Tender roasted frozen cauliflower: this is one of the tastiest and most convenient side dishes. Ready in less than half an hour and perfectly suited for almost any main course you can think of.
Nothing against steamed cauliflower as a quick side dish, but roasted cauliflower is so much better. Actually, I prefer roasting almost any kind of veggie instead of boiling it. The chances of overcooking are lower, and the results are so much tastier. For more cauliflower recipe ideas, check the link.
Advantages of cooking frozen vegetables
Did you ever consider roasting frozen vegetables? I must admit, I didn’t for a long time. I thought it would just not work. But I am glad to be over that now. Learning how to make roasted frozen cauliflower has proven to be an excellent idea. Why?
- Availability: I ALWAYS have frozen cauliflower in the freezer. I often buy it fresh, but it’s not something like carrots or onions, veggies that you always have fresh in the fridge or cupboard. Also, a fresh one doesn’t keep forever, so it might spoil if you buy it “just in case.”
- Storage: A fresh head it’s large, so it takes up a lot of space in the fridge. A bag of frozen veggies (even three of them) always fits snuggly in my freezer.
- Cost: Unless in season, fresh heads cost two or three times as much as when frozen.
- Taste: When properly seasoned, it tastes fantastic.
- Only drawback: roasted frozen cauliflower is not as crispy as fresh roasted veggies, it will be tender, but that’s what makes it even more comforting.
And if you like more “from frozen” cooking ideas, learn How to Cook Frozen Corn, How to Cook Frozen Sausages, How to Boil Chicken, How to Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs or Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer. And because the air fryer is so great when cooking frozen food, you could also check Air Fryer Chicken Wings or Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries.
What do you need?
Just a few basic ingredients, this is a “cupboard/freezer recipe”!
- A bag of frozen cauliflower. The florets will not be regular; some will be large, some will be smaller. That is ok, in the end, everything will be cooked and very tasty. The only things you might want to remove are the tiny (almost like powdered) bits. It's not mandatory, but do it, if they bother you.
- Olive oil
- Spices: salt and pepper are mandatory; anything else is up to you. I used our favorite curry powder.
- Alternative spices: garlic powder, sweet, hot, or smoked paprika, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, and so on. Add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for some heat.
- Lemon juice: it’s optional, but I like to squeeze some on top of the baked vegetables just before serving.
- Parsley: also optional, but nice to add before serving.
How to roast frozen cauliflower?
- Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius/ 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Check that the brand of baking paper can be used at such a high temperature, mine was perfect, but that might differ from brand to brand. And you don’t want the paper to start burning.
- Season: Place the frozen vegetables in the middle of the baking sheet. Pour over the olive oil and sprinkle with the spices. Rub well to coat all the veggies. Scatter them all over the tray so that they lay in a single layer.
- Roast for about 25 minutes until nicely browned and fork-tender. The baking time depends on the oven and the size of the florets.
- Finish: Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
Air Fryer option:
- Preheat the air fryer to 190 degrees Celsius/ 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season: Place the veggies in the basket, add oil and spices, and rub to coat all over.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket 2-3 times in between.
- Servings: The vegetables lose a lot of volume during baking. You might think that a large bag of vegetables (450 g/1 lb) might be enough for a family, but it isn’t. This amount will serve two adults and maybe one child as a side dish.
- Double the quantities if you want to serve more people, but bake the veggies on two trays in a convection oven if necessary. The trays should not be crowded; the florets should lay in a single layer.
- Seasoning: Use some nicely colored spices to make the dish look alive, something like curry powder or paprika.
- Baking: The oven temperature should be high so that the water can evaporate adequately.
- Roasting time depends on the oven and the size of the florets.
- You could sprinkle the veggies with some freshly grated Parmesan during the last 10 minutes of the baking time.
- Try more delicious roasted vegetables and learn How to Cook Jerusalem Artichokes (or Sunchokes).
How to serve?
- Serve immediately as a side dish for almost any main course you can think of. We love this recipe as a side dish for chicken, either a Whole Roasted Chicken or Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters. Or for Simple Roasted Rabbit, Fish in Tomato Sauce, Calamari Stew, Dutch Oven Turkey, or Balsamic Beef. Really, this roasted frozen cauliflower goes with just about anything.
- Sauce options: make a tahini sauce like in this recipe for Roasted Pumpkin or a simple yogurt sauce with a touch of garlic, salt, pepper, and some herbs. Serve the baked vegetables with sauce, rice, couscous, bulgur, and so on.
- Salads or bowls: Use to make salads or bowls with beans, chickpeas, rice, noodles, greens, and other vegetables.
How to store leftovers and reheat them?
- Refrigerate: Once cool, place the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator; they will be fine for up to 3 days.
- Reheat in the oven, in the air fryer, or in a pan on the stovetop until just heated through.
More cauliflower recipes:
Roasted Frozen Cauliflower
- 1 lb frozen cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon curry powder Note 1
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice more to taste, optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley optional
- Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius/ 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper (Note 2).
- Place the frozen cauliflower in the middle of the baking sheet. Add olive oil and spices, toss to coat all over. Spread the pieces evenly all over the baking tray.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until fork-tender and nicely browned. The baking time depends on the oven and the size of the florets.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top, sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve.
- You can use other spices instead: garlic powder, sweet, hot, or smoked paprika, Cajun or Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes or cayenne, dried herbs like thyme, oregano, or rosemary.
- Check that the brand of parchment paper is safe for very high oven temperatures; not all of them are, and you don’t want the paper to burn.
- Air fryer option: Coat the cauliflower with oil and spices. Cook in the preheated air fryer at 190 degrees Celsius/ 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket 2-3 times in between.