Vegan Lemon Butter Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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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. 

Better than Emeril’s?



Have you tried whole roasted cauliflower? Our first time to try it was last Thanksgiving, we made a delicious whole roasted cauliflower from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen which was sooo good – it had a rich gravy that was perfect for the holidays.
As we approached spring though, I wanted something that tasted lighter. Lemon always does that for me in food! I knew I also wanted to use it with our easy romesco sauce.This is how Emeril had served his romesco sauce in Vegas – with whole roasted cauliflower. And if it was good enough for Emeril, it sure is good enough for all!



But shhh…don’t tell Emeril, but my vegan lemon butter whole roasted cauliflower is so flavorful it might be better than the one at his restaurant!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

So why roast your cauliflower whole? Besides the looking darn impressive part, it really brings out the flavor.



There are a lot of tips on how to cut your whole cauliflower. Here are mine: flip it 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, take our lemon thyme vegan butter mix and while your cauliflower is still turned upside down pour half the mixture in 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 Here


Can we talk about fresh ingredients? Using fresh lemon juice and thyme work best in this recipe.






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 flavore.


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 the Easy 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.
xo, Sarah

Vegan Lemon Butter Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe by Sarah

Vegan Lemon Butter Roasted Cauliflower is a Savory, Comforting Dish!


  • 1 Whole cauliflower

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter*

  • 4 – 5 Tblsp lemon juice*

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 Tblsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock, divided*

  • 16-20 baby potatoes, halved (rutabaga makes an amazing substitute! Use 1 – 2 cups diced)

  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and cut into strips

  • optional: sliced sweet onion and sliced portobello mushrooms

  • optional: additional lemon and 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 and carrots around cauliflower.
  • Pour 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.
  • Serve with our Romesco sauce!


  • *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.

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