Smoky Roasted Cauliflower

Okay, it’s official– I’m hooked on smoked paprika. Thanks to my friend Erika’s genius recipe for Smoked Paprika Chicken, I’m finding all kinds of creative ways to use the spice. One night back in November, I had some cauliflower in the fridge. I mulled it over, trying to think of a healthy but creative way to cook it. I like roasting vegetables because it brings out their natural flavors, but I wanted to try something a little bit different.

Voila! My Smoky Roasted Cauliflower was born. Super easy, so tasty. The combination of roasted cauliflower, olive oil, smoked paprika and salt is pure magic. The cauliflower roasts up smoky, and it has a creamy, almost buttery quality to it. Awesome. If you’re not a huge fan of cauliflower, give this one a go– I’ve always found it a somewhat boring vegetable, but not anymore.

I served this at my Thanksgiving feast and it was a huge hit. I wasn’t sure if people would go for it with all of the rich and yummy holiday items on the buffet, but believe it or not, the cauliflower disappeared before anything else did!

Did I mention that it’s healthy, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, pareve, and takes only minutes to prepare? :)

Note: Since originally posting this recipe I have modified the method to eliminate the initial steam, which simplifies the process. I’ve found that roasting at a higher temperature cooks the cauliflower just as fast, and produces even more delicious results. I’ve also decreased the amount of oil used. I’m always working to make my recipes better, and these simple changes take the recipe from good to fantastic. Enjoy!

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt

You will also need

  • Baking sheet or small roasting pan
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 - 30 Minutes
Total Time: 25 - 35 Minutes
Servings: 4
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, if desired. Pull the leaves off of the cauliflower base. Cut off the lower part of the stem.
  • Cut the head of cauliflower into four quarters.
  • Slice each quarter into 6-8 pieces. You want as many flat surfaces as possible on each floret-- the flat surfaces caramelize best. Caramelization is the key to giving the roasted cauliflower flavor.
  • Give all the florets a thorough rinse in a colander. Shake them dry. Spread out the cauliflower on your baking sheet or pan. Reserve any small bits of cauliflower that have fallen away from the florets in a small bowl.
  • Drizzle the florets evenly with 1 tbsp olive oil. I use a measuring spoon of olive oil, which makes it easier to gauge how much oil I'm using, rather than pouring straight from the bottle. Toss the florets to coat them fully with oil-- I use clean hands for this step.
  • Sprinkle the cauliflower evenly with smoked paprika and salt to taste. Be generous with the salt-- smoked paprika really sings when it's combined with salt.
  • Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and let the cauliflower roast for 10 minutes. While cauliflower is cooking, drizzle 1/4 tsp of olive oil into the small bowl of reserved cauliflower bits that have fallen away from the florets and toss to coat. Sprinkle them with smoked paprika and salt. You will add these to the sheet a little later so they won't burn.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Sprinkle the reserved cauliflower bits onto the baking sheet.
  • Return the baking sheet to the oven. Let the cauliflower roast for 10-20 minutes longer till tender. When it's ready you will be able to pierce it easily with a fork. Keep a close eye on the cauliflower, it can go from brown to burned fairly quickly if you're not careful.
  • Serve hot.
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Category: Gluten Free, Hanukkah, Healthy, In the Kitchen, Nut Free, Pareve, Purim, Recipes, Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot, Side Dishes, Sukkot, Thanksgiving, Thanksgivukah, Tomato Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Comments (30)Post a Comment

  1. I’m curious why you parboiled the cauliflower rather than just roasting it raw. Sounds delish!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hey Lisa! Great question. Roasting the cauliflower from raw takes quite a while; parboiling saves time, while producing a similar flavor result. You can roast it from raw, too, but it will take longer and you’ll have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

  2. Coco Galvez says:

    oh! what a great recipe I can wait to try it! I love smoke paprika and also cauliflower, have you ever tried grilled corn with smoke paprika margarine mix, it taste soooo good. thank you for the recipe. :D

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Coco! I actually have tried that before (with salted butter), it’s wonderful! The sweet and smoky play off of each other so beautifully.

  3. Janet D says:

    You could probably nuke it in the microwave for
    a few minutes, also.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Janet, absolutely. If you buy the bagged florets in a steaming bag, you can steam them right in the bag in the microwave. They will cook faster in the microwave; to get them tender-crisp, you will probably one need 2-2 1/2 minutes.

  4. RisaG says:

    What a great flavoring for cauliflower, which really has little taste in the first place. I will try this.

  5. jules says:

    So simple but it looks delicious – thank goodness I have a jar of smoked paprika in the cupboard!

  6. Ann says:

    This is GENIUS! I love cauliflower and roasted veggies….the addition of the smoked paprika sounds just about perfect! Thanks!

  7. Kim Bee says:

    This is great Tori. So much healthier than when people slather cheese on it. I’ll have to try this out.

  8. Ernie Hoffman says:

    Is smoked paprika the same as regular paprika??

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Ernie– no, smoked paprika is different, it has a strong smoky mesquite-like essence that gives anything it seasons a smoky flavor. It’s definitely worth a try!

  9. Kristy says:

    I’d be one of those “not a big cauliflower” fan people, but this makes me want to reconsider the little veggie. I think I need to find some smoked paprika!

  10. Joy says:

    That is a great idea!

  11. kita says:

    Roasted cauliflower has been my veggie crack this year. We made it once in August and have made it so many times since. I love the addition of the paprika and know how Im kicking it up next time. Which will probably be like, tomorrow.

  12. Faythe says:

    I have a couple bags of cauliflower in the freezer just waiting to be eaten. I’m gonna make this and put some cayenne pepper powder on it, too.

  13. Anna Marie says:

    Just found your site and I am thrilled everything looks GREAT!
    one question what is your favorite smoked paprika brand ? I have never used it before. Thanks
    p.s. I love the step by step photos

  14. Rhoda says:

    sounds great ….Definitely going to try this one

  15. Shawn Cady says:

    This recipe looks amazing. I tried making a cauliflower dish that I had at a middle eastern restaurant. It was fried cauliflower with a tahini sauce over it. Do you know anything about the dish? I want to say it was a Lebanese restaurant, but I cant say for sure.

  16. nk says:

    Is smoked paprika spicy/hot? Looks yummy, but don’t like hot. Thanks!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi NK, I find smoked paprika quite mild. If you’re sensitive to spice you may feel a little heat in it, but it’s nowhere near as spicy as cayenne. However if you’re very sensitive, you may want to make the dip without the smoked paprika… it will still taste fabulous. Good luck!

  17. sara says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  18. Michelle says:

    these were very tasty, thank you!

  19. Liz says:

    I made this tonight, absolutely delicous! I love your recipes Tori! Keep them coming! Thanks!

  20. Beth says:

    I’m going to try this. I LOVE roasted cauliflower and will add this to my recipe box. I usually use a black, enameled flat pan (actually the base of the grill pan that comes with the oven when new) and would recommend it as it enhances carmelization of the cauliflower.

  21. Rebecca says:

    I’m missing where is says to parboil the cauliflower?! Please clarify…I’m confused.

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