Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

$6.99 recipe / $1.75 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.86 from 178 votes
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Salads aren’t just for the warm weather months, but when I get my vegetable cravings in the winter I change up my salads with heartier vegetables and ingredients that have warm, smoky flavors, like roasted vegetables and smoked paprika. This Roasted Cauliflower Salad is actually a play on one of my other favorite salads, Mediterranean Farro Salad. I used the same Lemon Tahini Dressing (because it’s so good that I want to pour it on everything) and spiced chickpeas because I thought they would provide just the right punch to complement the mellow roasted cauliflower. The combination of roasted cauliflower, sweet red onions, spiced chickpeas, and tangy lemon tahini dressing might be my favorite yet!

Overhead shot of a bowl full of Roasted Cauliflower Salad on a striped napkin

Other Salad Greens Options:

Parsley is a great green to use for salads because it’s cheap and the presence is subtle enough to not over power the cauliflower and chickpeas. Baby spinach would also work, as would finely chopped kale, but both will likely be a bit more expensive.

What is Tahini?

Tahini is the star ingredient for the delicious lemon tahini dressing for this salad. If you’ve never heard of tahini, it’s just like peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. It has a creamy yet slightly sharp flavor that is totally unique. It’s usually about twice the price of peanut butter, but it’s a valuable ingredient and stays good in the fridge for just about forever (just like peanut butter). You can use it to make gobs of delicious homemade hummus, as well as this amazing lemon tahini dressing. I promise you’ll want more of this dressing.

What to Serve with Roasted Cauliflower Salad

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad is really filling, so it can definitely stand on its own as a vegetarian main dish, but if you want to make something to go on the side, it also goes great with Focaccia Rolls, Herb Roasted Chicken Breast, Homemade Naan, Greek Turkey Burgers.

An unstirred bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Salad
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Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

4.86 from 178 votes
This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing.
This Roasted Cauliflower Salad combines sweet roasted red onions, spiced chickpeas, tender cauliflower, and a tangy lemon tahini dressing. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower ($2.99)
  • 1/2 red onion ($0.55)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste ($0.05)
  • 1/2 bunch parsley ($0.45)

LEMON TAHINI DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup tahini ($1.13)
  • 1/3 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice ($0.18)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

SPICED CHICKPEAS

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place them on a large baking sheet. Slice the red onion into 1/4-inch strips and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle the cauliflower and onions with olive oil and season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower and onions until coated in oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Roast the cauliflower and onions in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then stir, return them to the oven, and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and browned on the edges. Let the cauliflower cool slightly.
  • While the cauliflower and onions are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Add them to a skillet along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook the chickpeas over medium heat for about five minutes, or until they sizzle and become slightly crispy. Remove the chickpeas from the heat.
  • Pull the parsley leaves from their stems and roughly chop the leaves into small pieces (about 1.5 cups loosely packed, once chopped).
  • To build the salad, combine the roasted cauliflower and onions in a bowl with the spiced chickpeas and chopped parsley. Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over top, and toss to combine. Serve warm or cold.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 30.08gProtein: 11.13gFat: 24gSodium: 620.8mgFiber: 9.08g
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Video

Try this lemon tahini dressing drizzled over all your favorite roasted vegetables!

Front view of a stirred bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Salad

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cauliflower Ready to Toast

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. Chop one head of cauliflower into florets. Slice 1/2 of a red onion into 1/4-inch strips. Place the cauliflower and onions on a large baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables until they are well coated in oil, salt, and pepper. 

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Onion

Roast the cauliflower and onion for 20 minutes, stir, then return them to the oven and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and the edges browned. (the sides touching the baking sheet brown fastest, so you’ll see more browning once you give it a final stir).

Lemon Tahini Dressing

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the lemon tahini dressing. Place 1/3 cup tahini, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne, and 1/4 tsp salt in a blender. Blend until the dressing is smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until you’re ready to serve the salad.

Spiced Chickpeas

To prepare the spiced chickpeas, drain and rinse one 15oz. can of chickpeas. Add the drained chickpeas to a skillet along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook the chickpeas for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until they begin to sizzle and become slightly crispy on the outside. Remove them from the heat. (I like to do this in a non-stick skillet.)

An unstirred bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Pull the leaves from about 1/2 bunch of parsley and chop them into small pieces (about 1.5 cups loosely packed once chopped). To build the salad, combine the roasted cauliflower and onions with the spiced chickpeas and chopped parsley…

Tahini dressing drizzled over a bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over top…

A stirred bowl of Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Stir to combine, and enjoy! You can enjoy this Roasted Cauliflower Salad slightly warm from the oven, or chilled after storing in the refrigerator.

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  1. I have been roasting cauliflower for years, but have never put it together with the chickpeas and dressing. That was a nice change of pace. What I didn’t care for was the taste of parsley in the dish. I think it may be better with the parsley cooked, or maybe substitute cilantro. The recipe also made way too much dressing for the dish, so I am trying to find other ways to use it up. I preferred it warm. I think kale would be a nice addition.

  2. On our bi weekly rotation with a bit of salmon or tofu for extra protein. Wouldn’t change a thing!

  3. Absolutely love this recipe. It’s herby, slightly spicy, and delicious. We serve it warm and use it to stuff sweet potatoes for a filling, comforting, and healthy vegetarian meal.

  4. Just another thumbs up for the tahini dressing. The cauliflower mixture was fine, but the chickpeas were little blobs of mediocrity.

  5. Love this! I used a hummus instead of making the dressing and it tasted great! Next time I might make it with some rice or another healthy starch as a base. Yum!

  6. Did you use fresh lemon juice? If I use lemon juice concentrate should I decrease the amount?

    1. I did not use fresh lemon juice, but it was not concentrate either. It was bottled juice (made from concentrate but already diluted). If using a concentrate, just check the package for the recommended dilution before adding it to the recipe.

  7. What would be a good substitute for chickpeas? I’ve made this recipe many times and it’s a favorite, but now I can’t have chickpeas!

    1. Lately I’ve been seeing people roast cannellini beans and butter beans in the oven and they turn out more firm, so I bet you could do that with the cauliflower as a substitute for the chickpeas!

  8. This has been quite delicious! I have been reheating the cauliflower and chick peas in my toaster oven before chopping up a bed of spinach. I have some cherry tomatoes and sliced those up and tossed them in cold with the rest. I love that the dressing doesn’t separate after you whip it up. My eight year old was digging the chick peas, I’ll have to make extra for her next time!

  9. Great Recipe! I’m eating the heck out of it right now. I threw some chicken breast on it and it’s a filling and hearty warm dinner salad. Love the lemon tahini dressing.

  10. Delicious! I didn’t have fresh parsley on hand, so I added a couple teaspoons of dried parsley to the cauliflower before I roasted it. I slightly increased the amount of dressing and tossed it all with about 3 cups of chopped, fresh beet greens that we had from the beets we got at the farmers market. I could eat this every day!

  11. I love this! So healthy and really easy. I will definitely make the dressing to use on salads and other things. Thank you. I will DEFINITELY keep this in the rotation.