This is a recipe that has been in my rotation for years! I love roasted veggies, and cauliflower is a big fave of mine. The way it gets all caramelized and crunchy, and it's so carb-friendly! This creamy roasted cauliflower side dish is perfect as an easy alternative to mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, or pasta. But I don't serve it as an alternative to anything -- it's one of my favorite side dishes in its own right.
This creamy roasted cauliflower recipe begins with a simple roasted cauliflower technique. You'll just toss your cauliflower florets with some oil, garlic, and seasonings. While they're getting crispy and brown in the oven, you'll prep a quick two-ingredient creamy dressing. The combination of lemon and cream cheese gives this roasted cauliflower dish so much flavor! Finally, I like to top it all off with some chopped green onions, just to add even more flavor. The fresh, aromatic flavor of the green onions works perfectly with the lemon. You've got to try this roasted cauliflower recipe for your next dinner or lunch!
This is one of the easiest dishes I make! It only takes a few ingredients:
- cauliflower florets - I usually just pick up a bag or two of fresh cauliflower florets from the produce section and cut some of them so that they're evenly bite-size. That makes this recipe even easier with minimal prep. But if you aren't able to find the pre-cut florets, feel free to pick up a head of cauliflower, wash and dry it, and chop it into bite-size florets.
- extra-virgin olive oil - helps to get the edges of your cauliflower nice and brown, and adds some delicious flavor!
- fresh chopped garlic - Fresh garlic is a must! In this recipe it gets browned and crispy, so it adds little bits of flavor. I like to make it easier by using this amazing garlic press!
- red pepper flakes - I love to add a little spice whenever I'm roasting veggies, and this roasted cauliflower is no exception! But
- salt and pepper
- cream cheese - the tart flavor of the cream cheese coats every bit of the cauliflower and gives it such a rich, creamy texture! This is the key to this recipe!
- fresh squeezed lemon juice - brightens up this roasted cauliflower and thins out the cream cheese a bit to allow it to spread over the cauliflower.
- scallions/green onions - adds another layer of crunch and flavor to top this dish.
Step by Step
- First, you'll toss your cauliflower with your oil, garlic, and seasonings. This quick step preps the cauliflower for maximum flavor as it roasts.
- Then, roasted your cauliflower on a lined baking sheet until they're nice and browned -- or if you're like me, a little longer so that the edges are charred a bit!
- While your cauliflower is roasting, heat the cream cheese and lemon juice in the microwave.
- Finally, toss the roasted cauliflower with the lemon cream cheese mixture and top with chopped green onions to serve!
This is a basic roasted veggie recipe, so you'll definitely need a sheet pan and a silicone liner or parchment paper to line your pan. Other than that, just a garlic press and a mixing bowl to toss your roasted cauliflower with your creamy lemon topping is all you need!
Tips for the best creamy roasted cauliflower
Line your baking sheet with parchment, or (even better) a silicone baking mat. Lining your pan is essential to prevent sticking and make clean-up a lot easier. Plus, using a silicone baking mat like this one helps everything cook more evenly.
Season lightly at first, then add a little more salt and pepper as your last step. This dish is easy to season after it's cooked, so to avoid oversalting, just salt it lightly before roasting and then once you've tasted your finished product, add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve warm OR cold! I like to enjoy this creamy roasted cauliflower warm as a side dish, but I've also had it chilled as a picnic side dish -- it can be a delicious, low-carb alternative to pasta salad or potato salad!
If you like this creamy lemon-garlic roasted cauliflower, you will definitely want to try my broccoli, tomato, and feta salad! It's another low-carb, healthy recipe that is perfect as a lunch side dish, and SO easy!
Another delicious recipe that comes together so easily and is low in carbs is my rotisserie chicken salad! It starts with a store-bought rotisserie chicken, and in minutes you'll have a fantastic meal that's full of flavor! Give it a try for your next lunch or easy dinner!
Equipment you may need
- garlic press
- 10 oz cauliflower florets - roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic - chopped or pressed through a garlic press
- sea salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoon red pepper flakes - to taste
- 4 oz cream cheese - softened
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 green onions - sliced, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- Combine cauliflower florets, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a bowl and toss to coat.
- Spread cauliflower mixture on prepared sheet pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Place in preheated oven and roast until cauliflower is well browned, about 30 minutes.
- Heat lemon juice and cream cheese in microwave for about 45 seconds until warm; mix until smooth.
- Toss warm roasted cauliflower with lemon-cream cheese mixture and garnish with chopped green onions. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve.
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