Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower

savoury eats

Behold, the best whole roasted cauliflower. Such a humble vegetable that can be extraordinary if made right! This is your "replacement" for your dining table when you don't want to roast a chicken or turkey. Vegetarian edition of a Christmas lunch or dinner!

  • df - dairy free
  • gf - gluten free
  • v - vegetarian
  • veg -vegan
  • ingredients
  • 1 extra big cauliflower
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower-seed spread or Tahini
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • yoghurt sauce
  • 200 g Greek or coconut yoghurt
  • 1 lemon


For the best whole roasted cauliflower preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Also fill a small baking pan halfway with water and set on the floor (bottom) of the oven. This will provide steam to help the cauliflower cook more evenly.

Rinse and dry the head of cauliflower and carefully cut off the bottom stalk without removing too much of the core. You want the entire head intact for baking. Peel away any remaining green leaves and place in a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan).

In a mixing bowl for the sauce mix 400 g of good quality tined chopped tomatoes and 1 Tbsp chilli sunflower-seed spread (or change it to Tahini). 1 TBSP tomato paste and  1 teaspoon smoked paprika. 1 Tbsp maple syrup or any other sweetener and 1 clove of garlic. A big pinch of salt and mix it all up, you will need this sauce to be very strong.

Flip your cauliflower upside down and pour on most of the sauce. Let the sauce pour down the core, shake it around so it infuses the center, and then flip the cauliflower over and use a brush to rub the leftover sauce (including any that seeped into the pan) all over the exterior for maximum flavor. Place cauliflower core-side down before baking and add an extra pinch of salt and pepper for extra flavor.

Place skillet in oven and roast for 35-50 minutes (depending on size of cauliflower) or until a knife easily pierces the core. If you prefer softer cauliflower, then roast for longer. For cauliflower with a little bite, roast for less time.

To brown the exterior, increase heat to high broil and roast 2-4 more minutes, watching carefully as not to burn.

Remove from oven and transfer the whole roasted cauliflower to a serving plate. Pour the leftover sauce from the baking pan on top of the cauliflower. Next up use some good yoghurt or coconut yoghurt and put it in the roasting pan. Thoroughly mix it into the leftover sauce, these are the best bits when making this recipe. Add a bit of lemon juice and mix again. Spread the yoghurt sauce on top of the cauliflower and cover it with fresh parsley and sliced almonds.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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