Golden Roasted Cauliflower with Pecorino Romano Cheese


Cauliflower is such an under-appreciated vegetable. Everyone passes over it at the grocery store, not quite sure what to do with it. I admit that I’m guilty too, though not because I don’t like it. I do! It’s the kids — whenever I make it, they walk around the house holding their noses. Subtle, right? But recently my friend Beth told me she got her kids to eat cauliflower by simply roasting it. I figured it was worth a shot.

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All you do is toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper…

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Then roast them in a very hot oven until caramelized and tender-crisp.

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You could stop there, but I like to add some freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese.

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It’s simple and incredibly delicious. And you know that little boy who was holding his nose?

Zach cauliflower b

Yep, he liked it.

Zach cauliflower c


Golden Roasted Cauliflower with Pecorino Romano Cheese

Print Recipe
Servings: 4
Cook Time: 20 - 30 Minutes
Total Time: 30 - 40 Minutes


  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2-1/2 pounds), cut into florets about 1-1/2" wide*
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Handful fresh chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Set oven rack in middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Roast the cauliflower, stirring a few times to promote even browning, until tender and golden brown, 20-30 minutes. (Keep an eye on it; you want the florets to develop deep golden spots. If it looks like they're getting too dark, turn the oven down to 425 degrees.) Sprinkle with grated cheese, then taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with parsley if desired. Serve hot or room temperature.
  4. *Dry the cauliflower florets with a kitchen towel after washing, as too much moisture will prevent them from browning.
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  • Chris

    ooooh, I love cauliflower! I’ve struggled too with just WHAT to do with it, other than the obligatory nuke-in-microwave-cover-with-cream-sauce-nuke-again recipe from who knows when.

    I gave up, and usually just eat it raw LOL..THIS I am going to try tonight! :) *wonders if that would work just as well for broccoli…*

  • I “rediscovered” this year just how much I love cauliflower. And yes, roasting it is best. If I can offer one tip, it would be to blanch the cauliflower for 3-5 minutes before baking. It makes a huge difference in the final product.

  • Getting the kids to eat a new veggie seriously deserves an award!!!!! This looks simply amazing!

  • Meg

    Another way to get cauliflower to brown is to sprinkle a very very tiny bit onto the pieces before you put them in the oven. You won’t taste the sugar, but it will help brown your veg. I’ve only made this with parmesan cheese before, so I’m looking forward to trying it with the romano. Thank you for sharing!

  • Yummiest cauliflower ever. Seriously, I think this is going to be my new snack food! Thanks Jen!

    Chris :)

  • Belinda

    Oh my gosh this is good. My husband and I ate the entire dish for dinner! Once again, it was great.

  • Mara

    This was simple and DELICIOUS! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  • What a beautiful dish-and it sounds delicious! I just bought quite a bit of pecorino romano cheese and have been wondering what to do with it-looks like I found my answer :)

  • Cook in NY

    Outstanding! My whole family loved this. I love roasted veggies and don’t know why I never thought to roast cauliflower. Thank you!

  • sara

    this was so easy and delicious!

  • Sonja Denney

    This was the first time I made roasted cauliflower and all I can say is WOW!
    Actually I can also say “Thank you” for the recipe. It’s the best way to fix the veg.

  • Karen

    I am completely addicted to roasted cauliflower. Try it with a little curry power & a pinch of garam masala. It never gets to my family’s plates :)

  • Dani

    My husband and I enjoy to cook healthy, delicious meals at home from scratch and I’m overjoyed to have found this blog of recipes. This recipe was simple and great. We served it with her talipia recipe. Both dishes were wonderful and tonight I’m trying the Parmesan smashed potatoes, so excited! The directions are easy to follow and the ingredients created simple and tasty meals!

  • Julie M.

    My family didn’t like cauliflower until this recipe. It’s so good, so yummy, and so healthy! Now we make this a couple times a month!

  • Melissa Crawford

    I love roasting broccoli and other veggies in the oven and will definitely try this one with cauliflower very soon.

  • Dottie White

    Absolutely divine and works great with broccoli. You might have to fiddle with your oven temp to get the browning right!

  • Megan

    Have cauliflower growing in the garden. Can’t wait to try these.

  • Lisa

    I LOVE cauliflower & had never had it roasted until trying this recipe! It was phenomenal & has become my go-to veggie! Also really good with parmesan cheese!

  • Brenda Venable

    This is a great way to cook cauliflower. Even my picky son ate it! Always glad for another vegetable in my repertoire!

  • Christina

    You should try adding balsamic vinegar when you add the Pecorino Romano cheese. Its amazing:)

  • Sara

    This has become one of my favorite go-to recipes. It is fast, easy and delicious!

  • Patty

    This recipe is really good, but to suit my taste a little more, I thinly sliced garlic cloves and tucked them into the florets to perfume them while roasting. Garlic helps everything, right?

  • Becca J

    I’m a huge fan of this recipe. So easy and a great way to add a ton of flavor to vegetables. My 2-year old loves this, as do we! Wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Jesselyn A/Jesstinger

    Jenn, this recipe is so good that I barely got a taste of it myself I just made it as a kind of last minute thing to go with some Lamb Patties and Wilted Spinach “Salad:.

    I did make a few TINY changes (adaptations) I instead of plain black pepper, I used a freshly ground Garlic-Pepper (we are garlic lovers) and at the end used a combination of Pecorino Romano and grated/shredded Asiago (not sure if that made ANY difference.) But the bottom line is this dish is genuinely delicious and something about ROASTING as the cooking method seems to make an enormous difference in the flavor quality.


    1. It’s a good idea to stir and check the cauliflower frequently. I did have to turn the oven temperature after about 10 minutes otherwise the florets can easily char or burn.

    2. I’m just guessing here – but I can’t imagine this recipe working well with frozen (thawed) cauliflower – I think it might end up as a watery, mushy mess. But if I’m wrong I hope someone will correct me!

  • Sooo good. My teenager often asks for this o e!

  • Bridget

    This was a huge hit with the family – especially the hubby. Kids usually only will eat cauliflower smothered in cheese…I prepped this in a pan and my Hubby made it on the grill.

  • i have done this and it’s delicious! problem is i eat it all up before the kids can even try it! it does work equally well w/ broccoli…i believe ina garten has a recipe for the roasted broccoli which includes basil, garlic, cheese, maybe pine nuts? anyway, we’ve done that one (sort of) and just go back to the basic way most of the time…yummmm….(roasting carrots w/o the cheese is yummy too)

  • Linda

    We try to cook and eat as low carb as possible and this is one of my go-to recipes for side dishes. It makes cauliflower so much better than the old steamed, cheese drenched recipes. Usually this has to bake longer than the recipe calls for to get the browned parts. Maybe I’m cutting the florets a little bigger. Line your baking sheet with foil and clean up is a breeze!

  • Bridget

    Jenn- do you think this can be made ahead and reheated in the oven? If so, how long and at what temp? I’ve been asked to bring roasted cauliflower for Thanksgiving . . . . Thanks!

    • Jenn

      Hi Bridget, Yes, it can definitely be made ahead. Just reheat at 350 for 10-15 min, or until hot :)

  • Linda

    I love roasted cauliflower. I could eat it every day. I wish it was not so expensive. When I see it on sale I buy as much as I can.

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