Crackling Cauliflower (Whole Foods Cauliflower Salad)


Inspired by the Whole Foods salad bar, this crackling cauliflower is a roasted cauliflower salad loaded with curry flavor, green peas, red onions and cilantro. It’s perfect for potlucks because the dish can be served cold or a room-temp.

A curried cauliflower salad with green peas and cilantro in a large white bowl with a gold spoon.

Cracklin’ Cauliflower is my second favorite thing from the Whole Foods salad bar (Garlicky Kale is my first, in case you were wondering) and like most food related things I fall in love with, I recreated this dish at home so I could make it whenever my heart desires. Which is awesome because it’s hit or miss when my Whole Foods will actually have this available on the bar.

Roasted cauliflower and red onion on a stone baking sheet.

Curry roasted cauliflower, green peas and cilantro in a large white bowl.

Mixing the roasted curried cauliflower with the green peas and cilantro using a gold spoon.

So about the dish, the base is roasted cauliflower and it includes a number of fragrant spices including curry, garam masala, fennel seed, fresh ginger and garlic. Don’t let the spices scare you though… I think I got my garam masala, fennel and curry from Penzey’s Spices, but you should be able to find them all at most grocery stores. And other than measuring, throwing the spices into a bowl and roasting the cauliflower, this dish comes together rather quickly — unless of course you accidentally get the curry sauce on your white pants and have to do an emergency load of bleached whites in the process. Not that I would know about that or anything…

A curried cauliflower salad with green peas and cilantro in a large white bowl with a gold spoon.

The texture of the roasted cauliflower is perfect (not too crunchy and not too soft) and it takes on the flavor of the curry sauce so well. You get a nice spiciness from the ginger and red pepper, which is balanced by a sweetness from the peas.

If you make this crackling cauliflower, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers!

Crackling Cauliflower

5 from 13 votes
This curried cauliflower salad is a great dish for potlucks because it can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. 
A curried cauliflower salad with green peas and cilantro in a large white bowl.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 bunch cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Take frozen peas out of the freezer and let thaw while preparing the cauliflower.
  • Combine oil and spices (curry powder through ground pepper) and toss with cauliflower and red onion until all pieces are well-coated. Place cauliflower in a baking dish and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes for even cooking. The cauliflower should be crisp-tender and golden brown when done.
  • Place in a serving bowl, then stir in peas and cilantro. Let cool a bit and serve.



Calories: 235kcal Carbohydrates: 22g Protein: 7g Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 985mg Fiber: 7g Sugar: 10g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cracklin cauliflower, crackling cauliflower, curried cauliflower, curried cauliflower salad


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Recipe Rating

    1. Joanne
      January 5, 2023 AT 7:00 pm

      5 stars
      This has become one of our “go to” sides with steak or chicken or whatever… love it and so satisfying that it’s a healthy choice!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 8, 2023 AT 11:35 pm

        Love this! It is such a great side, Joanne. Thanks so much for your review & star rating, I so appreciate it!

    2. Mary Lee Kelly
      July 12, 2021 AT 4:17 pm

      5 stars
      I have made this several times and have done all sorts of substitutions and it turns out delectable every single time. I always add a bit of lemon juice. Thank you for this terrific recipe. It has really become a go-to for us.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 13, 2021 AT 12:05 am

        Woo!! So glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe, Mary. Thanks for the review! I so appreciate it!

    3. Kari
      June 21, 2021 AT 5:02 pm

      5 stars
      Incredible flavor. Doubled the oil and spices and roasted garbanzo beans with the cauliflower. Highly recommend.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 22, 2021 AT 11:30 am

        So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Kari! Thanks for the review 🙂

    4. Cyndi
      January 27, 2021 AT 12:30 pm

      5 stars
      Fantastic recipe ~ a new favorite! I did get the ingredient list from Whole Foods and it includes lemon juice as the 4th ingredient so i added some of that to taste. I also couldn’t find fennel seeds so left them out. It was still REALLY good. I’ve only had it warm so can’t comment on how it is as a chilled salad. In any case, thank you for posting this recipe. I will be using it often!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 27, 2021 AT 6:58 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you loved this recipe, Cyndi. Thanks for coming back to leave a review, I so appreciate it!

    5. Ruby X
      September 13, 2020 AT 2:41 am

      5 stars
      Fabulous recipe! My roommate and I were literally fighting over the leftovers. Definitely will become a staple dish for me.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 14, 2020 AT 3:14 pm

        Haha love it!! So glad this recipe was a hit. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it, Ruby!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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