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.

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

Crackling Cauliflower

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4


This curried cauliflower salad is a great dish for potlucks because it can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. 


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Take frozen peas out of the freezer and let thaw while preparing the cauliflower.
  3. 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.
  4. Place in a serving bowl, then stir in peas and cilantro. Let cool a bit and serve.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: about 1 cup
  • Calories: 235
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 985mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: curried cauliflower salad, curried cauliflower, cracklin cauliflower, crackling cauliflower

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  1. You are the real MVP for this recipe!!
    I just had it for the first time and am accustomed to things disappearing from the salad bar So immediately went searching for the recipe. I actually like to eat this warm instead of cold.

  2. Superb! So happy I stumbled across this recipe today. It is just as yummy, perhaps more so, as the Whole Foods dish. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  3. I am a wee bit homesick for Virginia, for all of y’all, right now! Thank you for now recreating what is also my second favorite Whole Foods hot bar item…especially as the closest Whole Foods is over an hour away now…I just might have to give this a go ASAP. 🙂 [Your Garlicky Kale recipe was spot-on, so I bet this is, too!]

  4. Wow, did that recipe work for me! I was curious to try it because I often cook broccoli with almost no water, olive oil, garlic and curry (low heat with lid) and serve it with basmati rice. This had similar ingredients…it was great!

  5. I’ve never had Whole Foods’ cracklin cauliflower, but I sure want to make your version! Cauliflower is my all time favorite veggie, so I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy it. My go to potluck dish (this year, anyway) has become a maple dijon quinoa salad with a side of guacamole (that I tend to horde all for myself, shh…) It’s a crowd pleaser and I always know that I’ll have something to enjoy!

  6. Who knew that the veggies would be my favorite part of the dinner!?! This was one of my favorites and I am very impressed at how simple the recipe looks compared to how flavorful the dish was to eat.

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