Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Healthy Ranch Dressing

Author: Sarah Cobacho | Posted: January 12, 2024

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Large bowl with roasted cauliflower salad

This Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Healthy Ranch Dressing is so delicious you won’t believe how easy it is to make! This is my first salad recipe that ever went viral, and I remember being so excited to have found a community of people who liked salads as much as I do 😍

The roasted cauliflower florets are fragrant with a hint of smokiness from the paprika and, accompanied by the crispy chickpeas, pair perfectly with the homemade ranch dressing. We LOVE ranch dressing, but the store-bought version does not always make us feel our best, so we came up with this super nourishing recipe. The blended cashews get a perfectly creamy texture, with the added bonus of being packed with minerals.

Between the dressing and avocados, this salad is also rich in healthy fats, combined with fiber (19 g/serving) and protein (24 g per serving), which helps make us feel full and satisfied for longer. This roasted cauliflower salad recipe is sure to become a new favorite!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple and Quick: Perfect for busy schedules.
  • Nutritious Ingredients: Filled with healthy, plant-based ingredients.
  • Delicious Flavors: The blend of crunchy chickpeas, fragrant cauli, ranch dressing, and fresh vegetables creates a fantastic textural experience that is rich in flavors.
  • Versatile Dish: Great for a casual lunch or an amazing side when hosting.
  • User-Friendly: Easy for anyone to make, regardless of cooking experience.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin by heating your oven. Mix the cauliflower with extra virgin olive oil and a couple of teaspoons of spices on a sheet pan. Cook in the oven. Combine the chickpeas and onions with seasonings. Add them to the oven. Blend the cashews with lemon juice, onion powder, and soy milk until smooth. Stir in the fresh herbs and spices. Assemble the salad in a large bowl, top with dressing, toss together, and enjoy!

Close up of Large bowl with roasted cauliflower salad

Ingredient Notes

  • Cauliflower: A great source of vitamins and fiber.
  • Chickpeas: Packed with protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, perfect for energy.
  • Cashews: Adds creaminess; substitute with sunflower seeds if preferred.
  • Arugula: Rich in nutrients and adds a peppery flavor.
  • Spices: Cumin and paprika for a warm, smoky taste.

FAQ

  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free.
  • Can I make it nut-free? Sunflower seeds are a great substitute for cashews. Pumpkin seeds or pine nuts can be used instead of almonds.
  • How long can I store this salad? It is best enjoyed fresh to get the most of the textural experience, but it can be refrigerated for 1-2 days. The dressing can be stored for up to 3 days.
  • Are there any alternative greens I can use? Baby spinach, lettuce, or mixed greens work well, too.
  • How can I make it higher protein? There is already 24 g of protein per serving, but you could swap half of the cashews for hemp seeds and bake some small tofu or tempeh cubes along the chickpeas to get that amount up even higher.

Variations and Tips

  • For the Creamiest Dressing: Make sure to soak the cashews for a minimum of 30 minutes in hot water or overnight in cold water.
  • Additional Veggies: Mix in bell peppers or shredded carrots for more color and nutrition.
  • Crispy Veggies: Make sure there is enough room on the baking sheet (we used two) to avoid overcrowding and steaming the cauliflower and chickpeas.
  • Storage: Keep the dressing separate if storing it for later.
  • Serving suggestion: This salad goes incredibly well with a side of our Healthy Seeded Crackers, or a slice of our 1-Ingredient Buckwheat Bread.
Healthy ranch dressing in a bowl with a gold spoon

Why You’ll Love This Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Healthy Ranch Dressing

  • Flavorful
  • Nourishing
  • Easy
  • Versatile
  • Satisfying
Large bowl with roasted cauliflower salad with drizzle of healthy ranch dressing

Roasted Cauliflower Salad w/ Healthy Ranch Dressing

4.84 from 6 votes
Large bowl with roasted cauliflower salad
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
This salad is so delicious you won’t believe how easy it is to make! The roasted cauliflower is so flavourful and pairs perfectly with the homemade ranch dressing. Plus, it's packed with healthy and nourishing ingredients that make it not only delicious but also good for you. It’s equally suitable to pack in your lunchbox or to completely wow your guest. Talk about versatile! It’s one of my favourite recipes I’ve created lately, and I can't wait for you to try it and see it for yourself!
By Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)

Video

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • ½ medium cauliflower head (chopped in florets)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 red onion (chopped in 8 )
  • 1.5 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 10 almonds
  • 2 cups arugula (rocket)
  • 1 cucumber sliced
  • ½ avocado sliced

Ranch dressing

  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 dash black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dry chives
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional, adds a touch of sweetness)

Instructions

  • Cover the cashews in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F
  • Line a small baking tray with baking paper. Combine the cauliflower with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika, and a dash of salt. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Line a medium baking tray with baking paper. Place the onion, on the tray. Add the chickpeas, and combine with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, and garlic powder. Bake together for 20 minutes
  • Transfer the almonds to an oven-safe dish and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool down and roughly chop.
  • Add the soaked cashews, lemon juice, onion powder, black pepper garlic, and soy milk to a blender. Blend until perfectly smooth.
  • Stir in the dill, parsley, chives, and maple syrup (if using). If you like a thicker texture, allow time to set in the fridge. The longer, the thicker the dressing will be.
  • Add the arugula, roasted cauliflower, red onions, chickpeas, cucumber, avocado, and almonds to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with ranch dressing. and mix to combine. Adjust salt to taste, and enjoy!
Per Serving
Calories 570kcalCarbohydrates 67gProtein 24gFat 28gSodium 172mgFiber 19gVitamin A 113IUVitamin C 95mgCalcium 271mgIron 8mg
COURSE Salad, Side Dish
CUISINE American-Inspired
KEYWORDS healthy ranch dressing, roasted cauliflower, salad, salad dressing, vegan ranch
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2 Comments

  1. You’re absolutely right, this is my new favorite salad ever!! It’s so amazing I just can’t stop eating it. This brought me here and by first quick look at your recipes I see I’ll have some amazing, delicious food. Thank you so much for your wonderful work.5 stars

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