Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

Spicy roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
78 Calories
6g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 78
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 192mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 42mg 212%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 152mg 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.)

The cauliflower craze is on, and it's become a favorite low-carb food from pizza crusts to mash, "steaks," or rice, this old-fashioned vegetable has become a favorite low-carb food. It's so versatile, it can take the shape of a "chicken wing" or any other shape or character that you'd like, thanks to its mellow flavor and white color—unless, of course, you're using purple or green cauliflower. Our recipe for spicy roasted cauliflower highlights the beautiful cauliflower texture. Spices and just a bit of sugar turn a head of cauliflower into a caramelized, spicy treat, ready in just 40 minutes.

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, while 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.

Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse. It provides fiber, potassium, fluid, and phytonutrients (plant-based compounds that protect cells from damage).

Serve the roasted cauliflower as a side dish to any chicken, beef, or pork recipe, or simply as a stunning appetizer—perhaps with a few slices of crusty bread with herby butter. It's also a lovely addition to a mix of roasted vegetables. Make this dish vegan friendly by swapping the butter for vegan margarine.

"Roasted cauliflower is made exciting with a spicy hit of paprika, pepper, and just a touch of sugar that help caramelize the florets and produce crispy edges." —Diana Andrews

Spicy roasted cauliflower on a white plate
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 medium head cauliflower

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients.

    Ingredients for spicy roasted cauliflower recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 450 F. Trim and core the cauliflower, separating the florets into bite-sized pieces and chopping the core into small cubes or batons.

    Cauliflower cut into florets on a wooden cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.

    Butter melting in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the sugar, salt, pepper, hot paprika, sweet paprika, cayenne (if using), turmeric, and cinnamon. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.

    Salt, sugar, and pepper added to melted butter for spicy roasted cauliflower

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the cut-up cauliflower into the pot. Toss to coat with the spicy butter as evenly as possible.

    Cauliflower florets tossed in spicy buttery sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Lay the cauliflower pieces in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet. Cook in the oven until browned, sizzling, and tender but with crispy bits forming on the edges, approximately 25 minutes. Stir at the halfway point to cook evenly. Serve with your favorite main dishes and enjoy.

    Spicy roasted cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Refreshing Sauces for Spicy Cauliflower

The cauliflower is delicious all on its own, but if you want to add another element, here are a few delicious and refreshing sauces to drizzle on top:

  • Blend 1 cup of Greek or plain yogurt with 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin.
  • Blend 1 cup of sour cream with 1/2 cup of freshly minced mint leaves, a pinch of red chile flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a drizzle of olive oil before using.
  • Blend 1 cup of Greek yogurt with 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves (stems removed), salt and pepper to taste, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Blend 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with the flesh of 1 big avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the juice of half a lime.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cauliflower, Raw. FooData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.