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Healthy Side Dish: Spicy Tahini Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

The last thing we need is another “pretend cauliflower” recipe. We have cauliflower pretending to be pizza, cauliflower dressed up like steak, cauliflower dressed up like macaroni and cheese, and buffalo chicken.

This recipe is cauliflower pretending to be nothing but cauliflower. It features the greatest chameleon of the cruciferous vegetable family in all its glory – as a delicious, crispy, flavor-packed side dish vegetable that needs no disguise.

head of cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Spicy Tahini Sauce

Spicy roasted cauliflower with chopped nuts and dates sounds impressive, but it’s just a delicious combination of simple ingredients with a dash of exotic crunch from the pistachios. This healthy side dish is a simple, delicious, flavorful explosion that makes any Mediterranean-inspired meal better. 

RELATED: Cauliflower is a long-lasting vegetable that will stay fresh for a few weeks in your fridge.

I first ate roasted cauliflower with harissa at a healthy foodie restaurant and it was one of the best things I have ever tasted. I recreated it at home using what I had, and voila! Spicy roasted cauliflower.

If you have harissa, use that. All I had was sriracha, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, so here you go.

Conveniently, Spicy Roasted Cauliflower is also:

harissa roasted cauliflower recipe

Roasted Cauliflower

The star of the show here is not the spicy tahini sauce. It is the way we cook the cauliflower.

Honestly, almost anytime you roast a vegetable instead of steaming or sauteeing it, you take the flavor notch up 1000%. Roasted vegetables can seem fussier than steaming, but all you need to do is toss them with salt and pepper and a little oil, roast them at 450 F for about 10 minutes, flip them, then roast again for another 10 minutes.

Obviously, different vegetables need different cook times, so keep an eye on your veggies. But in general, 450 F for 10 minutes a side is a good rule of thumb.

Spicy Tahini Sauce

Made with simple but delicious ingredients, our spicy tahini sauce is a creamy, tangy, spicy combination that you toss with the cauliflower after roasting.

The fat from the tahini makes the dish more satisfying and delicious, the lemon juice gives it a healthy tang, and the sriracha (or harissa) adds the very important heat.

If you don’t like spicy foods, adjust it to your taste. Start with a tiny squirt, taste, and go from there. Keep in the mind the sweet chopped dates will bring the heat down a little.

RELATED: Keto Spicy Chicken Curry Recipe.

cauliflower side dish, spicy harissa roasted cauliflower

Garnish Your Healthy Side Dish: Pistachios & Dates

Okay, the most expensive part of this dish is the garnish, but both the pistachios and the dates bring important elements to this dish. The dates add a touch of sweetness that is surprising but (in my opinion) important. The pistachios add a nice crunch and pop of color to an otherwise brown (and can I add very difficult to photograph?) dish.

dates and pistachios

If you don’t have pistachios, substitute them. Try almonds (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!)

Turn a Side Dish into a Meal

You can serve this cauliflower with chicken and salad, alongside a roast, or for a vegan inspired buddha bowl, toss in a cup or two of garbanzo beans. It’s delicious.

Adding chickpeas to this dish makes it more of a plant-based meal that is also free of many common allergens, like dairy, gluten, and eggs.


You would think a whole cauliflower makes some leftovers, but it’s so hard to stop eating this spicy roasted cauliflower, that I don’t usually have any leftovers. I don’t usually share, either, so think what you will of me. However, the leftovers I have tried tasted great.

Fresh is best, but you are not running a restaurant, and the leftovers are good too.

Watch the Video Demo

Need to see it done? Check out the video where I show you exactly how to make it and share some simple tips for making this dish even better!

For more healthy, budget-friendly cooking tutorials, check out the rest of our videos inspired by Kitchen Stewardship®!

More Simple Real Food International Dishes from Steph:

More Plant-Based Dishes from Steph:

Spicy Tahini Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
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Tahini roasted cauliflower side dish recipe

Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Tahini Sauce Recipe

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  • Author: Steph Jenkins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegan


A simple-to-make but spicy, flavor-packed veggie side! Recipe inspired by a dish from a local restaurant and these cauliflower steaks from Del’s Cooking Twist.


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 4 dates, pitted and diced
  • 2 Tbs. pistachios, chopped

Spicy Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/3 c. tahini
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 13 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 12 Tbs. water (optional)

ship kroger


  1. Optional: A day or two before cooking, stir together the sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust sriracha or salt as needed. Then cover and refrigerate. Making the sauce ahead of time lets the flavors meld nicely.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  3. Chop the cauliflower into bite-size chunks (keeping in mind that they will shrink while they roast). Toss them on a baking sheet with oil, paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Roast at 450 F for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, flip them with a spatula (or just give it all a good stir), and roast for another 10 minutes, until cauliflower is soft all the way through and turning brown on the edges.
  5. Use the spatula to chop the cauliflower into smaller bites, then move it all to a mixing bowl.
  6. Stir in the sauce, adding half at first, then stirring, then add more as necessary.
  7. Stir in the dates and pistachios, reserving a few for garnish.
  8. Place the cauliflower in a serving bowl and garnish with remaining nuts and dates.
  9. Enjoy warm or room temperature.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 183
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 314 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 6 g
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Maybe you’re looking for a zingy side dish to go with a Sunday roast, maybe you need some fresh ideas for your Ketogenic diet, or you need a new, flavorful, plant-based meal. Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Tahini Sauce is just that!

Did you try it? Let me know what you think below!
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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