Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is the most delicious cauliflower roasted in the oven with garlic, onion, thyme, and plenty of Parmesan cheese.


Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower is the best way to make cauliflower. It's roasted in the oven with garlic and onion until it is tender and caramelized and then covered nutty Parmesan cheese. It really couldn't be any better. 

I have always had a soft spot for cauliflower and it ranks up there as one of my favorite veggies. As an avid cauliflower lover, I have cooked it a million different ways but roasted is by far the best method for cooking cauliflower in my opinion. The roasting brings out an almost nutty flavor in the cauliflower and if you are patient enough to let it get nice and brown on the edges, you are in for something special.

This version takes things over the top with garlic, onions, thyme, and plenty of Parmesan cheese. Everything is roasted together on a sheet pan and after everything gets tender and the cauliflower caramelizes, it's a side dish you will want to make all the time. It's easy enough that you can make it for a low key weeknight dinner but also feels fancy enough for a special occasion or holiday.

Tips for Making Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

  • It's easy to want to rush the process when cooking this dish but you really want to give the cauliflower time to caramelize and brown. Be patient and let it do its thing in the oven to get the best results,
  • Feel free to switch up the onions you use in the dish to create a slightly different flavor profile. Although I used traditional yellow onions, sweet onions or red onions also work really well and add a slightly different flavor.
  • You can use just about any herbs you like in the dish so don't feel limited to thyme. Rosemary, oregano, or a combination of herbs all turn out delicious and fresh herbs are definitely delicious. Sometimes I also add a touch of red pepper flakes as well to add just a touch of spice.
  • Since the garlic roasted in the peel, you can gently squeeze it out afterward and spread it on some warm bread for the most delicious bite. Roasted garlic is pretty much the best thing ever.
  • This basic recipe would work with large cauliflower steaks as well, just plan on 10-15 minutes of extra roasting time. Flip them halfway through so they can get nice and browned on both sides.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower covered in cheese and cooked with onions, garlic, and thyme.

How to cut cauliflower for roasting?

If you are starting with a whole head of cauliflower, here is the best way to break it down. 

  1. Remove any large green leaves at the base of the cauliflower.
  2. Cut the cauliflower in half through the core and then into quarters.
  3. Looking at the cauliflower quarter, there will be a piece of the stem of the inside. All the florets are attached to this. Use your knife to cut out the stem and then use your hands to break into florets. If needed, cut any large florets in half. Repeat with the remaining quarters.
  4. Now it's time to wash the cauliflower. Once it is washed, make sure to dry it really well before roasting it. 

Recipes Ideas and Tips

Although this recipe is delicious as written, it can be fun to mix things up and play with the flavors. Here are some of my favorite recipe twists:

  • Make it spicy with some red pepper flakes or sliced fresh jalapenos. You can place the jalapenos on the baking sheet right alongside the cauliflower.
  • Instead of roasting the garlic whole in the clove, you can take a shortcut and use garlic powder. 
  • For a slightly smoky flavor, add some cumin to the cauliflower.
  • Finish the dish with some fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. 
  • For a vegan option, use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese.
  • Instead of thyme, try using rosemary, oregano, or dried basil. You can also use fresh herbs if you have them on hand.
  • For crunch, top your cauliflower with some sliced almonds or toasted hazelnuts.

Looking for more cauliflower recipes?

Here are some of the tools and products I used when preparing this recipe:

  • Cauliflower Prep Tool: Personally I usually just use a knife to break down my cauliflower but I have three friends who swear by this cauliflower prep tool. They absolutely love it and for just $8 I am seriously thinking about giving it a try.
  • Baking sheet: There are so many options out there but I have been using this brand for years and find they hold up really well.
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil: There is nothing I hate more than when I cover a baking sheet in foil for easy clean up only to find out the foil has ripped or leaked during cooking. After trying lots of different foils, I almost always use this heavy duty one and it never leaks on me.
The Recipe
Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower with garlic cloves, parsley, and Parmesan cheese on a white plate.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

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  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


Cover a large baking sheet with foil. Toss the cauliflower, onions, and garlic with the olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet in a single layer.


Roast for 25 minutes, shaking the pan 1-2 times during cooking. Open adn sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 102
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 147mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 3g
Protein 5g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
On Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
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Debora Caloggero
September 19, 2018 - 15:57
Add a Rating:
My favorite cauliflower recipe by far!!! Husbands too....In our weekly rotation, YUMM
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Diane Krieger
June 9, 2017 - 15:23
Add a Rating:
Love this--even though it's not my favorite veggie (it could be now!)
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