to this dish.
- Chili garlic sauce – adds some tang, a bit of heat, and a punch of garlic.
- Ginger – freshly grated ginger is both spicy and sweet and is the perfect complement to the other Asian flavors in this dish.
- Sliced green onions, toasted white and black sesame seeds, and sea salt – for serving. You can also use other fresh herbs like cilantro.
How to roast a whole cauliflower
Whole roasted cauliflower is a show stopper, and it's surprisingly easy to make. Most of the cooking time is hands-off so you can prepare the rest of your meal, or just kick back while it's in the oven.
Here's how it comes together in a few simple steps:
- While your oven preheats, prepare your cauliflower by trimming off the green leaves and the stem. You want it to sit flat.
- Make the seasoning paste for the cauliflower by mixing all the ingredients together. Use your hands to coat the entire cauliflower with it, making sure to get inside the nooks and crannies.
- Roast it until it's tender and brown. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle it with sea salt, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds before serving. We often serve it right from the cast iron skillet, but if you used a baking sheet, transfer it to a serving plate.
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Tips for making the best whole roasted cauliflower
We've made this roast cauliflower recipe several times and as easy as it is, there are a few things we've learned that take it up a notch:
- Make sure all parts of the cauliflower you can reach are covered in oil. The oil helps it to brown and makes it taste extra delicious.
- Roast whole cauliflower until it's dark brown and even charred in spots for the most flavor. We know it's hard to wait, but don't rush it!
- Be generous when seasoning with salt, it helps to enhance all the other flavors.
- The cauliflower already has a bit of heat, but you can dial it up by adding more chili garlic sauce or chilies if that's your thing.
How long do leftovers keep in the refrigerator?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-4 days.
Can I make it in a dutch oven?
We've experimented and we love roasting it on an open pan so the exterior becomes crispy and charred. When it's made in dutch oven, the cauliflower steams but never really becomes crispy. You can certainly try it in a dutch oven if you prefer, but it will yield a slightly softer texture.
How to serve whole roasted cauliflower
Whole roasted cauliflower is an impressive-looking vegetarian main for special dinner parties like Christmas and Thanksgiving! Bring it to the table whole and then slice it into wedges in front of dinner guests to serve.
Although it looks filling, it's a vegetable so we recommend serving it with a protein and a grain side dish like brown rice, quinoa, or our favorite coconut rice.
Protein mains that pair well with whole roasted cauliflower
Sides that taste great with it, too!
More cauliflower recipes
- Lemon Parmesan Cauliflower Steaks
- Cauliflower Polenta with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts
- Blackened Cauliflower with Rosemary Garlic Panko
- 1 large cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon miso paste (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- To serve: sliced green onions, toasted white and black sesame seeds, and sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the leaves and stem off the cauliflower so that it sits flat.1 large cauliflower
- In a small bowl, mix the sesame and cooking oil, miso paste, Chinese chili garlic sauce, and ginger. Using your hands, rub the mix over the cauliflower, making sure you get it everywhere, even the bottom.2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, 1 tablespoon miso paste, 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- Place the cauliflower in a cast iron pan or on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until it is soft and brown. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and season with sea salt. Sprinkle the green onions and toasted sesame seeds over before serving.To serve: sliced green onions, toasted white and black sesame seeds, and sea salt
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.