This firecracker cauliflower is sauced with a spicy blend of sriracha, peanut butter, vegan butter and miso, then baked to perfection. The outside is fiery, rich and full of flavor while the inside is soft and tender. Serve it with vegan ranch or bleu cheese dressing and experience an explosion of flavor!
I’m not sure why I had urge to crank up my oven during late August here in Boston, but I had a head of cauliflower and a craving for some sriracha, so this firecracker cauliflower happened.
How to make this recipe
Start with a big ‘ol head of cauliflower to make your firecracker cauliflower. The cauliflower head should be firm and pale, with no brown spots.
If you cut away some of the stems and bones around the core, you’ve created a little cavity to pour in some spicy sauce. This one’s got vegan butter, garlic, peanut butter, sriracha and miso.
Double the sauce!
Something I wish I had done for this recipe: doubled the sauce! It all soaks into the cauliflower, but some extra + warmed sauce on the side would have been a bonus.
Once the cavity is filled with sauce, paint your cauliflower. Get into those nooks and crannies.
This is the position it will start out roasting in. I left the end unsauced, so it wouldn’t burn.
Making the perfect firecracker cauliflower
Once it’s baked for about 30 minutes, flip in your cast iron pan and paint the top all over with the sauce. Roast for 30 minutes more, or until it’s toasty and perfect. During these last 30 minutes, remove from the oven, tip the pan to the side so all the liquid collects in one end. Dip in a large spoon and repeatedly toss all over the top until there is no liquid left. Do this twice!
How to serve this dish
Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Vegan bleu cheese or vegan ranch dressing on the side for dunking goes perfectly here.
This will fill your kitchen and belly with goodness. Sriracha FTW.
More delicious recipes that use cauliflower!
Cauliflower and Mushroom Curry
Cauliflower Puree with Roasted MushroomsPrint
- Total Time: 1 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Diet: Vegan
Firecracker cauliflower that’s been roasted in a garlic, vegan butter, sriracha, miso and peanut butter sauce. It’s perfectly spicy and easy to make!
for the firecracker sauce
- 2 TB olive oil
- 4–6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
- 1/2 cup sriracha
- 2 TB miso (I used chickpea miso, but any kind would work)
for the cauliflower
- one head of cauliflower
- 2 TB olive oil
- medium-sized pyrex dish filled halfway with water
- extra firecracker sauce
- fresh parsley, chopped
- vegan bleu cheeze or ranch dressing
to make the firecracker sauce
- Warm the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir to coat.
- Allow to soften for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, ensuring that it does not brown.
- Add in the vegan butter and allow to fully melt. Add in the peanut butter and allow it to fully melt, stirring as needed to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the sriracha, stirring to combine, then add in the miso and stir until completely smooth. Remove from the heat.
to roast the cauliflower
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut away any green leaves from the base of the cauliflower, but keep the base intact.
- You are going to pour some of the sauce into the cauliflower while it’s upside-down. To allow that, cut away any cauliflower stems that allow space for that (just minimal cutting and removal).
- Grease a medium-sized cast iron pan with the oil. Place the cauliflower inside (stem-side up). Pour one-third of the sauce evenly into the cavity. Using a pastry brush, brush the sauce all over. Leave the part that’s face-down free from sauce.
- Place the cauliflower into the oven (top rack) and place the pyrex with water on the rack below. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and flip (I used two big spoons) and brush the top with the sauce until well coated.
- Check to make sure the pyrex still has water – refill if needed.
- Bake for 30 minutes more, or until the top is slightly charred.
- During this bake time, remove twice from the oven. Tip the cast iron slightly to the side so the sauce pools on one side. Using a spoon, douse the top evenly with the sauce.
- Once done, allow to slightly cool.
- Serve immediately with any of the leftover firecracker sauce, vegan bleu cheeze or ranch dressing and fresh parsley.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hours
- Category: Dinner, Side
- Method: Baked, Basted
- Cuisine: Asian, American
Keywords: firecracker cauliflower, spicy cauliflower, vegan cauliflower recipe
Oh my goodness, Erin! I just harvested two cauliflowers from the garden and have been wondering what the heck I was going to do with them. I’ve never tried roasting them whole, and this looks incredible – I guess I’ll be cranking my oven up today!
I hope you enjoy, Cheryl!
OMG, Erin. This looks amazing!
Cristina Insaghi says
WOW! I’ll try it! Thanks!
I had a huge head of cauliflower to use and had decided to make this beauty tonight. I absolutely loved it! It was a firecracker indeed, as the spicy heat danced on my tongue and lingered on the back of my palette. The char was lovely to look at too. This definitely tops my list in the best of cauliflower category. Thanks for the winning recipe!
Lillian, thanks for giving it a try and I’m so happy you enjoyed … thanks for your kind feedback!
So you put it in a cast-iron skillet and below it in the oven Fill a Pyrex with some water?
I may finally tackle roasting a whole cauliflower having read this post, instead of doing my regular cauliflower steaks and wings – which I love both hot, and also leftovers in salads. It looks stunning, thank you 🙂
Simply gorgeous! I will bookmark this and make it for the winter.
Hope you enjoy, Jennifer!
Erin, this looks absolutely mind-blowing!
Thank you, Sandra!!
Nancy Wickham says
It’s roasting in the oven right now but I need a little help- the sauce was very thick so I added some water(obviously a mistake because it separated), any tips? It smells fantastic and I have some avocado dipping sauce…
Nancy, the sauce is supposed to be thick, as it completely thins while it cooks. Hope you were able to salvage — the avocado sauce sounds like a nice side!
This recipe blew my mind! Well worth turning on the oven despite being 90 degrees out. Dipped in Daiya’s vegan blue cheese dressing. One of the best roasted cauliflower recipes I’ve ever made! Thank you!
Awesome, thanks for the feedback and so happy you enjoyed, Jordan. Daiya blue cheese dressing is amazing stuff!
Can you use another oven dish? I don’t have a cast iron pan. ?♀️
I think a pyrex would would work here.
P.S. You should get a cast iron pan — they are super cheap (about $20) and are one of the best investments you can make for cooking!
What purpose does the pyrex do with the water ? Is it for moisture in the oven since the califlower is in the cast iron pan. Also, do you know the total carbs in this ?
Teresa, the pyrex+water creates steam that allows the cauliflower to soften up evenly throughout.
I don’t count carbs, calories, etc.
Awesome flavor. Probably one of the best spicy Asian peanut sauces I’ve made. The dish was a bit oily, so I cooled the head on a wire rack to drain the oil. Save the drippings’ solids, they taste great!
So great to hear, Joe … thanks for your feedback!
Kim Caruso says
What do you recommend to serve with as a side….? I was thinking brown rice….?
sure, brown rice would work! Carrot/celery sticks would work as well. I hope you enjoy!
Andrea E says
I came home with the most epic cauliflower ever–2.2kg!–and happened onto this recipe (not even searching for cauliflower ones). It was really amazing. I used way more hot sauce than I normally would, maybe to overcome the peanut butter. Also, it was really thick and it didn’t get thinner with cooking; to the contrary, it got much thicker as it dried out. Next time, I would thin it before applying.
Anyway, awesome recipe, thanks!
I found this recipe a few days ago and was finally able to try it out tonight!
I wish I was able to attach a picture of how it turned out because it was perfect!
I didn’t cook with the pyrex dish filled with water as I prefer my cauliflower on the more crunchy side and being from Australia, I converted the temperature for my oven (200 degrees C or about 180 degrees C fan-forced) and it turned out perfectly! It is definitely a recipe I will be cooking again, thank you!
I loved this recipe. I never think ‘cauliflower’ and ‘hot’ (as in spicy) together, but it works great! As I could not get Sriracha I used sambal olek instead, which worked perfectly. Chose 200 degree Celsius – always a bit difficult to choose the correct temperature – medium rack.
I served with red rice (Camargue), fried chickpea tofu and vegan blue cheze.
Well, we had a delicious meal. Thank you for charing the recipe!
Lilly, it’s such a great combo and that sounds like and amazing meal. Thanks so much for your kind feedback!
Heck to the YES!!!
This was AMAZING! I was licking my plate.
I did change up the recipe because I didn’t have everything. I used Franks RedHot extra spicy. I used 1/3 cup of coconut oil and no olive oil or vegan butter. I added way more garlic then called for in the recipe and 1/4 cup of water (maybe more). I did not use the Pyrex water in the oven.
I only put enough marinade to cover lightly and took out the cauliflower every 15 and added more marinade each time. I even used the marinade for my baked blooming onion. It all came out so GOOD it was ridiculous.
Thanks for a great recipe!
Would love to add a photo but that’s unfortunately not an option.
So happy you enjoyed! Can’t go wrong with extra garlic … glad you were able to use the marinade in another application too. Thanks so much for your kind feedback!
This was SO GOOD! The sauce was definitely thick so there’s wasn’t much to spoon onto the cauliflower in the pan. It really didn’t matter though because all the sauce stuck really well to the cauliflower. I used crunchy PB and am so glad I did. I served with some garlicky orzo and Follow Your Heart Ranch !
So happy you enjoyed, Hannah! Pairing with orzo and FYH ranch sounds amazing!
I’m wondering what I could swap for the vegan butter?
I’m WFPB, so the butter and oils are out.
Do you think mashed Avocado would work?
Or any other suggestions?
Hi Amy, Sorry I’m not really familiar with the WFPB diet, so I can’t really say. If you try with mashed avo with good results, I’d love to know. Good luck!
Stephen Furry says
I made this last night and I loved it! A thousand times better than the Buffalo Cauliflower restaurants/caterers serve.
Stephen, thanks for your kind words, so happy you enjoyed. 🙂
I made this twice now and loved it each time. I thought it would be super hot with all of the sriracha, but it’s just pleasantly spicy. Such a great dish. Thanks for this recipe.
Lori, so happy that you liked the cauliflower … thanks for your kind feedback!
Stacey Mouritz says
Hi, just wondering if you can cook this in the slow cooker instead?
How long would it need?
Stacey, I haven’t tried that method, so I can’t really give any estimates. If you try with good results, I’d love to know!