Baked Cauliflower out of oven portrait 2 site

Baked Cauliflower with Sour Cream, Parmesan and Thyme

In this baked cauliflower recipe, the cauliflower of course is the star. A few simple ingredients turn a vegetable I would normally break down to its florets, into something else completely – almost a vegetarian roast.

The baked cauliflower works really well as a side to meat dishes, but also as a main surrounded by other sides like one or two fresh salads, home made baked beans, or a little bit of baked fish.

Enjoy this simple take on a whole Baked Cauliflower with Sour Cream, Parmesan and Thyme.

Baked Cauliflower raw site

Baked Cauliflower with Sour Cream, Parmesan and Thyme

Serves four people as a side dish


1 medium sized cauliflower, rinsed with leaves on

Olive oil, 2.5 – 3 tbsp

1 large garlic clove, preferably crushed in garlic press, otherwise very finely diced

Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano), finely grated, 1/2 cup

Sour cream or crème fraîche, 1/2 cup

Fresh thyme leaves (pulled from stems – see notes), 1 tbsp

Water for boiling

Sea salt


Rinse the cauliflower and place it in a large pot. Fill the pot three quarters of the way with water, and add salt. Pop the lid on and turn your stove to medium-high heat


Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes


After 15 minutes, turn the stove off the heat, and drain the water from the pot. Carefully lower/turn the cauliflower into a colander to drain and cool (allow around 20 – 25 minutes)


Baked Cauliflower ingredients 2 site


Once the cauliflower has stopped steaming, place the cauliflower in a deep lined oven-proof baking dish, and gently pull the leaves back so they fan out creating a rim around the cauliflower. As you’re coating the cauliflower with the ingredients, this helps catch any little bits that fall, containing them inside the cauliflower


Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees


Baked Cauliflower ingredients site

Using a pastry brush, brush the cauliflower with olive oil, covering every surface of the white including nooks and crannies where you can. If you don’t have a pastry brush you can pour a little of the olive oil over the cauliflower at a time, and rub the olive oil over the cauliflower instead


Baked Cauliflower coating site

After this mix the Parmesan, sour cream, thyme and garlic together in a bowl. Taking small handfuls or tablespoons at a time, rub this mixture over and into the cauliflower until there’s none left. Like with the olive oil, try to cover as much surface as possible


Next, sprinkle two to three pinches of sea salt liberally all over the cauliflower


Finally, place the dish with the cauliflower in the oven and bake until the top becomes a deep golden brown


Baked Cauliflower out of oven portrait site


Serve immediately and use a spoon or small to medium sized serving spoon to cut out the cauliflower for serving. There will be a pool of the sauce at the bottom of the ovenproof dish, use this to pour over the cauliflower florets as you eat them, especially any bits that didn’t get enough coating.


Baked Cauliflower florets site


Notes: The sour cream I love and use here is full fat (about 35%), it is very rich but savoury if that makes sense. If you can find a high quality sour cream from a farmer’s market, I would highly suggest using that.

On thyme – to pull the leaves off, simply pinch the little cluster of leaves at the top of the stem with one hand, and with your other hand swiftly pull down the stem from top to bottom firmly. All the leaves should easily come away.