Vegan Lemon Butter Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Sarah Hayes
by Sarah Hayes
4 Servings
1 hr 20 min

This cauliflower is amazing! Yes, I said it. Cauliflower is amazing. Especially when it is whole roasted. I have made this Lemon Butter Whole Roasted Cauliflower multiple times over the last few months, and it is delicious every time.

What Makes Whole Roasted Cauliflower so Amazing?

Have you tried whole roasted cauliflower? Our first time to try it was during Thanksgiving a few years ago. We made a delicious whole roasted cauliflower that was rich and savory, complete with vegan gravy!

Whole roasted cauliflower not only looks impressive, it turns out so tender when slow roasted in the oven. This cauliflower dish is paired with lemon and thyme which really give it loads of light flavor.

How to Make Whole Roasted Cauliflower

There are a lot of tips on how to cut your whole cauliflower. Here are mine: flip your cauliflower upside down, cut a small but not deep circle around the stem area, gently remove the part you cut and the leaves. BUT BE CAUTIOUS on the depth that the knife goes! I have accidentally cut too deep and then you have a broken cauliflower…perfect for florets, not perfect for whole roasting.

Next add your flavor! Our lemon thyme vegan butter mix is the perfact pair to this cauliflower. To 'infuse' your cauliflower for maximum flavor, while your cauliflower is still turned upside down pour half the mixture into it. DO THIS OVER YOUR PAN! Some of it will escape via the top of the cauliflower. Shake around your butter mixture while still upside down, flip right side up and baste your cauliflower with remaining lemon butter! Roast covered in your oven and then uncover and roast some more to get that beautiful browned look!

Fresh Ingredients are Better for This Cauliflower

Can we talk about fresh ingredients? Using fresh lemon juice and thyme work best in this recipe. BUT…I know those can run on the pricier side. If you want to substitute fresh lemon juice with lemon juice concentrate and fresh thyme with dry thyme, you can. I cannot guarantee it will taste the same. Fresh ingredients do work better here for bringing out the lemon and thyme flavor.

Impress Your Dinner Guests

Yes, your dinner guests will be impressed and they will all be asking for the recipe especially if you serve it with our romesco sauce. This dish is easy, flavor filled and impressive for dinner guests yet still easy for a weeknight dinner!If you make this, we would love to know, tag @badtothebowl on social media.

Vegan Lemon Butter Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 60 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 20 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 1 whole cauliflower (medium sized)
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 4 – 5 Tblsp lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tblsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock, divided
  • 16-20 baby potatoes, halved (also called creamer potatoes)
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and cut into strips
  • optional: sliced sweet onion, additional lemon, additional thyme

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare large roasting pan or cast iron skillet.
Wash cauliflower, flip upside down. Cut stem out, but be careful not to go too deep – you need your cauliflower intact. Remove outer leaves. Put cauliflower into prepared pan upside down.
Melt butter with lemon, garlic and thyme in small saucepan on stovetop. Infuse mixture for 3 minutes.
Pour half of the lemon butter mixture into upside down cauliflower. Flip right side up and brush cauliflower with rest of the lemon butter mixture.
Place potatoes, carrots and onion (if using) around cauliflower.
Pour 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock over everything.
Cover with foil and roast in oven for 35 minutes.
Remove foil and baste with additional 1/4 cup vegetable stock.
Roast uncovered for another 25-30 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
Garnish with additional lemon juice or fresh thyme.
  • *I used Earth Balance butter. Fresh or condensed lemon juice may be used – but fresh will bring out the best taste, 4 Tblsp is roughly 1 whole lemon. I love Better than Bouillon Vegetable base and you might not use the whole 1/4 cup leftover to baste it. Use your judgement. I usually only use 2 – 3 Tblsp for basting as I like my vegetables caramelized.
Sarah Hayes
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • April April on Feb 17, 2021

    Is 1/2 butter a half a cup?

    • Sarah Hayes Sarah Hayes on Feb 17, 2021

      Thank you for noticing that typo! I have edited the recipe as you are correct, I meant 1/2 a cup :)

  • Cherie Cherie on Feb 19, 2021

    So, there is no reason to use vegan butter or vegetable stock unless you are a vegan. So weird.

    • See 5 previous
    • Marie Marie on Aug 03, 2023

      Some people just want to make sure it’s suitable for their (vegan) diet