“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 entree. This cheesy vegan roasted cauliflower will be a staple in your home during the chilly fall months

"Cheesy" Vegan Roasted Cauliflower with Nutritional Yeast | TheRoastedRoot.net #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 | TheRoastedRoot.net #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 | TheRoastedRoot.net #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?

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

“Cheesy” Vegan Roasted Cauliflower

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower, keto, paleo, vegan, whole30
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Julia

Vegan "cheesy" roasted cauliflower made with only a few basic ingredients for a healthy side dish




  1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

"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!


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  1. Ashley

    haha yup, I roast veggies literally all the time and rarely post unless part of something else, etc. This cauliflower sounds SOOO good! I think I would hoard the tray all to myself!

    1. Julia Post author

      Heck yeah, when I make it, I don’t even tell my boyfriend about its existence so that I can claim the whole batch to myself. Way I see it, he’s got his bacon, and I’ve got my cauliflower 😉

  2. Medha

    I love roasted veggies and they are totally a standalone dish, especially when they look as delicious as your roasted cauli does! Looooving the flavors you put in here, especially the paprika 🙂

  3. marcie

    Cauliflower is one of my favorite roasted veggies and I think this is definitely worthy of it’s own post. And honestly, If this bowl of cauliflower were next to a plate of brownies, I wouldn’t even notice the brownies (and I LOVE brownies). I’ve never tried nutritional yeast but if it looks this good on cauliflower it’s worth a try! I could eat this entire bowl myself!

    1. Julia Post author

      YES! So glad to know someone else is more tempted by roasted veggies than tantalizing desserts. I’ve definitely done some damage to a whole batch of “cheesy” cauliflower, so I say get on with your bad self – you get it!

    1. Julia Post author

      As someone who has never been a huge fan of popcorn, I say this cauliflower as a movie snack would be brilliant! I mean, it’s basically guiltless so if you get sucked into your movie and eat the whole batch, no harm, no foul 😉

    1. Julia Post author

      Cauliflower lovers unite! I think you’ll love this recipe! Nutritional yeast is fun to cook with – there’s so much you can do with it! Enjoy! xo

  4. Aousaf

    Loved your recipe.but we dont have any nutritional yeast here.can i use any substitute?like cheese?..and love from India!!????

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi there! You can absolutely use cheese. Roast the cauliflower, transfer it to a mixing bowl while it’s still hot, and toss in your desired amount of grated cheese (I’d start with 1/3 cup and work up from there). Let me know if you have any other questions.


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