Cocoa-Toasted Cauliflower (Paleo, Whole30)

It’s not at all like eating chocolate, but Cocoa-Toasted Cauliflower is savory, roasted goodness.

We’re deep into cauliflower season in the northern hemisphere (I got a volleyball-sized cauliflower in my CSA last week), and it’s cold outside – even here in Austin – so now is a great time to crank up the oven. The cocoa in the recipe enhances the natural nuttiness of the cauliflower, the paprika adds depth and a nice spicy bite… and all of the work is done in the oven. You know how much I love that!

If you’re concerned about cocoa compliance, don’t be. The Whole30 gives it a thumbs-up, even during a Whole30. So go ahead, it’s OK to go cuckoo for cocoa. (sorry.)


Cocoa-Toasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head fresh cauliflower

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. With a sharp knife, remove the core of the cauliflower and break it into florets. Place the florets in a large mixing bowl.


In a small microwave-safe bowl, mix the paprika, cocoa, salt, pepper, and garlic with a fork. Add the coconut oil and microwave for 15-20 seconds until the coconut oil is melted and the spices are fragrant.


Drizzle the spiced coconut oil over the cauliflower in the bowl, then toss with two wooden spoons until well coated. This should take at least 2 minutes. Name a food for every letter of the alphabet to amuse yourself while you toss. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings.


Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until it’s tender and starting to get nice brown spots.

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