If you’ve ever struggled to make cauliflower taste delicious, or are tired of eating cauliflower the same way over and over, you will absolutely love whole roasted cauliflower with garlic butter.

While I absolutely love cauliflower-based dishes such as mashed cauliflower, roasting cauliflower is such a nice change

collage of hwo to make The BEST whole roasted cauliflower
How to make easy whole roasted cauliflower recipe.

Roasted cauliflower is so versatile. It can be served as a side dish with chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, or pork. You can also slice leftovers and fry them in a hot skillet.

In fact, after you make it once, this roasted cauliflower recipe will become your favorite way to cook a cauliflower head too.

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Is cauliflower keto or low-carb?

Cauliflower is a commonly used keto vegetable because it is extremely versatile, low in carbs, high in fiber, and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Nutrition of cauliflower per cup (107g): 5.3 g total carbs, 2.1 g fiber, 3.2 g net carbs, 2.1 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 26 calories.

cauliflower nutrition panel

Nutritional values from cronometer.com

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Butter Sauce

whole roasted cauliflower on a white plate with a lemon
Whole roasted cauliflower with herbed garlic butter sauce.

There are so many delicious recipes that use cauliflowercauliflower bread, mashed cauliflower, cauliflower rice, and even cauliflower sushi! This whole roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite recipes of all.

There is so much to love about this whole roasted cauliflower. My favorite thing about a roasted cauliflower head is that I can roast it once, and I have a healthy side dish for my meal prep all week. Less cooking means I save myself so much time.

Plus, I think you just can’t beat the taste of roasted cauliflower. This is the best way to improve the veggie. Even those who don’t typically like cauliflower may enjoy this dish!

Have fun with this whole roasted cauliflower recipe and change it up. I’ll share some of my favorite variations, but I’d love to hear how you changed it too.


labelled in to make a whole roasted cauliflower
Simple healthy ingredients to make the whole roasted cauliflower recipe.

The ingredient list for this roasted cauliflower recipe is short and sweet. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • cauliflower – for this particular dish you’ll want to purchase a fresh intact head.
  • butter – full-fat butter adds so much flavor to this dish. Avoid using olive oil because it can make the cauliflower head taste bitter.
  • mustard powder – check for any added ingredients.
  • minced garlic – fresh garlic, minced garlic, crushed garlic.
  • lemon zest – prior to zesting, make sure to give the lemon a good wash so the skin is nice and clean.
  • dried parsley – fresh parsley gives the best flavor.

See the whole roasted cauliflower recipe card below for amounts and instructions.


This is an easy recipe for whole roasted cauliflower with butter, garlic, and mustard. With minimal preparation, this dish is an incredibly simple addition to your easy Sunday lamb roast or any other meal.

First, make the garlic butter mixture in a small bowl. Melt your butter and mix with chopped fresh garlic (or crushed garlic), mustard powder, lemon, and parsley.

melted herbed garlic butter in a small mixing bowl
Melted butter with fresh herbs and crushed garlic.

Next, prepare the whole cauliflower head.

whole fresh cauliflower
Beautiful fresh cauliflower should look bright and clean.

Break the large green leaves from your head of cauliflower and keep the head intact. Carefully cut a cross X shape into the center of the cauliflower head with a sharp knife. This helps the thick white stalk cook evenly.

Place the trimmed cauliflower head in a roasting tray, deep baking dish, baking sheet, or even a deep cake tin.

a red knife cutting into a whole cauliflower

Next, using a basting brush, brush your cauliflower head with garlic butter.

Using a pastry brush, work the garlic butter into all the folds of the cauliflower head and make sure the entire surface is covered.

a blue pastry brush brushing melted herbed butter onto a whole cauliflower
Whole baked cauliflower brushed with garlic butter sauce and fresh parsley.

Place the cauliflower head in a baking dish. As it cooks, you can continue to baste/brush the whole cauliflower head with garlic butter to ensure it cooks soft and full of garlic flavor.


Place the baking dish into a pre-heated oven on the middle rack. Bake the whole roasted cauliflower until lovely golden brown.

If you know your oven has a tendency to burn food, you can cover the entire cauliflower head with aluminum foil to keep the cauliflower moist, tender, and absolutely delicious.


Cut the roasted cauliflower head into six pieces or slice and serve.

Alternatively, you can cut it into large slices and gently fry each cauliflower “steak”. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast before serving.


There are quite a few different ingredients you can substitute for roasted whole cauliflower if you need to.

If you don’t have butter, use either ghee, avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. I am not a huge fan of coconut oil in this particular dish, but it will work to add fat to the cauliflower while it roasts.

You can use garlic powder instead of fresh minced garlic in this roasted cauliflower recipe. Use one teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove of garlic.

Finally, you can also make this as a baked cauliflower in a cast-iron skillet if you don’t have a baking dish. A head of cauliflower fits perfectly in the skillet or even a dutch oven.


  • Make it spicy. If you want it to have some spice, I suggest sprinkling some smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper on top of the whole roasted cauliflower head.
  • Change the flavor profile. I know that lemon garlic is a classic pair, but try making a Southwest-inspired roasted cauliflower. Instead of lemon, garlic, and fresh parsley, combine lime zest with fresh cilantro and some onion powder.
  • Add tahini. Another tasty variation to try is to add homemade tahini on top before you roast it.
  • Make it cheesy. This cauliflower recipe will also taste delicious with parmesan cheese on top. Yum!

Top tips

sliced whole roasted cauliflower on a white plate with herbs

If you prefer your cauliflower to be softer (less crispy), just wrap the entire thing in aluminum foil as it bakes.

Want to make this with small pieces of cauliflower instead of a whole head? Avoid the hassle of cutting up the cauliflower and use this recipe to roast cauliflower florets. They are already bite-sized and ready for you to divide up into your meal prep containers.


Store roasted cauliflower in an airtight food storage container or plastic food storage bag. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

FAQs about roasting cauliflower

If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

Why is my roasted cauliflower mushy?

This often happens if you cut the cauliflower into florets. I prefer to roast the entire head of cauliflower because it protects the cell structure of the cauliflower and keeps the entire thing nice and crispy.

Should cauliflower be washed before roasting?

Yes, you should definitely rinse your cauliflower before you roast it – even if you bought organic cauliflower.

Just make sure to pat dry well.

Can you roast cauliflower in the air fryer?

Yes, you certainly can! Follow my recipe up to the point where you bake it. Then, place it in the air fryer instead of the oven.

Air fry the cauliflower at 190C/375F for 35 minutes.

Can I make whole roasted cauliflower ahead of time?

Yes, if you have dinner guests arriving, prepare the roasted cauliflower recipe and keep it covered with foil in the fridge. Place it in a preheated oven 45 minutes before you want to eat it.

How can I use the remaining sauce?

You can keep the leftover garlic butter sauce covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can use it to brush almost any cooked vegetables, almost any cauliflower recipe, roasted veggies, or add to cauliflower rice. Your vegetarian friends will love you.

Which mustard powder is best on the keto diet?

Dijon mustard powder is the best to use. Check to ensure there are no added sugars and no added wheat or unnecessary carbs.

Is the whole roasted cauliflower recipe easy?

Yes, there are only 3 steps to this easy low-carb keto recipe.
1: Make the garlic sauce.
2: Brush and cover the whole roasted cauliflower head.
3: Bake. your delicious dish.

Can I make the whole roasted cauliflower recipe on my air fryer?

Yes, place your whole head of cauliflower into a baking dish that can fit into your air fryer basket. Allow space on all sides to allow the heat to cook the head of cauliflower evenly. The baking dish prevents the sauce from dripping and burning inside the air fryer.

whole roasted cauliflower on a white plate and slcied
Awesome recipe for whole roasted cauliflower with a garlic sauce.

More keto cauliflower recipes

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable and nutritious vegetable. It can be used in so many ways instead of high carb side dishes when going low carb. Try these other cauliflower recipes.

Please leave a comment below and tell me how you like to serve cauliflower.

whole roasted cauliflower on a wooden board
whole roasted cauliflower on a white plate and slcied

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe (With Garlic Butter)

Whole roast cauliflower with garlic butter can easily be jazzed up with garlic, mustard, chilli, bacon or even curry powder (just not all at once). 
4.35 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Side Dish, Vegetables
Cuisine: Egg free, Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Wheat Free
Keyword: Whole roast cauliflower
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 158.3kcal
Author: Thinlicious.com
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  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 110 g butter melted
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • 1 clove garlic minced crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley


  • Remove all the leaves and the bottom of the stem from the cauliflower so it will sit level in the baking dish.
  • Cut a deep cross into the stem so it cooks evenly.
  • Mix the melted butter with herbs, garlic, and mustard.
  • Place the prepared cauliflower in a baking dish and brush over the herb butter mixture.
  • Place in the oven to roast at 180C/350F and brush occasionally with the herbed butter as it cooks.
  • Test the centre with a knife or skewer to make sure it is cooked in the centre.



Serving: 1serveCalories: 158.3kcalCarbohydrates: 5.4gProtein: 2.2gFat: 15.2gSodium: 161.3mgPotassium: 306.1mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 1.9gVitamin A: 465.3IUVitamin C: 48.1mgCalcium: 31.1mgIron: 0.5mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you for this recipe. Now I have an easy way to use our head of cauliflower.

  2. Connie Clausen says:

    You don’t say what temp to bake the whole cauliflower.

  3. At what temperature do you roast this? Thanks

  4. 5 stars
    I made a roasted cauliflower today (with a tahini dip smeared all over it). I did it at 400F for an hour. It still wasnt rly done. Next time I will cut it in half and put it flat side down on a buttered or oiled pan to roast it. If ur interested here’s the dip recipe:
    1/2c tahini
    1-2cl garlic, minced
    1/4-1/2tsp cumin
    1/2tsp salt (my tahini was unsalted)
    pepper to taste
    1/2 large lemon, zest and juice
    some olive oil to thin it — optional, I didnt use it but next time I will
    It tasted incredibly like hummus! YAY a hummus substitute (i miss beans and bean dips lol)

  5. 5 stars
    Also I rly like cauliflower roasted as florettes with sliced onions (and maybe broccoli). Drizzle olive oil over and then salt & pepper to taste. Stir every so often till browned. Just a change of pace for those looking for more ideas.

  6. 5 stars
    We are going to put it in the kettle roaster. So looking forward to it! My husband isn’t LCHF but he was the one who wanted to try it!

  7. 5 stars
    This is a recipe that everyone needs to try, it tastes absolutely HEAVENLY! I’ve had roasted cauliflower before, but cut into florets and only with a little olive oil and garlic added. Your method of whole roasting is genius and your herb butter is AMAZING! Given the minimal ingredients and the ease of making it, I can’t believe how beautiful this tastes with the herb butter, thank you for a great recipe 🙂

  8. Christina says:

    5 stars
    I love roasting cauliflower whole. I wrap the cauli, leaves & all, in foil, place on a tray & bake. Once cooked, I serve straight from the tray drizzled with a little olive oil & seasoned with salt & pepper. Pretty plain, but tasty. I can’t wait to try your version!

  9. 5 stars
    So true Carol. I’m cooking the whole head of cauliflower from now on. Can’t wait to try it.

  10. 5 stars
    This is my absolute go-to recipe when having a family Sunday roast. The garlic butter is superb and I LOVE the lemon and mustard.

  11. 5 stars
    How would I cook this in an air fryer on Bake setting?

    1. 5 stars
      I would cut the core/centre of the cauliflower and remove it so it will cook evenly inside your air fryer. Bake on bake setting for 20 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to see how it is cooking. Brush the herbed butter over a few times during cooking to prevent dry roasted cauliflower.