If you love roasted vegetables you will love this Lebanese roasted cauliflower and rice dish. It’s a sheet pan dinner full of delicious Middle Eastern flavors and spices and it’s a great way to use leftover rice. You can eat it as is for a vegetarian main dish or side dish. You can also add meat for a more complete dinner much like Lebanese makloubeh.
You might also like all of these slow cooker Middle Eastern ribs.
Lately I’ve been on a quest to make some of the Lebanese food I grew up with but making easier versions of them. They are not exactly the same as my grandma’s but they are easy and have all the flavor of those old favorites of my youth.
A couple of months ago I made Lebanese spinach pies and meat pies. I didn’t make the dough but use naan bread and they came out great! Today I made my version of Makloubeh or top rice which is a roasted cauliflower rice and beef dish made in a pot.
However I made this Lebanese roasted cauliflower and rice dish in a sheet pan instead of on the stove. And I made two versions – with and without meat and I explain them both below. Both have all these delicious Middle Eastern spices and the simple combination of roasted cauliflower with the rice is delicious on it’s own.
This Lebanese cauliflower is a delicious vegetarian meal and a great way to use leftover rice!
Recipe ingredients I used.
The simple ingredients I used in this dish was a fresh head of cauliflower, cooked rice, pine nuts, onions, olive oil, salt, black pepper and cinnamon. I would definitely use fresh cauliflower in this dish and not frozen cauliflower.
You need cooked rice for this dish so it’s a good recipe to use leftover rice from another meal. I just use long grain white rice but you could also use brown rice if you wish.
I recommend you use the pine nuts but they can be a bit expensive. You can substitute with slivered or sliced toasted almonds.
How to make Lebanese roasted cauliflower and rice.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking tray or large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Step 2: Add sliced onions and slice cauliflower into florets to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the olive oil, salt, black pepper and cinnamon and mix well to cover all the vegetables.
Step 3: Spread out the cauliflower pieces and onions in an even layer on the baking tray. Place in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until cooked through and gold brown. Cooking time may vary.
Step 4: In the meantime cook the rice according to package instructions. You can also use leftover rice or quick rice. You just need 1 ½ cups of cooked rice.
Step 5: You can also toast the pine nuts while the rice and cauliflower are cooking. Get out a small skillet and heat to medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and add the pine nuts. saute until they turn golden brown and spoon onto a piece of paper towel.
Watch these closely because they can easy burn and will continue to cook once you take them off the heat if you leave them in the pan.
Step 6: Once the cauliflower is cooked to your liking, take it out of the oven add the rice to the baking tray. Mix well with the vegetables, spices and oil from the baking sheet. Spoon the toasted pine nuts on top and serve as is or place into a large serving bowl.
Store leftovers in an airtight container. Please scroll down to view the printable recipe card.
And below you can see what it looks like. The oven roasted cauliflower and caramelized onions are so full of flavor that you can easily eat them as is for vegetable side dish. If you want you can always add a bit of fresh parsley on top to garnish. This is a rather beige looking dish but trust me it’s tasty.
But when you add the rice and pine nuts it’s more of a meat. This is a great way to use leftover rice. The simple seasoning is what gives it that middle eastern flavor.
Traditional makloubek or top rice is usually made in a large pot. The meat is on the bottom, then the roasted cauliflower and then the rice. You cook it on the stove and when you flip it over onto a platter it looks very nice. My sister has a recipe for this version on her wonderful blog Hearthandvine.
I’ve tried making this many times but can never get it nice and pretty like my grandma used to so that I why I started making it on a sheet pan.
However the addition of the meat chunks is very delicious and if you want you can add them to your sheet pan or cook them separately.
If you want to add beef to this dish.
To add beef to this dish you would cut 1 pound of beef into small bite sized pieces plate in a mixing bowl. And season with ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and a dash of cinnamon along with a teaspoon of olive oil.
Spread the out and add to the baking sheet with the cauliflower. I liked to separate them in case one cooks more quickly that the other. That way you can take the cooked portion out and place the tray back in the oven.
That being said the meat is bit tough when cooked this way. If you would prefer more tender beef pieces you can cook them on the stove with some beef broth.
Mix with spices and brown in a pan then add beef broth to almost cover and simmer for as long as it takes until it gets nice and tender.
NOTE: You could also use ground beef. I would brown it separately in a skillet and add to sheet pan when you add the rice.
When the beef is to you liking mix it together with the rest of the dish and serve.
Below you can see what it looks like with the beef. It’s not much to look at but you have to try this dish for you self and if you are fan of roasted cauliflower I know you are going to love it as much as I did.
Here are a few more easy Lebanese recipes I’ve made.
- Middle Eastern pizza
- lamb burgers
- Middle Eastern chicken and rice skillet
- chicken and couscous soup
- green bean or eggplant stew
- low carb Lebanese cauliflower rice pilaf or cauliflower rice tabouli
- beef stuffed zucchini
Well I hope you give this delicious recipe a try. Even if it’s just the simple Lebanese roasted cauliflower and rice version you will be surprised at how the simple seasonings really add that Middle Eastern flavor to the dish. Enjoy!
Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower and Rice Recipe
This easy and delicious Lebanese roasted cauliflower and rice recipe is full of tasty Middle Eastern flavors. Because you make it on a sheet pan it's an easy vegetarian dinner but you can add pieces of beef to make it more of a complete meal.
- 4 cups cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 onion, large, sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 ½ cups cooked rice
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet well with nonstick cooking spray. You can also grease it with a bit of olive oil.
- Cut cauliflower into floret and slice onions then add to a large mixing bowl. Pour the olive oil and spices over top and mix well. Then spoon cauliflower mixture on to the prepared baking sheet. Spoon the mixture into an even layer so it all cooks nicely.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the vegetables have brown nicely and are cooked through. You don't want them to burn but they have more flavor if the onions are caramelized. Baking time may vary.
- While that is in the oven, make the rice according to the package instructions.You need 1 ½ cups of cooked rice. ** Remember this is a good recipe to use leftover rice.
- While the rice is cooking toast the pine nuts. Heat up a small skillet to medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and add the pine nuts. Saute until the turn golden brown stirring every once in awhile. Then spoon them out into an even layer on a paper towel. If you keep them in the pan they will continue to cook from the heat of the pan even if the stove isn't on.
- Once the caulilfower comes out of the oven, add the cooked rice to the mixture and mix around on the sheet pan so you can mix it with the vegetables, oil and spices on the pan. Once it's well combined sprinkle pine nuts on top and serve. Or scoop everything in to a large serving bowl and top with pine nuts. Store leftover in an airtight container.
**Keep in mind that the ratio of uncooked to cooked rice is roughly 1:3. So you would use approximately ½ cup of uncooked rice to make 1 ½ cups of cooked rice. You can always use a little more so I would probably up that to 1 cup of uncooked rice to be safe but if you are familiar with rice use your best judgement.
If you want to add beef to this dish, please see the post for instructions.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g
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