This easy Vegan Baked Cauliflower side dish might just become the main dish for your next meal. Better than fries! Seriously, kids and adults alike gobble this healthy cruciferous veggie like it’s some kind of amazing!!
Grab one of those gorgeous fluffy looking white heads of cauliflower at the grocery store and prepare an addictive cauliflower experience that easily rivals french fries and might even make you think of vegan nuggets!!
What You’ll need to make this Vegan Baked Cauliflower Recipe:
It’s a short list, just five ingredients + cauliflower.
- Extra Virgin Olive oil – yup, a little of this goes a long way.
- Seasoned Salt – I try to use a no-added-MSG version such as Johnny’s.
- Smoked Paprika – this is your secret smoky weapon – if you don’t have this you must try it! YUM!
- Nutritional Yeast flakes – this is the light ‘cheesy’ component. It’s not strong, but it’s pretty undeniable. SO good.
- Garlic Powder – what would be do without garlic powder???
Steps to making amazing, mouth-watering, addicting baked cauliflower:
First, you gotta chop it up! Remove the outer leaves and chop the whole head into quarters. Slice off a little of the inner core areas, and then cut the rest of the head into bite-sized florets. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle yeast flakes, smoked paprika, seasoned salt, and garlic powder over the cauliflower florets and pour olive oil over all.
Mix with a spoon until all the cauliflower pieces are well-coated with the seasonings.
Transfer coated cauliflower to a prepped baking tray with either pan spray, a brush of olive oil, or a layer of parchment paper.
Shake the tray to somewhat even distribute cauliflower florets and place in the oven at 450 for approx 20-25 minutes. Stir once, half-way through baking period.
When the cauliflower is fork-tender and slightly cartelized around the edges, you’re set!! Remove from the oven and enjoy as a side dish, a snack, or even the main dish if no one’s watching! This stuff is truly tasty and satisfying!
Set your tray of cauliflower on a mid-to-upper rack depending on your oven. This ensures browning on the top of the cauliflower as well as the bottom.
Baking at this temp ensures that you can get a little of that nice carmelized browning while still keeping a little of that crispy crunch that makes cauliflower so amazing.
If you prefer softer cauliflower, decrease the baking temp to 425 and increase the baking time to 30-35 minutes! Voila!
How to eat this yummy Baked Cauliflower:
- Right off the tray – yes it’s hot so please be careful!!
- dipped in my all-time favorite Nacho Cheese Sauce
- as a side dish for Tender Vegan Steaks
- shoved inside of soft tacos along with other veggies and beans
- next to my favorite Smoky Veggie Mushroom-Oat Burger
That’s all for now friends! I’m totally hungry now so need to hit the store for some more cauliflower!!!
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Easy Cheesy Baked Vegan Cauliflower
- 1.5 lb. Cauliflower (or approx 1 Head)
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt or to taste
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare baking sheet by spraying with pan spray or oil with pastry brush or cover with parchment paper.
- Remove leaves and large part of core from Cauliflower head.
- Break into large bite sized pieces in a large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle salt and seasonings over cauliflower, pour olive oil over all.
- Toss well to coat.
- Spread somewhat evenly on baking sheet (Just pour it all on there and shake the sheet a bit to even things out.)
- Slide it into your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender, stirring once after 10 minutes.