Roasted Cauliflower Lentil Salad

This roasted cauliflower and lentil salad with tahini dressing is nutritious, filling, and works great as a light lunch or dinner. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.

This cauliflower salad has the power to win over cauliflower haters. I know that’s a bold statement, but seriously — it’s sooo good.

Plate with roasted cauliflower lentil salad and a fork.

The inspiration for this salad came from Food & Wine. My version includes a few EBF tweaks — less oil, no almonds, maple syrup instead of honey (to make it vegan), and a slight change in the spices.

The salad turned out to be delicious!

It’s nutritious, filling and works great as a light lunch or dinner. I could also see it being an awesome dish to bring to a potluck. It’s one of those salads that everyone will love… and I bet at least one person will ask you for the recipe.

Roasted cauliflower on a sheet pan.

Roasted Cauliflower Lentil Salad Ingredients

  • black lentils – also known as belgua lentils, they have a nice, firm texture making them great for salads
  • cauliflower
  • red onion
  • spinach
  • dates – I recommend using medjool dates. They’re usually larger, softer and have the best flavor
  • tahini
  • fresh lemon juice
  • maple syrup
  • seasonings and spices – olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Substitutions & Notes

Lentils – I chose black lentils for this salad. You could try green/brown lentils, but black lentils are firmer and tend to work best for salads like this. I wouldn’t use red lentils because they’re too mushy. 

Vegetables – I love the combination of cauliflower, onion and spinach, but if you want to use a different green or add in an extra vegetable,  I say go for it!

Pot with cooked lentils.

How to Make Cauliflower Lentil Salad

Cook your lentils – In a saucepan, combine the black lentils with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and set aside to let cool.

Roast cauliflower – Place the cauliflower, oil and spices into a large bowl and toss. Spread mixture on a large baking sheet or stone and roast for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is brown and tender. Toss cauliflower at least once during the roasting process.

Make dressing – In a bowl, whisk the tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth.

Assemble salad – Add the lentils to the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Add the roasted cauliflower, dates, red onion and spinach, toss again and enjoy!

Close up of a salad made with spinach, onions, dates, cauliflower and lentils.

How Long Will it Last?

I prefer this salad fresh just because I like the contradiction of hot and cold ingredients, but you can definitely store leftovers to enjoy again! It will last 3-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Plate with roasted cauliflower lentil salad and a fork.

More Cauliflower Recipes to Try:

If you make this roasted cauliflower and lentil salad, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

Plate with roasted cauliflower lentil salad and a fork.

Roasted Cauliflower Lentil Salad

Brittany Mullins
This roasted cauliflower and lentil salad with tahini dressing is nutritious, filling, and works great as a light lunch or dinner. Vegan and gluten-free.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 388 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dry black belgua lentils, rinsed
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into 1-2 inch florets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • sea salt & ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • juice from 2 lemons about 3-4 Tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 10 medjool dates pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion chopped
  • 4 cups loosely packed spinach

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • In a saucepan, combine the lentils with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool.
  • Place cauliflower, oil and spices (cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper) into a large bowl and toss. Spread mixture on a large baking sheet or stone and roast for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower has browned and become tender. Be sure to toss the cauliflower at least once while roasting.
  • In a bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, maple syrup, and 2 Tablespoons of water until smooth. Add the lentils and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Add roasted cauliflower into the bowl. Then add your dates, red onion and spinach. Toss the salad a bit, plate and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipeCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 13gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 188mgFiber: 9gSugar: 45g
Keyword roasted cauliflower salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

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Recipe Rating




    30 comments
    1. Betsy Fawcett
      January 30, 2021 AT 10:51 am

      I was VERY skeptical, but I love roasted cauliflower, so I went for it. I was blown away. SUCH an excellent and delicious recipe. I changed the sauce around a bit as I was making it…add something-taste, add something else taste again. Until it was perfect.

      I’ve been eating leftovers for 2 day sand I am still excited to eat it. Just heat up the topping part and throw it on top of cold spinach. Perfect.

      Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 1, 2021 AT 1:07 am

        So glad you loved this salad, Betsy. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    2. Gabi
      January 21, 2021 AT 11:00 am

      5 stars
      Very good! Lots of flavors with all that lemon juice and those spices! Yum! It makes a nice change from the salads I have been eating lately.

      Perfect as it is as a side dish, but I am thinking: Butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese, pecans or sunflower seeds to add in and make it into a main dish. Actually, it feels like absolutely everything would taste great once coated with that dressing! Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 21, 2021 AT 6:36 pm

        Woo! This makes me so happy to hear, Gabi! I bet those additions would be delicious!! You’ll have to keep me posted if you try it. I really appreciate you coming back to leave a comment and star rating as well!

    3. CounselorChick
      January 19, 2021 AT 11:31 pm

      5 stars
      So delicious! I do have a quick question. Is the final amount of lentils supposed to be one cup cooked? As you know, 1 cup dried lentils cooks out to far more than one cup of lentils? Felt like a lot of lentils in this. TIA

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 20, 2021 AT 12:00 pm

        The recipe does call for 1 cup of dry lentils. You can always use less lentils if you make it again if you prefer. Maybe use just 1/2 cup dry lentils? I’m glad you enjoyed this salad though and thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

        1. CounselorChick
          January 20, 2021 AT 2:51 pm

          5 stars
          Yes it just feels like the tahini dressing gets lost in too many lentils. Next time I’ll use 1cup cooked with the yummy dressing. Thx!

    4. Albertina
      January 19, 2021 AT 6:44 am

      5 stars
      Made this tonight and it was so delicious! Love the taste of roasted cauliflower. Next time I will try to make it in more quantity. Thanks, Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 20, 2021 AT 12:14 pm

        Woo!! So glad you loved this recipe. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    5. Eileen
      May 5, 2014 AT 2:24 am

      I made this for dinner tonight and was so good! I’m usually not a big fan of cauliflower, but roasting it and browning it took the flavor to another level. I really enjoyed this dish.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 5, 2014 AT 10:41 am

        Yay! I’m so happy that you liked it, Eileen. Thanks for coming back to comment and let me know. 🙂

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