Cauliflower roasted to crispy perfection in an easy spice blend and then tossed with a zesty lemon salad - great for feeding a crowd too. Salads can definitely be part of your diet in the winter - it's just about finding something hearty and warming to top the lettuce with and this Roasted Cauliflower Salad with roasted chickpeas definitely ticks all the boxes.
There are probably not many people out there that can say that cauliflower is their favourite food in the world, but I am a firm believer that roasting it totally changes the flavour - for the better. It takes on herbs and spices really well when coated in a little olive oil and it gets perfectly crispy when roasted. It's a delicious new way to enjoy cauliflower.
Roasted cauliflower is a delicious vegan and gluten free salad topping in winter time. Even when roasted it has a hint of creaminess to it with every bite. If you are really not a fan of cauliflower, then you could roast some broccoli instead to top this salad.
- Cauliflower - Cauliflower heads should be firm to the touch with tightly closed florets. Make sure there are no brown patches. Soft heads are starting to spoil, so should be rejected.
- Chickpeas - This makes the salad protein packed. We used a can of cooked chickpeas, but you could soak them and cook them yourself. You could use butter beans or cannelini beans instead.
- Oil - A good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Paprika and cumin - This is what gives the cauliflower loads of flavour. A nice mixture of smokiness, with a little spice.
- Lettuce - You can use any lettuce for this recipe, but we love butterhead and rocket as it's a nice mixture or crunch and flavour (the rocket has a intense peppery flavour). You could use spinach for a boost of iron.
- Avocado - This adds a real creaminess to the salad. Make sure that your avocado is nice and ripe.
- Onion - We used red onion for a pop of colour. If you find it hard to digest raw red onion, then you could sauté it a little first.
- Lemon - This adds a real freshness to the salad. How much you will need will really depend on how juicy your lemon is.
- Sumac - If you haven't heard of sumac before, then you are missing out. It is made from the dried and ground berries of the wild sumac flower. It has a a tangy spice with a sour, acidic flavour, that is kind of like lemon juice.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Roasted Cauliflower Salad - Step by step
One: Put the cauliflower florets and drained chickpeas into a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and dried parsley and toss so it is coated. Spread evenly on to a baking sheet.
Two: Put in a preheated oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 20 minutes.
Three: In a large bowl, add the lettuce, avocado, red onion, rest of the olive oil, some salt and pepper, lemon juice and sumac and mix well.
Four: Divide the lettuce mixture into two bowls and then top with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas. Garnish with lemon.
We didn't want to just have cauliflower as a topping, as there needed to be a bit of a protein boost. Keeping it vegan we went with chickpeas and we all know they are best when roasted too. Have you tried snacking on our Roasted Chickpeas?
You can just throw them on the baking tray with the cauliflower and roast them all at the same time in the same spices. Not got any chickpeas? Swap them for another canned bean, or even some sweetcorn.
You could also swap half the cauliflower for broccoli, as that is delicious roasted too and more popular than cauliflower usually.
The roasted cauliflower and chickpeas that top this salad are really hearty and filling, but you could always sprinkle with some nuts and seeds on top if you want something extra.
If you aren't vegan, then I would highly recommend crumbling some feta over this cauliflower salad recipe just before serving. Feta and cauliflower go really well together. Add some extra colour with a sprinkle of pomegranate too or some olives or sundried tomatoes.
How to cut cauliflower
Firstly, you need to pull the leaves off of the cauliflower base. Then, cut off the lower part of the stem and cut the head of cauliflower into four quarters and then slice each quarter into 8 pieces.
You want as many flat surfaces as possible on each floret of cauliflower, as the flat surfaces caramelise the best. Caramelisation is the key to giving the roasted cauliflower the best flavour.
I always think a simple, quick and easy olive oil and lemon juice dressing is the way to go for a light salad. We added some sumac to it as well, as it has a lemon flavour that just boosts the flavour from the lemon juice.
If you wanted a creamier dressing, then mix a tablespoon of tahini into the lettuce or you could try our Tahini Dressing. Creaminess and still keeps it vegan. I sometimes like to top the salad with a dollop of homemade hummus too.
We think this is perfect as a light meal as it is, and it is protein packed with the chickpeas. However, if you are looking for something to serve it with, then we have some suggestions for you:
- Honey and Lime Chicken
- Perfect Roast Chicken
- Creamy Dill Salmon
- Parmesan Chicken Bites
- Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Paprika Chicken Skewers
- Lemon, Garlic and Herb Prawns
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Easy Roast Potatoes
- Lemon and Rosemary Salmon
- Easy Homemade Flatbread
No, you could have to. You could raw it raw or even sauté or steam it, but we think you get the best flavour when roasting it.
If you have leftovers of this salad, then you can store it in an air tight container for up to 2 days. We would recommend only dressing it just before you are serving, otherwise it can get soggy.
More Cauliflower recipes
If you’ve tried this roasted cauliflower salad recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- 0.5 head Cauliflower - chopped
- 120 g (0.75 cups) Chickpeas - tinned, drained
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil - for the cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil - for the dressing
- 0.5 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper - for the cauliflower
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper - for the dressing
- 0.5 teaspoon Cumin
- 0.5 teaspoon Dried parsley
- 100 g (2 cup) Butterhead lettuce
- 50 g (2 cup) Rocket (arugula) - (arugula)
- 0.5 Avocado - sliced
- 0.5 Red onion - thinly sliced
- 1 Lemon - juice only
- 2 tablespoon Sumac
- Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C(fan)/375°F/Gas 5.
- Put 0.5 head Cauliflower and 120 g Chickpeas (drained) into a large bowl with 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper, 0.5 teaspoon Paprika, 0.5 teaspoon Cumin and 0.5 teaspoon Dried parsley and toss so it is coated. Spread evenly onto a baking tray.
- Put into the oven for 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add 100 g Butterhead lettuce, 50 g Rocket (arugula), 0.5 Avocado, 0.5 Red onion, 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper, juice of1 Lemon and 2 tablespoon Sumac and mix well.
- Divide the lettuce mixture into two bowls and then top with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas.
- This salad is vegan, but if you aren't vegan then some crumbled feta on top is a good addition.
- You can use any seasoning you like on the cauliflower and chickpeas. A curry powder blend is a nice alternative.
- Not a fan of cauliflower or chickpeas? You can swap the cauliflower for broccoli and the chickpeas for another bean (but it won't get as crispy).
- Make the dressing creamy by adding a tablespoon of tahini to it. Or, you could add a spoonful of homemade hummus before serving.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.