Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

Spicy roasted cauliflower recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
77 Calories
6g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 236mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 41mg 207%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 148mg 3%
*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.)

A few spices (okay, a fair number of spices!) and just a bit of sugar turn a head of cauliflower into a caramelized, spicy treat. Serve this as a side dish or simply as a stunning appetizer—the spice is lovely alongside your cocktail of choice. It's also a lovely addition to a mix of roasted vegetables as part of a large feast, buffet, or potluck offering.

Hot and sweet paprika adds spice, but also a deep earthiness. Cayenne adds a sharper heat for those who like it, turmeric brings its brilliant golden color and rich flavor, and cinnamon adds a touch of warm sweetness. If you only have sweet or regular paprika, you can use that in place of the hot paprika. Then you can add a touch more cayenne if you like things spicy.


  • 1 head cauliflower

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • Optional:

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients. Pre-heat an oven to 450 F.

    Ingredients for roasted cauliflower
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. While the oven heats, cut out the core of the cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces. Cutting up and into the stem to divide the florets into longer, more elegant bite-sized pieces. You can discard the core, or cut it into sticks or small cubes and cook them up with the florets and minimize waste.

    Cut up cauliflower
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter.

    Melt butter
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Remove from heat and mix in the sugar, salt, pepper, hot paprika, sweet paprika, cayenne (if using), turmeric, and cinnamon. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.

    Spicy sauce
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Add the cut-up cauliflower and toss to coat the cauliflower as evenly as possible with the spicy butter.

    Cut up cauliflower
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Lay the cauliflower pieces in a single layer in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven until browned, sizzling, and tender with crispy bits forming on the edges—approximately 25 minutes-- stirring at the halfway point to evenly cook.

    Lay cauliflower out
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • Serve the roasted cauliflower hot or warm.
  • The cauliflower is delicious all on its own, but if you want to add another element, plain yogurt makes a tasty dip or topping to drizzle. Jazz up the yogurt by mixing a clove of minced garlic and a bit of ground cumin or freshly minced mint leaves with the yogurt.