Overhead photo of a whole baked cauliflower in a skillet with pomegrante arils and fresh herbs.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Garlic and Smoked Paprika Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Whole roasted cauliflower is a showstopping healthy baked main or side dish. The garlic and smoked paprika give it a wonderful flavor, while the cauliflower gets soft inside and crispy on the outside. It's really simple to make, and it's perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any time of year! Vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, low-carb, keto and paleo.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 25 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 111kcal
Author: Kate Hackworthy | Veggie Desserts



  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper

To serve (optional):

  • Pomegranate
  • Cilantro
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Vegetables


  • Preheat the oven to 400F/ 200C.
  • Prepare the cauliflower by removing the leaves. Wash and dry the head of cauliflower, then cut the stalk so the cauliflower sits flat. Score a cross with a sharp knife in the core of the cauliflower, but be careful that you don’t cut off any florets. This is to allow the core to cook more evenly. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir the minced garlic, smoked paprika, oil and salt and pepper.
  • Rub or brush the smoked paprika mixture all over the cauliflower, then place it into a cast iron skillet or oven-safe baking dish. Cover with a lid or foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until the cauliflower is soft. Remove the lid or foil and cook for a further 25 minutes or until the outside becomes lightly browned.
  • If desired, to serve, add roasted potatoes and vegetables around the cauliflower in the pan. Serve carved into slices.



  • You can use any size of a cauliflower head. Just adjust the times. I've given the timings for a medium-sized head. If yours is small cook it for less time.
  • If you're using a very large head of cauliflower, slice out a little of the core (but don't cut the florets off!). This will ensure the middle all gets soft and tender.
  • When you trim the leaves and cut the bottom of the stem (so it sits flat on the pan without rolling around), be sure you don't cut any florets off.
  • Short on time? Then cut the cauliflower into florets, toss them in the marinade, spread onto the baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through and the edges get crispy.
  • Cook it on a baking sheet, roasting pan, Dutch oven, ovenproof skillet or casserole dish.
  • Use your favourite oil: coconut, olive etc… If oil-free then just use water.
Storage Tips
  • Once cooked, store in the fridge and use within 3 days
  • Not suitable for freezing
Serving Tips
  • To make it impressive, serve the whole roasted cauliflower at the table, and carve into 'steaks'.
  • To prep ahead, trim the cauliflower, brush it with the marinade and place it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then cook on the day and serve.
  • Delicious hot, but I also love to serve it cold at a picnic or cookout. 
  • What to do with leftovers? I either reheat it in the oven or serve it cold on a salad. 


Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1724IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg