This roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce is an easy & healthy side dish recipe that takes 30 minutes or less to make. Cauliflower florets are seasoned simply and roasted the oven until caramelized, then drizzled with a delicious homemade lemon tahini sauce. Serve tahini cauliflower with any weeknight meal!

bowl of tahini cauliflower on a wooden cutting board surrounded by halved lemons, parsley, and a bowl of tahini sauce

As a Registered Dietitian, I’m happy to see all the love and creativity surrounding cauliflower these days. From cauliflower rice, to raw cauliflower salad, to mashed cauliflower, there are a myriad of ways to prepare it!

But, my favorite way to enjoy this vegetable is oven roasted cauliflower florets that get deeply golden brown and caramelized in a hot oven. Roasting cauliflower florets under high heat enhances the flavor and makes each piece perfectly crispy.

A generous drizzle of homemade lemon tahini sauce tastes amazing on roasted cauliflower florets. This sauce takes under five minutes to prepare, which you can do while the cauliflower is cooking in the oven.

Tahini cauliflower is bound to be one of your new favorite healthy vegetable side dishes! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free, and dairy free.

tahini cauliflower ingredients laid out on a light grey backdrop

Ingredients in roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce

Here is everything you need to make this recipe:

  • Cauliflower: When shopping for cauliflower, look for a vegetable that has no brown spots and is heavy and quite firm to the touch. I prefer to buy a whole head of cauliflower and cut it into florets, but you could also buy a bag of pre-cut cauliflower florets for convenience.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt helps enhance the natural sweetness of cauliflower as it roasts in the oven.
  • Sumac: Sumac is a spice that is popular in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a lemony, sweet and tart flavor. If you can’t find sumac, you can just use black pepper in its place.
  • Olive oil: A generous amount of olive oil (two tablespoons) is essential for perfectly crispy roasted cauliflower florets.
  • Tahini: Tahini is a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Tahini is a delicious base for a sauce for vegetables, falafel, and more. Read about the nutrition benefits of tahini below.
  • Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice is best for tahini sauce.
  • Garlic and herb seasoning: This dry seasoning blend is used to make the homemade lemon tahini sauce. You can also just use garlic powder.
  • Cilantro or parsley: Chopped fresh herbs garnish this roasted cauliflower recipe and add a fresh, zesty flavor.

If you love lemon tahini sauce on cauliflower, try it on roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots or roasted broccoli!

Kitchen tools needed

You need a cutting board and a good knife to cut the cauliflower into florets, a sheet pan for roasting, a small mixing bowl, and a small whisk or fork.

How to make tahini cauliflower

Cauliflower florets on a wooden cutting board
1. Cut cauliflower into bite-size florets of equal size.
Seasoned cauliflower florets on a dark sheet pan before being roasted
2. Season cauliflower florets with salt, sumac, and olive oil, and spread them out on a sheet pan.
Roasted cauliflower florets on a sheet pan
3. Roast cauliflower florets in the oven until fork tender and edges are golden brown.

Recipe tip: Place cauliflower florets cut side down onto the baking sheet. You want as much surface area as possible in contact with the hot pan. This allows the maillard reaction to occur – which is a fancy term for browning. It gives oven roasted vegetables their delicious caramelized flavor and aroma.

Tahini sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl
4. While cauliflower is in the oven, make the tahini sauce. Add tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic herb seasoning to a small bowl.
Whisked tahini sauce in a small bowl with a small whisk
5. Whisk the ingredients together. It will thicken up significantly.
Tahini sauce in a small bowl with a small whisk
6. Add cold water to thin out the sauce until smooth and runny.
Roasted cauliflower florets in a serving bowl
7. Transfer cauliflower florets to a serving bowl. I like a low, shallow bowl for this recipe.
Tahini cauliflower in a bowl on a round wooden cutting board
8. Drizzle tahini sauce on top of the cauliflower – as much as you’d like! Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Storing tahini cauliflower

If you have tahini cauliflower leftovers, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the cauliflower is warmed through.

Leftover roasted cauliflower is a delicious addition to salads or wraps, either cold or hot!

You will likely have some leftover tahini sauce. Store it in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can use leftover tahini sauce in a variety of ways: use it as a salad dressing, drizzled onto a grain bowl, spread onto sandwiches, or as a dip for veggies and pita!

Serving suggestions

This cauliflower recipe is a delicious and healthy side dish with any meal. Here are some protein-rich pescatarian and vegetarian mains that you could pair this cauliflower with:

bowl of tahini cauliflower on a wooden cutting board surrounded by halved lemons, parsley, and a bowl of tahini sauce

Cauliflower nutrition benefits

Cauliflower is a nutrition powerhouse! One cup of raw cauliflower provides:

  • 2.1 grams of dietary fiber (8% of your daily needs)
  • 2.1 grams of plant-based protein
  • 60.99 mcg folate (15% of your daily needs)
  • 0.714 mg pantothenic acid (14% of your daily needs)
  • 0.197 mg Vitamin B6 (12% of your daily needs)
  • 51.6 mg Vitamin C (57% of your daily needs)
  • 16.6 mcg Vitamin K (14% of your daily needs)

In addition to fiber and micronutrients, cauliflower is rich in a plant compound called sulforaphane. This beneficial compound has potent anti-inflammatory effects, protecting our cells against certain diseases.

Other cruciferous veggies that have sulforaphane include kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

Looking for more healthy cauliflower recipes? Try my turmeric roasted cauliflower, cauliflower piccata, cauliflower baked ziti, lemon roasted cauliflower with capers, vegan cauliflower alfredo sauce, and cauliflower & kale pasta.

Tahini nutrition benefits

Tahini is a super healthy food to include in your diet. It has a similar nutrient profile to nut butters, like peanut butter or almond butter. A one ounce serving of tahini (about two tablespoons) provides:

  • 4.8 grams of plant-based protein
  • 2.6 grams of dietary fiber (9% of your daily needs)
  • 0.346 mg thiamine (29% of your daily needs)
  • 0.134 mg riboflavin (10% of your daily needs)
  • 1.545 mg niacin (10% of your daily needs)
  • 9.75 mcg selenium (18% of your daily needs)
  • 120.77 mg calcium (9% of your daily needs)
  • 2.54 mg iron (14% of your daily needs)

Because it is a source of plant-based protein, calcium, and iron, tahini is particularly beneficial for those on a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based diet.

A one ounce serving of tahini has about 15 grams of fat, but a majority of the fat comes from heart healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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

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bowl of tahini cauliflower on a wooden cutting board surrounded by halved lemons, parsley, and a bowl of tahini sauce

Oven Roasted Cauliflower Florets with Tahini Sauce

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

This roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce is an easy & healthy side dish recipe that takes 30 minutes or less to make. Cauliflower florets are seasoned simply and roasted the oven until caramelized, then drizzled with a delicious homemade lemon tahini sauce. Serve tahini cauliflower with any weeknight meal!


Ingredients

Scale

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 medium to large head of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into florets
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp cilantro or parsley, chopped

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon (34 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic & herb seasoning
  • 1/3 cup cold water


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets and put them on a sheet pan.
  3. Season cauliflower with salt, sumac, and olive oil. Toss it up with your hands to evenly distribute the seasoning and oil. Turn the cauliflower florets so the cut side is facing down onto the baking sheet for maximum browning.
    Seasoned cauliflower florets on a dark sheet pan before being roasted
  4. Roast cauliflower in the oven for 25-30 minutes, without mixing. Cauliflower is done when the bottoms are deeply browned and caramelized and florets are fork tender.
    Roasted cauliflower florets on a sheet pan
  5. While the cauliflower is in the oven, prepare the tahini sauce. Add tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic & herb seasoning to a small mixing bowl.
    Tahini sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl
  6. Whisk everything together – the mixture will thicken up a lot.
    Whisked tahini sauce in a small bowl with a small whisk
  7. Add the cold water and whisk it into the tahini to thin it out into a smooth, drizzly sauce.
    Tahini sauce in a small bowl with a small whisk
  8. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving dish.
    Roasted cauliflower florets in a serving bowl
  9. Drizzle as much tahini sauce as desired over the roasted cauliflower. Garnish with chopped herbs and enjoy!

Notes

Storing tahini cauliflower

If you have tahini cauliflower leftovers, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the cauliflower is warmed through.

Leftover roasted cauliflower is a delicious addition to salads or wraps, either cold or hot!

You will likely have some leftover tahini sauce. Store it in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can use leftover tahini sauce in a variety of ways: use it as a salad dressing, drizzled onto a grain bowl, spread onto sandwiches, or as a dip for veggies and pita!