Roasting cauliflower is a great alternative to steaming it. The florets turn out tender, caramelized and delectable. I love to roast them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you may be thinking of this question. How long to roast cauliflower in oven at 400 degrees? In this guide, I like to share this answer and other tips to the best oven-baked cauliflowers.
It takes 25 to 30 minutes to bake cauliflower at 400 degrees in the oven. This cooking time depends on how soft you want the cauliflowers to get. If you prefer the cauliflower florets to be exceptionally soft and golden brown, cook them for 30 minutes. But if you find them more appetizing when they are firmer and crispy, roast the cauliflower florets for just 25 minutes. While you can estimate cauliflower’s softness visually, it’s much accurate to test it with a fork.
If you want extra crunchy and caramel-brown cauliflower, 425 degrees is the way to go. At this temperature, the cauliflower florets get intensely browned and preserve their internal crisp. It’s the best option for those who love firm roasted cauliflower rather than soft ones. It takes 18 to 20 minutes to bake the cauliflower florets at 425 degrees in the oven. But if you want to get the florets uniformly cooked and minimize the browning process, 350 degrees is a better cooking temperature. At 350 degrees, it takes 35 minutes to cook the cauliflower in the oven. And you will a tender, aromatic and white florets that will be an excellent treat for your family and guests.
No doubt, 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for roasting cauliflower in the oven. It renders the florets just right. Not too brown, not too crunchy, not too soft. You should go for it if you are looking for a perfect balance between tenderness and crispiness. The level of caramelization is also satisfying. Be sure to feel that pleasant nutty flavor in every bite you take. If you are in love with deeply caramelized cauliflower, your best bet is 425 degrees.
Here’s the recipe for cooking cauliflower in oven.
Remove the leaves. Cut the cauliflower in quarters. Place each quarter flat side down and cut the florets from the core. Keep the stems long as they play an important role of holding each floret together. Moreover, stems are incredibly delicious, so you got to keep them. For the thickest part of the stalk that remains after cutting all florets, you can cut it into smaller pieces and roast them too. Or you can add them to a salad or soup.
Toss the cauliflower florets into a bowl. Add salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to ensure the seasonings get inside each floret. You can also add garlic powder, paprika and chili if you want to add a spicy touch.
Cover a roasting pan with parchment paper. Arrange the florets in one layer maintaining a distance of 0.5 to 1 inch between them. The space prevents the florets from touching one another which will cause them to steam and this result in less or no crisp.
Bake them in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Flip them halfway through to keep florets from burning. After baking is done, let them rest aside for 5-10 minutes before serving.
While the “cut into small pieces” method works with most veggies, it’s not a good idea for cauliflower. Florets are small on their own. Cutting them further will make them dry and unappetizing.
If you want to speed up the roasting process, we recommend you to turn on the broiler for 3-4 minutes. This short broiling session will cook the cauliflower from inside and result in the florets getting a golden brown exterior.
If you do not like to have deeply caramelized cauliflower, use the convection fan to reduce the bake time. This will keep the florets white and cook them fast with the hot air circulating around them.
Once you remove the cauliflower from the oven, cover it with parmesan cheese. The savory cheesy note will elevate the taste of cauliflower and turn it into a bolder dish. Roasting cauliflower together with other vegetables will also make it more appetizing as they are infused with flavors from the other veggies.
Don’t hesitate to prepare a dip while the florets bake. Some no-fail sauces for cauliflower include creamy garlic, soy ginger, apricot dijon, pineapple lime, and cheese.
Roasted cauliflower makes a fabulous side dish for many dishes. No matter is it seasoned or not, it will pair excellently with pork chop, fish fillet, risotto, scalloped potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and squash soup.
The cauliflower are done when it is easy to pierce a fork into them. When nearing the end of bake time, poke a fork into them to determine if they are fully cooked. If it isn’t easy to poke the fork into them, continue cooking for a few more minutes until they are easy to pierce through.
It takes 20 minutes to roast the cauliflower at 425 degrees in the oven. At this temperature, you will get the cauliflower florets baked to become extra crunchy and caramel-brown.
It takes 35 minutes to bake cauliflower at 350 degrees in the oven. And you will a tender, aromatic and white florets that will be an excellent treat for your family and guests.