Looking for a quick and easy side dish to go with your next meal? Try this parmesan pesto roasted cauliflower! It’s got lots of flavor from the pesto and a nice salty bite from the parmesan cheese. Plus, you only need four ingredients to make it!
This recipe and photos have been updated since the original post on 2/22/2017
There’s about a 50/50 chance you’ll get a side dish with dinner at our house. If we have company there’s a good chance you’ll get one, but if it’s just me and my husband not so much.
I have been trying to be better about it. My go-to side dish is generally some kind of roasted vegetable, like these chili honey lime roasted brussels sprouts or this sweet and spicy roasted butternut squash.
Whatever side dish I’m making it has to be easy and something that will taste good the next day so I can repurpose it with another meal. This parmesan pesto roasted cauliflower checks both of those boxes and the flavor is next level!
Ingredients For Parmesan Pesto Roasted Cauliflower
- Parmesan cheese
How To Make Parmesan Pesto Roasted Cauliflower
This side dish couldn’t be easier to make. Start by preheating your oven to 400° F. Rinse and dry the head of cauliflower and then cut out the core. Break it down into florets and put them on a rimmed sheet pan.
If you don’t want to deal with any cleanup, line your sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Lay the cauliflower florets onto the sheet pan.
Dollop on 3 or 4 tablespoons of pesto depending on how large your head of cauliflower was. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as well.
Use clean hands to toss the cauliflower until all the florets are coated with pesto. Spread them out into a single layer and make sure there is some space in between them. This will allow them to brown and caramelize rather than steam.
Roast the pesto cauliflower for 10 minutes and then remove it from the oven. Use a spatula to toss it around and then sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Roast for another another 12-15 minutes or until it’s tender and caramelized.
Remove it from the oven and squeeze the juice of half of a lemon all over it. Put it on a serving platter or in a bowl. I like to scrape up any of the crispy parmesan cheese that’s stuck to the pan and add it in.
Dollop on additional pesto and sprinkle on extra parmesan cheese if you’d like.
Tips For Roasting Cauliflower
- Roast the cauliflower at a high heat. I like to roast mine at 400° F., but you can also roast at 425° F. Just keep an eye on it as it likely won’t take as long to roast.
- Slice the cauliflower so that there are plenty of flat edges. Make sure the flat edges are in contact with the bottom of the pan. This will ensure that they get golden brown and caramelized on that side.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. If the cauliflower is too close together or on top of each other it will steam and won’t get any of the crisp edges or caramelization.
- Be sure the cauliflower is completely coated in oil or in this case pesto. Pesto contains olive oil which is why I didn’t add any additional oil to this recipe.
- Flip the florets over with a spatula halfway through the cooking time. This will help to caramelize more surface area of the florets.
More Cauliflower Recipes
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- 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 3-4 tablespoons pesto
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil for less clean up if desired. Place the cauliflower florets onto the sheet pan and dollop on the pesto. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Use clean hands to toss the cauliflower around until it's coated in pesto. Spread the cauliflower into a single layer and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Roast the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes then remove from the oven. Flip the florets over with a spatula and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Place it back into the oven to roast for another 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven and place it on a serving platter or in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the cauliflower. Dollop on extra pesto and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.