Roasted cauliflower is transformed by spinach basil pesto to make it an incredibly delicious and healthy side dish that comes together in less than 30 minutes! This easy recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
In an effort to incorporate more veggies into my diet, I'm looking for FUN ways to do just that. Because who wants boring steamed veggies when you can have deliciously flavored roasted cauliflower?!
Roasting cauliflower brings out such a delicious and rich flavor, which is complemented so well by the vegan spinach basil pesto. AND there's enough pesto left over to serve with whatever else you're eating. Win-win!
How to Cook Cauliflower
Preheat your oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the cauliflower into florets or buy pre-cut cauliflower (that's what I did!). If you're not sure how to do this, this article by Serious Eats on cutting cauliflower is super helpful!
Then spread the cauliflower on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Toss together until the cauliflower is evenly coated.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (flipping halfway through). The cauliflower should be slightly golden. Remove from the oven.
How to Make Spinach Basil Pesto
I always thought pesto was so much harder to make, when it's actually quite simple! The most important tip I could possibly give you is to use fresh ingredients.
Combine spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and salt in a food processor. Process until the ingredients are finely minced, adding water gradually to thin out the pesto. Use a spatula to push down the pesto as needed. And, voila, you're done in less than 5 minutes!
What to Serve with Pesto Cauliflower
This pesto cauliflower would go so well with a simple baked salmon and roasted sweet potatoes. Especially because you can use the leftover spinach basil pesto as a sauce for the salmon. Yum!
Another delicious pairing would be linguine and shrimp, using the pesto to evenly coat both the pasta and the shrimp. I'm getting hungry just thinking about this.
Of course, feel free to get creative and combine the cauliflower with whatever your heart desires! Tag me on Instagram with your creations - I'd love to see what you come up with!
Love this veggie dish? Then you'll absolutely love these other side dishes!
- Lemon Parmesan Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Maple Roasted Carrots with Lemon-Maple Tahini Sauce
- Lemon Ricotta Butternut Squash Toast
- 1 lb 16 oz cauliflower florets
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
Spinach Basil Pesto
- 1 cup packed spinach
- 1 cup packed basil
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cauliflower evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Mix well to evenly coat the cauliflower. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is slightly golden. Remove from oven.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, make the spinach basil pesto. In a food processor, add spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Process until ingredients are finely minced, adding water gradually to thin out the pesto sauce.
- Drizzle pesto over the cauliflower and serve immediately. Store leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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