Bowls, Dinner, Gluten Free, Healthy, Sheet Pan, Stove Top, Vegan

Roasted Cauliflower Curry with Black Pepper

This Roasted Cauliflower Curry is my new favorite vegetarian dinner. The cauliflower gets roasted in the oven with black pepper for a little heat then added to a simple, creamy coconut curry sauce. Add a can of chickpeas for some extra protein or just enjoy the cauliflower in all it’s glory over some warm basmati rice. Vegan, easy to make and most importantly, so delicious!

Roasted cauliflower curry

This is one of my favorite vegetarian curry recipes! It’s simple and easy to make but still has so much flavor. I also love that you can multitask by making the curry sauce while the cauliflower roasts. Coconut milk takes the place of cream, so the sauce is super rich and creamy, But there’s cauliflower so super healthy right? Served warm with fluffy basmati rice and maybe if you’ve got the time these amazing herbed olive oil parathas.

What You’ll Need to Make This Cauliflower Curry Recipe

  • Cauliflower: For this roasted cauliflower curry, you’ll need a whole head of cauliflower broken into smaller florets. This article does a great job explaining how to do this if you’re unfamiliar. You’ll want to florets to be about the same size so they cook evenly,
  • Cornstarch: This helps the cauliflower crisp up in the oven and also helps it to soak up some of the curry sauce.
  • Coconut oil: You could really use any oil here, like olive oil or avocado oil, but I like how coconut oil tastes in this dish. You’ll need oil for roasting the cauliflower and also to sauté the aromatics.
  • Black pepper: One of my favorite ways to add a little heat to a dish, freshly ground black pepper adds a really interesting flavor. To make sure the pepper sticks, it gets tossed with the cauliflower before roasting. Depending on how spicy you want your curry, you can adjust the amount. I use about a tablespoon for mild to moderately spicy curry.
  • Coconut milk: To keep this curry dairy free and a little healthier, I like to use coconut milk for a creamy curry sauce. Make sure you buy unsweetened full fat coconut milk, the kind that comes in a can.
  • Yellow onion, ginger and garlic: This is kind of the holy trinity when it comes to Indian cooking. By sautéing these ingredients in a little oil, we bring out their flavor which makes the curry sauce extra delicious.
  • Tomato paste: Other recipes you see may use a can of chopped tomatoes or tomato purée, but I like to use tomato paste because it has a more concentrated flavor and doesn’t water down the curry sauce.
  • Garam Masala: To keep things simple, I like to use garam masala. It’s a popular South Asian spice blend with lots of ground spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel etc. You can find it at most grocery stores or make your own.
  • Sugar: This may seem like a weird addition to a curry but just a tiny bit of sugar can really help bring out the flavor of the tomato paste.
  • Lime juice: For a last bit of acid to help bring out the flavor of the curry, I like to add a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end. It’s one of those things that you probably won’t notice if you forgot, but makes a big difference if you remember.
Roasted cauliflower curry

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Curry

Roast the cauliflower: The cauliflower does take a bit of time to roast so you want to get in the oven before you start prepping the sauce. I like to first toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, cornstarch and black pepper in a large bowl as opposed to directly on the sheet pan. I think this helps give it a more even coating. Next, spread it out onto the sheet pan, making sure not to overcrowd and slide it into the oven to roast for about 35 minutes.

Make the curry sauce: While the cauliflower is in the oven, get started on the curry sauce by sautéing the onion, ginger and garlic in a large skillet. Then add in the garam masala and tomato paste. I like to let it cook for another three minutes or so to let the tomato paste get a little toasty before adding in the coconut milk and sugar. If the sauce seems to thin, you can turn the heat up and reduce it until it reaches the right consistency. If it seems to thick, just a couple tablespoons of water.

Put it all together: Once the cauliflower has finished roasting, it’s time to add it to our sauce! Just dump everything in, including those crispy bits stuck to the sheet pan. If your cauliflower is still pretty firm, you might want to simmer it in the sauce until it can be easily pierced with a fork. I personally like my cauliflower a little firmer, but if you want it to be falling apart tender, feel free to keep it cooking. The last step is to turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice and you’re ready to go! Serve fresh over rice or reheat the next day for an epic leftovers meal.

Roasted cauliflower curry recipe

Tips and Substitutions

  • To add a little more protein to this vegan cauliflower curry, I like to add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. When you add the cauliflower to the sauce, add the chickpeas as well and let everything simmer together.
  • While this cauliflower curry does taste great fresh, it tastes amazing the next day. Heat it up in the microwave or over the stove. If you choose the stove, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water if it seems too thick.
  • Serve this roasted cauliflower curry with white or brown basmati rice and/or my herbed olive oil parathas. They’re a little extra work, but so worth it. Trust me.

More Recipes to Try:

Made this recipe? Tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram!

Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Black Pepper Cauliflower Curry

Roasted black pepper cauliflower curry

Crispy oven roasted cauliflower with black pepper served with a creamy dairy free coconut curry sauce. It’s a great family friendly meal that’s easy make, vegan and so delicious!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the roasted cauliflower

  • 1 large cauliflower head, broken into smaller pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp ground black pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt

For the curry sauce

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 7 oz tomato paste
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt.+ freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, basmati rice and/or flatbread for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower florets with oil, cornstarch, pepper and salt. If the cauliflower seems dry, add another tbsp of melted coconut oil.
  3. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes or until crispy and tender, but not falling apart.
  4. While the cauliflower roasts, make the curry sauce. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in ginger, garlic and garam masala, cook for another 3 minutes or until fragrant.
  5. Add tomato paste and let toast for another 3 minutes or so before pouring in the coconut milk and sugar. Stir to combine and remove from heat until you’re ready to add the cauliflower.
  6. After the cauliflower has finished roasting, add to the curry sauce along with any crispy bits stuck on the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer for another 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and add salt to taste. Serve fresh over white basmati rice with chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/4 recipe

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 762mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 10gSugar: 13gProtein: 10g

All nutritional info is an estimation

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Michael Pettibone

    This recipe looks so good, I can’t wait to make it! We’ve been in FL for the winter, I haven’t cooked anything Asian/Indian since we’ve come down, and there are no decent Asian/Indian restaurants around. As soon as we get back to MI I’m going to make it. My daughter Kelly and my grandson will love it too, I’m sure! Say hello to your mom and dad for me please.
    -Michael Pettibone

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