Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad

When I want a fast, healthy meal, this salad is my go-to recipe. I dress it up with fresh citrus juices, seasonal veggies, and my favorite nuts & cheese.

Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad in bowls

When I’m not in the mood to cook (and yes, that happens), our dinner often looks something like this roasted cauliflower salad. While there are a lot of salads on this blog, I probably don’t post as many kale salads as I actually consume. I love them because they’re hearty and filling and are pretty much a blank canvas for any seasonal vegetable. Plus, they’re great to pack away for lunch the next day.

Kale might be “so last year,” but it’ll always have a special place in my heart.

Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad

How to Make This Roasted Cauliflower Salad

This is a basic recipe that you can customize however you like – I like to serve it with soup or sometimes with a piece of salmon on top. You can get creative with what you mix in – I often add a little feta cheese, roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas and/or a scoop of hummus or cashew cream. The options are endless.

Roast your cauliflower until it’s browned and caramelized on the edges. Massage your kale with olive oil, salt, and citrus. I like to squeeze a bit of lemon and orange – I think the tangy/sweet combo helps to offset the bitterness of the kale. I usually don’t bother to make a separate “dressing,” I just mix everything together in one bowl. Taste and adjust from there, and enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad

5.0 from 6 reviews

Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad

This roasted cauliflower salad is great for packing for lunch. It's flexible, too - toss in your favorite nuts, cheese, or seasonal veggies!
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2 as a main
  • 3-4 cups cauliflower florets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • One bunch of kale, stemmed (about 5 packed cups)
  • A few squeezes of lemon
  • A few squeezes of orange
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds, toasted chopped almonds, or pine nuts
a few add-on ideas: (choose 1 or a few)
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Dried currants or cranberries
  • Chickpeas (or a protein of your choice)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes (roast w/ the cauliflower)
  • A scoop of hummus or cashew cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment, toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread cauliflower evenly on the baking sheet and roast until golden brown (usually 20-30 minutes).
  3. Tear your kale into pieces and place it all into a large bowl. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper and use your hands to massage the leaves until the kale becomes tender and wilted (the volume in your bowl will reduce by about half). Add a big squeeze of orange, a big squeeze of lemon, a bit of dijon mustard, and use your hands to work it all together. Taste and adjust - if it's bitter add orange, if it's bland, add more seasonings. What you add will depend on the bitterness of your kale (I find that I add different amounts each time). If it's still too raw-tasting, let it sit for 20 or so minutes (at room temp), and the flavors will develop a little more.
  4. Toss in the roasted cauliflower, a sprinkle of hemp seeds and some freshly cracked pepper. If the kale is still too raw-tasting, add some of the suggested add-ons to offset the amount of kale in your salad.
  5. Store extra kale salad in an air tight container in the fridge (it's great for lunch the next day).
If you're new to kale salad, or if your kale is especially tough or bitter, try mixing in a few handfuls of softer baby salad greens.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Nikky

    Just made this, so good!! Added sweet potato and roasted chickpeas to mine. It’s crazy what a difference it makes when you massage the kale. Thanks for another delicious recipe!

  2. sarah.a from

    made this for the weekend and it was such a hit, I added in roasted butternut squash with the cauliflower and topped the salad with cranberries and sliced toasted almonds. i prepared it the day before and it held up so well. will be making it again!

    • jeanine

      I’m so glad!! This is one of my go-to meals 🙂 Butternut squash, cranberries and almonds sounds so delicious – I love all of those things together 🙂

  3. Michael

    This looks delicious. Out of interest, what is the grain you use in the photos? Cracked bulgar wheat or quinoa perhaps? Thanks

    • jeanine

      Hi Michael, they’re hemp seeds that I sprinkled on top… but quinoa or bulgur would be delicious here…

  4. Lauren from

    Every year, I hear that kale was “so last year” so that means kale is always in and we can stop considering it a trend food right? I eat many a kale salad. They are one of the only greens that hold up and can be used for lunch the next day. Kale salads are arguably better the next day when they have had some time for the dressing to soak in and break down the kale. Love this recipe!

    • jeanine

      ha, yep, kale forever :). I totally agree – I love how it holds up for lunches the next day!

  5. Definitely going to try this one! I often add kale to soups. I’ve been hesitant to eat it raw because it can be bitter, but I bet the citrus and mustard help balance it out. Plus lots of vitamins can never hurt during a Michigan winter!

  6. This looks like a wonderful method to temper the bitterness of kale, and I’m very excited to try it. I’m always looking for more ways to use kale…

  7. Looks delish! I have been devouring roasted cauliflower recently…I’ve probably ate almost a full cauliflower by myself in past week!

  8. What a great winter salad. I like eating tasty dishes that are good for you too. I am enjoying myself and feeling virtuous. A wonderful combination.

  9. Mandy from

    This looks delicious! I’ve been looking for something like this–I’m definitely going to try it soon. A perfect and simple healthy meal 🙂


  10. Mandy D from

    It’s totally the roasting cauliflower season! I’ve been doing it almost every night for a month! I LOVE (& lemons) your blog! Thanks for being so inspirational! This salad is going on the weekly rotation list.

    Mandy from

  11. June Burns

    That’s my kind of kale salad! Just love roasted cauliflower, it’s perfect 🙂

  12. I eat salad every single day and find myself not posting even close to a fraction of them on my blog. This salad looks incredible. Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite ways to prepare cauliflower, especially when it gets a little caramelized in the oven. Pinning this now 🙂

  13. I love kale but I do have trouble eating it raw sometimes (especially purple kale!). I like the idea of massaging it with citrus to help remove some of that bitterness. Thanks for sharing!

    • jeanine

      the orange really helps – also try mixing in some softer salad greens (1/2 kale, half baby greens), to make it all a little less harsh. I do that a lot when my kale is on the tougher side.

  14. Roasted cauliflower is a staple in my house during the winter months. I love the currants, feta and orange in the dressing in this salad. Will be making this soon!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.