Beer-Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta

Poach a whole head of cauliflower in an olive-oil dappled, chile-spiked, beer-based broth, then wedge it & roast it until golden-crusted and butter tender.

Beer-Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta

Hang in there with me on this one. It’s a study in efficiency, and with some faith, it all comes together in the end. In short, poach a whole head of cauliflower in an olive-oil dappled, chile-spiked, beer-based broth, then wedge it & roast it until golden-crusted and butter tender. At the last minute, use that same broth to cook your favorite pasta. Serve it all up in a bowl with a shower of fresh herbs. Beer-roasted Cauliflower with Pasta
PRO TIP: Only add as much pasta as you’ll eat to the broth. It's not great for leftovers. Use whatever pasta you like – I used a whole wheat fusilli here, but you could use penne, or one of the alternative grain or legume pastas.
Beer-roasted Cauliflower with Pasta
I started working on this recipe just before leaving San Francisco. It's the perfect hearty bowl for cold nights, wintery weather, or summer in SF.  A squeeze of lemon brightens everything up.

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Beer-Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta

3.81 from 36 votes

  • 1 12- ounce beer, pilsner or hefeweizen
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, and crushed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon red chile flakes
  • 10 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 medium-large head of cauliflower, stem trimmed
  • 12 ounces favorite short pasta or ravioli
  • to serve: fresh herbs: chopped cilantro or basil, dusting of cheese, sprinkling of pine nuts, lemon
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F. In a medium-large saucepan combine the beer, garlic, olive oil, salt, chile flakes, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and lower the cauliflower into the pot. Cover, and simmer for ten minutes or so, flipping once or twice along the way. Use a strainer to drain and transfer the cauliflower to a cutting board, and (IMPORTANT) keep all that broth in the pot. 

  2. Cut the cauliflower into four wedges, and place on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan. Roast until deeply golden, flipping once along the way, twenty minutes or so. Check on the bottom now and then, to avoid burning. Remove from oven.

  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, dial back the heat under the broth. When the cauliflower is nearly done, bring the broth back to a boil, add the pasta, and cook per package instructions. Serve the cauliflower in wedges in the brothy pasta with a showering of fresh herbs, and a dusting of Parmesan.


Serves 4. 

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
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Recipe Rating


This was tasty but way too spicy for me, the red pepper was trapped in the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower for an uncomfortable level of heat. Would make again and just reduce red pepper by half. Other than that I loved this dish! The broth was super tasty and added tons of flavor to the pasta.


Oh, how I love cauliflower! Too late tonight, but I'll be off to the store in the a.m. for some, plus whatever else I need. I'm totally intrigued by your recipe. Wouldn't have thought of poaching the head of cauliflower with the beer, etc. Actually, I've got everything on hand except the cauliflower! I always have pine nuts in the freezer and we have a nifty herb garden downstairs from my condo, so I'll grab some cilantro and maybe a sprig of basil and give it all a whirl. I can roast it in my toaster oven. Oh, my mouth is already watering! Thanks for sharing! I'll be back. Aloha, Nancy On Maui

Nancy Perine

An alternate-universe ramen! I used red lentil pasta, added a few dried "gourmet" mushrooms, and served it heavy on the broth. The lemon wedges really send it over the top. And the lentil pasta even held up well for leftovers. Thanks for this one; it's fantastic!


    Love this!

    Heidi Swanson

The cauliflower-beer dish is delicious. And easy. And low cal.


We made this tonight and it was super! I will definitely be making this over and over. Bravo!

Lynne M Seta

    Thanks Lynne!

    Heidi Swanson

Hey Heidi! LoveLoveLove your blog! This looks fab, gonna make it tonight, but want to try steaming the cauliflower in my Instant Pot. Wondering if it will have as much flavor since I won’t be able to turn during cooking... I’ll let you know! Thanks for all the amazing recipes and tips. We eat well!

Kathy Martens

    Thanks Kathy, report back! :) -h

    Heidi Swanson

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