Roasted cauliflower with browned butter is a simple yet sophisticated dish that elevates veggies to new heights. The nutty and earthy flavors of the cauliflower are brought out when roasting and pair beautifully with the savory browned butter, making it a perfect side dish for any occasion.
This roasted cauliflower with browned butter is a light and easy vegetable side dish that is guaranteed to compliment any main dish. Thanks to the browned butter, this recipe is bursting with extra flavor you won’t find in just any cauliflower recipe.
For those meals when you want a lighter side that still tastes amazing, roasting cauliflower and then drizzling it with browned butter is always a crowd pleaser. If you love cauliflower but want more of a main dish, try a cauliflower pasta bake with lots of cheese. Or leave out the pasta and make a cauliflower casserole with sour cream.
Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that you can always find in the groceries in the South. It shows up fresh as early as June with peak season being from September to November.
How is browned butter different then melted butter.
Browned butter is simply butter that has been cooked until the water has cooked out and the milk fats turn brown, this results in a nutty rich flavor that makes everything from Rice Krispie bars to chocolate chip cookies scrumptious.
This cauliflower recipe is such a tasty and convenient side dish made in under 40 minutes using fresh (or frozen!) cauliflower florets. The brown butter and lime juice combined with red pepper flakes adds a slight kick. If you think you don’t like cauliflower, try roasting it, it enhances the flavor and you might find that you love it.
It can be hard to find a delicious and nutritious side dish, but this cauliflower recipe tastes amazing. Pair it with baked chicken and sweet potatoes or with cherries and pork tenderloin for an easy and healthy dinner that’s good enough to share with friends.
Why everyone reaches for seconds…
- It’s healthy, but still delicious
- The pumpkin seeds add a nice crunchy texture
- There’s a kick of spice thanks to the red pepper flakes
- I mean, who doesn’t love browned butter???
Simple ingredients you’ll need
- Cauliflower – Fresh cauliflower cut into small florets works best, try to cut them into similar sized pieces so that they cook equally. You can also use frozen.
- Butter – When browning butter, either salted or unsalted.
- Pumpkin seeds – These add texture that takes this recipe to the next level
- Cilantro – Fresh cilantro will add a fresh taste that compliments the brown butter
- Pantry staples – olive oil, and lime juice
How to make brown butter cauliflower
Step 1: Get everything ready
Slice the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
Step 2: Season
Toss cauliflower with olive oil in a large bowl and add it to the sheet pan, spreading out the cauliflower so it is not over crowded.
Step 3: Bake
Roast cauliflower until the bottoms are browned. Then, take out of the oven, add more seasoning, and turn to brown the other side.
Step 4: The best part
Brown the butter while the cauliflower is baking. Add lime juice and cilantro to the browned butter then drizzle over the roasted cauliflower. Serve warm!
Frequently asked question about roasting cauliflower
Can you use frozen cauliflower?
You can use frozen cauliflower for this simple side dish. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
Can I use the air fryer?
Using the air fryer is an easy way to make a small batch of roasted cauliflower. Simply preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through. I recommend using the oven for larger batches.
Why is my roasted cauliflower mushy?
One common mistake when roasting cauliflower florets is over crowding the pan so be sure to leave some space in between the florets. In addition, be careful of how much oil you add to the cauliflower, that can also make it soggy.
To spice up this oven-roasted cauliflower recipe, add your favorite toppings like parmesan cheese, lemon zest, or other Italian seasoning. For more kick, feel free to drizzle with hot sauce or add chili powder.
How to store leftovers
If you have leftovers, let the cauliflower cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven for a quick lunch the next day.
What to pair with roasted cauliflower
- Pair with a source of protein like smash burgers or cast iron chicken for a complete and delicious meal
- You can’t go wrong serving as a side dish to spiral hot dogs on game day!
- This baked pork chops are a neutral dish that goes great with this spicy cauliflower
More fabulous vegetable sides
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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Browned Butter
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ pumpkin seeds up to ½ cup
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Preheat oven to 450º. Add parchment paper or aluminum foil to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Slice cauliflower into ½ inch slices. Place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until bottoms are browned. Turn and season with additional salt and pepper and continue to cook until browned and crisp, about 15 minutes longer.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat with pumpkin seeds until butter is browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add red pepper flakes. Let cool slightly. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice. Pour over cooked cauliflower.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- The butter can burn very quickly, so stir in while it’s cooking and remove from the heat as soon as it starts to turn brown. It will continue to cook after removing from the heat.
- You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower.
- Don’t leave out the lime juice, it really makes the dish pop.