This savory and slightly sweet maple roasted cauliflower recipe is the perfect no-fuss side dish for fall and winter. Roasting cauliflower with a touch of maple syrup makes each piece golden brown and gives the cauliflower irresistible flavor. With this easy roasting method, you will get tender on the inside and crispy on the outside texture every single time. And it really couldn't be easier - just toss cauliflower florets with your seasonings on a sheet pan, pop them in your oven and it’s ready in no time! This side dish is naturally vegan, grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free, nut-free, paleo-friendly and gluten free. And, it’s great for adding to most weeknight meals.
Be sure to read this entire blog post for not only this easy and delicious recipe but also my holiday entertaining hack that involves Amy's products which I love since they contain quality ingredients that are super easy to prepare. And they offer so many plant-based and gluten-free options now.
Thank you Amy’s for sponsoring this post. Share your holiday hacks, disaster stories, and tips for easing stress over the holidays with the hashtag #AmysToTheRescue on social.
Raw cauliflower transforms into golden, caramelized deliciousness in the oven. Each bite is the perfect balance of sweet, salty and savory. Not only does it make a fabulous side dish that goes with most any meal, but it makes a fantastic addition to salads, soups, tacos, wraps, bowls, etc. Today, I'm sharing how I pair it with ready-made products to create a complete meal for my family during this busy holiday season.
Let's first discuss this obsession-worthy maple roasted cauliflower
Cauliflower becomes super flavorful when roasted at a high temperature with the right seasonings. This Maple Roasted Cauliflower recipe is an easy vegetable side dish that everyone loves to devour. Even my three young kids love the caramelized spots that roasting brings out. They actually argue over the florets that have the most golden brown spots.
This is a classic, simple and flavorful vegetable side dish. The outside is golden brown, caramelized and crispy and the inside is perfectly tender. It is beyond satisfying and something I crave on most chilly nights.
The only ingredients that you need for Maple Roasted Cauliflower are:
- extra virgin olive oil
- maple syrup
- salt & pepper
You can also season with a little garlic powder and garnish with flaky sea salt if desired.
What are the health benefits of cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories while offering dietary fiber, vitamin C and folic acid. Be sure to look at the nutrition facts in the recipe card below to see all the vitamins and minerals this recipe offers.
This side dish is a delicious way to get more cauliflower into your diet without it feeling like a chore. Here, I used a head of white cauliflower but you could swap it for orange cauliflower, purple cauliflower or even romanesco.
How to choose the perfect head of cauliflower
The quality of your ingredients makes a huge difference in the final result. So, it is important to know what to look for when selecting your produce. According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, you want to look for cauliflower with compact creamy white curds and bright green firmly attached leaves. Skip cauliflower heads with brown spots or loose sections that are spread out.
You can store raw uncut cauliflower in your refrigerator for up to five days. If it comes wrapped in a tight plastic bag, it is best to leave it in that until you plan to use it.
How to prepare cauliflower for roasting
To separate the cauliflower florets from the core I like to halve and then quarter the head which exposes the core, making it easy to cut out the florets without any crazy knife maneuvering trickers. It is safest this way and happens to be faster and easier.
When roasting any vegetable it is important to keep the pieces/chunks/florets uniformly sized so they will cook evenly. So if you have large florets you can cut them in half. You also want to ensure the florets are completely dry so I like to blot them with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from washing.
And always allow proper spacing between the florets on the baking pan to avoid steaming the cauliflower (which results in a mushy texture). I prefer to use a bare baking pan and lightly grease it with olive oil for best results.
Another option for roasting cauliflower florets is to air fry them! You can use the same recipe below for that maple-roasted flavor and cut back a little on the olive oil.
What to pair maple roasted cauliflower with
Maple roasted cauliflower has become my go-to vegetable recipe for busy weeknights. Everyone in our household absolutely loves it, it is easy to prepare and it cooks quickly while I prepare the rest of the dinner.
During this busy holiday season weeknight dinners definitely need to be quick and easy to prepare. I especially know when I'm hosting that I need to keep my meals extra simple and sometimes get a little help from trusted ready-made meals. Yes, that's right, from time to time, when life gets extra hectic (aka the week of Thanksgiving), this food blogger pairs fresh and easy to prepare vegetable sides with ready-made mains to satisfy my hungry family of five. Most of the time I'm cooking homemade meals for our family, so on mega busy weeks if I can make holiday entertaining a little easier I'm definitely down for that. If I can manage to make one fresh vegetable side dish and pair it with a convenient ready-made meal I feel pretty good about things, especially during those moments when you need to feed the family and you’re preparing the big feast.
If you are going to go with ready-made meals, Amy's frozen California veggie burger and frozen vegan and gluten-free Rice Mac & Cheeze are my top picks. You might be thinking, really? Frozen!? Elaine, is this really you? Yes! I love the fact that Amy's products contain quality ingredients that are super easy to prepare. And they offer so many plant-based and gluten-free options now.
For example, Amy's frozen rice mac & cheeze dish requires zero pouring, measuring or stirring. This makes it even easier than boxed mac & cheese from your pantry. You literally remove the wrapping and pop the container in your oven, toaster oven or microwave. No boiling water, no adding ingredients, no stirring - nothing. It really couldn't be easier. It is also delicious (even according to my cheese loving husband) and I feel good knowing the meal is made with quality ingredients. And as much as I enjoy cooking and love providing my family with home-cooked meals, I know it is also so important to spend time with my family and not get overly stressed during this busy time of year.
Want more addictive, easy vegetable side dish recipes in your life?
If you are a vegetable lover like me, you are always looking for the next best recipe that takes vegetables to the next level. Here are some of my favorite simple vegetable side dishes for you to try (they are all vegan, soy-free and gluten-free):
- Crispy Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 10 Tips for Actually Crispy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
- Whole Roasted Rainbow Carrots Over Creamy Hummus with Green Tahini Sauce
- Roasted Green Cabbage with Green Tahini Sauce
- Hemp Seed Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Green Tahini Sauce
- Garlic & Chive Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Root Vegetables with Fresh Herbs
Now, Let’s Make Some Maple Roasted Cauliflower!
This easy maple roasted cauliflower recipe will be an instant favorite vegetable side dish. I cannot wait for you to give maple roasted cauliflower a try! Let's get roasting!Print
This savory and slightly sweet maple roasted cauliflower recipe is the perfect no-fuss side dish for fall and winter. Roasting cauliflower with a touch of maple syrup makes each piece golden brown and gives the cauliflower irresistible flavor. With this easy roasting method, you will get tender on the inside and crispy on the outside texture every single time. And it really couldn't be easier - just toss cauliflower florets with your seasonings on a sheet pan, pop it in your oven and it’s ready in no time! This side dish is naturally vegan, grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free, nut-free, paleo-friendly and gluten free, and it’s great for adding to most weeknight meals.
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into uniformly sized florets*
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon fine kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
- Place cauliflower florets on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and season with the salt and pepper. Toss using two spoons until the ingredients are evenly distributed and the cauliflower is evenly coated. Arrange the cauliflower in an even layer and bake for 20-25 minutes tossing halfway. Make sure the cauliflower florets are not touching or overlapping or they will steam instead of roast. You will know they are done when the cauliflower florets are tender and the edges are golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy immediately.
- Store leftovers once completely cooled in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
For easier cleanup you can line your baking sheet with parchment paper but I find it gets crispier on a bare baking sheet that is greased with olive oil.
To prepare the cauliflower florets, quarter the cauliflower head into four even wedges. Remove the inner core with your knife and set aside. You will be left with cauliflower florets. Break apart any particularly large florets so they are mostly the same size and cook evenly.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven Roasted
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: maple roasted cauliflower
This post is sponsored by Amy's. All opinions are my own.