This spicy roasted harissa cauliflower recipe makes a healthy snack or side dish. With only a handful of ingredients, it’s easy to make and gluten-free.
Vegetarian | Gluten-Free | Vegan Modifications | 30 Minute Recipe
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Why Make Cauliflower With Harissa
Why not? We love cauliflower and are always finding new ways to cook it, either as a side dish or as a snack. We love making buffalo cauliflower, particularly in our air fryer.
Cauliflower has lots of health benefits. It’s good for heart health and supposedly helps boost your immune system. For us, it’s just plain tasty.
And, we’ve been on a bit of harissa kick, ever since coming home from our food tour in Morocco. After being on a buffalo cauliflower kick, I thought, why can’t I coat cauliflower florets in a spicy harissa sauce instead.
Check out some of our other Moroccan-inspired recipes with harissa:
What Type Of Harissa Paste To Use
Harissa is a spicy Moroccan chili paste. As much as Moroccan food is not terribly spicy on its own, harissa is often served alongside dishes. This way everyone can make their dish as spicy as they want.
Unlike a habanero chili or scotch bonnet chili from Jamaica, harissa is spicy, but not overly so. Sure, if you eat an entire spoonful it might do some damage. But, cooking with harissa is great because you can add a little bit at a time depending on how spicy you like it.
There are two types of harissa I use when cooking Moroccan recipes. Mina is one of my favorite harissa sauces. It comes in a glass jar and is found in a lot of supermarkets in the US. I also like Le Phare du Cap Bon, which comes in a tube. This is commonly found in our Irish supermarkets and in the UK. Both can be found on Amazon:
Ingredients For Roasted Harissa Cauliflower Recipe
In addition to cauliflower florets, the sauce for this harissa cauliflower recipe is relatively easy. It’s a mix of olive oil, harissa paste, salt, ground, cumin, and ground paprika.
I add cumin to almost all of our Moroccan recipes. It’s a super common spice in Moroccan cooking. Harissa is so common that on Moroccan tables, instead of salt and pepper there are often shakers of salt and cumin. It’s also my secret ingredient in so many of our recipes.
If you don’t have paprika, it’s not a big deal to skip it. More than anything, it adds some more color and texture to the roasted cauliflower.
After cooking, a spritz of fresh lemon gives a little acidity to the dish. Either fresh parsley or fresh cilantro (coriander) gives it a little color when serving.
Serve with greek yogurt, sour cream or as a vegan modification, coconut yogurt. This is a great way to offset the spiciness of the dish with something cool and creamy.
How To Make Roasted Cauliflower With Harissa
Preheat the oven to 400F (or 200C).
In a large bowl, add the olive oil, harissa, salt, cumin, and paprika. Use a fork or a wire whisk to blend. Add the cauliflower to the liquid and spices and toss to coat.
Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spread the cauliflower onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower starts to soften. Halfway through cooking toss the cauliflower to ensure more even cooking and to check the doneness. They are done when they start to soften but before they get mushy.
Remove from the oven and spritz with lemon juice. Place on a serving platter and top with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve on its own, or with a ramekin of greek yogurt for dipping. For extra spice, add a bit of harissa into the greek yogurt.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons harissa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Spritz of lemon
- Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200C.
- In a large bowl, add olive oil, harissa, salt, cumin, and paprika. Use a fork or a wire whisk to blend.
- Add the cauliflower to the liquid and spices and toss to blend.
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spread the cauliflower onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
- Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower starts to soften.
- Halfway through cooking toss the cauliflower to ensure more even cooking.
- Remove from the oven and spritz with lemon juice.
See notes above about cooking with harissa
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 435mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Tips For Making Harissa Roasted Cauliflower
Here are just a few more tips and tools to use for this roasted cauliflower with harissa recipe:
- Be sure to mix the sauce and cauliflower in a bowl that doesn’t stain. Harissa can be tough to get out of some material. A metal or glass bowl works. Or, we use the OXO 9 piece nesting mixing bowl set for pretty much everything. This includes storing red sauce and making harissa recipes because they don’t stain.
- I also like using a slightly curved spatula to blend. It helps ensure all of the sauce ends up on the cauliflower. We have the Le Creuset Silicone Spatula Set, which is not only curved but again doesn’t stain.
- For this recipe, I used our 360 Stainless Steel Baking Sheet. It’s a little oversized, which means the vegetables don’t crowd. And, because it’s made with high-quality stainless steel, the vegetables cook evenly.
- I like the baking sheet with parchment paper just because it is way easier to clean!
Modifications And Variations
There is an option to turn these into harissa cauliflower steaks. Instead of cutting into florets, slice them widely, lengthwise to create steaks.
If you are vegan, serve with coconut yogurt instead of Greek yogurt.
FAQs – Harissa Cauliflower Recipe
Harissa is a spicy chili pepper paste found predominantly in North African cooking. It’s commonly found in soups, stews, and tagines. The spice isn’t overpowering but does add a nice kick.
If you are looking to add some spice to dishes and don’t have harissa there are a few alternatives you can use. Keep in mind that harissa is a North African spice suited for North African dishes. That said, alternatives to harissa include red chili paste, sriracha, and Tabasco.