Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

This roasted cauliflower pasta is a simple & healthy vegetarian weeknight dinner. Lemon, basil & sun-dried tomatoes give it irresistible pops of flavor!

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

This cauliflower pasta was my birthday dinner last week. My sister called while the pasta was cooking, and the message she left said, “I hope you’re out doing something special and not at home photographing your dinner.”

Well, what can I say, I was obsessed with my cauliflower mission. Plus, it was a cold and rainy night, and this dinner felt warm and cozy. (Well, ok, it was warm when I reheated it after the photos were done… but still).

I’m strange about holidays… I just think celebrations should be random. If I made a list of my favorite life moments, most of them did not happen on Christmas or my birthday, or even on my wedding day (family, pretend I didn’t just say that)… they happened on some random Tuesday, at a time and place that I never expected.

To me, expectation muddles things. I’d rather Jack come home some weeknight and announce that we’re going to Uchiko (hint hint) than watch him stress about what to plan for my birthday.

So a low key birthday it was… with Jack, my dad, myself, and the roasted cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

Now, about this roasted cauliflower pasta!

This cauliflower pasta comes together simply. First, spread the cauliflower florets on a sheet pan in a single layer with the chopped shallots & garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Then, roast it in a 450-degree oven until it’s golden brown and has a wonderful nutty flavor. While your cauliflower roasts, toss the hot cooked pasta with a little starchy pasta water and a handful of spinach, letting the hot pasta water wilt the greens into the pasta.

Finally, stir together the roasted veggies, the pasta & greens, lemon juice & zest, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Top it all with crispy toasted almonds, and you have a delicious combination of bright, fresh, nutty, and briny flavors. In short, this is one satisfying, easy dinner.

Cauliflower pasta variations

If you’re looking to change up this recipe, I recommend the following variations:

  • Sprinkle some feta cheese on top for a tangy, creamy pop.
  • Swap out the herbs for different cozy, fresh, or savory flavors. Tarragon, parsley, or thyme would all be excellent here.
  • Dust your pasta with bread crumbs for a little crispy texture.
  • Finish it with a poached egg for a creamy, sauce-like addition and some extra protein.

If you make this cauliflower pasta, please let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you.


5.0 from 4 reviews

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This simple roasted cauliflower pasta is a healthy vegetarian weeknight dinner. We love its flavors of lemon, sun-dried tomatoes, and herbs.
Author:
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
Roast together:
  • 2-3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, very coarsely chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For the pasta:
  • 6 ounces spaghetti noodles (I like Jovial's brown rice noodles)
  • A handful or two of baby spinach
  • Hot pasta water (about ½ cup)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Squeezes of lemon & some lemon zest
  • ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (or perhaps olives)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or herbs of your choice)
top with:
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs, toasted (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Poached egg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Roast cauliflower, shallots, and garlic in a 450 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Be sure not to chop your garlic too small or it will burn before the cauliflower is done. Once it's golden brown, remove from the oven. Mix it all together and taste a piece, it should taste nutty and delicious. If it doesn't, add a small drizzle of olive oil, a teeny bit more garlic, and a pinch of salt if necessary. Set aside.
  2. Cook your pasta for about 8 minutes or until it's done but al dente. Place spinach in a large bowl, and scoop your pasta noodles into the bowl with the spinach and toss so the spinach begins to wilt. Add some pasta water to help that along.
  3. Next add half the roasted veggies, another drizzle of olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon, some lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, and basil, and toss everything together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with the rest of the roasted cauliflower and the toasted bread crumbs & almonds. (Serve with poached eggs if you like).

 

51 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Pennie
    10.04.2015

    Just have to say that this was delicious, and will be going into a regular rotation of pasta dinners!!!

  2. Beverly
    07.28.2015

    I made this Sunday, splitting in half, thinking I’d bring the rest to work on Monday. It was so scrumptious I ate it all and am making it again tonight! Maybe I will add the egg this time, although it will be gilding the lily, so to speak. Scr -YUM-ptious.

    • jeanine
      08.01.2015

      I’m so glad you liked it! Ha, we’re not good at saving leftovers either :).

  3. Terri from littlewanderings.com
    09.04.2014

    After making this recipe again for the umpteenth time tonight, I thought I’d take the time to leave a note and let you know how much this cauliflower pasta is adored in our kitchen. Even my meat-lover boyfriend loves sitting down to a big bowl of this pasta. I really love sprinkling on some high quality goat’s cheese (in replacement of the feta) – really makes it a special dish! Anyway – thank you for sharing this with us! 🙂

    • jeanine
      09.04.2014

      aw, thanks for letting me know! I’m so glad to hear it’s a favorite! 🙂

  4. liz
    05.06.2013

    this is SO delicious. my boyfriend and i eat this, literally, once a week because we love it so much. thank you so much for sharing this!

    • jeanine
      05.06.2013

      Oh, I’m so glad, thanks for sharing!

  5. Julie
    02.03.2013

    Oh my, this is good stuff! This pasta will not be going to the Superbowl party with me. I’m saving it for lunches this week. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Katie
    01.29.2013

    Made this tonight! Thanks for the inspiration. A huge head of cauliflower has been sitting in the fridge, saw this, and knew it had to be. Yum 🙂
    Counter Dog: A girl, her lab and their kitchen at katiethisdell.wordpress.com

  7. Leslie
    01.23.2013

    I’ve always been a bit wary of cauliflower but I made this yesterday, and *loved* it. Super website, I love the design, photos, recipes 🙂

  8. Ashley from notwithoutsalt.com
    01.20.2013

    Happy belated birthday! I don’t know, a night at home with a big bowl of this in front of me pretty much sounds like a party right there. Beautiful.

  9. Kate from katesquared.net
    01.20.2013

    This looks delish, cannot wait to give it a whirl.

  10. Genny from stampinbygenny.com
    01.19.2013

    I just made this recipe tonight and it was delicious. I’m so glad I found your blog on Pinterest. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. TFS
    Genny

  11. Shira from inpursuitofmore.com
    01.18.2013

    Wow, this looks amazing – and happy birthday! I adore roasted cauliflower and that combo has my mouth watering like crazy 🙂 Wonderful!

  12. Alisa
    01.18.2013

    Made this last night! Absolutely delicious!

  13. Leigh from laughinglatte.com
    01.17.2013

    This looks amazing! I want to try this now!

  14. I totally agree with you about random nights. The best times come about naturally, not forced or planned. That egg on the pasta = to die for!

  15. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com
    01.17.2013

    This pasta looks so good–who doesn’t need more ways to eat roasted cauliflower? I love the egg on top too. Happy birthday–I hope it was great. 🙂

  16. Lauren from gourmetveggiemama.com
    01.17.2013

    I love the egg! I don’t know why I’ve never thought of topping pasta with a poached egg — I top everything else with them. 😉 Beautiful.

  17. Kasey from turntablekitchen.com
    01.17.2013

    I hope you had a lovely birthday! Also, I appreciate your reflections on celebrations, and how they don’t always happen on the ‘appointed’ days. I’ve been struggling with the fact that my baby didn’t arrive when the doctors predicted because everything I had *planned* was around that time…but when it does happen, probably on a random Tuesday, I’m sure it will be that much more spectacular than I had planned. Love all these cauliflower recipes – I’m definitely a cauliflower newbie (I’ve always sort of had an aversion to it) but I’m excited to try this pasta. xo

  18. Tina from Www.thealbrecht.com
    01.17.2013

    Happy Birthday Jeanine! I love roast cauliflower but have never added it to a pasta before. Thanks for the inspiration!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.