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Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika & Cocoa

Roasted Cauliflower Florets with Smoked Paprika & Cocoa

Savoury Chocolate, Sides | 14th January 2014 | By

A quick flavour win for your cauliflower with this unusual but delicious paprika and cocoa combination. Roasted cauliflower makes an excellent side dish, but this version is also good served on its own with some spicy tomato sauce or yoghurt.

When I found out what Vanesther had chosen for this month’s Spice Trail, I was a bit perplexed. How was I going to combine paprika and chocolate? After some head scratching, I resorted to the internet and came up with the unusual combination of paprika and cocoa. This I had to try. Cornish cauliflowers are in full season right now, so almost inevitably I turned to this much underrated but versatile vegetable.

Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika & Cocoa

As cauliflower is very much in season now and this was a very simple dish to make, it fits perfectly.

Cauliflower florets ready for roasting.

Although it looked a little charred, partially owing to the dark colour of the cocoa, the cauliflower was pleasingly nutty. It was just the soft side of crisp with a warming quality from the paprika and the cocoa acting as a flavour enhancer. In fact, CT, who wasn’t in the know, thought I’d added miso. I’ve always known that chocolate works well in savoury food. But now, I’ve found it pairs well with cauliflower too. This is not a combination I’ve ever thought of, but it’s one I will repeat.

Cauliflower Florets with Smoked Paprika & Cocoa ready for roasting.

Roasted cauliflower florets make an excellent side dish, but try them with homemade tomato sauce, they’re delicious. They’re even really good on their own or serve with some yoghurt.

I was thinking about using this dish as my We Should Cocoa entry for this month as it fits the bill of using a new ingredient. I have never combined paprika and chocolate before. However, I have something I think is even more unusual in mind, so I will hang fire.

Other Savoury Chocolate Recipes You Might Like

I’ve even made a six course chocolate themed dinner which was even better than it sounds. And for even more savoury chocolate inspiration, take a look at the savoury chocolate category on Tin and Thyme.

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Roasted Cauliflower Florets. PIN IT.

Smoked Paprika & Cocoa Roasted Cauliflower Florets.

Paprika & Cocoa Roasted Cauliflower – The Recipe

Roasted Cauliflower Florets with Smoked Paprika & Cocoa
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5 from 1 vote

Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika & Cocoa

A quick flavour win for your cauliflower with this unusual but delicious paprika and cocoa combination. Roasted cauliflower makes an excellent side dish, but this version is also good served on its own with some yoghurt.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Lunch, Side Dish, Supper
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cauliflower, cocoa, nut roast, roast, smoked paprika
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 100kcal


  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic salt (or ¼ tsp sea salt + ¼ tsp garlic granules)
  • good grinding of black pepper


  • Set the oven to 200℃ (400℉, Gas 6).
  • Cut a the cauliflower into small florets and toss them in a roasting dish with the oil oil.
  • Sprinkle the garlic salt, cocoa and paprika over the top then add the black pepper. You may find it easier to use a tea strainer to dust the cocoa and paprika over the cauliflower.
  • Give everything a good mix, then pop the tray into the oven.
  • Roast for 10 minutes then give the florets a good stir. Stir again after another 10 minutes then cook for a further 10 minutes, making 30 minutes in total.
  • The florets should be cooked and golden with some charring around the edges.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg


This recipe was made specifically for The Spice Trail with Vanesther of Bangors & Mash who picked paprika for January.

Although I’ve already entered one recipe to Shop Local this month, I couldn’t resist highlighting our wonderful Cornish cauliflowers. So I’m duly sending these roasted cauliflower florets off to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

After the indulgence of Christmas, Louisa at Eat Your Veg has chosen virtuous recipes for January’s Four Seasons Food challenge. This is a monthly challenge co-hosted by Anneli at Delicieux. This cauliflower dish is not only low in fat and low in carbohydrates, but it also contains various health giving antioxidants from the cocoa and paprika. Rapeseed oil also has benefits.

Victoria from A Kick at the Pantry Door has opted for tasty and inexpensive for this month’s Feel Good Food. I can attest that this cauliflower dish is both of those things.

One Ingredient this month is unusually not an ingredient, but a theme – Healthy. Nazima of Franglais Kitchen is hosting.

Paprika and cocoa are not the most obvious partners to the typical Cornish cauliflower. So I’m entering this recipe into a new food event – Fabulous Fusion Food with Deena Kakaya.

Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Michele of Utterly Scrummy have come up with a new challenge to get us all to eat Extra Veg. Well, if truth be told, shhhh, we were going to just eat pie for supper. Until I thought about roasted cauliflower that is. So this was our extra portion of veg.

Well, cauliflower florets may not be green, but I did include quite a few of the leaves, so I am cheekily entering it into Lets Cook With Green Vegetables over at Simply Food.

Simple and Season with Ren Behan is back after a bit of a holiday. This linkie is a particularly good one. It was one of the first blog events I ever entered so I’m quite attached to it. Cauliflower is very much in season now and this was a very simple dish to make, so it fits perfectly.


  1. belleau kitchen

    14th January 2014 at 12:04 pm

    wow… I’ve been seeing a lot of roasted cauliflower recipes recently and I did roast some myself last year and it makes a huge difference to the taste… love your inclusion of cocoa and the paprika, I can imagine they tasted a bit ‘grown up’… ovely stuff!

    • Choclette

      14th January 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Grown up? Moi? Haha. But you’re right Dom, roasting brings out the nuttiness of the cauliflower I reckon.

  2. Karen S Booth

    14th January 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I am a HUGE lover of cauliflower and this recipe looks great! LOVE the addition of cocoa and paprika and I have bookmarked this for future delectation! Karen


    14th January 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I love cauliflower and I am always looking for new things to do with it. I usually make garlic and balsamic roasted cauliflower, but chocolate has to make everything better, right? Definitely going to try this.

    • Choclette

      14th January 2014 at 4:50 pm

      I debated about adding garlic as it’s very rare for me to cook anything savoury without it, but it did taste rather good as it was. Will have to try your version though as that sounds splendid.

  4. Sylvia F.

    14th January 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Cocoa on veggies? That must be a wow combo! Would love to try it 🙂

    • Choclette

      14th January 2014 at 5:11 pm

      I’ve tried quite a few chocolate / veggie combinations now – love experimenting.

  5. Jacqueline Meldrum

    14th January 2014 at 5:22 pm

    You always think of something new Choclette, you creative girl you! I add cocoa to chilli, but it would never have occurred to me to add it to a dish like this.

    • Choclette

      14th January 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks Jac, I guess it comes with having a one ingredient blog – just have to get creative.

  6. Nayna Kanabar

    14th January 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Paprika and cocoa on cauliflower.I would have to see it to believe.I wonder what it tastes like.

    • Choclette

      14th January 2014 at 6:59 pm

      You might just have to try it to find out 😉

  7. Helen @ Fuss Freee Flavours

    14th January 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Many thanks for sending this to Extra Veg. I love the roasted cauliflower steaks, and this recipe reminds me of the baked goyza wrappers I did a few years back with the same flavours.

    • Choclette

      14th January 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Roasting cauliflower is relatively new for me, but I really like the way it brings out the nutty flavour. Cauliflower steaks sound grand.

  8. Janine

    14th January 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I might just have to try this!

    • Choclette

      14th January 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Yes, it sounds so weird at first glance, trying it is just what I had to do.

  9. Lou, Eat Your Veg

    14th January 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Wow, I’d NEVER have thought of combining cauliflower with chocolate, or paprika for that matter. You really are a choccie genius! Well done you. And thanks so much for linking up to this month’s Virtuous Four Seasons Food challenge.

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:23 am

      Thank you Lou – I shall add choccie genius to my CV 😉

  10. The KitchenMaid

    14th January 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Genius! I am struggling with this month’s WSC, so I am in awe of the fact that you have another idea even better than this one!

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:25 am

      Made and mostly eaten now – it’s a good one 😉

  11. bangermashchat

    14th January 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Truly inspired! I adore cauliflower spiced with paprika but would never have thought of including cocoa too – can’t wait to try it for myself. And thank you so much for developing this dish especially for this month’s Spice Trail. I’m honoured!

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:28 am

      Thanks Vanesther, your Spice Trail challenge is truly inspired and will keep me on my toes as I’m determined to enter where I can.

  12. Baking Addict

    14th January 2014 at 9:07 pm

    This is definitely a new combination for me! I’ll have to try it myself just so I can taste it as I’m intrigued. I also can’t wait to see your WSC entry.

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:29 am

      Thanks Ros – my WSC thankfully worked and all will soon be revealed 😉

  13. Fiona Maclean

    14th January 2014 at 10:34 pm

    my goodness, how many challenges for one recipe!!! I like cauli and I like chocolate, but I am really not sure here…

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:31 am

      Sometimes you just have to try – or maybe not! I think this is the most I’ve ever entered for one recipe – expect I could find a few more if I tried 😉

  14. ManjiriK

    15th January 2014 at 1:45 pm

    what a unique combination of taste this is ! a must try because I am a fan of cauliflower! I love ur recipe link ups ! have found some interesting new ones!

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Manjirik, it’s fun to try new ways with cauliflower. Some of these link-ups are new to me too.

  15. Jane Sarchet

    15th January 2014 at 6:44 pm

    I love finding new ways of working with old flavours, great job! I can’t wait to see what dish could be more unusual than this one!
    Janie x

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:33 am

      Thanks Jane – you will have to wait and see 😉

  16. Alida

    15th January 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hey this is an interesting one! You are very inventive Choclette and this combination is exotic and just great! 🙂

    • Choclette

      16th January 2014 at 11:34 am

      Thanks Alida, it’s definitely different – nutty with an interesting flavour.

  17. Mel

    16th January 2014 at 11:57 pm

    This sounds wonderful. And seems like it would go well with a spicy hit like harissa chicken, which is what I’ going to try this out with.
    Last year I discovered smoked paprika also goes well with cherries. You’ve given me a cake idea to try out when they’re in season.

  18. Ren Behan

    27th January 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I bet blitzed down this would make a lovely soup, too. Great entry and very unusual – thank you for adding your post to Simple and in Season – so pleased to be back!

  19. Elizabeth

    1st February 2014 at 3:01 pm

    An interesting combination! I thought I was being adventurous combining mushrooms and cocoa the other day (wholly successful!) but this combo sounds more intriguing! Thank you for sharing with Shop Local 🙂

  20. Deena Kakaya

    5th February 2014 at 11:11 pm

    How utterly different! I am utterly trying this one and I am sure its going to be wondeful with the contrast in flavours. Thank you for entering this to fabfusionfoods xx

  21. prwilson

    1st March 2014 at 12:34 am

    What an interesting idea for cauliflower.


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