Asian BBQ Roasted Cauliflower with cilantro, peanuts, and a sticky-sweet glaze. The absolute BEST roasted cauliflower recipe that's sure to become a favorite.
Why You'll Love this Asian BBQ Roasted Cauliflower
This is, by far, my favorite cauliflower recipe to date. It's sweet and tangy with just the right amount of spice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts, and it will become a regular in your rotation.
And if you're wondering what Asian BBQ sauce is, think of classic bottled BBQ sauce with a blast of umami. This version has so much more dimension and zing than traditional southern BBQ sauce, and I have a feeling you'll be hooked.
Pair this roasted cauliflower recipe with your protein of choice--tofu, pork, chicken, beef--for a flavorful weeknight dinner.
- Cauliflower: You need one large head of cauliflower, which should amount to 6 to 7 cups of florets. You can also buy pre-chopped florets for convenience.
- Asian BBQ Sauce: This sauce is made of a lot of pantry staples, however one or two you may not be as familiar with. You need ketchup, honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger, and Tom Yum Paste. Tom Yum Paste is made of a fragrant blend of lemongrass, Thai chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal. It's typically added to Tom Yum soup, which has its origins in Thailand. If you can't find it, you can use red Thai curry paste instead.
- Cilantro: With all the sweet and savory flavors going on here, fresh cilantro adds welcome freshness. You can also use chopped fresh mint or basil, if you prefer.
- Peanuts: A crunchy garnish is the ultimate compliment to buttery, roasted cauliflower florets. I love using roasted peanuts, however you can also use cashews or chestnuts.
Step 1: Roast the Cauliflower
Start by preheating the oven to 450ºF and lining a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the cauliflower to make sure it's evenly coat, and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
Step 2: Prepare the Asian BBQ Sauce
While the cauliflower bakes, prepare the Asian BBQ sauce. Combine ketchup, honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger, and Tom Yum Paste in a small bowl; whisk to combine.
Step 3: Toss Roasted Cauliflower in Sauce
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and drizzle half of the Asian BBQ sauce overtop. Toss to combine, and place the cauliflower back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
Step 4: Garnish and Serve
Transfer roasted cauliflower to a serving plate or platter, and drizzle remaining sauce overtop. Garnish with cilantro, peanuts, and sliced chilies (if desired), and serve!
FAQs and Expert Tips
How to Cut Cauliflower into Florets
Here is the best way to slice a head of cauliflower into smaller florets:
- Remove large leaves from the base of the cauliflower so that the stem is exposed; discard or compost the leaves.
- Use a sharp knife to cut around the stem of the cauliflower; remove and discard the core.
- Break the cauliflower into large florets with your hands.
- Slice each segment of cauliflower into smaller florets (1" to 2" pieces), and either discard or compost larger stems.
Tips to Making the BEST Oven Roasted Cauliflower
For cauliflower that’s buttery and tender on the inside with quintessential crisp, roasting is the way to go. Not only does roasting create perfectly caramelized florets, it also brings out cauliflower’s natural nutty flavor. However, they are a couple tricks to maximize the veggie’s goodness and versatility
- Avoid overcrowding the pan, which will encourage steaming over browning.
- Crank the oven up to 450°F, which will tenderize the veggies while also creating those yummy charred bits.
- Toss every 12 to 15 minutes to ensure all sides of the florets make sufficient contact with the pan.
Tips to Store and Reheat
Oven-roasted cauliflower is best enjoyed fresh, however if you end up with leftovers, store them in an airtight container. When you're ready to reheat, you have a few options. One option is the toaster oven, which is my personal go-to, because it reestablishes their crispiness. Alternatively, you can reheat cauliflower in a skillet over medium heat until warm.
I don't suggest microwaving leftover cauliflower, unless you don't mind it being super soft. (In a pinch, however, this will always do the job!)
What to Serve with Asian BBQ Roasted Cauliflower
Oven-roasted cauliflower has to be one of the versatile side dishes. You can serve it alongside just about any protein you like: tofu, chicken, shrimp, beef, or pork. Here are a few of my favorite pairings:
- 30 Minute Black Pepper Tofu: talk about an explosion of fiery umami goodness in one meal.
- 5 Ingredient Curried Maple Mustard Salmon: this combo will deliver restaurant-worthy flavor on any weeknight.
- Marinated Peanut Baked Tempeh: the two recipes use many of the same ingredients, yet impress in their own unique ways.
Other Reader-Favorite Cauliflower Recipes
Asian BBQ Roasted Cauliflower
- Large sheet pan
- Mixing bowls
- 1 medium to large head cauliflower, cut into florets (6 to 7 cups total)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil (sub avocado oil)
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- Chopped roasted peanuts and fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
Asian BBQ Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sweet red chili sauce (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
- 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp. Tom Yum paste* (sub red Thai curry paste)
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up, if desired. Toss cauliflower in olive oil and salt, and spread out on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden and charred in some spots.
- Meanwhile, prepare Asian BBQ Sauce by placing all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisking to combine.
- Drizzle half of Asian BBQ Sauce over roasted cauliflower, and toss to coat. Place cauliflower back in the oven, and bake for 8 to 10 more minutes, tossing every few minutes, until deeply caramelized.
- Transfer cauliflower to a bowl or serving platter, and drizzle remaining sauce overtop. Garnish with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.