whole roasted cauliflower skillet

whole roasted cauliflower skillet_hot for food

The idea behind this whole roasted cauliflower skillet is to have it look like a turkey… hence the cauli floret booties. Comical, but in reality there’s no unsightly animal bones that need covering up. Regardless of its turkey-like appearance, it’s SUPER tasty and very savory. In fact, this gravy that’s basted all over the cauliflower might just be your new fave go-to vegan gravy recipe! I’ve made a cauliflower roast in the past, but didn’t quite get the sauce rolled around the inside enough. Both are delicious, but I think this cauliflower skillet really hits the nail on the head! I nearly ate the entire thing.

Definitely serve this as the veggie center piece at your next holiday feast y’all. It’s sure to impress! Here’s the recipe for the Thanksgiving mashed potato waffles.

whole roasted cauliflower skillet vegan recipe
vegan recipe whole roasted cauliflower skillet
whole roasted cauliflower skillet_hot for food
4.55 from 37 votes
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whole roasted cauliflower skillet

The cauliflower roast trumps a bird at the dinner table any night of the week! 

Keyword cauliflower, gravy, thanksgiving, vegan gravy
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Author Lauren Toyota


cauliflower & vegetables

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 large carrot, thick cut diagonally
  • 2 C halved small red potatoes
  • 1 red onion, cut into a large dice
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, snipped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


  • 1/4 C vegan butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (can substitute dried herb)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (can substitute dried herb)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 C low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 2/3 C tahini (roasted works better over a raw type)
  • 2 tbsp vegan worcestershire
  • 1/4 C low-sodium vegetable stock


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Prepare all your cut up vegetables and herbs. Toss the potatoes, carrots, onions, and rosemary with sea salt and ground black pepper. 

  3. To prepare the whole cauliflower, remove the excess green leaves. Trim the stock so the cauliflower is able to sit flat into a roasting pan or skillet and remove any tough exterior of the remaining stalk so just the florets are visible. Be careful not to cut too deep into the bottom so the florets don’t come apart from the entire head of cauliflower.

  4. To prepare the gravy, heat a saucepan over medium and add vegan butter. Once melted, add the minced garlic and shallot. Stir and cook this until softened for about 2 minutes. Then add nutmeg, celery salt, rosemary and thyme and continue stirring for another minute.

  5. Combine cornstarch with water to make a slurry and add that along with the tamari, maple syrup, tahini, and worcestershire, whisking to combine well. Whisk occasionally as you bring the gravy to a low simmer. Once it’s bubbling, lower heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. This should be a thick but pourable consistency so it coats the cauliflower and sticks to it without dripping too much into the roasting pan. If you need to thin it out, use a small amount of low-sodium vegetable stock to reach the right consistency.

  6. Start by placing the cauliflower upside down in the cast iron skillet so the bottom is exposed. Pour a couple tablespoons of gravy into the bottom so it gets into the florets. You can also use a turkey baster to get into the bottom of the cauliflower head. You can also pick it up and move it around a little. Then flip it back up and pour half of the gravy that’s in the sauce pan on top. Use a brush to coat the entire cauliflower with the sauce.

  7. Surround the cauliflower with the seasoned carrots, potatoes, onion, and most of the rosemary sprigs (leaving a few pieces for a final garnish).
  8. Roast this for 25 to 30 minutes. At this point, it should have a nice deep brown color and there should be plenty of juices at the bottom of the pan that you can toss the surrounding vegetables in. You can also use some of it to baste the cauliflower. 

  9. Continue to roast for another 25 to 30 minutes until it’s a deep golden brown.

  10. When you remove the finished roast and vegetables, if there’s any excess liquid in the bottom of the pan, use the baster to add it back into the saucepan with the remaining gravy. 

  11. Heat the leftover gravy on the stove top over medium heat, whisking until heated through. Serve this alongside the whole cauliflower roast, and guests can add more gravy as they wish.  

  12. Garnish the final dish with the last few fresh rosemary sprigs and serve immediately.

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36 thoughts on “whole roasted cauliflower skillet”

  1. I’m definitely going to make this and voted for it! The waffles looked really good too but I don’t have a waffle iron!

  2. I love this recipe, definitely will make it. But can I substitute coconut aminos instead of the tamary ? Or what else would you suggest that does not contain soy ?
    Thank you,

  3. I watched the video and then IMMEDIATELY went to the grocery store to get all the ingredients that I need!

    The gravy is THE BOMB. Seriously. I want to put it on everything.

    The cauliflower is roasting in the oven now. I look forward to an amazingly delicious dinner!

    Thanks, hot for food!

  4. Made it tonight as I already had everything needed for the recipe. It is absolutely delicious! Thanks for the wonderful recipe, a definite keeper.

    1. I’ve been making this every year for Christmas and mid-year Christmas since the video came out! It’s always so popular that I have to make more every year. Thank you for creating this iconic recipe! 🎄

  5. Made this for thanksgiving and it was delicious! Plus my cauliflower seemed to hold up more like a cauliflower steak than it looked like it did in the Challenge video. My only tip would be to make sure you use low sodium tamari/soy sauce as I thought the marinade/gravy was a bit on the salty side.

    1. yes sorry about that. We ALWAYS use low sodium tamari, soy sauce and veg stock! I’ve updated the entry.

  6. I couldn’t seem to get the cauliflower to be very flavorful; I thought it tasted very bland. I basted it 3 times with the gravy and turned the cauliflower upside down and poured gravy down it, but it didn’t have much flavor when I ate it. I put stuffing all around it instead of the potatoes which made it really tasty!

  7. I made this yesterday and it was incredible!!! soooo flavorful, tender, moist and it sliced really nicely. The only thing I did differently was used Bragg’s liquid aminos instead of tamari and the gravy tasted sooooooo salty and I didn’t put any salt in it. But it was fine, a little went a long way when put on mashed potatoes. Next time (there WILL be a next time), I’ll use tamari. Thank you so much for this brilliant recipe!!

    1. oh ya Bragg’s does tend to be saltier I think. We always use low sodium tamari and low sodium soy sauce and stock. I have changed the ingredients to say that! WHOOPS!

  8. I made this for our vegan Thanksgiving yesterday at a gathering at our house for 25 people. It was a huge hit and demolished so quick! What an eye catching meal it was pulling it out of the oven, hot and fresh. Everyone was so happy to have something so simple, healthy and delicious to feast on. The flavors from the sauce were on point and it was nice that it had a totally different flavor than the Thanksgiving Roast (I made that as well). So yum! It will be a Thanksgiving staple for us now. Thanks again! <3

  9. Awesome! Made it tonight and was a huge hit. The gravy was definitely potent, maybe a bit less tamari/soy sauce but aside from that, very easy and delicious.

  10. I love this one! I did reduce the maple syrup down to 1/3 cup. Next time I will probably use just 1/4 of a cup. I just found the gravy a tad bit too sweet. I certainly will be making this one again.

  11. Just made this. Unbelievably good! I did make the gravy without using any measurements(which I now regret because it came out perfect.) I would throw out a tip to add acorn squash to the veggie medley. I added it in with the cauliflower and it came out soooo creamy after soaking up the gravy!

  12. I made this amazing recipe today and the boyfriend and I loved it! I didn’t have tahini on hand, so I used peanut butter instead and it was delicious. The leftover gravy will be my dipping sauce for some roasted veggies sometime next week and I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks for the recipe, this will go into our fall/winter rotation 🙂

  13. Could this be made in advance and reheated? None of my holiday meals this year are taking place at home, but I really like the idea of offering this as an option to my family.

  14. My siblings are not really fond of veggies but I just made this for my family christmas dinner and everybody is amazed at how meaty this cauliflower roast turned out. SO delicious! We added a little bit of red wine to the sauce and its just perfect. Merry christmas from Germany 🙂

  15. I didn’t use low sodium tamari so it was really salty, so my bad
    other than that it was really good, made it for christmas

  16. A coworker turned me on to your YouTube channel and it has helped me cook AMAZING vegan food that has made going vegan fun and tasty!! Thank you for the inspiration❤

  17. Just made this and holy moses you could slap that gravy on anything and it would be the bomb dot com. Well played John, well played.

  18. I’m doing lent (going teetotal vegan, as usually I am "let’s have champagne for breakfast" kinda omnivore) for 40 days , and have challenged myself to make one dish from hotforfood daily.
    Did brilliantly so far, however, this sauce was so unbelievably tasty , that I ended up eating whole raw cauliflower dipped in this amazing sauce. Will try my best to repeat (roasted version) once again tomorrow.
    An excellent channel, you guys are pure gold!

    1. The first time I made it the gravy was perfect. Tonight I made it and it was horribly salty. I used low sodium soy sauce too. Maybe a cop is too much?

  19. Thank you! I made it in a casserole dish tonight! Wow this is delicious! I cut back a bit on the tamari and used celery seeds instead of celery salt. we added okra and radishes to the veg mix! My husband and I will be having this as our main dish for Thanksgiving this year! I think some brussels sprouts in the pan would be good too! Gonna make that gravy for lots of stuff!

  20. This was so good! Beautiful for our main dish, everyone was impressed. It will definitely be part of our future Thanksgivings!

  21. Just made this with adjustments for what we had on hand. I was skeptical about that gravy, but I trusted the process and actually doubled it because I had more roasted veggies. I am so glad I did. That gravy is the best gravy I’ve ever made. I would eat it with a spoon. I would eat it off an old car. I made mashed potatoes just to eat more gravy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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