We honestly love cauliflower around here, because it’s easy to dress up, while being low in carbs and calories. This pesto roasted cauliflower is no exception. It’s one of those sides that absolutely steals the show. We’re just really not into boring food around here, and we know you’re going to love this yummy dish with minimal prep time.
We cover some common questions in the body of this post, as well as show lots of step by step photos. You can however skip right to the recipe card to get right into the details. You can also view this post as a google web story here!
- Large head cauliflower – You could also use some pre-cut cauliflower florets. Either way, you want about 1 pound of cauliflower florets whichever method you choose. If you prefer, you could use cauliflower rice probably, though we haven’t tested this method ourselves. We’re sure it will affect the baking time. If you try it, let us know in the comments how it went!
- Homemade basil pesto with walnuts – We use our walnut pesto recipe for this dish (and for so many other dishes you will find on this site) and it’s just the best. You can whip it up a few days in advance. Either way it’s really simple to put together in a food processor or high power blender. You can make your own variation of pesto, or simply use your favorite store bought, but just be sure to calculate your nutrition facts accordingly!
- Olive oil – We do still need a little bit of additional olive oil to prep this cauliflower for the oven.
- Lemon juice – Lemon juice adds a little sweetness, brightness and acidity to this rich side.
- Kosher salt and black pepper – Just a bit of each, and add slowly to taste, especially when it comes to the salt. Since salt levels can vary from different brands or recipes of pesto, we don’t want to you to add too much and then be disappointed by the outcome!
- Shredded parmesan cheese – We do normal say to use freshly shredded or grated, but for this recipe we think it’s totally fine to use pre-shredded parmesan cheese.
- Garnish with: fresh basil, lemon, more parmesan, all optional!
How to Make Crispy Roasted Pesto Cauliflower:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, lemon juice, half the olive oil, and half the salt and pepper, and half the pesto. Toss to combine.
Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, unless using a cast iron baking sheet like we are. (You don’t need parchment for that!) Make sure to spread the cauliflower apart, and place the flat side down on the baking sheet to help it get really crispy. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, toss, and then add most of the parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, and broil for 3-5 minutes for crispy bits.
Drizzle with remaining pesto, and season to taste. Garnish with more parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, pepper and fresh lemon.
Tips For The Best Cauliflower:
- Make sure to spread out as much as possible on a baking sheet so the cauliflower gets a nice crispy side rather than “steaming”.
- Our homemade pesto can be made up to 10 days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Pre-shredded cheese will work just fine for this.
What To Serve with This Crispy Cauliflower with Pesto:
- Any protein you’d like! Fish, steak, chicken, pork, anything!
- Try it with these cast iron garlic lemon butter scallops!
- Cheesy baked meatballs
- Keto antipasto salad
More Recipes To Try:
- Cauliflower mushroom skillet with garlic lemon butter sauce
- Steak caprese skewers
- Burrata caprese salad
- Roasted cauliflower and asparagus with parmesan and lemon
Need more ideas? Be sure to check out this massive list of over 85+ low carb and keto friendly recipes on our site!
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Until Next Time,
Briana & Chamere
Pesto Cauliflower with Crispy Parmesan
- 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about the juice of half a lemon)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup homemade walnut basil pesto (use store bought or our recipe)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
- Garnish with: Lemon, fresh basil, parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, lemon juice, half the olive oil, and half the salt and pepper, and half the pesto. Toss to combine.
- Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, unless using a cast iron baking sheet like we are. (You don’t need parchment for that!) Make sure to spread the cauliflower apart, and place the flat side down on the baking sheet to help it get really crispy. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, toss, and then add most of the parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, and broil for 3-5 minutes for crispy bits. Drizzle with remaining pesto, and season to taste. Garnish with more parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, pepper and fresh lemon.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- This recipe was made using about 3 servings of our homemade walnut pesto recipe if you want to use store bought, feel free, but be sure to adjust the macros accordingly!
- Pre-shredded parmesan cheese will work perfectly fine for this recipe, but you’re always welcome to shred your own.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.