Grilled cauliflower is the BEST way to cook cauliflower in the summer: grilled until golden with slightly charred, crispy edges, this recipe is slathered in a spicy jalapeno lime butter!
Cauliflower is the superhero of the vegetables, right?! It can be mashed, roasted, turned into rice, or cooked whole. Here's another fun way to enjoy cauliflower: grilled until it is tender, golden and slightly caramelized. Ready for the next level? Slather it up with a spicy jalapeno lime butter!
Just like when it is roasted, grilling cauliflower transforms its flavor in the best way possible: the raw cauliflower flavor mellows and sweetens slightly, and the outside become charred, golden and caramelized.
I love how simple this recipe is to prep: you can skip the jalapeno lime butter if you'd like, and simply season with salt and pepper (and a squeeze of lime at the end), and you will have a simple, tasty, summery side dish!
Reasons you’ll ♡ grilled cauliflower
- it's super simple to prepare and cook
- the flavor of the cauliflower is similar to roasted, with a hint of smokiness and char from the grill
- it's vegan-friendly, gluten-free and low carb
Watch the video below to see exactly how to grill cauliflower. It’s so easy! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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Ingredients you'll need
- cauliflower- one whole head. Save time by purchasing pre-cut florets, but make sure they are similar in size so they cook through evenly.
- olive oil- to toss the cauliflower florets in. Oil is crucial in getting that golden caramelization on your cauliflower. You can use avocado oil or another high smoke point oil if you'd like.
- lime juice- to toss the cauliflower florets in. This helps deepen the lime flavors through the cauliflower, but is optional.
Jalapeno Lime Butter
- butter- salted or unsalted (omit the extra salt if you use salted butter)
- jalapeno- we are adding a raw jalapeno to get that spicy heat! You could grill the jalapeno before making the butter to mellow out the raw jalapeno flavors, reduce the spiciness a touch, and add a charred flavor to the butter. Make sure the jalapeno is diced before blending as it will blend into the butter much easier that way.
- lime zest- to add bright, citrussy flavor to the butter without the sourness that lime juice can bring.
- salt- to be added if you use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, taste after pureeing and add more salt if you'd like.
Start with the jalapeno lime butter
It's a good idea to get your butter over and done with before you start cooking the cauliflower. To prepare the butter, you will need a small food processor. Alternatively, you could try making with an immersion blender or a high powered blender, though I have not tried this myself.
Place the softened butter, diced jalapeno, salt and lime zest into the small food processor and blend until it is completely combined. Taste and add more salt if you'd like.
Prepare the cauliflower
After the butter is prepared, you are ready to move onto the cauliflower. Chop the cauliflower into similar sized pieces so that they cook through evenly.
Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and lime juice. Season well with salt and pepper.
A vegetable grilling basket is your best friend
The number one issue with cooking vegetables on the grill is the risk of losing them between the grates. The solution? A vegetable grilling basket! I highly, highly recommend purchasing one for your grill.
Place the cauliflower onto the basket, spreading it out as much as possible. Spreading the cauliflower out ensures that it will roast and not steam while it cooks.
Grill for 8-10 minutes, turning as needed to get nice, golden, and slightly charred on all sides. All barbecues cook slightly differently, so use your best judgment and adjust the cook time according to your preference of cauliflower 'doneness'.
Recipe + Storage Tips
- cut up your cauliflower up to 1 week ahead and store in an air tight container in the fridge
- prepare your jalapeno lime butter up to 1 week ahead and store in a jar or small meal prep container in the fridge
- cauliflower can also but cut into large 'steaks' and cooked directly on the grill, (but be warned you will end up with lots of small edge pieces). Find directions for cooking cauliflower steaks here.
- leftover grilled cauliflower can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days
- skip the jalapeno lime butter and simply serve with a squeeze of lime juice
Serve grilled cauliflower with:
- Perfect Grilled Chicken Breast
- Unbelievably Crispy Grilled Potatoes
- Freaking Amazing Pork Tenderloin Marinade
- Kale Salad
- Chili Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Salsa
- Black Bean and Corn Salad
Grilled Cauliflower with Jalapeno Lime Butter
- ¼ cup butter (note 1)
- ½ jalapeno (seeds removed and diced; note 2)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt (see note 1)
- 1 head cauliflower (chopped into 1.5 inch florets)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lime (juiced; roughly 1.5 tablespoons)
- salt + pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend. It is much easier to blend the jalapeño if it is pre-diced. You may need to double the recipe to blend properly in a larger food processor.
- Pre-heat grill over to high heat with a vegetable grilling basket on the barbecue.
- Toss the cauliflower in the olive oil and lime juice.
- Place the cauliflower vegetable grilling basket, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn the cauliflower and cook, keeping an eye on it (and stirring/flipping frequently), until it is golden and slightly charred, (3-6 more minutes)
- Serve cauliflower immediately, topped with the jalpeño-lime butter
- cauliflower may be chopped up to 1 week ahead and stored in the fridge
- jalapeno lime butter may be prepared up to 1 week ahead and stored in the fridge
- after cooking, cauliflower may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days