Brown Butter Cauliflower with Chile-Lime Pumpkin Seeds

brown butter cauliflower

The rich yet zippy flavors make this Cauliflower with pumpkin seeds a great side dish for your holiday menu.

Brown Butter Cauliflower with Chile-Lime Pumpkin Seeds 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6–8Source Adapted from Chris MoroccoPublished
brown butter cauliflower


  • 4 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • 2 whole cauliflowers
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • ¼ cup ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus whole leaves with tender stems for serving)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice


Place oven racks in top and center positions. Preheat oven to 450° F. 

Coat 2 large parchment-lined baking sheets with 1 tablespoon oil each. Trim cauliflower stalks and place one head stalk side down on a cutting board. Slice cauliflower lengthwise into ½” slices. Repeat with second cauliflower. Arrange slices and any stray pieces in a single layer on equally divided between prepared baking sheets. Drizzle each sheet with another with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until underside is deeply browned, about 20 minutes. Turn cauliflower over, season with salt and pepper, rotate pans between racks and continue to roast until other side is dark brown and crisp, 10 or 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds, bring to a simmer, and cook, swirling pan often, until pumpkin seeds are toasted and butter is browned and smells nutty, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add red chile flakes; let cool 10 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Arrange warm cauliflower on a serving platter and drizzle with dressing. Serve topped with whole cilantro leaves.