Roasted cauliflower gets crisp and caramelized in the oven, then tossed with zesty lemon juice and capers. A healthy, easy, and delicious side dish!

Bowl of lemon caper roasted cauliflower with ingredients surrounding the bowl

As a Registered Dietitian, I love to get creative with vegetables. I enjoy making caulilfower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, and cauliflower mashed “potatoes”. But my favorite way to enjoy cauliflower is simply roasted in the oven. It gets caramelized, a little crispy, and it’s flavor is completely transformed!

This lemon roasted cauliflower with capers is the perfect healthy side dish for any meal. It’s made with simple, plant-based ingredients and takes just about 30 minutes – an easy weeknight win. This cauliflower side dish recipe is vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free, and dairy free.

Ingredients in lemon roasted cauliflower with capers

Here are all the ingredients you need to make this recipe:

  • Cauliflower
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Capers
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley

Variations and substitution suggestions

  • Add parmesan cheese. In the last few minutes of roasting, sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on the cauliflower until it melts and becomes golden brown. Note that the recipe will no longer be vegan or dairy free with this addition.
  • Use olives instead of capers. For an even brinier bite, swap olives for capers. I’d love this recipe with kalamata olives or green olives.
  • Try garnishing with different fresh herbs. No parsley? No problem. Pretty much any fresh herb you have on hand would go well with this roasted cauliflower recipe, like basil, dill, or thyme.
  • Make it spicy. If you love spicy foods, garnish with a pinch of red pepper flakes to add some heat.
Lemon roasted cauliflower with capers ingredients on a wooden cutting board

How to make lemon roasted cauliflower

  1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees F. For roasting, you want a super hot oven to crisp and caramelize the cauliflower.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This prevents the cauliflower from sticking to the sheet.
  3. Cut cauliflower into bite size florets. You can save the greens for a smoothie, pureed soup, or vegetable stock, or discard them.
  4. Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread it out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure there is a bit of space between each floret. If the baking sheet is too crowded, the cauliflower will steam instead of roast.
  5. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, then take out the baking sheet and toss the cauliflower with garlic and lemon juice.
  6. Pop it back in the oven to roast for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Mix the cauliflower with capers and garnish with plenty of chopped parsley.
  8. Dig in! Add it to salads, grain bowls, pita sandwiches, or just serve it as a side dish with your favorite dinner entree.

Storage and leftovers

Store leftover lemon roasted cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. I recommend reheating it in the oven or a toaster oven for about 10 minutes to retain some of the freshly roasted crispiness. You can reheat it in the microwave, but it won’t be as crispy.

Lemon caper roasted cauliflower in a speckled bowl on a white dish towel with lemon slice and parsley surrounding the bowl

Cauliflower nutrition benefits

Cauliflower is a nutrient dense food to include in your diet, with tons of nutritional benefits. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, in the same family as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. One cup of cauliflower provides:

  • 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • 2 grams of plant-based protein
  • 45 mg of choline (about 10 percent of your daily needs)
  • 85 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs
  • 10 percent of your daily Vitamin B6 needs
  • 14 percent of your daily folate needs
  • 20 percent of your daily Vitamin K needs

Cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, are high in sulfur compounds. These plant compounds have high antioxidant activity, and might help reduce blood pressure and help prevent certain types of cancer (1,2).

A note on choline: Very few foods contain choline. This nutrient is important for cell structural integrity, brain development, DNA synthesis, and metabolism. Choline is mostly found in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, but cauliflower and broccoli are good plant-based sources of the nutrient.

Bowl of lemon caper roasted cauliflower with ingredients surrounding the bowl

Serving suggestions

This cauliflower side dish recipe pairs well with all kinds of meals. Serve it with:

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Print

Lemon Roasted Cauliflower with Capers

Roasted cauliflower gets crisp and caramelized in the oven, then tossed with zesty lemon juice and capers. A healthy, easy, and delicious side dish!

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  3. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and a generous shake of salt and pepper. Spread it out in an even layer onto the baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 17-20 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the oven and toss with lemon juice and garlic.
  5. Continue to roast the cauliflower for 7-10 minutes until golden brown, caramelized, and crisp.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with capers and chopped parsley.

Notes

Variations and substitution suggestions

  • Add parmesan cheese. In the last few minutes of roasting, sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on the cauliflower until it melts and becomes golden brown. Note that the recipe will no longer be vegan or dairy free with this addition.
  • Use olives instead of capers. For an even brinier bite, swap olives for capers. I’d love this recipe with kalamata olives or green olives.
  • Try garnishing with different fresh herbs. No parsley? No problem. Pretty much any fresh herb you have on hand would go well with this cauliflower, like basil, dill, or thyme.
  • Make it spicy. If you love spicy foods, garnish with a pinch of red pepper flakes to add some heat.

Serving suggestions

This cauliflower side dish recipe pairs well with all kinds of meals. Serve it with:

 

Keywords: lemon roasted cauliflower, cauliflower with capers

Save this recipe for later to Pinterest

Bowl of lemon caper roasted cauliflower with ingredients surrounding the bowl