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:

Get This Recipe In Your Inbox
Share your email, and we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, enjoy daily doses of recipe inspiration as a bonus!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
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.


  • 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


  • 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.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Carie

    5 stars
    This recipe was a lot of of work but SO WORTH IT! Glad I have leftover tahini sauce and lentils to make it again soon. Great mix of flavors and textures. YUMMM!

  2. Mia L

    Hi! Could this recipe be served as a meal for dinner if served with chicken breast? If so, do you have a recipe you would recommend? Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Yes it definitely could be! However, all our recipes are vegetarian, so we don’t have a chicken breast recipe to suggest. Sorry!

  3. A P

    Hi! If you want to make ahead for lunch do you go ahead and add the dressing/tahini or would it get soggy? Should I keep it separate until ready to eat?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I would toss the roasted cauliflower with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt ahead of time but leave the arugula undressed. I’d also store the tahini dressing separately and drizzle it over the salad right before you eat!

  4. Beth

    I would like to try this salad but don’t have tahini. What other kind of dressing could I make instead that you think would work?

  5. Cassie

    5 stars
    I made this tonight so I have something to take to work for lunch for the next few days. I had beets so roasted them with the cauliflower. No time for pickled onion so I roasted onion as well. Forgot the olives, used raisins because I didn’t have apricots. This was absolute heaven! The tahini tasted just ok on its own, but added to the dish it was perfect. I would like to make this as written, but it appears to be a recipe that adapts well, which is my favorite kind. Absolutely delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Jen H.

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and everybody loved it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy to hear that!

  7. Lucille

    5 stars
    My whole family loved it! Our new favorite!
    I made the Tahini from scratch used it to make your Basic Tahini Sauce recipe. Also delicious.
    Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved the cauliflower and the tahini sauce!

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.