How to make a Whole Roasted Cauliflower Head! With this Roasted Cauliflower recipe you can easily roast an entire cauliflower head and save time with no need to cut florets.

This delicious side dish can quickly be prepped and in the oven in just 5 minutes and makes a great low-carb dinner or side dish!

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How to Roast a Whole Cauliflower Head

I love having loads of easy vegetable side dish recipes to serve with dinner! It makes it so easy to pick and choose what I want to make with each meal. While I try not to choose favorites, cauliflower is definitely up there when it comes to my most loved vegetables. It’s just so versatile! 

This whole roasted cauliflower recipe is great for many reasons, but most of all I like it because it saves me the time and hassle of having to cut up the cauliflower head up into little florets.

I can simply bake the entire head of cauliflower. Which means it’s super quick to prep this. It’s ready to bake in just 5 minutes.

This is the perfect low-carb or vegetarian dinner or side dish!

Why We Love This Whole Roasted Cauliflower Head Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make
  • A delicious way to get kids to eat veggies
  • A quick weeknight side dish – Only 5 minutes to prep
  • Able to work on the main dish while it cooks
  • Pairs well with many main courses
  • Healthy, low carb side dish or vegetarian option
roasted cauliflower in the pan

Ingredients/Shopping List

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup salted butter


How to Make a Whole Roasted Cauliflower Head in the Oven

This recipe can be prepped in just 5 minutes, then it goes in the oven. It’s the perfect side dish, because while it’s cooking you have time to make the main course! 

Remove the leaves and base stem of the cauliflower head.

removing the leaves and base stem of the cauliflower

Place cauliflower in a stock pot with broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Boil for 7-8 minutes until tender.
Pro-tip: You will know the cauliflower is cooked when there is no resistance to a fork or knife inserted in the thick base stem. The cauliflower will fall apart if overcooked.

cauliflower in a stock pot with broth, bay leaves, and thyme.

Remove from the pot and place into a skillet.

cooking cauliflower in the pan

Pour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with pepper.
Pro-tip: If you melt the butter when you are boiling the cauliflower, it will cool enough while the cauliflower cooks to form a thicker. It’s almost paste-like so that when you pour it over the cauliflower, it primarily stays on the florets during roasting and adds flavor before eventually blending with the broth in the skillet.

pouring melted butter into the cauliflower

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Garnish and serve.
Pro-tip: Turn the oven temperature up to 450°F or broil, if additional browning is desired until your level of brownness is achieved.

whole cauliflower in the pan

Variations / Options / Add-ins

  • BUTTER: You can use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. However, if using unsalted butter, you may wish to add some salt to the head of cauliflower when seasoning.
  • SEASONINGS: Feel free to add in or switch up the seasonings in this dish. I like to add a bit of garlic or red pepper flakes from time to time! 

What to Serve With Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower goes great as a side dish with just about any meal. I especially love to pair it with a protein like these Garlic Butter Steak Bites or my Instant Pot Chicken Wings. It’s also delicious with a heartier dish like this Creamy Tuscan Chicken.

How to Store Leftover Roasted Cauliflower Head

Leftover cauliflower can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It makes for a great leftover to pair with anything from eggs for breakfast to protein at dinner.

Here’s a little tip, when reheating, pop it into your air fryer to give it a crispy texture!

roasted cauliflower

Other Easy Cauliflower Recipes

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower | Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn | Cauliflower Breadsticks | Simply the Best Cauliflower Pizza Crust | Cauliflower Mac and Cheese | Cauliflower Fried Rice

5 from 2 votes
roasted cauliflower featured image

Roasted Cauliflower

Serves — 4
With this Roasted Cauliflower recipe you can easily roast an entire cauliflower head and save time with no need to cut florets. It can quickly be prepped and in the oven in just 5 minutes, and gives plenty of time to make the main course while it cooks.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 head cauliflower intact
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup salted butter melted


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Carefully remove leaves and base stem of the cauliflower head, while keeping the head as a whole intact
  • Place cauliflower in a stock pot.  Add chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, and 2-3 sprigs of thyme.  Bring to a boil over high heat on the stovetop.  Boil 7-8 minutes or until a fork can be poked into the stems of the cauliflower with a bit of resistance.
  • Lift head of cauliflower from pot and place stem side down in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (an 8”x8” square glass baking dish would also work.)
  • Use a ladle to scoop 2-3 ladles of the chicken stock, as well as the bay leaves and thyme sprigs over the cauliflower in the skillet.
  • Sprinkle the cauliflower with cracked black pepper (to taste) and pour the melted butter over the top of the head.
  • Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until a fork/knife slips easily into the stems of the cauliflower.  Spoon some of the broth/butter sauce from the pan up and over the cauliflower to baste every five minutes or so.
  • If additional browning is desired, turn the oven temperature up to 450°F or broil until desired level of brownenss is achieved.
  • Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.

Jenn’s Notes

  • If using unsalted butter, you may wish to add some salt to the head of cauliflower when seasoning
  • Be aware that boiling and roasting times will vary according to the size of the head of cauliflower.  It will cook more while in the oven so it’s important that there is still some resistance when checking for doneness during the boiling phase. 

Nutrition Info

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1106mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 764IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg

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