Spice up your dinner with Roasted Cauliflower and Harissa

Greetings, fellow foodies! Today, I have a recipe that is sure to tantalize your taste buds and ignite your senses. Introducing, the roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe – an absolute hit, perfect for any season or gathering.

If you haven’t tried roasted cauliflower before, you’re certainly missing out on a simple yet flavorful dish. The hearty vegetable takes well to any seasoning, but the touch of harissa sauce is what takes this recipe to the next level. If you’re not familiar with harissa sauce, it is a North African chili paste that adds a zingy kick to any dish it’s added to.

Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, but it also makes a great appetizer or side dish for grilling parties or dinner gatherings. And best of all? It’s effortless to make! With just nine ingredients and minimal prep time needed, you can whip up this dish in no time.

So, let’s fire up our ovens and dive into this roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe that will surely leave your guests wanting more.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Roasted Cauliflower With Harissa Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower With Harissa Sauce

Listen up, foodies! If you’re looking for a recipe that checks all your culinary boxes, look no further. My roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe is the one you’ve been searching for. Trust me; this dish is going to blow your taste buds away!

Firstly, the star ingredient of this dish is cauliflower – healthy and delicious! Say goodbye to boring, steamed cauliflower because we are upgrading it with our roasting skills. This recipe transforms the humble florets into irresistible caramelized cauliflower that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. And let’s not forget about its nutty flavor, which pairs perfectly with Harissa paste.

Speaking of Harissa paste, let’s talk about the spicy hotness factor. The combination of chiles, cumin seeds, and garlic powder lends a complex spiciness to the dish with a depth of flavor that goes beyond just ‘hot.’ It’s like having a Carnival in your mouth! But don’t worry – you can adjust the heat just how you like it by using as little or as much harissa paste as you want.

Now, let’s delve down into that harissa sauce – we’re talking tremendous Tahini harissa sauce heaven. The creaminess of tahini sauce balances out the spiciness of Harissa in perfect harmony. A pinch of salt and cilantro is all it takes to turn this mixture into pure magic!

Additionally, I’ve added my secret ingredient – mayonnaise – to add that luscious texture that’s hard to resist! Whether you choose to dunk or drizzle your Harissa sauce, your taste buds will thank you for this flavor explosion.

Lastly, this dish is highly versatile. You can serve it as a vegetarian main course alongside hummus or go Ottolenghi-style by making it an appetizer with some charred cauliflower or preserved lemon salad. Or even better, roast some chickpeas and sprinkle them on top for an extra crunch.

So there you have it – my honest opinion on why you’ll love my roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe. Trust me when I say, once you try this dish – there’s no going back!

Ingredient List

 Jump start your taste buds with this fiery roasted cauliflower dish
Jump start your taste buds with this fiery roasted cauliflower dish

Before we dive into the preparation, let’s take a look at what you’ll need. Here are the ingredients for our roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe:

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of harissa paste
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Harissa tahini sauce (recipe below)

For the tahini sauce:
– ¼ cup mayonnaise
– 3 tbsp harissa paste
– 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
– 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
Pinch of salt

The Recipe How-To

 Our roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe is sure to make your mouth water
Our roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe is sure to make your mouth water

Preheat Oven: First things first, preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).

Prep the Cauliflower: Cut the cauliflower into small florets or large steak-like pieces, depending on your preference. I normally go for a mix of both. Make sure you cut them evenly so that they will roast evenly in the oven.

Make the Harissa Paste: In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of harissa paste, and a pinch of salt to make the harissa paste. If you don’t have store-bought paste, here’s how to make your own: Combine 2-3 dried chiles (depending on desired spiciness), 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp cumin seed, ¼ teaspoon coriander seed, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Grind until you get a paste.

Toss the Cauliflower: In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the harissa paste, making sure every piece is coated evenly.

Roast the Cauliflower: Transfer the cauliflower mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Make sure to use a spatula to scrape any remaining harissa paste on top of the cauliflower. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and tender when poked with a fork.

Make the Harissa Tahini Sauce: While waiting for the cauliflower to roast, prepare the harissa tahini sauce by mixing ¼ cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons tahini, 2 tbsp harissa paste, 2 cloves garlic (minced), juice of half a lemon, pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with Harissa Tahini Sauce: Once done roasting, transfer the roasted cauliflower onto a serving dish along with some chopped cilantro and flat-leaf parsley. Drizzle some harissa tahini sauce over it or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce. This recipe pairs well with hummus, roasted chickpeas, charred cauliflower salad, cauliflower chickpea salad or even whole roasted cauliflower served Ottoman-style!

Substitutions and Variations

 This isn't your grandma's roasted cauliflower recipe - we've taken it to a whole new level
This isn’t your grandma’s roasted cauliflower recipe – we’ve taken it to a whole new level

Are you looking to put your own spin on this roasted cauliflower recipe? Don’t be afraid to get creative with the ingredients and make it your own! Here are some substitutions and variations you can try out:

– Spice level: If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you can reduce the amount of harissa in the recipe or substitute it with a milder chili paste. On the other hand, if you prefer your food with a little more heat, feel free to increase the harissa or add some fresh diced chilies to the mix.

– Sauces: While this recipe calls for a harissa sauce, there are plenty of other delicious options you could try. A drizzle of tahini or yogurt-based sauce would add creaminess, while a chimichurri or salsa verde would add a tangy freshness.

– Herbs: The cilantro and parsley in this recipe add a bright pop of flavor, but you could use any herbs you like – thyme, oregano, mint, or even basil would be delicious!

– Cauliflower: This recipe calls for using one head of cauliflower cut into florets, but whole roasted cauliflower is also an option. Simply bake the whole head of cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper until it’s tender and golden brown all over.

– Extra toppings: For some extra crunch and texture, add some toasted nuts such as pine nuts or almonds on top. Roasted chickpeas also pair well with this dish.

By experimenting with these substitutions and variations, you can create a unique version of the roasted cauliflower that’s tailored to your personal taste preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 Impress your guests with a unique and flavorful take on a classic veggie side dish
Impress your guests with a unique and flavorful take on a classic veggie side dish

After roasting to a perfect crisp, the roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce is ready for its grand debut! This recipe is satisfying enough to be a standalone dish, yet versatile enough to pair with many other bold flavors. Here are some serving and pairing suggestions that will make your taste buds dance:

1. Add some crunchiness: Top the roast cauliflower with harissa sauce with some roasted chickpeas, crispy breadcrumbs or toasted almonds for added texture.

2. Pair with dips: The harissa yogurt, which can be made by mixing together some plain Greek yogurt and harissa paste, makes a perfect dipping sauce for the cauliflower. Alternatively, try serving it with hummus or tzatziki dip.

3. Serve as a side dish: Roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce pairs well with grilled meats such as chicken, lamb or beef. You could also serve it alongside charred eggplants for extra smoky flavor.

4. Add some freshness: A sprinkle of chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley on top of the roasted cauliflower will bring out the fresh flavors in this dish. You can also add some chopped preserved lemon for an additional tangy kick.

5. Serve with tahini: Harissa and tahini are best buds in Middle Eastern cooking. Drizzle a generous amount of homemade tahini sauce over the roasted cauliflower to create a creamy contrast to the spiciness of the harissa.

No matter how you choose to serve it, the roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce is sure to become one of your favorite vegetable dishes. Its bold flavors and adaptability make it ideal for any occasion, whether it’s a family dinner, a potluck party or meal prep lunches throughout the week.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hint of harissa adds a zesty twist to the familiar taste of roasted cauliflower
A hint of harissa adds a zesty twist to the familiar taste of roasted cauliflower

Making Ahead:

If you want to save time and prep ahead, this recipe can be made in advance. Prep and roast the cauliflower according to the recipe’s first 3 steps. Then store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to proceed with the recipe. Continue with Step 4 when you are ready, adding the harissa sauce before roasting it again.


Roasted cauliflower is an excellent make-ahead dish perfect for meal prep for the week ahead or serving at a get-together. You can keep it in any sealed containers, refrigerated, and consume within 2-3 days.


When reheating roasted cauliflower, we recommend heating the oven to 350°F and spreading your leftover cauliflower in a baking dish. Heat it up for approximately 10-12 minutes until warmed through.

If you want to reheat in a microwave, transfer the roasted cauliflower to a microwave-safe dish and cover it loosely with a damp paper towel. Cook for one minute, stir food around and cook additional increments of 30 seconds until fully heated.

We wouldn’t suggest freezing roasted cauliflower since it may become mushy upon reheating. It’s always best to prepare this dish fresh or make ahead for more convenient use. Or try transforming your leftovers by using them in different creative ways like adding them to salads or topping pizzas!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Harissa is the star of the show in this crowd-pleasing roasted cauliflower recipe
Harissa is the star of the show in this crowd-pleasing roasted cauliflower recipe

If you’re looking to roast the perfect cauliflower with harissa sauce for your next meal, here are some tips to ensure your dish comes out absolutely delicious.

First and foremost, don’t overdo it on the harissa. While this spicy sauce is arguably the star of the show, adding too much can overpower the flavors of the other ingredients. Start by using a small amount, like 1 or 2 tablespoons, and adjust according to your taste preferences.

When roasting the cauliflower, it’s important to spread out the florets evenly on the pan so that they cook uniformly. If they are piled on top of each other, some may end up burnt while others remain undercooked. Additionally, make sure to preheat your oven before roasting to ensure that the cauliflower cooks evenly.

For added flavor and texture, consider mixing in some chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley to the dish after roasting. A sprinkle of cumin seed can also be a great addition.

If you’re dairy-free or vegan and would prefer not to use mayonnaise as a base for your harissa sauce, try substituting it with tahini instead. This nutty paste can bring your dish to a completely different level by adding complexity and nuttiness compared to using mayonnaise.

Lastly, when serving and pairing this dish consider complementing its heartiness with refreshing textures like hummus or chickpea salad as well as a side of preserved lemons. This will balance out the spiciness of the harissa while still remaining satisfying.

By using these tips and putting your own spin on them you can ensure that your roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce will be perfect every time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, every dish has the potential to be transformed into something special with the right ingredients and techniques. This roasted cauliflower with harissa sauce recipe is not only visually stunning but also delicious and packed with flavors. With the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and spicy, your taste buds will thank you for trying it out.

Moreover, this recipe is easy to customize based on your preferences and dietary restrictions. You can try different variations of sauces or replace certain ingredients without compromising the overall flavor. Plus, roasted cauliflower is a healthy alternative to starchy side dishes and can be enjoyed by vegans and meat-lovers alike.

So what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills. Whether served as a side or the main course, this harissa roasted cauliflower dish is sure to become a go-to in your recipe collection.

Roasted Cauliflower With Harissa Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower With Harissa Sauce Recipe

I used a combination of cauliflower and broccoli (romanesco will work, too.) I ran out of time to prepare my standard harissa sauce and tried this cheater's version: Recipe #113468 (subbing ketchup for tomato paste). Great as a side dish or appetizer. Copycat recipe from a restaurant in Portland, OR but don't know which one. Vegan friendly.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 327.5 kcal


  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into uniform sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed


  • chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley

Harissa sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (or sour cream, or Greek yogurt, or any combination of these.)
  • 1 teaspoon harissa (or more, to taste)


  • Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well, then shake the pan to evenly distribute cauliflower in one single layer. Season with salt and cumin seeds.
  • Roast, shaking pan after about 10 minutes. Continue roasting until tender and browned around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of cauliflower pieces.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with herbs. Serve with Harissa Dipping Sauce.
  • Harissa Dipping Sauce: Combine ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Taste and add more harissa if you want the dip spicier. I used the entire recipe yield of harissa which was about 4 tablespoons total stirred into 1/2 cup of the yogurt and mayonnaise.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 104gCalories: 327.5kcalCarbohydrates: 21.6gProtein: 3.4gFat: 26.9gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 15.3mgSodium: 753.5mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, African, Easy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You