One of my favorite vegan dinners, this whole roasted cauliflower is easy to make and so tasty. Every person I have made it for has absolutely loved it – including meat eaters.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
The very first time I cooked whole roasted cauliflower, I made it for a holiday dinner and the whole family LOVED it. I actually intended to post this recipe last year around Thanksgiving, but you know how crazy the holidays are!
I loosely followed hot for food’s recipe and have since made it probably 8-10 times, and the recipe has taken on a life of its own by this point. It’s so dang good and tastes CRAZY similar to a traditional pot roast, while of course being 100% vegan. This recipe is also oil-free, so you can enjoy seconds without any guilt.
Admittedly, I could eat the gravy by the spoonful. The secret to making a “meaty”-tasting gravy is to use soy sauce and a little Worcestershire sauce (be careful not to get one that contains anchovies). I also add some smoked paprika for a little OOMPH. Smoked paprika is a must have in my pantry! It’s what gives bacon alternatives that perfect smokey flavor.
Keeping up with the roast tradition, this cauliflower roast is surrounded by carrots and potatoes. I love how the potatoes just soak up all that savory gravy. Classic comfort food with incredible flavor!
Whole roasted cauliflower is the perfect vegan roast for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas or a Sunday dinner with family. While very simple to make, it does need a little TLC while roasting. I like to baste the cauliflower with the homemade gravy to keep it moist and really amplify the flavor.
The trick to getting even more flavor inside of the cauliflower is…putting the gravy literally inside. This was a genius tip from the hot for food recipe. Place the cauliflower bottom-side-up and pour in some gravy. Then, give it a little shake to evenly distribute that yummy flavor between the florets. Set the cauliflower right-side-up and brush more gravy all over.
Once the whole roasted cauliflower comes out of the oven, I recommend cutting it like you would a round cake. Serve alongside those potatoes and carrots, and perhaps some salad, green bean casserole or stuffing, and that’s a complete meal!
More Cauliflower Recipes:
- Lentil and Cauliflower Soup
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Air-Fried Cauliflower Tacos
- Vegan Cauliflower Bolognese
How to Make Whole Roasted Cauliflower
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- Why is my cauliflower undercooked?
- If you have a larger-than-average head of cauliflower, allow for additional cooking time OR if it’s super large, steam the cauliflower for 10-15 minutes beforehand.
- Make sure to cover the roast tightly for the first 40 minutes of cooking time. This is really important to help steam the roast in the oven. To cover, I recommend using aluminum foil, a casserole dish with a lid, or a dutch oven. You could also cover your dish with a baking sheet if your dish is deep enough.
- Avoid overcrowding your dish. If you only have a small casserole dish or roasting pan, just cook the potatoes and carrots in a separate dish.
- My gravy isn’t thickening, what’s going on?
- Make sure to bring the gravy back to a simmer after adding the cornstarch + water mixture (aka, cornstarch slurry).
- You can also make more cornstarch slurry to add to the gravy.
- There just not enough gravy!
- If you enjoy drizzling gravy on your roast after cooking, or you have a larger-than-average head of cauliflower, make a double batch of the gravy.
- NOTE: The gravy recipe was updated on 9/8/18 to make additional gravy.
- What can I use in place of soy sauce?
- Coconut aminos or tamari are good substitutes.
- I can’t find vegan Worcestershire sauce! What can I use instead?
- Just leave it out, it adds a nice touch but won’t compromise the overall flavor of the gravy if you don’t add any.
RECIPE UPDATE 9/8/18: The gravy has been updated to make an additional cup or so of gravy, since several of you were telling me that there was not enough gravy. The simmering time was also cut in half to make sure that the gravy doesn’t reduce too much. It now makes about 3.5 cups of gravy. I have also attempted to make the instructions much clearer and detailed.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
One of my favorite vegan dinners, this whole roasted cauliflower is easy to make and so tasty. Every person I have made it for has absolutely loved it - including meat eaters. Make this for Thanksgiving, or any holiday, or an impressive family dinner!
- 1 whole cauliflower leaves and outer stalk trimmed off
- 4 large carrots chopped
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
In a medium-sized pot, whisk together all of the gravy ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch & water.
Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. (This will allow all the flavors to marry.) Remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a cornstarch slurry.
Once the pot is no longer simmering, slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the gravy a little at a time. Going slow will ensure that no clumps form.
The gravy will begin to thicken as soon as the cornstarch is whisked in. Put the pot back on the stove and return to a simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 450F degrees.
Arrange the potatoes and carrots in a roasting dish with the cauliflower in the center. Be careful not to overcrowd the dish.
Place the cauliflower upside-down and pour 1/3 cup of the gravy into it. Give it a good shake to distribute the gravy.
Place cauliflower right-side up and brush more gravy on the top to cover it (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
Add 1/2 cup of vegetable stock to the bottom of the dish (this will help steam the veggies.)
Pour about a 1/3 cup of gravy over top of the potatoes and carrots.
Cover the dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, brushing the cauliflower with more gravy halfway through.
Uncover the cauliflower roast and brush more gravy on. Bake for another 30 minutes (uncovered), brushing with more gravy halfway again.
Remove from the oven and serve while hot.
*Many brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies. Vegan Worcestershire sauce does exist (Annie's brand and Kroger brand are vegan for sure), but if you can't find it, you can omit it and substitute apple cider vinegar for a little zing.
If you dig onions, you can slice up an onion and add it right in with the carrots and potatoes. Mushrooms would be great, too!
Making sure your pan is not too crowded will help everything cook through properly. If you find the potatoes are drying out, add a little more veggie stock to the pan.