Cauliflowers are often misunderstood as being “difficult to eat”, but this roasted cauliflower salad recipe aims to prove the opposite. With a little bit of roasting, the normally mild and grassy vegetable is transformed into a crisp delight of caramelized sweetness that entices the taste buds from the very first bite.
Inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, this salad is tossed in a tahini-based dressing. It coats the combination of roasted cauliflowers, mixed lettuce, chickpeas, red onion, and dried cranberries in a delectable tanginess, freckled with zesty hints of a few lemon squeezes that promise to brighten all your winter days.
Is This Roasted Cauliflower Salad Healthy?
Yes, it is.
As the name suggests, this salad has cauliflower as the main ingredient, which contains a significant amount of vitamin C. It also comes with other nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and an abundance of vitamins K and B6.
Furthermore, we carefully measured the ingredient portions so that important dietary components are kept within standard limits. There are approximately 2.5 g saturated fat and 285 mg sodium. For a 253-calorie serving, we believe that’s quite reasonable.
Ingredients You Will Need
Here is everything you’ll need to put together this roasted cauliflower salad:
1. For the Salad
Cauliflower: What makes the cauliflower in this salad especially tasty is the roasting. This takes away the bitterness and replaces it with an earthy sweetness, making this veggie a whole lot easier to eat.
Lettuce: After being left to cool down, the cauliflower is laid over a bed of leafy greens, and we went with some mixed lettuce. This gives the salad a refreshing look and taste, coupled with a crispy texture that makes every bite exciting.
Red Onion: A few slices of red onion will add some extra peppery notes, giving this salad a much-needed flavor kick.
Chickpeas: These legumes bring a filling starchiness to the salad, along with a mildly sweet and nutty taste that greatly diversifies the overall flavor profile.
Nuts and Dried Fruit: These are entirely optional and you can just go with whatever’s available. For nuts, we used almonds for a toasty crunch, paired with pieces of dried cranberries for a hint of sweetness.
2. For the Dressing
Condiments: We used Tahini sauce, mayonnaise, soy sauce, olive oil, and sesame oil. The mixture gives the dressing a tangy and lightly sweet flavor base, along with a nutty undertone that ties in quite well with the nuts and chickpeas.
Lemon Juice: With its vibrant zest, we figured a few squeezes of lemon should be enough to brighten the dressing.
What Can I Add to Roasted Cauliflower for Flavor?
Since the salad already included various veggies, nuts, and dried fruits, we decided to keep it simple and skipped the seasoning for the broccoli. If you’d like a little bit of extra flavors, feel free to get creative with the spices.
Add a pinch of za’atar—a traditional Middle Eastern seasoning blend to infuse the cauliflower with an herbaceous fragrance. For a smoky and spicy taste, go for robust spices like paprika, chili powder, cayenne, or garlic powder. If you want a subtle flavor kick, a few tablespoons of salt, pepper, cumin, or any type of fresh herb would do.
Ways to Serve This Salad
This gorgeous salad is filling enough to be eaten on its own as a light meal for those days when you don’t want anything too heavy. As a side dish, it makes great company for other savory, roasted dishes. You can also fully lean into the Middle Eastern flair and stuff this salad inside pita bread or shawarma.
How to Store
Keep this salad in airtight containers in the fridge and it should last for around 2 or 3 days. It tastes great both at room temperature and cold, so you can just eat it straight out of the fridge.
Note that the dressing could cause the salad to turn soggy. If possible, keep the dressing in a jar and the salad in a separate container.
With a little bit of roasting, this roasted cauliflower salad recipe transforms a normally mild-flavored vegetable into a crispy delight of caramelized sweetness The vegetable is paired with mixed lettuce, chickpeas, red onion, and dried cranberries, all tossed in a tahini-based dressing that's laced with zesty hints of lemon.
Separate the Florets: Use a paring knife to separate the florets.
Slice the Onion: Lengthwise slice the onion in half, then lay the half horizontally flat and thinly slice.
Prepare the Cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400 °F to prepare for step 2. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper then spread 20 oz cauliflower over it. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the florets and lightly toss to evenly coat them.
Roast the Cauliflower: Put the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and roast the cauliflower at 400 °F for 17 minutes.
Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp water, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp Tahini sauce, 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise, and 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce until the mixture becomes pale yellow with a slightly thick texture.
Assemble the Salad: On a plate, lay a bed of 4 oz mixed salad, then layer over top the roasted cauliflower, 6 oz canned chickpeas, 0.5 oz almonds, 0.5 oz dried cranberries, and 1 oz red onion.
Drizzle the Dressing: Use a small spoon to drizzle the dressing all over the salad. Enjoy.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 251Calories from Fat 155
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.3g
Vitamin A 160.4IU
Vitamin C 72.1mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.