Roasted Cauliflower Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Brown Butter and Lime

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Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Brown Butter and Lime is the most delicious version of cauliflower I have ever eaten! This is a side dish I come back to again and again, year after year. 

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Browned Butter, and Lime is the best roasted cauliflower recipe I have ever had.

At the moment, this my most favorite vegetable side dish, I think. I love it even more than I love asparagus, and that’s saying something!

Roasted Cauliflower Turns Cauliflower Haters Into Cauliflower Likers

I hated cauliflower as a kid. Then I found out you could dip it in ranch dressing while it was raw. Since I almost couldn’t taste the flavor of the cauliflower that way, I liked it better, due to my aversion to cauliflower.

As an adult, having discovered that roasting vegetables brought out their natural sweetness, I found out that I really, really LIKED roasted cauliflower. So, I assumed I had reached my own cauliflower taste pinnacle. Happily, I was wrong.

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Browned Butter, and Lime is the best roasted cauliflower recipe I have ever had.

A picture from when I take the roasted cauliflower out of the oven. I line my pan with foil (or parchment paper) so that cleanup is less of a pain.

The BEST Roasted Cauliflower

THIS roasted cauliflower side dish recipe is the pinnacle of roasted cauliflower recipes. At least, it’s my own personal cauliflower pinnacle. Because, honestly, you can dip a human finger in browned butter, and your finger will be delicious. Painful, if it’s your own finger, but delicious.

What is Browned Butter?

Browned butter is what happens RIGHT BEFORE you burn butter. In French, they call it beurre noisette: a noisette is a hazelnut. No hazelnuts are involved in making brown butter, but what the French are alluding to is that when the butter in your sauté pan is just starting to turn brown, and achieves almost a copper color, it has a nutty aroma, kind of like a hazelnut.

But the flavor compounds that are developed in the making of brown butter harness all the goodness of butter, plus a rich, nutty underlying flavor, with more depth, that is just extraordinary.

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Browned Butter, and Lime is the best roasted cauliflower recipe I have ever had.

It’s the squeeze of lime juice that brightens up the flavor in such a lovely way. That, and the cilantro. And if you’re not a cilantro fan, try parsley, or even mint.


And in this recipe, it’s super easy to do, because basically, to toast your pine nuts, you throw them in the butter you’re melting. And when your pine nuts look toasted, your browned butter will be just right, too.

Steps to Making This Roasted Cauliflower Side Dish Recipe

I found this recipe  on epicurious. So the basics are this:

  1. Slice the cauliflower thick, drizzle it with olive oil, and plenty of salt and pepper.

  2. Roast it till it starts developing color, about 20 minutes. Flip it.

  3. Roast it on the other side, about 15 or 20 minutes more.

  4. Brown the pine nuts in butter. Remove from heat and add a pinch of red pepper flakes.

  5. Then drizzle all the cauliflower with browned butter, toasted pine nuts & pepper flakes. Give your serving dish big healthy squeeze of lime juice to brighten everything up, and then finish with a sprinkle of a bunch of chopped cilantro. 

And don’t forget to tell me how much you love me.

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Browned Butter, and Lime #cauliflower #roastedcauliflower #sidedish

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Browned Butter, and Lime is the best cauliflower side dish recipe I have ever had. Pin this recipe!!!

The Recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Browned Butter and Lime

Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Brown Butter and Lime

Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Browned Butter, and Lime is the best roasted cauliflower recipe I have ever had.

The best roasted cauliflower I have ever had, due to lovely browned butter, lime juice, and pine nuts.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • .


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Trim cauliflower stalk and place head stalk side down on a cutting board. Slice cauliflower lengthwise into 1/2" slices.
  2. Arrange cauliflower slices and any stray pieces in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss with your fingers till the cauliflower is evenly coated. Roast until underside is deeply browned, about 20 minutes. Turn cauliflower over, season with salt and pepper, and continue to roast until other side is dark brown and crisp, 15–20 minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium. Add pine nuts, bring to a simmer, and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until pine nuts are toasted and butter is browned and smells nutty, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat and add red pepper flakes; let cool 10 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange cauliflower on a serving platter and drizzle with dressing. Serve topped with cilantro leaves.

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If you’re interested in looking at other vegetable side dishes of mine that I think are excellent, you might want to check out The Salad to Bring When They Ask You to Bring a Salad.  Also out of this world is my Bacon Roasted Buttercup Squash with Rosemary Honey. 



    (she shouts)
    and Im SO SO SO GLAD 🙂 cauliflower is FINALLY coming down in price here too.
    My recent post The Power of Structured Procrastination.

  2. Your cauliflower dish sounds fantastic, Susan. I can't wait to try it!
    My recent post Skinnyfabulous Moussaka Casserole

  3. You have just helped me realize I am starving. This looks amazing. Yum. Now I need to make myself something to eat!
    My recent post Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health

  4. I LOVE cauliflower! This dish looks amazing. I am going to make it tonight! I think pine nuts make every dish special!
    My recent post Experiencing Vaginal Dryness?

  5. Holy COW this looks AMAZING! I love roasted cauliflower, I love browned butter, I love lime, I love cilantro… You have just created the holy grail of vegetable dishes.
    My recent post Raspberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Recipe

  6. Green Diva Meg says

    holy yumminess batman! i just happen to have all these ingredients in the fridge too!

  7. I think the pine nuts did it for me, making this extra special.
    My recent post How to Cook the Best Broccoli Rabe

  8. I love roasted cauliflower but have not tried it with brown butter and lime which sounds delicious! I usually just roast with olive oil, salt and pepper and then season with crushed red pepper and grated parmesan after roasting. Always looking for something different! Thanks for sharing.
    My recent post OMG Worthy Reads, Week 79

  9. Hi Susan,

    I love cauliflower recipes! I usually cook it with homemade red sauce or I used it in salads. I really like your version with the pine nuts and the brown butter. I will surely give it a try! Thank you!

    My recent post Reincarnation and the Afterlife

  10. awesome post thanks for the share.

  11. Your cauliflower dish sounds fantastic, Susan. I can't wait to try it!

  12. I’m making this next!

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