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“Cheesy” Vegan Roasted Cauliflower

Cheesy vegan roasted cauliflower made paleo-friendly with nutritional yeast is a simple and easy paleo, whole30, keto healthy side dish, perfect to go alongside any main entrée. This cheesy vegan roasted cauliflower will be a staple in your home.

"Cheesy" Vegan Roasted Cauliflower with Nutritional Yeast | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

Roasted vegetables are a classic example of a dish I make frequently but rarely post about in their pure form – unadulterated by rice, tortillas, sauce, meat, etc.

Sure, I show you recipes with roasted, sauteed, or grilled vegetables in them (hello, Roasted Portobello Fajitas, Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Buddha Bowls,  Grilled Portobello and Summer Squash Quesadillas, Small Batch Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas, etc.), but rarely do I compartmentalize the actual roasted veg.

I thought I’d take a special moment to highlight one of my favorite roasting vegetables – the cauliflower – and show you one of my go-to methods for making it over-the-top, better-than-brownies delicious.

Okay, don’t quote me on the brownie thing, but nevertheless, what we have here is a Julia Especial, and it’s perfect for the fall and winter months.

And now, the elephant in the room: How in the haystack do we make something “cheesy,” if it is also vegan?

Nutritional yeast!

"Cheesy" Vegan Roasted Cauliflower with Nutritional Yeast | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

If you’re not sure what nutritional yeast is, don’t fret! I’ll explain.

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, and has a nutty, cheesy, creamy flavor, making it a great “cheese” substitute in vegan food.

Vegan macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes or cheesy cheese-less sauce of any kind?

Nutritional yeast’s your jam.

It can be found in the natural food section (or bulk food section) of your grocery store in the form of yellow flakes or powder. Of course, it can also be purchased online.

From a health benefits standpoint, nutritional yeast is far from being a superfood in its natural form, as It contains only a tiny amount of vitamins and minerals, but nothing significant; however, many companies fortify nutritional yeast with B12, which is significant to vegetarians and vegans, who have to supplement their diet in order to get enough B12.

"Cheesy" Vegan Roasted Cauliflower with Nutritional Yeast | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

At this point in our conversation, you may think nutritional yeast it weird. I promise, it’s not.

I’m nowhere near vegan, and I think it’s just great! It’s an excellent way of adding flavor and “creaminess” to virtually any dish without the use of dairy.

Remember those Nacho Cheese Kale Chips I posted a couple of year back, or the Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Buddha Bowls I posted just a few weeks ago?

Both recipes called for – you guessed it – nutritional yeast.

In addition to being vegan-friendly, nutritional yeast is also paleo, primal, and Whole30 compliant.

How “cheesy” do you like your cauliflower?

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!

"Cheesy" Vegan Roasted Cauliflower with Nutritional Yeast | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

“Cheesy” Vegan Roasted Cauliflower

Vegan "cheesy" roasted cauliflower made with only a few basic ingredients for a healthy side dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
4 servings



  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add the raw cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast, sea salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Use your hands to toss and mix everything together until the cauliflower florets are well-coated.
  • Spread the cauliflower over the prepared baking sheet and roast on the center rack for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring half-way through, or until cauliflower is golden-brown and tender.
  • Remove from the oven and taste cauliflower for flavor. Sprinkle with sea salt and additional nutritional yeast if desired. Serve with chopped pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans alongside your favorite entree.


Serving: 1of 4 - Calories: 108kcal - Carbohydrates: 2g - Protein: 2g - Fat: 11g - Fiber: 1g
Course: Side Dishes & Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower recipe, cheesy cauliflower, keto, paleo, roasted cauliflower, vegan, whole30
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 108kcal
Author: Julia

"Cheesy" Vegan Roasted Cauliflower made with nutritional yeast is a simple and easy healthy side dish, perfect to go alongside any main entree. Paleo, keto, whole30 and delicious!

Recipe Rating

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Rebecca Clark

Monday 1st of May 2023

This was AMAZING!!! Perfect level of heat - love that magical nutritional yeast!!


Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

So thrilled you enjoy it, Rebecca! xo


Wednesday 12th of January 2022

This is freakishly delicious. I wish I had made twice as much.


Thursday 13th of January 2022

LOL it tickles me that cauliflower can be so good :) So happy you like it, Kristine! xo


Thursday 6th of January 2022

How would you adapt this recipe for an air fryer?


Thursday 6th of January 2022

Hi Adrienne!

I haven't tested this exact recipe in an air fryer yet, but I would air fry at 360 for 8 to 12 minutes, shaking once half-way through. Hope that helps!! xoxo


Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Honestly I wasn’t expecting much from this simple recipe but it delicious! I can’t believe I ate an entire roasted cauliflower all to myself straight from the fridge!


Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Haha! I'm glad it did not disappoint! xoxo


Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Tried this recipe a few nights ago. Did it with frozen cauliflower and it was delicious. Going to try it with fresh, as I imagine that will be even better. Side note: The page is very cumbersome, takes a long time to load and is difficult to navigate with all of the adds. Doesn't incline me to look around for more recipes. :/


Thursday 22nd of July 2021

Hi Charity!

Thanks so much for the feedback. My site speed is ranked at 93/100 for mobile and 100/100 for desktop, so it must be something else. Perhaps internet connection? The ads on my site are the only money I make for a living, so while I get that they're super annoying, they're how people are able to access free content. Nevertheless, I totally understand not wanting to deal with annoying websites, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions in the future :) xoxoxo

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