Roasted Cauliflower Recipe – Super Healthy Kids

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This Roasted Cauliflower Recipe is next level with crispy savory bacon, perfectly caramelized roasted cauliflower and a fresh pop of juicy pomegranate to balance it all out.

roasted cauliflower in a wood bowl with bacon pieces and pomegranate arils.

Why We Love this Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Roasted cauliflower by itself is delicious. The roasting process brings out the natural sugars in the cauliflower and then caramelizing until golden brown really makes the cauliflower taste amazing.

For this recipe, adding in bits of crispy bacon and then tart pomegranate arils make a regular side dish go from good to amazing! I love serving this at holiday gatherings or for nicer dinners. It is definitely a hit whenever I serve it!

Ingredients for Roasted Cauliflower

  • Cauliflower: You can either buy a head of cauliflower, or the pre-cut cauliflower florets.
  • Oil: I prefer olive oil or avocado oil for roasting vegetables.
  • Bacon: Thick cut bacon will give the best flavor and crispiness in this recipe.
  • Pomegranate: One whole pomegranate is all you will need for this recipe. If you can’t find them in your produce section because of seasonality, most stores will have the arils preseeded in the refrigeration produce section.
  • Salt and Pepper
ingredients for roasted cauliflower - fresh head of cauliflower, bacon pieces, pomegranate arils, salt, pepper and oil.

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower

  1. The first step is to chop your cauliflower.  This is my favorite method for cutting cauliflower. Soak in water or vinegar water to clean int. Toss it in a bowl with some olive oil and salt and pepper.
  2. Lay it out on a baking sheet.
  3. Cut up a few pieces of bacon and sprinkle them around the tray with the cauliflower.  Roast in your oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Give it a toss about half way through.  The bacon that is touching the pan will crisp up better, which is what you want.  Also by tossing it, you are mixing the flavors and allowing everything to get that savory smoky bacon taste.
  4. While your cauliflower is cooking, deseed a pomegranate using either the wooden spoon method, or this method.
  5. When your cauliflower is nice and browned and bacon is crispy, remove from the oven and sprinkle with your pomegranate.  Serve it up hot.  This is a great dish to serve at your Thanksgiving meal, or any meal really!

Should Cauliflower Be Washed Before Roasting?

Yes, you should thoroughly rinse your cauliflower before roasting. After you have cut up the florets into smaller pieces, the best way is to soak it in water or vinegar water to force any dirt or tiny insects that are stuck in the florets.

overhead view of roasted cauliflower in a wood bowl with bacon pieces and pomegranate arils and a blue linen in the background

How Do You Make Crispy Roasted Cauliflower?

There are 3 main tips for making sure your roasted cauliflower comes out crispy.

  1. Remove water. Make sure to remove as much water as you can after rinsing your cauliflower florets. Too much water left will creating a steaming effect and take longer to get the cauliflower crispy risking overcooking.
  2. Don’t Overcrowd. Leave space between the florets on your pan. If they are touching each other, they will create steam and turn out soft and less crispy.
  3. Cook at the right temp. Cook at a higher temperature. 400 degrees F is the perfect temperature for roasting cauliflower because the heat will draw out the natural sugars and create a delicious brown caramelized crust on the outside of your cauliflower.

Why Does My Roasted Cauliflower Get Mushy?

There are a few reasons your roasted cauliflower might be mushy instead of crispy.

  • Too much oil. Using too much oil compared to veggies will leave them swimming in a pool and a soggy mess. A good rule of thumb for roasting cauliflower iss 1 tablespoon of oil per pound of veggies.
  • Overcrowding the pan. Leave space between each floret for maximum crispy caramelized goodness.
  • Not cooking hot enough. The recommended temperature is 400 degrees F, but every oven is different. You can roast your veggies up to 450 degrees so you might need to experiment.

How Do You Get the Bitter Taste Out of Cauliflower?

Roasting cauliflower is one of the best ways to remove the bitter taste. That is because sweet flavors counteract bitter and the process of roasting brings out the natural sugars through caramelizing. However, over-cooking causes cauliflower to release sulfurous compounds that produce an unpleasant odor and bitter taste.

closeup view of a bowl of roasted cauliflower with pomegranate arils and bacon pieces

More Favorite Cauliflower Recipes

roasted cauliflower in a wood bowl with bacon pieces and pomegranate arils
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 medium pomegranate
  • Preheat oven to 400° F.

  • Trim and rinse cauliflower, break into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet.

  • Cut bacon into small pieces and sprinkle on the baking sheet with the cauliflower. Bake for 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

  • De-seed the pomegranate, using either the wooden spoon method, or this method.
  • When your cauliflower is nice and browned and bacon is crispy, remove from the oven and sprinkle with your pomegranate.  Serve hot.

Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 599mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Natalie Monson

I’m a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie