Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad

$5.24 recipe / $1.31 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.62 from 13 votes
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I’ve avoided cauliflower for a while because it’s been really expensive. Apparently we went through a shortage at the exact same time that cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, and cauliflower “alfredo” sauces hit their peak popularity, and we fell in to an all-out cauliflower crisis. I remember hearing a story about it on the radio which cited heads of cauliflower selling for over $7 in some areas! What. Anyway, prices have come down a bit,  I’ve discovered this pre-shredded or “riced” cauliflower at Trader Joes, and I’m having a lot of fun experimenting with it. This week I made this amazingly fresh and vibrant Thai-inspired Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad and I can NOT stop eating it!

Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad in a bowl, garnished with lime wedges and cilantro leaves

Make Your Own Cauliflower Rice or Use Store Bought

So this riced cauliflower is totally a convenience product, but I’m okay with that because personally it’s worth the small increase in price to not have to prep the cauliflower myself. If that’s not the case for you or if you can get a head of cauliflower for much less than I paid for the bag of riced cauliflower, here is a great tutorial from The Kitchn on making cauliflower rice (food processor or box grater). It’s not hard, but I don’t mind pay just a bit extra to have it already done for me. :P Also, I cooked my cauliflower rice because I prefer the flavor of cooked cauliflower over raw, but if you are a raw cauliflower fan you can totally just make this salad with raw “riced” cauliflower.

Try Peanut Sauce in Your Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad

I modeled this salad after my Nam Sod recipe, but decided to keep this one vegan since it was only one ingredient away from being vegan anyway. That one ingredient is fish sauce. I absolutely love the recipe as written below, but if you’re an omnivore and want to experiment,  try adding a little fish sauce (maybe 1/2-1 tsp?) to the dressing. 

Side view of a bowl of Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad on a patterned napkin
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Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad

4.62 from 13 votes
Riced cauliflower makes a filling low-carb base for this fresh and vibrant Thai-inspired Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad.
Riced cauliflower makes a filling low-carb base for this fresh and vibrant Thai-inspired Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad.
Servings 4 1.25 cups each
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 25 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or a neutral oil) ($0.23)
  • 3 cups riced cauliflower ($2.49)
  • Pinch of salt ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger ($0.10)
  • 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) ($0.19)
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce ( $0.04)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce ($0.10)
  • 1 red bell pepper ($0.99)
  • 1/4 red onion ($0.25)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts* ($0.38)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves ($0.45)
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  • Heat a large skillet over medium, then add the oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the riced cauliflower and a pinch of salt. Sauté the cauliflower over medium for about 5 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of tenderness. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl and allow it to cool as you prepare the rest of the ingredients (I placed mine in the refrigerator for faster cooling).
  • Squeeze 2 Tbsp juice from the lime into a small bowl. Add the grated ginger, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Finely dice the red bell pepper and red onion. Pull the cilantro leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Roughly chop the peanuts.
  • Add the bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and peanuts to the bowl with the cooled cauliflower. Pour the dressing over top, then toss to combine the ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

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*You can use raw, dry roasted, salted, or unsalted peanuts.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 159.65kcalCarbohydrates: 11.08gProtein: 5.18gFat: 11.03gSodium: 339.35mgFiber: 3.58g
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Close up of a forkful of Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad

Peanut Lime Cauliflower salad – Step by Step Photos

Riced Cauliflower bag from Trader Joes

This recipe begins with “riced” cauliflower, which is just cauliflower that has been broken up into little pieces. This 1 lb. bag is just over three cups. I think some stores also sell this frozen, which would work just as well. You can use this cauliflower raw or cooked for this salad, whichever you prefer.

Sautéed Cauliflower RIce in Skillet

I prefer the flavor of cooked cauliflower to raw, so I used sautéed cauliflower in my salad. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp of a neutral cooking oil (I used coconut because even though it has a strong flavor, the flavor goes well with the ingredients in this dish). Add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt, and sauté for about 5 minutes or until it has reached your desired level of tenderness. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl to let it cool as you prepare the other ingredients. I suggest placing it in the refrigerator to cool faster.

Soy Lime Dressing in a small bowl, surrounded by squeezed limes, chili garlic sauce, and ginger

The dressing for this salad is incredibly simple. Squeeze 2 Tbsp of fresh lime juice from a lime and combine it with about 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1/2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (you can use sriracha if you have that instead). 

Combine Chopped Peanuts and Vegetables with Cauliflower Rice in a Bowl

Finely dice 1 red bell pepper and 1/4 red onion. Pull about one cup of leaves from the stems of cilantro and give them a rough chop (about 1/2 bunch). Roughly chop 1/2 cup peanuts. Add the bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and peanuts to the cooled cauliflower.

Lime dressing being poured over the salad

Pour the prepared lime dressing over the salad…

Finished Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad

And then stir to combine! That’s it! This salad is so incredibly fresh and vibrant. I absolutely LOVE it.

Overhead shot of Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad in a bowl with lime wedges and cilantro

Shout out to Trader Joe’s for the awesome prices on red bell peppers and limes, too! 

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  1. It’s even better with avocado, black beans and scallions added to it. I know this is supposed to be “Thai” but the flavors lend itself to include those additions as well and offer more nutrition.

  2. I loved this recipe! I’ve had it for lunch several days and it’s held up well (my only recommendation is to add more peanuts just before eating leftovers for extra crunch). I had about a half cup of quinoa leftover so I added it to the mix along with a diced cucumber and half of an avocado (I’m trying to use up what I have and waste less). Delicious and surprisingly filling. I have eaten it as a main course or as a side with salmon. Both worked well. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  3. Delicious! Using as my meal prep for lunch this week, I paired it with this tempeh recipe (with oil omitted)!
    A keeper for sure!

  4. Lovely meal. I cooked onion and pepper because I don’t like them raw. Otherwise, very flavorful and a good substitute for fried rice.

  5. So easy, so healthy, so delicious. This will be my go to salad for all our summer picnics.

  6. This was so good! I made a few changes based on what ingredients we had and our household’s palate; it turned out great. 
    I used sweet onion that I sautéed instead of raw red onion since we don’t all love red onion, and I used almond slivers instead of peanuts since we already had a bag in the pantry. 
    My only complaint is that we ate it up in one sitting, because we liked it so much; next time I’ll have to triple the recipe so we’ll have leftovers.  Yum!

    1. Same “complaint”- no leftovers! Will need to make a bigger batch next time.