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roasted cornmeal cauliflower side view with spoon

Roasted Cornmeal Crusted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Black Pepper makes a simple, healthy and fabulously-textured side dish to go with so many things – including breakfast! It’s our favourite minimal prep, big flavour, ridiculously addictive way to enjoy this extremely nutritious vegetable.

roasted cornmeal cauliflower with fried egg and greens in rustic white and brown shallow bowl

Roasted cornmeal cauliflower with fried egg, mushrooms and garden greens.

I freaking love roasted cauliflower.

I love it, but the texture can be off-putting. Roasting long enough to mellow the taste to nutty sweetness is the goal, but can often make it a bit soft. Am I right? And for me, texture is everything. I am a big kid in that respect.

My way of roasting cauliflower so that it is more-ishly snackable – yes as a snack, not just side dish – is also very versatile. You can add in any flavours, spices, herbs that you fancy. It will be fantastic every time. As long as you don’t get distracted like I do and not hear the timer, golden, crunchy, sweet cauliflower will be ready to eat in under 30 minutes. To help you personalise your new favourite side/snack, I give you a flavour menu below.

But first, let’s cut up the cauliflower.

roasted cornmeal cauliflower on trayHow to cut cauliflower

There are no rules about cutting up cauliflower as such. I often use as much of the stem as possible as I like its tender natural sweetness (same with broccoli). But you may prefer to stick with florets only. If a cauliflower has quite a fibrous base and stem network, of course just use the more tender florets. The main thing with roasting cauliflower, as opposed to preparing it any other way, is that you want fairly evenly sized pieces. This will ensure even roasting. There is no need to get out the measuring tape though.

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Use a heavy, long knife (i.e. chef’s knife) to cut the florets from the main stem. I do this by laying the cauliflower on its floret side, holding it in place with one hand, and cutting around the main stem in a roughly circular shape, curving inwards around the stem. This will loosen the florets into large “curds”. You will be left with a pointy stem bit.

Use your hands or the knife to break the large curds away. From there cut into even pieces, slicing away any longer bits of stem if you wish. If the stems are tender I often slice them into thin batons and lay them on a separate tray, along with any sturdy, intact leaves. I will claim these tender, nutty morsels as my own.

roasted cauliflowerWhat you need for Roasted Cornmeal Crusted Cauliflower

These are the basics that I use no matter what I will do with it. If you don’t have cornmeal or polenta, just leave it out and follow the method anyway. It won’t have the same interesting texture, but it will taste fab. See below for more flavour ideas!

One large-ish cauliflower

Extra virgin olive oil

Coarse or fine cornmeal or polenta

Ground turmeric – amount depends on other spices you might be adding

Freshly ground black pepper


roasted cornmeal cauliflower on trayRoasted Cauliflower flavour menu

To the above why not try adding one of these the next time?


One teaspoon of your favourite curry powder. I like Sri Lankan.

Lemon juice and Parmesan cheese – my favourite addition. Just sprinkle on the cheese and lemon as the cauliflower comes out of the oven.

Chipotle powder and garlic powder – about 1/2 teaspoon each.

Mixed dried herbs – good ones. Add lemon zest straight after roasting, too.

Nigella seeds, ground coriander and pinch of ground cardamom. Sounds weird, but trust me, it’s fab. 🙂

Creole or Cajun seasoning

Smoked paprika and garlic powder

Lemon zest and fresh herbs (shown)


Chilli flakes or powder with lemon zest.

Amchoor powder and nigella seeds

Now, let’s roast that cauliflower!

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roasted cornmeal cauliflower side view with spoon

Tender yet crispy roasted cornmeal cauliflower with lemon zest and parsley.

Fancy some more tasty cauliflower recipes?

Here is a small selection of my Cauliflower dishes. Explore my Recipe Index for more ideas!

Green Herb & Coconut Cauliflower with Crispy Paneer Crumbs

Spicy Cauliflower-Cashew Bites (Wings!) with Wild Garlic Sauce & Buffalo Sauce

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo

Cheesy Cauliflower, Lentil and Buckwheat Bake

and a few from friends

Roasted Cauliflower with Dates, Almonds and Tahini from Katie at Whole Nourishment

Sheet Pan Cauliflower Tacos with Halloumi and Black Beans from Katie at Hey Nutrition Lady

Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Bake with Spinach (with vegan option) from Jac at Tinned Tomatoes

The Best Ever Healthy Cauliflower Cheese Bread from EA Stewart the Spicy RD


What is your favourite way to eat cauliflower?

cornmeal cauliflower with turmeric on vintage tray
5 from 4 votes

Crunchy Cornmeal Cauliflower with Turmeric and Black Pepper

Make your side of cauliflower a little bit more interesting with added texture and taste.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, vegan
Keyword cauliflower, turmeric
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 97 kcal
Author kellie anderson


  • 1 medium cauliflower organic if possible
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or organic British rapeseed oil (I use a smoked version)
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal or polenta coarse or fine
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground to "activate" the turmeric
  • sea salt I use a rosemary and lemon finishing salt
  • oil spray


  1. Heat your oven to 200C fan/220C/400F.

  2. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, including some stem and leaves if you wish. Toss the florets in the oil, then add the polenta, turmeric, black pepper and salt, mixing to coat. Lay in a single layer on a baking tray, spray with oil spray, and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until browned in patches and cooked through. Eat hot. Can be reheated.

Recipe Notes

The cooked cauliflower with lose some of its texture with sitting or refrigerating, but will still have good crunch from the nubbly cornmeal. Pop leftovers into a salad - grain is nice - or overtop a soup. 

To reheat just pop on a tray and heat in a hot oven for five minutes.

Variations: use a good dash of a favourite curry powder or some smoked paprika for a different flavour and vibe. 

Good with: a savoury breakfast; a side to a curry; alongside grilled or steamed fish; atop a spicy tofu or bean dish for added texture and taste; in a fish or other kind of taco; instead of croutons with soup.

Nutrition Facts
Crunchy Cornmeal Cauliflower with Turmeric and Black Pepper
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 44mg2%
Potassium 454mg13%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 32mg3%
Vitamin C 69.3mg84%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin now. Make soon!

roasted cornmeal cauliflower with turmeric and black pepper pin




19 thoughts on “Roasted Cornmeal Crusted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Black Pepper

  1. Sheree says:

    I will have to try this recipe.

  2. This sounds fantastic!

  3. Helen Portas says:

    Yum! I love a roasted cauliflower dish. I wonder if I could do the same with broccoli, having just got one reduced to 20p in supermarket?! Any thoughts?

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Absolutely, Helen! Give it a go and let me know how it works. Both vegetables have nooks and crannies for the oil and cornmeal to hang out and give crunch 😊

  4. Mr A says:

    Golden delights, brilliant

  5. Rachel Anderson says:

    Fabulous idea!

    1. kellie anderson says:

      You know it! 😉

  6. Looks yummmm! 😉

    1. kellie anderson says:


  7. Looks bright, golden, and delicious!

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Thank you, Dolly 🙂

      1. My pleasure, dear Kellie.

  8. Katie @ Whole Nourishment says:

    I love roasted cauliflower just as much and can’t wait to try this, as well as the full breakfast you’ve pictured. Your post has a way of getting one excited about the simplest vegetable ;-), especially with the prep how-to and the flavor ideas. Definitely want to try the lemon and parm! And thank you for the shout-out, that’s still one of my favorites!

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Thanks, Katie. Lemon and Parm is the best. I did this for years without realising that not everyone else knew about it. 😉

  9. On colour alone this is a winner and it sounds so flavoursome plus great texture too. Brilliant!

    1. kellie anderson says:

      It certainly is, um, bright! And, yes, the texture is quite good and makes it a bit more interesting and a little toasty. 🙂

  10. Sally says:

    You are so right about the texture. Love the idea of adding a bit of crunch – plus the flavour menu. And that colour…. Everything in fact!

    1. kellie anderson says:

      I have a Kilner jar of cornmeal on my countertop, always ready for a bit of veg-dredging 😉

  11. Rachel says:

    Making cauliflower cool, as always

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