Roasted cauliflower with pesto and parmesan  

Another great ‘air fry or oven’ side dish!

I’ve always been a huge fan of vegetables and it’s not uncommon for me to serve two, three or even four different ones as part of a meal. But I have to tell you, since I started playing around with air frying vegetables, they are more frequently becoming the star of the show around here. In fact, we’ll often have this cauliflower dish or my fabulous roasted broccoli Caesar salad as a meal, rather than just a side dish. I think you’ll find this dish super easy to prepare and really enjoyable and you can use homemade or purchased pesto (leftover pesto freezes really well, by the way). If you’re looking for more great cauliflower inspiration, check out this handy recipe roundup.


  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive or vegetable oil
  • Few grinds salt and pepper
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons (45 – 60 mL) pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish


  • If roasting in the oven, preheat to 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Wash the cauliflower and cut out the core. Cut the florets into bite sized pieces, about 3/4 inch (2 cm) each in size. Place the cauliflower florets (you should have approximately 6 cups) in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper; toss to combine.
  • Transfer the prepared cauliflower to the baking tray or, if using an air fryer, to the basket(s). Set the air fryer to 400F, on the air fry setting. Roast cauliflower for about 15 minutes in air fryer, shaking basket periodically, until cauliflower is tender and beginning to char on the edges. In the oven, this will take about 20 – 24 minutes; turn cauliflower once or twice during that time.
  • When cauliflower is cooked, return it to the bowl you prepared it in. Spoon pesto over top then toss gently to ensure cauliflower is evenly coated. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle grated parmesan on top. Serve warm.

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

2 thoughts

    1. Yes! I actually didn’t like cauliflower as a kid, for those reasons (recipes). Love it now and cook it often (but never with cheese sauce). 🙂

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