Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!

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Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!Cheese is an amazing thing!  Come on, who’s with me here?  I love pretty much all types of cheese…yes, even those stinky soft cheeses, too.  (On a side note, those stinky soft cheeses spread on freshly baked Italian bread are a thing of magic!)  I’m pretty sure I could live on cheddar, especially if it’s a good sharp cheddar.  But this post is all about the hard cheeses.  More specifically, this post is about Parmigiano Reggiano.

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!I don’t know about you, but I refer to Parmigiano Reggiano as Parmesan cheese.  But it’s not.  Parmesan is a broader term that includes not only Parmigiano Reggiano, but also imitation Parmesan cheeses, too.  My wife is half-Italian, and she taught me long ago to avoid those cans of “shake cheese.”  They might be labeled Parmesan, but there’s just no comparison between a can of shake cheese and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Seriously…try a taste test for yourself sometime.  Grate some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Shake some shake cheese on a plate.  Taste each one, and then let me know what you think.  For me, Parmigiano-Reggiano wins that race by a mile…and the race was only a mile long to begin with!

Food Photography: Parmigiano Cheese!So what’s the deal with the names anyways?  Well, the term ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’ is actually strictly regulated under both Italian and European laws.  You can’t just slap that name on any cheese.  You might have heard of D.O.C. (Denomination of Controlled Origin) laws?  These laws are in place to protect the authenticity of traditional Italian foods.  Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oils, Italian wines…they all have rules and guidelines that must be followed in order to earn the D.O.C. label.  And if you see that label, then you know you’re getting the real thing!

On a side note, Italian truffles are not currently regulated by D.O.C. laws.  My wife and I went truffle-hunting with some local hunters when we were in Italy earlier this year, and the truffle industry really needs the same regulations that exist for other Italian foods!

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

This whole side story about D.O.C. and Parmigiano Reggiano is just a build up to say…use the real deal cheese when making this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!  I know Parmigiano Reggiano is more expensive than shake cheese, but stop and think about why.  Yeah, you want to get the real thing!

We keep a block of Parmigiano Reggiano (we still call it Parmesan) in the fridge at all times.  We just pull it out, grate off whatever we need, wrap it back up in paper towels, pat the paper towels until they’re damp and then wrap the block back up in foil.  It lasts a surprisingly long time that way!  In fact, instead of going bad, it just gets really hard.  Usually we only have a small amount left by that point, so we chop it up and toss it into soups or stews for added flavor.

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!But back to this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower.  It’s delicious!  And it’s surprisingly easy.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower.  But roast it up until it gets slightly crunchy with those little burnt flecks on top?  I’ll eat the entire head of cauliflower!  I find that roasted cauliflower actually has a bit of a buttery flavor.  Strange since there’s no butter in the recipe at all.  But give this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower a shot and see what you think!  It’s an easy and tasty side dish for sure.  Cheers, friends!

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!Oh, and if you make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, then come back and share your thoughts?  Or tag me (@Spicedblog) in a photo on Instagram.  I’d love to see your creation!

Looking for more tasty roasted veggie recipes?  Check these out, too:

Lemon Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Easy Roasted Summer Vegetables

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Roasted Asparagus and Gruyere Quiche

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 195kcal



  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Using a large bowl, add cauliflower florets, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss until well coated.
  • Spread cauliflower onto a parchment-lined baking pan; bake for 30 minutes, or until florets are almost tender.
  • Remove pan from oven and sprinkle cauliflower with Parmesan cheese and minced parsley. Return pan to oven and continue baking for 5-10 more minutes.


I strongly recommend grating fresh Parmigiano Reggiano instead of using the pre-grated cans of Parmesan cheese.

Looking for an easy side dish?  Grab some Parmigiano Reggiano and make a batch of this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower!

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  1. David, I love how cauliflower and cheese come together. As a kid, my favorite Thanksgiving side was cauliflower gratin, so this is right up my food ally. Nice dish and one I shall try. But, will likely use Grana Padano as it fit’s our budget better and still has the great Italian Parmigiano taste.

    1. Ooo, cauliflower gratin sounds delicious, Ron! I bet the same flavors in this recipe could be translated over to a gratin-style dish. I might just have to do that for our place on Thanksgiving! And good note on the Grana Padano…it’s quite tasty, too! 🙂

    1. I agree, Dawn! Roasting veggies is so simple, but it completely changes the flavor profile. The little crispy bits on the edges of this cauliflower are my favorite!

  2. Well I’ve finally found a difference between us: I freaking loooove cauliflower. In fact, it’s one of my favorite vegetables–especially when it’s roasted. Double especially when you add some cheese. And don’t worry. I always use the real thing; I don’t think I’ve ever even eaten shake cheese. Just typing the words makes me gag a little :). Have a great week, David!

    1. Well darn it. There is indeed something we disagree about it…sorta. I’m now a fan of roasted cauliflower. The crispy little bits on the edges? So tasty! Hope your week is going fan-freakin-tastic, Kelsie! 🙂

  3. David, I couldn’t agree more – “there’s just no comparison between a can of shake cheese and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano”in fact Lil S would second that too and she is the cheese queen in our home! And speaking of cheese, dude, think we could have a competition as to who could eat a head of this Parmesan cauliflower quicker – game on?
    Btw, on a serious note, I’m so intrigued with your way of storing Parm- I’ve been wrapping it in plastic but it doesn’t last long – when you say “pat the paper towels until they’re damp” – do you mean pat the paper towels you used to wrap the parm, with another damp cloth/towel or until the paper towels get damp from the moisture from the parm?

    1. I’m all about that competition, Shashi! It’s kinda like the lettuce eating clubs that I mentioned a while back…except ours will be the cauliflower eating club! Problem is I think I’d lose every time as I’d need to stop and roast mine. Roasted cauliflower has such a different flavor than it’s uncooked cousin.

      As far as how we store Parm, I’m not quite sure why we do it that way. Laura did that when we moved in, and I’ve been doing it that way ever since. We literally wrap the cheese in a layer of paper towels and then I pat the towels generously with water. (Not soaking wet, but generously damp) and then wrap it all in foil. The towels eventually dry back out but they keep the cheese from turning into a hard block. We usually buy large pieces of Parm at Sam’s Club, and this method helps us keep it for quite a while before the block turns too hard to grate. All credit to Laura here though!

  4. David, thanks for the lesson on Parmigiano. I buy my mine at Costco, it’s of great quality and the price is so much better than anywhere else. Unfortunately I end up with a large piece that eventually hardens. I grind some of my cheeese and put it in the freezer. I also like to put shaved Parmigiano on my salads. Your cauliflower looks delicious. Pinned!

    1. We do the same thing with Parmesan, Gerlinde! We unfortunately don’t have a Costco in our area, so we go to Sam’s Club. But the same deal. It’s a huge wedge, and it’s quite affordable. Storing that Parm in the way I mentioned in the post has been our method for years, and it works well. It gets a little hard near the end, but there’s usually not much left and I just toss it in a soup. Give it a try!

  5. David, I love this idea! I think my fam is tired of my roasted cauliflower with reduced balsamic (although that’s good, too! I’m going to try this Parmesan version, I imagine they will devour it! I’m totally with you and Laura on the shake Parmesan, too. It isn’t even cheese, as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Oooo…roasted cauliflower with reduced balsamic? Intriguing! The Parmesan version is super delicious, but I’m going to have to try your version soon. 🙂 Cauliflower just has such a great flavor when roasted!

  6. Hi David! I love cauliflower, especially when it’s roasted! It took Gary a while to come around to roasted vegetables (I have no idea why), but he’s on board now. This is going to on my Thanksgiving table! PS I’m with you about cheese, including the stinky stuff!

    1. Yes! This would be an excellent side dish for Turkey Day. It does occupy the oven for a bit of time, so that might be a challenge…but the flavors are perfect! Roasted cauliflower just has such a unique flavor. I’m not a huge fan of the raw version, but roasted? Sign me up! Thanks so much, Dorothy!

  7. I never buy pre-grated cheese; it looks just sad in those packages. I also call all members of the parmesan family just “parmesan” even though I know that’s technically incorrect. And I certainly belong to those people who believe everything is better with cheese (Btw, have you ever tried savory cheesy oatmeal?), even cauliflower. Just kidding – I do love cauliflower.

    1. Everything really is better with cheese! You couldn’t have said it better there, Ben. But with that said, I don’t think I’ve ever had a savory oatmeal. I’m intrigued! I love oatmeal, but I’ve only ever had it with sweet spices. A cheesy version sounds awesome!

    1. Interesting! I’m the opposite, Kathy. I don’t care for cauliflower raw, but I love (!) it roasted. The little crispy edges? So good! And of course Parmesan just makes everything better if you ask me! 🙂

  8. I like a soft cheese myself. Particularly a brie or a blue cheese. But anyway, as you say this recipe is all about hard cheeses. I have a triangle of Parmagiano Reggiano in the fridge as that’s what I use to grate over my pasta dishes so I’m all set to make this excellent parmesan roasted cauliflower dish. Thanks for this David.

    1. I love soft cheeses, too. Heck, I just love all cheese! But this cauliflower is all about the hard cheese…particularly the Parmesan. This recipe is a super easy and super tasty side dish, and the extra flavor from the Parmesan is just perfect with the crispy bits of cauliflower! Thanks, Neil!

  9. You’re speaking my language…the language of cheese that is! I am a self-proclaimed “cheeseivore” lol. Love me some Parmigiano Reggiano, but my all-time favorite has to be Pecorino Romano. My dad used to joke he was going to go broke buying me cheese. 😉 Seriously though, shaker-jar cheese wasn’t (and still isn’t) allowed in our home. This Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is taking me to a very happy place right now. There’s no better way to eat vegetables than with cheese on them! Can’t wait to try it! 🙂

    1. Cheeseivore! I’ve never heard that term, but I might have to borrow it, Sherri. It describes me perfectly! I’m not sure I’ve ever met a cheese I didn’t like. I mean I like some cheeses more than others, but I do like all cheese! Truthfully, if you’re a Pecorino gal, then you could use that on this roasted cauliflower. There aren’t any rules here! Just delicious (and easy) roasted veggies. 🙂

  10. It’s so true that the green ‘shake can’ of cheese does not compare – you just need one whiff of it to know. 😉

    Don’t judge me, but I could eat that whole tray of roasted cauliflower myself!

    1. You’re telling me, Marissa! I grew up with that shake cheese in the fridge, but it’s just not the same at all. Once I learned better, I’ve never looked at that stuff again! Also, I think I ate the better half of this tray of roasted cauliflower as soon as the photos were done. Hey, it’s better than eating the better half of a cake, right? (I’ve also done that!) 🙂

  11. Well you won’t get any arguments here about using Parmigian-Reggiano over shake cheese… 😉 And even if I do like cauliflower, this is an especially nice way to enjoy it. When I’m feeling indulgent, I’m big on slathering it with béchamel enriched with cheese and run under the broiler, too. This looks a tad healthier!

    1. Haha! I was thinking about you when I wrote this post, Frank. I suspect ‘shake cheese’ has never appeared in your house! Ooo…now you have me craving cauliflower covered with bechamel. Talk about an indulgent and delicious side dish! 🙂

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