Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Spring

Have you tried roasting cauliflower? This recipe Za’atar roasted cauliflower is a dish made by coating cauliflower florets with a mixture of za’atar seasoning, olive oil, and salt. Roasting them in the oven until they are tender and golden brown. 

Za’atar is a spice blend that includes dried thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, and sometimes other herbs like oregano or marjoram. The seasoning is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and is used to flavor meats, vegetables, bread, and dips. It is available online or at any Turkish or Arab grocery store.

Za’atar is a wonderful spice that not only adds taste to food but also has many positive health effects. A primary component of za’atar, sumac, is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory qualities, while the antibacterial and antifungal properties of thyme and oregano round out the blend. 

One of the numerous ways to use za’atar is to sprinkle it on top of hummus, but it also goes well with roasted vegetables like cauliflower, grilled meats, and other spreads. The spice mix has also become more popular in Western cooking, where it is used as an ingredient in everything from salad dressings to pizza toppings. 

Roasted cauliflower has become popular in the United States and other parts of the world as cauliflower has become more popular as a low-carb and gluten-free alternative to grains and other starchy foods. 

If you’re searching for a healthy and tasty new way to eat cauliflower, consider roasting it with za’atar. Don’t forget the significant role that this Middle Eastern spice combination has had in global cuisine throughout history.

Health Benefits:

  • High in fiber: Cauliflower is a good source of fiber, with 3 grams of fiber per cup. Fiber is important for maintaining digestive health and can also help with weight management by promoting feelings of fullness.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: The za’atar seasoning used in this dish contains several herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties, including thyme and sumac. 
  • Antioxidants: Many of the herbs and spices in za’atar seasoning are high in antioxidants, including thyme and sumac. Antioxidants are important for protecting the body against oxidative stress, which can damage cells and contribute to aging and disease.
  • Low in calories: Cauliflower is a low-calorie vegetable, with just 25 calories per cup. This makes it a good option for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Versatile: Za’atar roasted cauliflower can be served as a side dish or as a main course, and it can be enjoyed hot or cold. This versatility makes it easy to incorporate into a variety of different meals and dietary patterns.

Ingredient Substitute:

  • Cauliflower head: You can substitute broccoli florets or Brussels sprouts for cauliflower in this recipe, as they have a similar texture and taste.
  • Za’atar: You can make your own za’atar seasoning by combining dried thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt. If you don’t have sumac, you can substitute lemon zest. Alternatively, you can use a spice blend that contains similar herbs and spices, such as herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning.
Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower

Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower

Nadine Nelson


  • 1 medium cauliflower head
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp salt, coarse
  • 1 tsp Za’atar


  • Set the oven's temperature to 450°F (230°C).
  • Use parchment paper to cover a baking sheet.
  • Remove the leaves from the cauliflower after washing it.
  • Remove the core and about three-quarters of the stem, leaving just enough stem to support the cauliflower upright.
  • Place the entire cauliflower in a big pot, fill it with water, and cook it to a boil over high heat.
  • Carefully add the cauliflower when the water is boiling, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes (5 minutes if the cauliflower is smaller, 7 minutes if it is bigger).
  • Carefully remove the cauliflower from the pot using a pair of tongs. 
  • Place it stem-down on the baking sheet after allowing it to drain for a short while. 
  • To roast for 25 to 30 minutes, brush with olive oil, season with salt and za'atar, and roast until the outside is crispy (but not burnt), and the inside is soft.
  • To see if it is finished, insert a fork into the stem. 
  • Put the cauliflower under the broiler for about 5 minutes if it isn't nicely browned. 
  • Before serving, let it cool down a little.


Storage Instructions:
  • Za’atar roasted cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container. 
  • To store it properly, make sure the cauliflower has cooled down to room temperature before placing it in the container. 
  • You can also store any leftover za’atar seasoning in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months.
  • When reheating the roasted cauliflower, you can place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. 
  • You can also reheat it in the microwave for a minute or two, but this may cause the cauliflower to become a bit soggy. 
  • For best results, reheat it in the oven.