Crackling Cauliflower (Whole Foods Cauliflower Salad)



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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!

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5 from 20 votes

Crackling Cauliflower

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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cracklin cauliflower, crackling cauliflower, curried cauliflower, curried cauliflower salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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.

  2. 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!

    1. Oh wow! I think I need that maple dijon quinoa salad in my life. That sounds delicious and I love bringing quinoa to potlucks too. Such an easy protein option. And yes, guac is always a winner in my book.

  3. Yum! I love roasted cauliflower (it’s both super easy and yummy!), but haven’t tried adding these Indian inspired spices. Definitely going to try this one soon!

  4. I think you definitely converted some cauliflower skeptics on Saturday!! This stuff was SO good! I’m going to have to add cauliflower to my next Relay order! 😉

  5. 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!

  6. Definitely will be trying out this recipe! I love cauliflower and the spices sound like they’d go so well together. Kind of excited for this.

  7. 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!]

  8. This looks amazing! Something about the combination of cauliflower with a little spice is always delicious!

    1. Thanks so much MJ. I always love getting feedback about my recipes. Crackling Cauliflower is one of my absolute favorites.

  9. 5 stars
    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!

  10. 5 stars
    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.

  11. 5 stars
    Fabulous recipe! My roommate and I were literally fighting over the leftovers. Definitely will become a staple dish for me.

    1. 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!

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

  13. 5 stars
    Incredible flavor. Doubled the oil and spices and roasted garbanzo beans with the cauliflower. Highly recommend.

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

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

  16. 5 stars
    I love this so much, I had to stop myself from eating it. I think I ate half the recipe in one sitting. My only complaint is that it is very pungent. It took a while for the cooking smell to leave my one bedroom apartment. If you live in a small place, I suggest you take extraordinary measures to ventilate properly while cooking. Lol.

    1. WOO! This makes me so happy to hear, Mary! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe and it turned out great for you. Yes the smell of cauliflower can be a bit much- hopefully you were able to get rid of it. Thanks for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!