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Panko and Parmesan Cauliflower

Panko and Parmesan Cauliflower

This roasted side dish is anything but average! The toasty florets have amazing flavor all by themselves, but then they get kicked up a notch with a crispy panko and Parmesan crust to sprinkle on top.  You’ll never think of cauliflower as a boring veggie ever again!

Panko and Parmesan Cauliflower


1 large head cauliflower

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1/4 cup plain panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1 clove garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan



1. Preheat oven to 425°F.


Cut the stem and any leaves from the cauliflower and quarter the head. Cut out the exposed core and discard along with the stem and leaves. Using a paring knife, cut the cauliflower into smaller, bite size florets. Group the cauliflower on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of oil over the grouping, plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Toss to combine and spread the florets out on the baking sheet in an even single layer.


Roast in a preheated oven until the edges begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Toss the florets and roast for another 5- 10 minutes until browned to your liking.


While the cauliflower roasts, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the panko and stir to coat in the oil. Continue stirring constantly until the bread crumbs take on a golden color. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute until fragrant and the panko is a deep golden color. Remove from the heat, and stir in the lemon zest, parsley and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Set aside.


Remove the cauliflower from oven and transfer to a serving platter. While the florets are still hot, sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top. Allow the cheese a few seconds to melt, then top with the panko mixture and serve.


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