Oven Roasted Purple Cauliflower

Roasted purple cauliflower is a show-stopper vegetable side dish. The oven roasting brings out the flavor while simultaneously creating crispy edges. The flavor is sweet and slightly caramelized. And it’s made with five basic ingredients!

Purple cauliflower with a wooden spoon in the bowl.

I am obsessed with Roasted purple cauliflower. The color is unique and adds a vibrant color to the dinner table. But more than that, I love it in bowls, soups, and snacks! The flavor is mild and slightly sweet, similar to white cauliflower.

Like many people, I thought cauliflower was white. That’s it. Just white. But over the last ten years, I have seen purple and orange varieties popping up in supermarkets and farmers’ markets. The flavor is the same, but the color brings the wow factor.

You can see that I have used the purple version in my tofu red curry recipe. In the pictures, I focused on purple because of the color pop! Roasted purple cauliflower is also a great side dish or, in my home, an essential holiday vegetable side dish!

Everything You Want to Know About Purple Cauliflower


  • Is the Color Natural? – Yes, the color is natural. It was developed over years of traditional cross-breeding between different heirloom varieties and natural mutations discovered in fields. Over time, natural and not genetically mutated, different colors were created. (Source)
  • Does it Taste Different? – Purple, orange, and white cauliflower all taste the same. Even within each color, there can be many different varieties. The good news is that all the varieties taste the same, and you can use them interchangeably in any recipe.
  • How do I Know It’s Ripe? – Look for tight florets (small flowers) and fresh green leaves. Avoid cauliflower with tiny brown specks and yellowing leaves
  • How do I Store it? Keeping it in the perforated plastic wrap that it came in from the grocery store. The perforation is necessary for the air to circulate. Next, please place it in the crisper drawer stem up.
  • How do I Cut It? Quarter the head and then lay each quarter on its side and cut it in half, then cut each half into halves so you have four pieces. Angle the knife top down and cut out each floret.

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients used in making the recipe.

Purple cauliflower: Look for heads with tight florets and fresh green leaves. Avoid cauliflower with brown spots or wilted leaves.

Olive oil: When roasting purple cauliflower, toss the florets with olive oil to coat them evenly. This will help them to brown and caramelize in the oven.

Garlic powder: It has a strong garlic flavor, so a little goes a long way. When roasting purple cauliflower,

Salt: Enhances food flavor and helps to bring out its natural flavors.

Black pepper: If you can, use freshly ground black pepper. It adds a distinctive flavor. But if you can’t, then that is ok too. Regular table black pepper also adds a lot of flavor!

Instructions

Raw cauliflower on a baking sheet and ready to go into the oven.

Step One: Prep –

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and pat dry the cauliflower. Using a sharp knife, cut the florets into uniform bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss the florets with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper until evenly coated. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet.

Step Two: Roast –

Roast until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork and lightly charred, about 25-30 minutes or until the edges start charing. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, garnish, and serve.

Craving more vegetables? Try complementing this recipe alongside a beet salad with feta. Combined, they make a delish meal!

Garnish Ideas

I like to top any oven-roasted vegetable with fresh lemon juice and parsley. Other popular garnishes include

  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Roasted garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Roasted Almonds
Cauliflower in a bowl

FAQS

Can I roast frozen cauliflower?

You can, but I do not recommend it. Because ice crystals have formed, the result is a soft steamed vegetable vs. a slightly crunchy roasted one.

Can I add other vegetables to the roasting pan with cauliflower?

Yes, absolutely! It is easy to do and does not alter the flavor!

Storing and Reheating

Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving.

Roasted cauliflower in a bowl, cupped with two hands and a wooden spoon.

Oven Roasted Purple Cauliflower

Oven-roasted purple cauliflower is a show-stopper of a side dish. The oven roasting brings out the flavor while simultaneously creating crispy edges. The flavor is sweet and slightly caramelized. Made with five basic ingredients, roasted cauliflower is perfect year around and on your holiday table!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 side dishes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 purple cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Step One: Preparation

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash and pat dry the cauliflower. Using a sharp knife, cut the florets into uniform bite-sized pieces.
  • In a large bowl, toss the florets with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
  • Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Step Two: Roasting

  • Roast the cauliflower for 25-30 minutes, or until it is easily pierced with a fork and lightly charred.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving dish.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Optional Charring

  • After roasting, broil the cauliflower on low for 3-5 minutes, or until the outside is charred.
  • Keep a close eye on the cauliflower while broiling, as it can quickly burn.

Notes

Serve as a side dish as is (it tastes perfect!). You can also add a garnish.  Some of my favorites include:
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Roasted garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Roasted sliver almonds

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Oven Roasted Purple Cauliflower
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
37
Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
2
g
3
%
Sodium
 
29
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
2
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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