Make this spooky and grotesque Roasted Cauliflower Brain for your next Halloween party or dinner table. This is actually a really healthy and delicious plant-based dish that is gluten-free too.

roasted cauliflower brain with knife in it.

Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or not, this is a fun dish to make. If you have a picky eater on your hands, this may even tempt him or her to try roasted cauliflower (see my list of the best vegetables for picky eaters).

It can challenging to find healthy foods to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve, but this one fits the bill. You only need a few basic ingredients to transform a head of cauliflower into a devilish dish.

Tomato paste and Buffalo sauce help make the whole head of cauliflower look like part of a human body.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • This Roasted Cauliflower “Brain” makes a real statement at a party. Thrill (or maybe terrorize?) your guests when you bring it out of the oven and present it on a serving dish!
  • This healthy recipe is plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free, which means you can serve it to almost everyone.
  • Cauliflower is budget-friendly and available almost everywhere, so you don’t have to search everywhere to find the ingredients to make this Halloween party recipe.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for roasted cauliflower brain.

Whole cauliflower is easy to find and budget-friendly. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is full of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Buffalo sauce is a type of hot sauce that also includes some fat. It is usually creamy and spicy at the same time. See my list of the best gluten-free sauces, including my pick for the best Buffalo Sauce. You might also like my recipe for Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower.

Tomato paste is a concentrated form of tomato sauce and it is easy to find and inexpensive. The tomato sauce is piped onto the head of cauliflower to help create the illusion of veins.

Seasonings like garlic, smoked paprika, and onion powder add flavor to the cauliflower. Yes, you not only can eat the “brain,” but you should!

Recipe Steps

collage with process photos how to make cauliflower brain.

Step One

Prep your whole head of cauliflower by removing any parts of the stem. Lay it on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and preheat your oven.

Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Use a pastry brush or a clean paper towel to spread the Buffalo sauce all over the top of the cauliflower.

Step Three

Add the seasonings and use a piping bag (or zip-top) bag to add the tomato sauce into the creases of the cauliflower.

Step Four

Bake the whole thing for up to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve hot.

cooked whole cauliflower on a plate ready to serve.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • You can easily double or even triple this recipe, depending on the size of your party.
  • You can prepare the cauliflower up to a day ahead of time before baking. Wait until just before baking to pipe on the tomato sauce, though.
  • Be sure to use a gluten-free and vegan Buffalo sauce, if necessary for your guests.

Recipe FAQs

What does roasted cauliflower taste like?

While raw cauliflower can be bitter, roasted cauliflower is delicious! That’s why so many people like to use cauliflower in dishes like Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” or a Cauliflower Smoothie.

Is this recipe Whole30?

Yes, it is as long as you use a brand of sugar-free and compliant Buffalo sauce.

sliced cauliflower on a plate.

More Healthy Party Recipes You Might Like

And, don’t miss my article with 8 Healthy Halloween Snacks that would also be great for a party.

roasted cauliflower brain on a plate.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

And, consider following me on social media so we can stay connected. I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube!

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roasted cauliflower brain on plate

Halloween Roasted Cauliflower Brain

Make this spooky and grotesque Roasted Cauliflower Brain for your next Halloween party or dinner table. This is actually a really healthy and delicious plant-based dish that is gluten-free too.

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 whole head of cauliflower, green leaves removed
  • 2 tablespoons Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Place the head of cauliflower on the baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush the Buffalo wing sauce all over the top of the head of cauliflower.
  3. Sprinkle on the paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  4. Then, place the tomato paste in a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag). Pipe the tomato paste into the creases of the cauliflower to help make it look like a human brain.
  5. Bake the cauliflower for 30-35 minutes, or until it starts to turn a very light brown or tan color (don’t let it burn).
  6. Let the cauliflower cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving warm.


  1. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  2. You can use whatever seasonings you like in this recipe.

Keywords: vegan halloween food, cauliflower brains, healthy halloween recipe

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