Dinner Plans: Roasted Cauliflower

Prep 3 Delicious Meals From 1 Batch of Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

Brian Yarvin / Getty Images

Cauliflower is easy to cook, so why not roast a whole bunch? That way, you can have a tasty dinner and prep two more unique dinners while you're at it. Roasted cauliflower effortlessly transforms into a cheesy casserole and a creamy soup. It only takes a few extra minutes of prep but it'll save you time and effort during the busy week.

Game Plan

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours

  1. Prep three large heads-worth of roasted cauliflower and garlic. Roast the first two pans at once, omitting the parmesan. Roast the third head of cauliflower (topping with parmesan) for your prep day dinner.
  2. Serve the parmesan cauliflower and store the rest in the refrigerator in two portions.
  3. Organize the ingredients for dinners 2 and 3 so they are easy to put together during the weeknight rush.

Prep Day Chicken Thighs and Cauliflower

Time: 45 minutes

While the last pan of cauliflower roasts, crisp the skin of these chicken thighs on the stovetop. The two recipes cook at the same temperature, making it easy to get dinner on the table in a timely manner. Serve both with a quick, homemade chimichurri sauce.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
The Spruce / Molly Watson 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Make the chimichurri while the cauliflower roasts in the oven and refrigerate until dinnertime.
  • After sliding the cauliflower in the oven, brown the chicken on the stovetop. Slide it in the oven to finish cooking about 20 minutes before the cauliflower is done roasting.

Cauliflower and Cheese Casserole Dinner

Time: 30 minutes

Make this creamy, comforting cauliflower and cheese casserole recipe using one head's worth of leftover cauliflower. It's a filling main dish, like mac and cheese but without the mac. Serve it with green beans or sauteed zucchini.

Cauliflower and Cheese Bake
Cauliflower and Cheese Bake Photo: Diana Rattray

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Add the roasted garlic for extra flavor.
  • Make the green beans or zucchini while the casserole bakes in the oven.
  • This casserole can be made gluten-free by substituting gluten-free breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs.
  • Get ahead on prep day: This dish can be prepared and assembled, except for the crumbs, up to a few days ahead. When ready to serve, cover with crumbs and add 10 minutes to the cook time.

Cauliflower Soup Dinner

Time: 20 minutes

Use the remaining leftover cauliflower and roasted garlic to make this creamy soup. Thanks to your prep work, it only takes a few minutes to throw together. Serve with a hearty side like this spinach salad with warm bacon dressing and store-bought crusty bread.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup
The Spruce / Diana Rattray 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use the remaining roasted cauliflower for the soup. Include the roasted garlic, too. It will get blended up with the soup for a mild garlic flavor.
  • Skip to step 6 in the recipe and add the onion and spices before simmering.
  • While the soup cooks, fry the bacon and assemble the salad. If you don't have fresh figs, use sliced pears instead.

Essential Info

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.