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Golden Roasted Cauliflower with Pecorino Romano Cheese

5 stars based on 3 votes


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. It’s the kids — whenever I make it, they walk around the house holding their noses. Subtle, right?

Cauliflower 2

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.

To begin, toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cauliflower 5

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

Cauliflower 8

Finally, finish it off with some freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese.

Cauliflower 6

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

Servings: 4
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 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.

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi! Could I use Parmesan cheese instead? The kids are pretty picky here. ☺

    - Lana on April 15, 2017 Reply
    • Yep!

      - Jenn on April 15, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another great recipe !
    My family loves meat, starch and vegetable as a meal. This was so tasty they didn’t realize that I replaced the starch with cauliflower.

    - Clare on March 26, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars


    - Joy Rabbini on February 29, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last week, and it was delish! Didn’t have the cheese, but it was still amazing. It’s perfect either as a side dish or a snack. The roasting brings out the inherent sweetness that cauliflower has, which pairs very well with the kosher salt. I highly recommend!

    - Loan on May 7, 2015 Reply
  • I never really prepared cauliflower for my family, I was not sure if they would like it. I made this recipe and just did a small batch. We finished the whole thing even before we sat at the table. I made a bigger batch the very next day and that was all eaten up as well. Thanks for helping me try new veggies…

    - Diana on March 20, 2015 Reply
  • 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.

    - Linda on January 23, 2014 Reply
  • 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!

    - Bridget on November 24, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Bridget, Yes, it can definitely be made ahead. Just reheat at 350 for 10-15 min, or until hot 🙂

      - Jenn on November 24, 2013 Reply
  • 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!

    - Linda on November 15, 2013 Reply
  • 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)

    - kim hylton on June 21, 2013 Reply
  • 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.

    - Bridget on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • Sooo good. My teenager often asks for this o e!

    - Sharyn on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • 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!

    - Jesselyn A/Jesstinger on June 27, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Becca J on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • 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?

    - Patty on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • This has become one of my favorite go-to recipes. It is fast, easy and delicious!

    - Sara on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • You should try adding balsamic vinegar when you add the Pecorino Romano cheese. Its amazing:)

    - Christina on May 7, 2012 Reply
  • This is a great way to cook cauliflower. Even my picky son ate it! Always glad for another vegetable in my repertoire!

    - Brenda Venable on March 7, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Lisa on March 3, 2012 Reply
  • Have cauliflower growing in the garden. Can’t wait to try these.

    - Megan on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Absolutely divine and works great with broccoli. You might have to fiddle with your oven temp to get the browning right!

    - Dottie White on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I love roasting broccoli and other veggies in the oven and will definitely try this one with cauliflower very soon.

    - Melissa Crawford on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Julie M. on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Dani on November 17, 2010 Reply
  • 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 🙂

    - Karen on October 4, 2010 Reply
  • 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.

    - Sonja Denney on March 27, 2010 Reply
  • this was so easy and delicious!

    - sara on March 5, 2010 Reply
  • Outstanding! My whole family loved this. I love roasted veggies and don’t know why I never thought to roast cauliflower. Thank you!

    - Cook in NY on February 28, 2010 Reply
  • 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 🙂

    - Megan on February 24, 2010 Reply
  • This was simple and DELICIOUS! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    - Mara on February 24, 2010 Reply
  • Oh my gosh this is good. My husband and I ate the entire dish for dinner! Once again, it was great.

    - Belinda on February 23, 2010 Reply
  • Yummiest cauliflower ever. Seriously, I think this is going to be my new snack food! Thanks Jen!

    Chris 🙂

  • 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!

    - Meg on February 21, 2010 Reply
  • Getting the kids to eat a new veggie seriously deserves an award!!!!! This looks simply amazing!

    - leslie on February 20, 2010 Reply
  • 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.

    - on February 20, 2010 Reply
  • 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…*

    - Chris on February 20, 2010 Reply

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