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November 7, 2023

Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower with Herb Whipped Feta

You may think you like cauliflower, but prepare yourself to love it. This roasted cauliflower with za'atar and herb-whipped feta is a simple side dish that bursts with flavor!


za'atar roasted cauliflower on a serving platter with a bowl of herb whipped feta
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Simple Roasted Cauliflower With Za’atar

The nutty herbaceous flavor of za’atar is a wonderful partner for roasted cauliflower. Paired with a garlicky whipped feta that takes very little time to throw together makes this recipe into a scene-stealing side that really dresses up otherwise-basic meals, like Roasted Salmon or Grilled Chicken. If you’re looking for a light meal, you could even serve this as a vegetarian main, with a big Caesar Salad and Sourdough Bread.

za'atar roasted cauliflower on a serving platter with a bowl of herb whipped feta

What Is Za’atar?

Za’atar is an earthy, tangy, herby, nutty Middle Eastern spice blend. As with many spice blends, za’atar ingredients aren’t set in stone. Rather, they vary quite a bit from brand to brand, but you can always expect that lemony-nutty-herby flavor profile. Marjoram is often in the mix, along with oregano, thyme, toasted sesame seeds and sumac. Sometimes there’s salt in the mix, or dried dill. If you’re in a bind and you just can’t get your hands on za'atar, you can make an acceptable za’atar substitute by combining oregano, marjoram and thyme. It won’t be the same, but your cauliflower would still be roasty and delicious.

cauliflower florets, olive oil, salt, za'atar, parsley, feta, cream cheese, garlic, dill and lemon juice in prep bowls

Everything You’ll Need to Make the Best Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Za’atar is the dominant flavor in this roasted cauliflower recipe—it’s in the whipped feta and on the cauliflower itself, too. A bit of fresh dill and lemon juice in the feta echo its tangy, vibrant flavor, and brighten the dish even more. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

herb whipped feta in a bowl made with feta, cream cheese, garlic, dill, Za’atar, olive oil, and lemon juice

How To Make Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower And Herb Whipped Feta

Roasted cauliflower, when cut into little florets and roasted in the oven at high heat, takes on a wonderful, nutty flavor, and super-satisfying texture. Here’s how to make some brassica magic:

  1. Cut the cauliflower heads into florets before rinsing, so that you can be sure to get them super clean in every last nook and cranny.

  2. Spread the florets out on a baking sheet, and toss them with olive oil, za’atar and salt.

  3. Roast! 45 minutes at 400°F.

  4. Time to make the feta! Pop all of the whipped feta ingredients in a food processor and whiz until it’s smooth.

  • Serve! See, that wasn’t so hard, right?

roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet tossed with olive oil, salt and za'atar spice

How to Store Roasted Cauliflower + Tips

  • Roasted cauliflower can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, but is better close to the day you prepare it! Roasted cauliflower can be frozen in an airtight container, and used within three months. To reheat, you can place it in the fridge in the morning you plan to use and reheat for 15-20 minutes in a 350°F oven.

  • If you’re worried about overcooking cauliflower, here’s a couple of pointers. Give your cauliflower florets room on the roasting pan. This is a good rule of thumb for roasting vegetables in general. If they’re touching they’ll steam and not roast, and the texture will be mushy and not crunchy. A hot oven will help as well!

za'atar roasted cauliflower on a serving platter with a bowl of herb whipped feta

More Cauliflower Recipes You May Also Like

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Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower with Herb Whipped Feta

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  45 min
  • Calories: 219



  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Za'atar spice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Parsley, for garnish (optional)

Whipped Feta

  • 8 ounces feta
  • 4 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon Za'atar spice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Make the cauliflower. On the prepared sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil. Spread the cauliflower into a single layer and sprinkle with the Za’atar and salt.

  3. Roast for 45 minutes, or until golden and tender (see Note).

  4. Meanwhile, make the whipped feta. In the base of a food processor, combine the feta, cream cheese, garlic, dill, Za’atar, olive oil, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth, 3-4 minutes.

  5. Transfer the cauliflower to a plate and garnish with the parsley. Serve with the whipped feta on the side.

Note: If you like your cauliflower extra crispy, roast it for an additional 15 minutes.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories219
  • Protein8 g
  • Carbohydrates11 g
  • Total Fat17 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol13 mg
  • sodium797 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower with Herb Whipped Feta

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Whitney

    Would this recipe still work if you used goat cheese instead of feta?

    Most likely yes, but we haven't tested it to say for sure.

  • Tresa

    SO GOOD! This was my first time using za'atar and I loved it! This recipe really takes my veggie game to the next level.

    Thanks Tresa! So glad you loved it!

  • mercedes

    hands down - best cauliflower ever. our oven had it juuuuuust perfect at about 43 mins, so i turned it off and left it inside for a couple minutes while i plated the easy harissa chicken( ) and simple herby green salad. absolutely loved it all!

    Yes!!! So glad you loved it.

  • bektar

    I just made this tonight for my birthday. It was incredible! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you so much for making my birthday dinner so special!!

    Yay! Happy birthday! Glad we could help.

  • Hailey

    This was the first thing I made from your blog... then we were hooked! Every recipe has been awesome, thank you for sharing with us!

    Oh, I am so glad! Thanks for sharing this.