Whole baked cauliflower with marinade

whole baked cauliflower

Centrepieces for holidays, yes!!!
While entertaining, there is always an ooohh… ahh when the centrepiece is placed on the table. It is perhaps that part that we all are waiting for. Now, true to my policy, I don’t want to waste hours slogging on making that centrepiece. I rather get on with it quickly.

Whole baked cauliflower.

There is one recipe I repeatedly do when I need a centrepiece. The marinade of it just comes together followed by leaving it in the oven. So that makes it a perfect win-win for me. Being vegan yet having all the elements to satisfy a crowd, this recipe has always worked. This us the whole cauliflower bake that I am sharing with you. This recipe is a super hit during the holiday season with my dinners and also for friends who had thanksgiving gatherings. They have all come back with good reports on the ease of getting this together.  Secondly, the carving feeling with a vegan offering brings the family and friends together. here are some more you can put along with to set up your table

Baked bechamel pasta

White bean, Cranberry salad with passion fruit vinaigrette 

Pan roasted gnocchi.

Spinach, peppers and mulberry salad

baked cauliflower

Here are a few tips that make this recipe perfect.

Tip 1
The marinade is an easy blender one. Don’t leave it coarse, blend it real smooth.
When pouring the marinade first turn the cauliflower upside down and fill in the stalks so that the flavour infuses evenly before coating the top of the whole cauliflower.
Tip 3
Don’t miss the tomato ketchup in the marinade. This gives the sticky sweet glaze over the cauliflower.
Tip 4
Cover and bake for the minutes and then bake again leaving it open.
Tip 5
Blanch the cauliflower, don’t miss it. Otherwise, you will be left with a raw centre.
Alright, now that should put you in a good spot with this centrepiece dish.
Enjoy your holiday gatherings, be mindful of this year and to better blessing next year🥂.

baked cauliflower

whole baked cauliflower

Whole baked cauliflower with marinade

centre piece recipe for holidays.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Autumn, Baking, Fusion, gluten free, International, One pot, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 8 people



  • 3-4 roasted tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1 small green chilli
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp   dry oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Rock salt

for baking the cauliflower

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 medium Onion ( skinned and quartered)


  • 1 tbsp Hemp seeds
  • 1/4 tsp   dry oregano


  • Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
  • Wash and remove the stalk of the cauliflower. Set it on a kitchen towel for all the water to drain. See footnotes on further prep for the cauliflower.
    cauliflower to be baked
  • Into the blender add all the ingredients for the marinade.
    marinade ingredients of whole baked cauliflower.
  • Blend them into a smooth paste.
  • Place the cleaned cauliflower on the baking dish and add the quartered onions on the side.
  • Now pour half the marinade on top of the cauliflower.
    marinade for cauliflower
  • Flip over and cover the base of the cauliflower with the marinade as well.
    cover the base with marinade
  • Flip over back and cover the dish with a foil.
  • Place this on the middle rack of the oven. Place a dish of water at the lower rack and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, sprinkle the hemp seeds and oregano and bake again for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Check the doneness of the cauliflower with a fork which passes easily through it.
  • The dish is now ready to serve.
    whole baked cauliflower


Prepping the Cauliflower:
since the cauliflower is bunched up it is possible that they may carry some caterpillars inside the florets. To avoid this choose a cauliflower with separated florets so you can see as much as possible. After washing and removing the excess leaves and cutting of the additional stalk, pour some hot water on the cauliflower and rinse again. 
Alternatively, dunk the cauliflower head in salted water that is on a rolling boil and leave it in for 5 minutes. Drain carefully, this should remove most caterpillars hiding in them.
Now I have omitted this step as I don't see any of the caterpillars in the cauliflowers here. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 6 votes

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Sandhya Ramakrishnan
Sandhya Ramakrishnan
3 years ago
Rating :

OMG!! That looks so delicious and I am sure my cauliflower crazy family would love this. I have seen many recipes for the whole baked cauliflower, but I like this saucy version. I am going to give this a try.

Bless my food by Payal
3 years ago
Rating :

From quite a long time I am thinking of trying this recipe but somehow couldn’t. Looking at your’s is insisting me to try it soon. Really this is such an scrumptious recipe.

3 years ago
Rating :

Wow, this sounds so delicious. Cauliflower is loved by everyone in my family so I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I loved it.

3 years ago
Rating :

Looks so yummy! I love this kind of dish, especially during the holiday season. Thanks for sharing it!

3 years ago

I do agree with our this is one fuss free centerpiece that everyone loves. I love that you have made it vegan. Will need it shortly Thanks

Lata Lala
3 years ago

I am yet to tey my hands on this delectable vegetable prepration. Looks at yours, it truly is a vegetarian masterpiece.
The sauce looks so yummm.

Mayuri Patel
3 years ago

That whole baked cauliflower with marinade certainly deserves a position as the centre piece. Love how different the marinade is. Would love to have it with garlic bread on the side.

Priya Srinivasan
3 years ago
Rating :

That looks very tempting. Love the tip of flipping the gobhi and adding the marinade!! I Love how all the work is done by the oven!! Lazy me totally love the dish!!!

Shobha Keshwani
2 years ago
Rating :

Wow, it is a party dish for sure. Looks so delicious and can be served as a side with grilled meats also.

Mina Joshi
2 years ago

I love the marinade you have used to add to your cauliflower. That must add so much flavour to the cauliflower. Love the idea of serving the whole cauliflower too. Being vegetarian, I like the idea of slicing the cauliflower and serving it with the sides as a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.

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