Thanksgiving Vegan Baked Turmeric Cauliflower 

Thanksgiving Vegan Baked Turmeric Cauliflower 

Updated on 23rd November 2023 at 3:24 pm

Whole roasted cauliflower is a great vegan/vegetarian main dish or the perfect side dish for the holidays. Your family and friends will love it! 

The prep for this recipe takes between 10–15 minutes and then the cauliflower bakes for a little over an hour which gives you plenty of time to work on other dishes for your meal. 

If you have any leftovers, they are great served cold in a salad.

Vegan Thanksgiving | Whole-Baked Turmeric Cauliflower

TIP To help the cauliflower steam, place a small baking dish half way full with water in it, on the bottom of the oven or on the bottom shelf. It’s best to do this before the oven heats up.

NOTE We like to use fresh garlic, turmeric and ginger for this recipe because it gives the most flavor, however you can use garlic, turmeric and ginger powder or store-bought garlic and ginger paste and it will also be delicious. 

For the yoghurt drizzle you can add your sweetener of choice or leave the sauce tart or try adding just a little sweetener, taste and add a little more, if desired.

SERVES 4 for main dish – 6 for side dish.

PREP TIME 15 – 20 minutes (includes making the drizzle sauce).

BAKING TIME 1 hour + 15 minutes.

A Vegan Thanksgiving | WholeBaked Turmeric Cauliflower


  • Whole cauliflower head (medium-sized)
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp fresh peeled grated turmeric or 1 tbsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 tbsp fresh peeled grated ginger or 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, (optional, to taste).
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (to taste)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (approx. ½ cup) (to taste)
  • 1 tsp sea salt + freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup (approx.) melted coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil.

Optional Additions

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Chili flakes/red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or other cheese (add last 10 minutes of baking).

Drizzle Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain Greek-style vegan yoghurt
  • 1 – 2 tbsp maple syrup or coconut syrup (optional, to taste)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest/grated rind (optional, to taste)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional, to taste)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder (to taste)
  • ½ tsp fresh peeled grated ginger or ¼ tsp ginger powder (optional, to taste).

Optional for Serving

  • Chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint and/or thyme)
  • Pea shoots, rocket/arugula or baby spinach.
A Vegan Thanksgiving | Turmeric Cauliflower


1.     Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray/sheet or baking dish with baking paper. Make sure that one of the oven racks is in the middle of the oven and that there’s a second rack placed near the bottom of the oven before you heat the oven.

2.     Prepare the cauliflower by removing the leaves and the bottom of the stem, but do not cut too much of the stem or the florets will come apart. Clean the cauliflower well by running under water and then dry with paper/kitchen towels.

3.     Grate or finely chop the garlic, fresh turmeric and fresh ginger and place in a medium bowl. Then add in the fresh thyme leaves, smoked paprika, lemon juice, salt, pepper and melted coconut oil or olive oil and mix until well combined. If you are using garlic, turmeric and ginger powder just mix them with the fresh thyme leaves, smoked paprika and then with the lemon juice, salt, pepper and melted coconut oil or olive oil to form a marinade. If you are using any of the optional additions add them into the marinade while mixing except for cheese. If you are adding cheese add it for the last 10 minutes while baking the cauliflower.

4.     Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking tray/sheet floret side down and pour over some of the mixture making sure that it goes into the cauliflower and then turn it over and pour most the mixture all over the cauliflower, reserving a little for basting while baking, and brush the mixture over making sure to cover it all. You may need to add a little more oil to help spread the mixture all over the cauliflower. You may want to use gloves while handling the cauliflower so your hands do not turn yellow from the turmeric.

5.     Place the cauliflower in the middle of the prepared tray/sheet florets up and bake for approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes or a little longer depending on the size of your cauliflower. Baste the cauliflower with the reserved mixture adding a little more oil, if needed, several times while baking adding extra flavour.

6.     While the cauliflower is baking make the yoghurt drizzle sauce by placing all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blending until well combined or you can mix them all by hand in a medium bowl. Taste and add a little more salt and/or sweetener of choice, if desired and mix again. The sauce can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.

7.     When the cauliflower is finished carefully slice and serve on top of pea shoots, rocket/arugula or baby spinach, top with freshly chopped herbs and serve immediately with a bowl of the yoghurt drizzle sauce. You can also drizzle some over the cauliflower if you like.

8.     You can also cover the baked cauliflower and keep warm until ready to serve and then place on a platter with pea shoots, rocket/arugula or baby spinach, top with freshly chopped herbs.


You may love Chef Kate’s cookbook, The Flavour of Joy. Containing stories to inspire, amuse and uplift as well as delicious, healthy recipes you’ll love.

Kate uses local organic and sustainable ingredients in her tasty and nutritious recipes, also including superfoods and medicinal herbs in her dishes to create healthy and nourishing food for the body, mind, and spirit.

@chefkatemcaloon |

This healthy and delicious recipe was created and shot by Holly Kent.

Holly is a gifted food writer + photographer that calls Melbourne, Australia, home.



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