Roasted balsamic cauliflower is the perfect side dish or even afternoon snack! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself snacking on these right from the sheet pan! This simple recipe is vegan, Whole30, low carb and keto friendly!
Why you will love this recipe
If you love roasted cauliflower, you are going to love how adding balsamic vinegar heightens the caramelization and sweetness! If you haven’t tried this yet, you are going to love it!
Balsamic roasted cauliflower is the perfect side dish for brunch or dinner and can even be added to salads or tacos for a fun twist! This simple recipe is super versatile and it’s even perfect for snacking!
This recipe combines cauliflower and red bell peppers to roast together but you can use any veggies you like to make simple roasted veggies that everyone will love. The balsamic vinegar really does something special to veggies as they roast!
Balsamic cauliflower ingredients
- Cauliflower (fresh or frozen) – be sure to cut the cauliflower up into similar bite size pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Red bell pepper – adds some sweetness to the dish. Optional – see alternatives below.
- Balsamic vinegar – be sure to use a vinegar you enjoy that isn’t too acidic
- Olive oil – olive oil helps to cut through the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and helps the cauliflower caramelize when cooking.
- Spices: Italian seasoning, Salt, Garlic powder – I like to use garlic powder so the garlic doesn’t burn. Use your favorite herbs here – basil, oregano, mint, marjoram, thyme, rosemary
How to make balsamic roasted cauliflower
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place large sheet of parchment on the baking sheet.
Cut the cauliflower into similar size pieces and add the cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen) to the baking sheet. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes.
Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt and garlic powder in a bowl.
Chop the red bell pepper into bite size pieces.
After cooking for 10 minutes in the oven, remove the cauliflower and add the chopped red pepper and balsamic vinegar mixture to the cauliflower.
Carefully mix well to ensure the cauliflower is well coated with the balsamic mixture.
Bake 425F for another 20 minutes.
Taste for salt, sprinkle additional salt on at the end if needed. Serve hot.
- You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower for this recipe! I actually love having a few bags of frozen cauliflower on hand so that I can skip the step of cutting the cauliflower from the stalk.
- Be sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper! This really helps make clean up a breeze! If you don’t have parchment paper, you could use foil as well. If you don’t have parchment paper or foil, you may want to use a glass baking dish instead for easy clean up.
- Use a big enough baking sheet! When roasting veggies, you want to ensure they have some room to spread out so they aren’t steaming but instead roasting. This can be achieved by using an extra large baking sheet or dividing the cauliflower between two baking sheets if necessary. Be sure to rotate the pans in the oven if you are using 2.
- Be sure to cut the cauliflower into similar size pieces so it can cook evenly. This applies to fresh or frozen cauliflower florets.
- Use a balsamic vinegar you actually like the taste of. I have to admit I’ve had a few balsamic vinegars that were 100% terrible and it ruins a dish. I love the aged balsamic from Trader Joe’s or they have a great one at a good price from Thrive Market too!
What other veggies can you roast with balsamic vinegar
I love the simplicity of just the cauliflower and red bell pepper. This is because I almost always have these veggies on hand at my house. Some other good veggies to roast are:
- Brussel sprouts
- Onions (white or red)
- Radish (halved)
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Grape tomatoes
Note: When you are adding the balsamic to the pan, if you are using eggplant be sure to coat that last as eggplant is known to absorb a ton of liquid and you likely won’t have any balsamic for the rest of the veggies.
Other spices you could add
- Herbs de Provence
- Za’atar seasoning
- Fresh herbs like mint, oregano, rosemary, dill (finely chop these)
- Fresh basil, flat leaf parsley (great for finishing the dish) add after cooking.
What to serve with balsamic roasted cauliflower
- Rosemary garlic potatoes
- Air fryer chicken drumsticks
- Air fryer salmon
- Crockpot Balsamic Chicken
- Juicy oven baked chicken breast
- Balsamic tofu
- White beans, chickpeas, lentils
What is the best temperature for roasting veggies?
I personally love 425F for roasting veggies. This temperature allows the veggies to get caramelized edges without having to be in the oven for too long.
What is the best way to cut cauliflower
Start by cutting off the green leaves so you can see the stalk vs. the florets on the bottom of the cauliflower.
With the stalk facing you (and the florets on the cutting board), use a sharp knife and trace around the stalk (this will cut away all of the sides at once). You will be left with just the top portion of the florets attached).
Cut the top part of the florets from the stalk. Now you have large chunks of cauliflower to work with.
Break the florets down into bite size pieces. You want them to be similar sizes so they don’t burn or undercook.
Can you make this ahead of time?
Roasted cauliflower is best right out of the oven. If you need to make it ahead, you will probably want to reheat it under the broiler 2-3 minutes (don’t use parchment paper for this) or in the air fryer 390F for 5 minutes (possibly in batches depending on the size of your air fryer).
You can also prep everything ahead so that when it’s time to cook, all you have to do is put it in the oven. For this you can cut the cauliflower or open the bags of frozen cauliflower and cut down any that are large. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge. Make the balsamic dressing and store in the fridge. When it’s time to cook simply place the baking sheet in the oven and follow the rest of the directions.
How to store leftover roasted balsamic veggies
Fridge: Store leftovers in the fridge up to 4 days. See my note above about reheating. Roasted veggies are also great on salads cold!
Freezer: the texture of these will change when frozen. If you have to freeze them, I suggest using them in soup or a dish where the texture is not as important. If you want to try to eat them out of the freezer, defrost and reheat in the air fryer or broiler.
- Cauliflower and red bell pepper: You can use any of the veggies listed above to replace cauliflower or red pepper. The cooking times may vary based on the veggies you use. Hard winter veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions, brussel spouts, carrots and parsnips will probably cook in the same amount of time as stated. Other veggies like asparagus, tomatoes, eggplant, fennel will likely cook up in about 20 minutes total roasting time. You can add the marinade directly to those veggies before roasting.
- Balsamic vinegar: You can also use a balsamic glaze. This is much thicker than balsamic vinegar and is a bit sticky. It could take a little longer to combine with the veggies but would impart an even deeper flavor.
- Italian seasoning: see other herbs you could add above or omit completely.
- Salt: This helps elevate all the flavors. If you think you don’t like vegetables it’s likely because you aren’t salting them. Use your favorite “no salt added” seasoning here.
- Garlic powder: You could also use fresh garlic however, it may burn a bit in the oven which is why I use garlic powder. If you are low fodmap or cannot tolerate garlic you can omit or use garlic infused olive oil (1 tbsp) in place of garlic powder.
If you love cauliflower, you should try
- Moroccan Cauliflower
- Slow Cooker Cauliflower Soup
- Vegan Garlic Cauliflower Mash
- Mexican White Bean Cauliflower Soup
- Mediterranean Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Guacamole
- Roasted Cauliflower Hummus
Simple Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower$5.81 Recipe/$1.45 Serving
- 2 bags frozen cauliflower florets (or one large head cauliflower) - $2.65
- 1 red bell peppers - $1.29
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar - $1.25
- 1 tbsp olive oil - $0.22
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning - $0.25
- 1 tsp salt - $0.05
- 1 tsp garlic powder - $0.10
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Add parchment paper to a rimmed baking sheet
- Open the bags of frozen cauliflower onto the parchment paper. Spread the cauliflower out to a single layer.
- Bake at 425F for 10 minutes.
- While cauliflower is roasting, chop the red bell pepper and combine the balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt and garlic powder in a small bowl.
- After 10 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and stir well.
- Bake for another 20-25 minutes, allowing the balsamic vinegar to soak into the veggies and caramelize.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. See reheating instructions above.
- Cauliflower will get mushy when freezing. I don’t recommend storing it this way. If you have to freeze it, it will likely be best served in a soup or a dish where the texture is not as important.
- Start by cutting off the green leaves so you can see the stalk vs. the florets on the bottom of the cauliflower.
- With the stalk facing you (and the florets on the cutting board), use a sharp knife and trace around the stalk (this will cut away all of the sides at once). You will be left with just the top portion of the florets attached).
- Cut the top part of the florets from the stalk. Now you have large chunks of cauliflower to work with.
- Break the florets down into bite size pieces. You want them to be similar sizes so they don’t burn or undercook.
Tuesday 24th of September 2019
how would you modify using fresh cauliflower
Tuesday 26th of November 2019
Little to no changes, you may have to bake the cauliflower a bit less or longer depending on how done you want the cauliflower after baking.
Tuesday 26th of June 2018
Plus frozen veggies are cheaper than fresh too! love this side dish, easy to make and oh so tasty and healthy