30-Minute Meals/ Appetizers/ Healthier Recipes/ Side Dishes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Crack Cauliflower {The Best Ranch Roasted Cauliflower}

Perfect oven-roasted cauliflower in 30-minutes! My Crack Cauliflower recipe is the BEST ranch roasted cauliflower served as a healthy dinner side dish in our home. If you’re a fan of my Crack Broccoli recipe or even my Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, you’ll easily fall in love with this recipe, too.

Crack Cauliflower - Roasted cauliflower florets on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon and florets in the center. Garnished with freshly chopped parsley, grated parmesan cheese, and sliced almonds.

A quick oven-roasted cauliflower recipe with simple ingredients featuring cauliflower florets, ranch dry seasoning, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oil to moisten the vegetable as it roasts in the oven. Served with grated parmesan cheese and toasted almonds, this ordinarily plain, neutral flavored low carb white vegetable is transformed into an insanely delicious recipe you’ll make time and time again.

Roasting cauliflower is super easy. I can quickly prepare the recipe, bake it in the oven, and have it on the table just in time for dinner. It’s perfect to serve with chicken, beef, or pork and even tastes great added to salads.

If you’re looking to add a healthy new side dish to your dinner plate, you’ll like the simplicity of this recipe and enjoy the flavor that it packs in each bite.

Ranch Roasted Cauliflower - An overhead view of roasted cauliflower florets on a silver sheet pan with sliced almonds, grated parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley.

What Ingredients are Needed for Roasted Cauliflower?

● CAULIFLOWER: I use raw cauliflower florets that I buy in the refrigerated produce section of the grocery store. Using florets saves me enough time to prepare the side dish while dinner cooks. If you’re using a whole head of cauliflower, be sure to trim the stalk off then cut the vegetable a few inches below each floret. If making into steaks, you’ll need to adjust the baking time.

● OIL: Olive oil or vegetable oil. It’s important to keep the vegetable moist while it roasts so be sure to toss it and coat it well before it goes in the oven.

● RANCH: I’ve been using ranch seasoning in recipes for years. It’s my secret to making seriously delicious roasted vegetables.

● SEASONINGS: Salt, and pepper. Plus, a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat, and freshly chopped parsley.

● ALMONDS: The nutty flavor and crunchy texture of almonds adds to the dish. While I recommend using almonds, other nuts like pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts are delicious substitutions as well.

● CHEESE: Freshly grated parmesan cheese or any hard cheese works.

● LEMON: Adding just a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice wakes up and brightens the flavors of the dish and infuses a refreshing zest that’s noted in each bite.

Best Roasted Cauliflower - Cauliflower florets served in a dark blue pottery bowl on a wooden platter. Garnished with freshly chopped parsley and almonds.

How to Make Crack Cauliflower

  1. Whisk together oil, salt, pepper, ranch seasoning, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Toss well with cauliflower florets.
  3. Spread vegetable onto a sheet pan.
  4. Bake in 375°F oven for 30 minutes or until charred and crispy
  5. Coat almonds in bowl with remaining oil mixture.
  6. Toast in oven 1-3 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  7. Garnish dish with parsley and parmesan cheese.
Oven-Roasted Cauliflower - Overhead view of florets on a sheet pan. A wooden spoon with roasted florets in the center. Sliced almonds and parsley garnished throughout.

Roasting Cauliflower Tips and Questions

  • CARAMELIZATION: Caramelization equals flavor. Toss the cauliflower well in the oil mixture to ensure it roasts evenly in the oven. TIP: Don’t overcrowd the pan as this will result in vegetables that steam. The key trick is to give them enough space on the pan to allow air to circulate and to crisp it. Turn the broiler on high the last few minutes of baking to achieve fork-tender crispy tops.
  • EXTRA CRISPY: Turn the oven to high broil and broil the tops to the desired texture. Flip them over to crisp the other side as well.
  • TOASTED ALMONDS: Almonds should be rubbed in any remaining seasoned oil then toasted on the baking sheet. They tend to roast pretty quickly, so keep on eye on them and remove them from the oven before they burn.
  • REHEATING: Place florets on baking sheet. Reheat in 300°F oven for 5-7 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave or a skillet on the stovetop.
  • STORING: Store in container in refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Crack Cauliflower - A cropped image of cauliflower florets served on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon in the center, sliced almonds and parsley.

Serving Cauliflower

Making ranch cauliflower is a tasty way to spruce up an old and often forgotten vegetable. Pair it with a homemade rotisserie chicken, sticky baby back ribs, baked ham, or even a steak stir fry. Other side dishes I highly recommend include classic creamed spinach, cornbread dressing, or baked beans. While popular to serve during fall and winter months, cauliflower is a light and healthy dish to make during spring and summer months, too.

Flavorful Additions

  • Bacon
  • Feta, Blue Cheese, or Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Candied Pecans
  • Roasted Broccoli
  • Green onions or chives
  • Homemade croutons
  • Italian seasoning (next to the ranch powder at the store)
  • citrus juice like lemon, orange, grapefruit
  • balsamic
  • dried cranberries
  • Garlic
  • Leafy greens like arugula, spinach, or kale

Crack Cauliflower {The Best Ranch Roasted Cauliflower}

Perfect oven-roasted cauliflower in 30-minutes! My Crack Cauliflower recipe is the BEST ranch roasted cauliflower served as a healthy dinner side dish in our home. If you're a fan of my Crack Broccoli recipe or even my Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, you'll easily fall in love with this recipe, too.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ranch cauliflower, roasted cauliflower
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 30 oz cauliflower florets
  • cup oil
  • 2 tsp ranch seasoning dry powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Whisk together oil, ranch seasoning, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  • Add cauliflower florets. Toss well in mixture.
  • Spread onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake in 375°F oven for 30 minutes.
  • Toss almonds in bowl with any remaining oil, only adding a splash if needed.
  • Spread onto sheet pan and bake for 1-3 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  • Serve roasted cauliflower with freshly chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, and almonds.

Notes

  • CARAMELIZATION: Toss the cauliflower well in the oil mixture to ensure it roasts evenly in the oven. TIP: Don’t overcrowd the pan as this will result in vegetables that steam. The key trick is to give them enough space on the pan to allow air to circulate and to crisp it.
  • EXTRA CRISPY: Turn the oven to high broil and broil the tops to the desired texture. Flip them over to crisp the other side as well.
  • REHEATING: Place florets on baking sheet. Reheat in 300°F oven for 5-7 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave or a skillet on the stovetop.
  • STORING: Store in container in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Calories:152kcal | Carbohydrates:8g | Protein:3g | Fat:13g | Saturated Fat:1g | Trans Fat:1g | Sodium:290mg | Potassium:427mg | Fiber:3g | Sugar:3g | Vitamin A:13IU | Vitamin C:69mg | Calcium:32mg | Iron:1mg
Crack Cauliflower recipe - An overhead view of roasted cauliflower on a sheet pan.

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