Grilled Cauliflower Recipe

Grilled Cauliflower on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
114 Calories
6g Fat
18g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 456mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 128mg 638%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 394mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Grilling is one of the best ways we know of to cook cauliflower. It's also one of the easiest. This grilled cauliflower is simply seasoned with olive oil, salt, and chili powder. After grilling the florets, the juice of the lemon is squeezed on them, and then they're garnished with freshly chopped chives.

The only part of the job that's even remotely tricky to make this grilled cauliflower is breaking down the cauliflower. We like to trim off the stem and remove as many of the leaves as possible, and then go around the bottom using the point of a knife to remove whole florets from the stalk. Any huge florets can be halved or even quartered so that they are about bite-sized. It's best if you slice down the center of the stem of the floret and then gently break it apart, rather than slicing all the way through. Smaller florets can be left intact.

These are delicious on their own as a grilled vegetarian dish or served as a side dish. You can serve these with grilled steaks, fish, or chicken, and some roasted potatoes, and a tossed salad if you'd like. 

“There is nothing like the fresh flavor of lemon juice to accent and brighten any food. This recipe uses lemon juice as part of the flavoring of the grilled cauliflower as well as a finishing sparkle. Beautiful as well as delicious!” —Mary Jo Romano

Grilled Cauliflower Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken down into florets (see intro)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Grilled Cauliflower ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, kosher salt, and chili powder.

    Cauliflower florets with the olive oil, kosher salt, and chili powder in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Transfer the cauliflower directly to a medium-high grill (around 400 F to 475 F) and close the lid. In about 10 minutes, flip the florets over with a pair of tongs so that they brown evenly.

    Seasoned cauliflower florets on a grill

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, then remove, and transfer to a bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and toss, garnish with the freshly chopped chives, then serve.

    Grilled Cauliflower in a bowl, with lemon and chopped chives in a bowl on the side

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


Chili powder adds a bit of a kick to this grilled cauliflower. Be careful not to confuse chili powder with cayenne pepper, which is much hotter.

Recipe Variations

The recipe is so versatile and the spice can be switched up in so many ways. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Substitute smoked paprika in place of the chili powder.
  • If you don't want the spice, simply leave off the chili powder.
  • Use half a lime in place of the lemon.
  • Put in some chipotle powder and garlic powder along with the chili powder.
  • Sprinkle the cooked cauliflower with Parmesan cheese before serving.

How to Store

Leftover grilled cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or bag for four to five days.

How long does fresh cauliflower last?

A head of fresh cauliflower will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It should be stored loosely wrapped in plastic.