If you are looking for a quick and easy side dish to go with your next meal, give this parmesan pesto roasted cauliflower a try. With that herbaceous flavor from the pesto and a nice salty bite from the parmesan cheese, this is a low carb and gluten-free side that will go with just about anything!
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Anyone that says cauliflower is boring has clearly never tried this ridiculously easy recipe! Roasted cauliflower is the perfect vehicle for a sauce, and when that sauce is pesto you end up with a delicious low carb side.
Ok, I will keep it 100 with you. I used to be a cauliflower hater. Yup, couldn’t stand the stuff.
But I was raised by a mother that didn’t believe in a child turning their nose up to the food she put in front of her. No matter how stinky that food seemed to the child.
Nope, she was a firm believer in making kids eat everything on their plate, and if I didn’t do it voluntarily she would force-feed it to me. So, I kinda had an “issue” with cauliflower as well as brussels sprouts, broccoli, and tomatoes, my whole life.
But something changed after I went low carb. Maybe it was the need to find something I could use to substitute the carby dishes I was missing. I am not sure. But slowly but surely I began to love all of those foods I hated.
Now cauliflower is actually one of my favorite veggies, believe it or not!
Why is cauliflower perfect for the keto diet?
Well, let’s look at the health benefits of cauliflower first, regardless of the diet you eat.
Here is an overview of the nutrients found in 1 cup of raw cauliflower:
Fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
Folate: 14% of the RDI
Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
Potassium: 9% of the RDI
Manganese: 8% of the RDI
Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
So you can see that cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and in fact, contains almost every vitamin and mineral that your body needs.
Now let’s take a look at the things we use cauliflower to substitute.
Mashed Potatoes (1 cup) contains 33.7 grams of carbs and 174 calories.
White Rice (1 cup) contains 44 grams of carbs and 204 calories.
Pasta (1 cup) contains 42.95 grams of carbs and 220 calories.
So you can see just the savings in carbs and calories is amazing!
My hubby used to groan when he heard we were having cauliflower. When I asked him why he really didn’t know. Maybe he had the same bad experience with it as a kid, or just grew up thinking cauliflower was one of those veggies that everyone hates. I don’t know. But I pointed out to him that cauliflower is a pretty bland veggie, it takes on the flavors that you add to it.
Kinda like potatoes, and rice, and pasta, right?
Once we had that talk his attitude about cauliflower completely changed and now some of my cauliflower recipes are his favorites.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE PARMESAN PESTO ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Pesto (homemade or storebought)
- Parmesan cheese
- Pink sea salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
HOW TO MAKE PARMESAN PESTO ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet with avocado or olive oil spray.
In a bowl toss the cauliflower florets, pesto, salt and pepper together. Spread the florets in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes then remove the pan and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until the florets are browning on the edges.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and squeeze the juice of half of a lemon over the top of the florets.
Serve the cauliflower on a serving platter or in a bowl drizzled with extra pesto and more parmesan cheese.
FAQS ABOUT PARMESAN PESTO ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
How many servings is this recipe?
It is about 4 to 6 depending on the size of the cauliflower you grab. A serving of cauliflower in 1 cup and you can get about 1 1/2 cups of florets per pound.
Can I do this with broccoli instead of cauliflower?
I have not tried it but think it would be delicious. Make sure to coat the broccoli well with the pesto and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
How should I store the leftovers?
Place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat roasted cauliflower in the microwave but for crispier cauliflower, heat it in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.
Tips For Roasting Cauliflower
- Slice the cauliflower so that there are plenty of flat edges. Make sure the flat edges are in contact with the bottom of the pan. This will ensure that they get golden brown and caramelized on that side.
- Be sure the cauliflower is completely coated with pesto.
- Spread the cauliflower florets out as much as possible on a baking sheet so the cauliflower gets a nice crispy side rather than “steaming”.
- Roast the cauliflower at a higher heat. I like to roast most of my vegetables at 400° F., but you can also roast at 425° F. Just keep an eye on it because it can burn fast.
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