Roasted cauliflower with tahini is the easiest healthy side dish or quick appetizer you’ll ever make! Created with simple ingredients, it’s loaded with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors in every bite. Baked to tender perfection and just slightly crisp, it’s ready in less than 20 minutes for a recipe all your guests will adore! Gluten free, refined sugar free, & vegan friendly, too.
In my humble opinion, cauliflower is one of the most underrated vegetables out there. I mean, no hate toward other cold-weather options like brussel sprouts or broccoli. I think they’re great. All I’m saying is that it’s time to give cauliflower the respect it deserves!
After all, it’s one of the most versatile veggies on the market. From creamy cauliflower mash to cauliflower alfredo, I’m honestly not sure there’s anything it can’t do. However, one of my favorite ways to enjoy cauliflower is roasted in the oven with a little bit of tahini.
The end result is crisp, tender, and absolutely loaded with a sweet, salty, nutty flavor. Seriously, this dish checks all the boxes. Plus, it’s so good for you, too! Serve it with your favorite main course or on its own. No matter what you do, you really can’t go wrong.
For more savory recipes, be sure to check out my pumpkin quinoa salad and gluten free feta stuffed mushrooms!
What is Tahini?
Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds. It has a nutty flavor with a creamy thick consistency. It has an earthy nut-forward flavor with a slightly bitter taste.
You can find a jar of tahini at most grocery stores, international grocery stores, and online. I highly recommend the Soom brand.
Ingredients and Notes
For the Cauliflower
- Cauliflower - To keep this recipe budget-friendly, I chop a head of cauliflower into florets. However, to save time, you could purchase them already chopped instead.
- Oil - I tend to reach for olive oil to drizzle on top in order to help create the crisp exterior we’re looking to achieve while adding a good source of healthy fats. Feel free to swap it out with any other oil you have on hand such as avocado oil or vegetable oil.
- Salt & pepper - To enhance the flavor of the cauliflower.
For the Tahini
- Tahini - The true star of the show! Use a tahini brand that uses minimal ingredients, and don’t worry if the jar has some natural oil separation. That’s what we want to create a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Honey - This adds just a touch of sweetness that pairs perfectly with the nutty flavor of the tahini. Maple syrup or agave can be used as well to keep this recipe vegan.
- Oil - Adds an element of savoriness that ties the tahini in with the cauliflower. Any type of oil will work.
- Garlic - For a bold taste.
- Pistachios - Sprinkled on top for the perfect crunch.
- Dates - Chopped up and combined with the nuts for a balance of savory and sweet.
How to Make Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini
This tahini cauliflower looks super extravagant but is actually so simple to make! You’ll need a baking sheet, a bowl, and a fork or whisk to mix the tahini sauce.
Step 1: Roast the cauliflower. Once chopped, arrange the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the oil, salt, and pepper on top, and toss to combine. Roast in the oven until the cauliflower is fork-tender and golden brown.
Step 2: Create the tahini sauce. While the cauliflower bakes, whisk together the ingredients for the tahini sauce until smooth and runny. Add a splash of water as needed to thin it out.
Step 3: Combine the ingredients. Place the roasted cauliflower on a serving dish and drizzle the tahini dressing on top. Gently toss to combine and coat the cauliflower.
Sprinkle the chopped pistachios and dates on top, and toss again until the ingredients are well combined.
- Swap the pistachios with slivered almonds
- Add a handful of broccoli florets along with the cauliflower
- Sprinkle some roasted chickpeas over top
- Roast some carrots with the cauliflower for added color
- Serve with lentils for a protein-rich plant-based meal
Making Ahead of Time
If you’re wanting to make this recipe ahead of time, I recommend preparing the tahini dressing up to 1 week in advance and waiting to roast the cauliflower until you’re ready to serve. This will ensure crispy warm cauliflower florets!
To store leftovers, transfer the tahini cauliflower to an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. To enjoy, microwave in 20-second intervals until warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Like most vegetables, cauliflower is best enjoyed warm right after it’s cooked. This is when it will be the crispiest. As it cools down, the moisture will soak into the vegetable, and it will become soft.
This roasted cauliflower is very versatile and can be served with a variety of dishes from chicken to beef to lamb. It also makes a great Holiday side dish.
If your cauliflower is tough, it wasn’t cooked long enough. You’ll know it’s done when it’s tender to the touch and golden brown on top.
For more savory dishes, check out these great recipes:
Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini
For the cauliflower:
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 tablespoon olive oil - any oil will work
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the tahini sauce:
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon honey - or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - any oil will work
- ½ teaspoon garlic
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 5 - 6 dates - chopped
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut up the head of cauliflower into small pieces and remove the stalks.
- Spread the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil then sprinkle salt and pepper over top. Use your hands or a spatula to gently toss the cauliflower. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until brown..
- Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing by mixing together the tahini, honey, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk well until the mixture is thin enough to run off the back of a spoon. Add a splash of water if needed.
- Transfer the roasted cauliflower into a serving dish and drizzle the tahini dressing over top. Gently toss the cauliflower to distribute the dressing. Top with chopped pistachios and dates and toss one more time before serving.
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