Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Dried apricots, olives, and toasted nuts fill this cauliflower salad with contrasting textures and flavors. A delicious side dish or make-ahead lunch!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

This roasted cauliflower salad will brighten up any winter day! At least, that’s what I tell myself as I seriously consider getting one of those vitamin D lamps. Have any of you ever tried one? These 4:30 Chicago sunsets really take some getting used to.

Anyway, back to the cauliflower salad! I was going to save this recipe to post in January. You know, once everyone wants to get healthy and eat vegetables again… but then I realized that you’re all here because you love vegetables, holidays or not! This hearty cauliflower salad could double as a holiday side dish (I’m bringing it to Christmas dinner) and as an everyday veggie meal (I love it for lunch). It’s packed with contrasting textures and flavors, and it really is energizing and bright. I plan to have it on repeat all winter long.

Cauliflower Salad Recipe Ingredients

Cauliflower Salad Recipe Ingredients

This cauliflower salad recipe has quite a few components, but don’t let them scare you! All of them can be made in advance for speedy assembly, and each one adds something essential to the salad. Here’s what’s in it:

  • Cauliflower, of course! Instead of adding raw cauliflower to the salad, I roast it until it’s tender, nutty, and golden brown.
  • French green lentilsThey add earthy flavor and plenty of plant-based protein. To brighten them up, I season them with lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and a good bit of sea salt and pepper.
  • Pickled red onions and olives –  For a bright pop of flavor! If you’re not an olive person, capers would be great here too.
  • Tahini sauce It’s creamy, nutty, and bright.
  • Toasted nuts – For crunch! I like pine nuts and sliced almonds. Pepitas are a great nut-free option.
  • Dried apricots – I love how their sweet flavor plays off the bright, briny onions and olives. Medjool dates would work nicely too!
  • And arugula – For a peppery kick and a touch of green.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Cauliflower florets on a baking sheet

Cauliflower Salad Serving Suggestions

I’ve eaten this cauliflower salad recipe three ways: with piping hot cauliflower, at room temperature, and cold from the fridge. All are delicious! It keeps well for a few days, so it’s one of my favorite recipes to make ahead for lunch (find more here!). Enjoy it on its own, or pair it with pita or a Chickpea Salad Sandwich for a heartier meal.

As I mentioned above, this cauliflower salad is also an excellent dinner side dish. Serve it warm or cold with Crispy Falafel, Chickpea Shawarma Wraps, Baked Feta, or any protein you like.

Cauliflower Salad Recipe

More Favorite Salad Recipes

If you love this cauliflower salad recipe, try one of these delicious salads next:

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves 4 as a side, 2-3 as a main
This bright, hearty cauliflower salad is filled with pickled onions, arugula, dried apricots, and a creamy tahini dressing. It's a great make-ahead lunch or dinner side dish. Vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • Florets from 1 small head of cauliflower
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup cooked Lemon-Herb French Green Lentils
  • Lemon wedges, for squeezing and serving
  • 1/2 cup Tahini Sauce
  • ¼ cup Pickled Onions
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, sliced almonds, or pepitas
  • 4 dried apricots or dates, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped olives or 1 tablespoon capers
  • Microgreens, optional
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Roast the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower florets with drizzles of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned around the edges.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the arugula and roasted cauliflower with a drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt. Spread onto a platter and drizzle ⅓ of the tahini sauce on top. Sprinkle on the lentils, the pickled onions, pine nuts, apricots, and olives. Drizzle with the remaining tahini dressing (or as much as you like) and top with microgreens, if using. Season to taste and serve.

 

27 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Nicole Alongi
    11.29.2020

    5 stars
    Delightful mix of textures and tastes!! Definitely one we’ll do again!

  2. kls
    10.15.2020

    5 stars
    Made this as part of make ahead meal prep. Three big salads for lunch. I did up the amount of lentils and no dates / apricots / nuts. Maybe a touch more garlic in the tahini dressing. Still AMAZING. Thank you.

  3. Christina
    08.18.2019

    If you’re doing this for meal prep (making four on Sunday for the week) would you suggest waiting to dress it until the day it will be eaten?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.18.2019

      Hi Christina, you could dress it – I’d just leave the arugula separate because it’s the only component that will wilt over a few days. Hope that helps!

    • kls
      10.15.2020

      I assembled all but dressing and kept that in a separate container for make ahead lunches. Delicious

  4. Megan
    02.21.2019

    Tahini makes salads even better.

  5. jacquie
    02.13.2019

    5 stars
    I love this salad so much! I’m no cook but everytime i make this i get compliments AND i feel great afterwards. thank you for these great recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.19.2019

      Hi Jacquie, I’m so glad you love this one as much as I do!!

  6. Megan
    02.13.2019

    I love adding tahini to all my salads.

  7. Maggie
    02.04.2019

    5 stars
    Made this and had it for lunch – it was perfect! Black olives made it magic!

  8. Allison
    01.08.2019

    5 stars
    I made this recipe last night for dinner. It was so yummy and my husband LOVED it! It’s a great, quick weeknight meal. Definitely will make again 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.10.2019

      Hi Allison, I’m so glad you both loved it!

  9. Aline
    01.05.2019

    5 stars
    thank you, this is so delicious! I had to improvise a little and used marché lettuce and bits of radicchio, subbed dates for pomegranate seeds, turned out wonderful.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.06.2019

      Hi Aline, I’m so glad you loved it! I bet it would be delicious with pomegranate seeds!

  10. Liz
    01.03.2019

    5 stars
    This is delicious!! My whole family loved (& they never agree). And the extra lentils were great add ons for the rest of the week.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.06.2019

      Ha ha, I’m so glad your family agreed on the salad 🙂

  11. Bryan Martinez
    12.28.2018

    5 stars
    This would be a great recipe to try out for my low carb days! Thank you

  12. Neillie Craig
    12.26.2018

    5 stars
    Yumm! The salad looks too good but I think it is missing something. Maybe adding tomato can change the flavour a little bit! What do you suggest Jeanine?

  13. 5 stars
    I am so happy to find this blog post, never thought that salad could be this much healthier and delicious. You are awesome.

  14. KH
    12.19.2018

    I am going to make this for Christmas Eve and am wondering if those are pine nuts on the side?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.19.2018

      they’re in the salad… I just set some on the side for the photo – they don’t actually have to be served on the side.

  15. Katie
    12.18.2018

    I am making this next week for sure! I’ve recently decided to eat more veggie based meals and started browsing your recipes. So far I’ve loved everything I’ve tried and am very impressed. Can’t wait to see how this one tastes too!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.19.2018

      Hi Katie, I’m so glad you’ve been loving the recipes!

  16. Megan
    12.18.2018

    Tahini makes anything better.

  17. Donna from seasonshealings.com
    12.18.2018

    This looks really great. I think I might bring this to Christmas dinner as well. I love the contrasting flavours.

  18. Ali
    12.17.2018

    I’m very excited to make this, it has all the things I love! I’m in Portland, Oregon, where the sun (when it comes out) sets even earlier, and I’ve tried one of those lights, it didn’t do much for me…my favorite thing to cheer up is go in the sauna at the gym!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.19.2018

      that’s a good idea! 🙂

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.