This Whole Roasted Cauliflower is a true show stopper main dish for any occasion. First, this vegan cauliflower roast gets marinated and baked. Then, it gets topped with a simple and delicious tahini maple sauce for the best baked cauliflower recipe!
Cauliflower is one of those ingredients that taste amazing in so many recipes. I love it roasted and mixed with hot sauce in my Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos, blended into a creamy sauce in my Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo, or even blended into a creamy Carrot Cauliflower Soup.
It is one of the most versatile ingredients in a plant-based diet, and truly gets its moment to shine in this Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe!
- Sumac: If you've never had sumac before, it has a tangy flavor with hints of citrus. It's typically used in Middle Eastern cuisine and is a very unique spice. If you can't find sumac, you can replace it with lemon zest in this recipe. It won't taste quite the same, but can be a decent replacement.
- Tahini: I always use Soom Foods Tahini- it's my favorite Tahini to bake and cook with! Whatever brand you choose, make sure it is a smooth and runny tahini.
How to make a whole roasted cauliflower
Make the marinade
The marinade is essentially what gives this vegan baked cauliflower flavor.
It's a mix of olive oil and spices including paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sumac, and dried parsley. Luckily, it's really easy to make as it just involves adding all the ingredients to a bowl and whisking together.
Brush marinade onto cauliflower head
Once the marinade is ready, prep the cauliflower by removing the bottom leaves and rinsing the cauliflower head. Make sure to dry it off completely and use a knife to cut off any browned bits as well.
Then, add the cauliflower to a large dutch oven. Flip it upside down (core side up) and pour ⅓ of the marinade onto the bottom of the cauliflower so it seeps into the inside and drips down the core.
Then, flip the cauliflower over and use a brush to rub the rest of the marinade into the cauliflower.
Bake the cauliflower
Cover the dutch oven or oven-safe dish and then add it to the oven to bake for about 30 minutes.
Then, remove the lid and continue cooking the whole roasted cauliflower for another 15 minutes- 20 minutes until cooked through and browning on top. When it's ready, the cauliflower should be easy to piece, but not so soft that it falls apart when cut into.
Once the cauliflower is done baking, remove it from the oven, remove the lid, and brush any of the marinade that dripped into the bottom of the pan back onto the top of the cauliflower.
Make the maple tahini sauce
About 5 minutes before the whole baked cauliflower is done roasting, make the maple tahini sauce. This involves adding the tahini, maple syrup, water, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt to a bowl and whisking together until smooth.
It's super important to use smooth & runny tahini for this recipe, or it will be pretty hard to mix.
Add sauce & toppings to baked cauliflower
To put everything together, carefully remove the roasted cauliflower from the dutch oven and place it onto a plate. I choose to serve this vegan baked cauliflower on a bed of wild rice which I highly recommend!
Then, pour the maple tahini sauce on top and finish it off by topping with fresh pomegranate seeds & chopped parsley.
Cut into the baked head of cauliflower and serve!
FAQ & Tips:
As you can see from the pictures I served this cauliflower over a wild rice blend to keep it hearty, yet simple.
This baked cauliflower would also be great over cooked quinoa, a hearty potato dish, or even served over a plate of my favorite Miso Glazed Brussel Sprouts. It's honestly so versatile and goes well with a lot of different grains and vegetables.
Leftover cauliflower can be sliced into pieces and stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
I truly can't wait to see your remakes of this Vegan & Gluten-free Whole Roasted Cauliflower! It's a great vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or even for Passover. As a plant-based eater, I know I would be thrilled to see this vegan cauliflower roast as the center of any Holiday celebration. Enjoy!
More plant-based main dishes you will love:
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Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Maple Tahini Sauce
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- While the oven is preheating, make the cauliflower marinade by whisking together olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika, dried parsley, sumac, and black pepper in a bowl.
- Once the marinade is ready, prep the cauliflower by removing the bottom leaves and rinsing the cauliflower head. Make sure to dry it off completely and use a knife to cut off any browned bits as well.
- Place the cauliflower into a dutch oven so it is upside down (core side up). Then, pour around ⅓ of the marinade onto the bottom of the cauliflower so it seeps into the inside and drips down the core.
- Flip the cauliflower over so the head is now on top and use a basting brush to coat the cauliflower with the removing marinade.
- Once the cauliflower is coated, cover the dutch oven with it's lid and add to the oven. Roast covered for about 30 minutes.
- At the 30 minute mark, remove the lid and continue roasting the cauliflower for another 15-20 minutes until it is browned on top and cooked through. If you prefer softer cauliflower, then roast for longer. For a more firm cauliflower with a little bite, roast for less time.
- Remove the cooked cauliflower from the oven and set aside.
- About 5 minutes before the cauliflower is done roasting, make the maple tahini sauce by adding the tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic powder, and salt to a bowl. Whsik together until smooth.
- Carefully remove the whole roasted cauliflower from the dutch oven and place it onto a serving dish. Then, pour the maple tahini sauce on top. As a final touch, top the cauliflower with pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley.
- To serve, slice into 6 wedges and enjoy!
- I served this dish over 2 cups of a cooked wild rice blend and highly recommend it!
- Leftover cauliflower can be sliced into pieces and stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Sumac can be substituted for lemon zest for a similar flavor.