Marinated Cauliflower Salad

$8.40 recipe / $1.05 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.88 from 25 votes
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Can’t stop, won’t stop with refrigerator salads! If you’re new here, refrigerator salads are salads that hold up really well in the refrigerator, so you can have delicious and colorful meals all week. This Marinated Cauliflower Salad is the perfect example. In fact, this salad gets better as it refrigerates. The flavors mix and mingle, and all those good flavors get soaked right up by the crunchy cauliflower. 👌

Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a serving bowl

Take a Short Cut

I included a homemade Italian dressing in this cauliflower salad recipe, but if you want to make this salad even a little faster you can easily sub your favorite store-bought bottled Italian Dressing. You’ll need about one cup, but you can just add as much or as little as you’d like.

Make it Vegan

The recipe as written below contains Parmesan cheese, which does give the salad a little bit of body, but if you’d like to make this dish vegan you can easily leave the Parmesan out or add a little nutritional yeast in its place.

What to Serve with Marinated Cauliflower Salad

I served this cauliflower salad with my Garlic Marinated Chicken this week, but it would also go great with Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Baked Ziti, Pizza Baked Chicken, or Easy Oven Baked Fish with Tomatoes. This would also be a great dish to bring to potlucks!

How Long Does It Stay Good?

As I mentioned in the introduction, this salad actually gets better with time in the fridge. …Up to a point. Haha. This salad will be good for about 4-5 days of refrigeration, with the peak flavor being on about day 2-3. As always your mileage may vary depending on the freshness of your ingredients and conditions inside your refrigerator.

Side view of marinated cauliflower salad in a serving bowl
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Marinated Cauliflower Salad

4.88 from 25 votes
Marinated cauliflower salad is full of crunchy and colorful vegetables marinated in a homemade Italian dressing. Perfect for meal prep!
Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a white serving bowl
Servings 8 1 cup each
Prep 15 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes


Italian Dressing*


  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.39)
  • 1 2.25oz. can sliced black olives ($1.49)
  • ½ 12oz. jar banana pepper rings ($0.90)
  • 1 red bell pepper ($1.50)
  • cup diced red onion ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley ($0.08)


  • Make the dressing first, so the flavors have time to blend. In a jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • Remove the leaves and stem from the cauliflower, then chop it into very small florets (about the size of a grape). Place the chopped cauliflower in a large bowl.
  • Drain the black olives and remove the banana peppers from the jar. Add both to the bowl with the cauliflower.
  • Dice the red bell pepper and finely dice the red onion and parsley. Add them to the bowl.
  • Pour the prepared dressing over the salad, then toss to combine. Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb. Stir again just before serving. This salad gets better as it refrigerates and the cauliflower has more time to marinate. Always stir just before serving to redistribute the flavors.

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*Store-bought Italian dressing can be used in place of homemade.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 175.66kcalCarbohydrates: 8.06gProtein: 2.69gFat: 15.6gSodium: 431.44mgFiber: 2.7g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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How to Make Marinated Cauliflower Salad – Step by Step Photos

Dressing ingredients in a jar

Make the dressing first so it can have a few moments to blend. In a jar or bowl combine ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan.

shaken Italian dressing in a jar

Shake the jar or whisk the ingredients in a bowl until the dressing is combined. You can use a store-bought Italian dressing in place of homemade, if you prefer. You’ll need about 1 cup dressing.

Chopped cauliflower on a cutting board

Remove the leaves and stem from a head of cauliflower, then chop in to very small florets (about the size of a grape). Place the chopped cauliflower in a bowl.

Cauliflower and other vegetables in a bowl

Drain one 2.25oz. can of black olives, and remove ½ of the peppers from a 12oz. jar of banana pepper rings. Dice one red bell pepper, finely dice about ⅓ cup red onion, and chop about 2 Tbsp parsley. Add everything to the bowl with the chopped cauliflower.

Italian dressing being poured over salad ingredients.

Pour the Italian dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl, then stir to combine.

Finished marinated cauliflower salad in the bowl with a spoon

Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to give the salad time to absorb the flavors from the dressing. Always give it a stir before serving to redistribute the flavors throughout.

Overhead view of marinated cauliflower salad in a white serving bowl
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  1. This is an awesome low carb recipe (and an awesome recipe in general). I like to use it for meal prep lunches and I top it with some frozen grilled chicken strips.

  2. This is by far my favorite recipe. I don’t add everything you mention but most of it. I could eat it just about every day!!

  3. The only thing this salad needs is eating! I LOVED making this AND eating it.

    My son is 1 and loved it as well…it’s how we learned he likes black olives haha.

    Definitely gonna be my go-to this summer.

  4. Delicious! I had never heard of a “banana pepper” before, but I bought a jar of rings, and they are terrific in this salad! This recipe will be a regular for me! I also halved the olive oil for fewer calories, and it was fine.

  5. I thought this would last my family of three a couple of days as a side dish because it’s a pretty big, dense salad. Nope! All gone in one sitting. So good!

  6. I’ve made this salad so many times I thought it was high time I told you how much my husband and I enjoy!  We have it along side pizza to make us feel better about eating pizza, it’s great with tuna.  At times we add salami/ pepperoni.  It goes well with charcuterie stuff at a winery…etc.!  Love it! 

  7. Used the banana pepper juice as the base of the dressing. I think this is going to be amazing after a couple days. 

  8. I made a batch of this a few hours ago, with the idea of enjoying tomorrow and over the next few days. But of course, I had to give it a stir just now to redistribute the dressing as it marinates, followed by a “little taste test”…
    It’s already so delicious, it was hard to stop shoveling it into my mouth right at the kitchen counter! Looking forward to my lunch tomorrow!

  9. The amount of Italian seasoning seemed to overpower everything else. If I were to try again, I would cut back on the seasoning or try   Good Seasons  Italian dressing with this. 

  10. Made this. Added the “Spicy Pickled Carrots” recipe from BudgetBytes and some steamed broccoli both added a needed splash of color and change in textures. Excellent with these additions and not really bad on it’s own. Served as a side with “Mediterranean Turkey Burgers” also from BudgeBytes.

  11. This was absolutely lovely. Would make again and not change a thing. My only question would be how to you keep your family from eating it all so it makes it to day 2?

    1. We’re a household of two and my bf doesn’t do raw cauliflower so it’s allllllll miinnnnnne! 🥳

  12. Love this salad.
    Didn’t have black olives,had green. Also mini peppers instead of banana. Hehe
    So delicious.
    How long can it be in a fridge ?

    1. It can really depend on a lot of factors, like the freshness of your cauliflower and the conditions within your refrigerator. But I’d estimate 4-5 days.

  13. This recipe is easy to throw together ahead of time, not to mention delicious and ADDICTIVE! I couldn’t stop sneaking bites of it and happily snacked my way through the leftovers over the course of a few days. I will absolutely be making it again.

    1. This recipe deserves a galaxy of stars. I see it as the base salad for all seasons. Make a big bowl to serve for any hungry soul who stops by. Buy staples when they are on sale. Empty the refrigerator vegetable drawer and leftovers from charcuterie. ( Limp ones will pick up crispness and flavor from other veggies and marinade. ) The only problem will be providing the recipe. Your secret for a mystery salad.

      Salami and other cold cuts
      carrots, shredded, baby, slices, pickled or not

      Use your imagination and then tell us all.

      Thanks for all.