Healthy and easy to make, this Tahini Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad is made with roasted cauliflower, za’atar chickpeas and a creamy tahini dressing for a salad full of Mediterranean flavour. You can enjoy it hot or cold, so it’s perfect for lunch prep!
This Tahini Cauliflower Chickpea Salad is one of my favorite ways to use the za’atar roasted chickpeas that I shared the other day. This salad is filling and full of protein but, most importantly, popping with flavour. There’s the roasted cauliflower, the tangy-sweet za’atar chickpeas, and the nutty tahini dressing. The combination is perfection. Every bite of this salad is like an explosion of Mediterranean flavour.
What I love most about this salad is that it’s incredibly versatile. It can make a great vegetarian dinner entree as it’s quite filling or be served as a side dish. I like to serve it warm when I first make it and then enjoy the cold leftovers as a vegetarian lunch for the coming days.
If you’re a fan of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean flavors, definitely give this roasted cauliflower salad a try.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cauliflower – Raw, fresh cauliflower works best for this recipe.
- Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas – These crunchy chickpeas add loads of flavour to the dish.
- Yellow onion – Adds a little bit of sweetness
- Fresh parsley – The parsley complements the other Mediterranean flavors in this dish.
- Tahini – Adds a nutty, earthy taste to the salad.
- Water – Helps to thin the tahini sauce a bit.
- Greek yogurt – Plain Greek yogurt adds a bit of tang to the sauce, as well as makes it creamy.
- Lemon juice – Enhances the other ingredients.
- Seasonings – Fresh minced garlic, salt, and black pepper are the only things you need for additional flavor.
What is Tahini? (And Substitutions)
Tahini is a condiment made out of ground sesame seeds and it’s very popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Think of it like peanut butter but made out of sesame seeds. You’ll find it in hummus and baba ganoush, and it can also be used as a dip or spread itself.
While I highly recommend tahini for this recipe, you can consider substitutes like nut butters or adding sesame oil to the Greek yogurt to achieve a similar flavor.
What’s The Best Way to Chop Cauliflower?
The easiest way I’ve found to cut cauliflower is to chop it in quarters, cut out the core (on the diagonal), and then break the florets apart with my hands. If needed, I’ll cut some of the larger florets into smaller pieces so they’re all roughly the same size.
Can Frozen Cauliflower Be Used?
Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower to make roasted cauliflower. However, note that the roasting time may be a bit longer because of the added moisture and the fact it’s starting from a colder temperature.
How to Make Tahini Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad
First, make your roasted cauliflower. Place the chopped cauliflower and sliced onions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375°F. Do not flip during baking so you give it a chance to carmelize on the bottom. Turn the oven to broil to brown the top of the cauliflower for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
While the cauliflower is roasting, you can prepare the tahini dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients besides the parsley until well-combined. You can also add them to a small blender if you prefer.
Once roasted transfer the cauliflower and onions to a heat-resistant bowl. Add the za’atar roasted chickpeas, parsley, and 3 tablespoons of tahini dressing. (The rest of the tahini dressing can be saved for later.)
Is Roasted Cauliflower Salad Served Hot or Cold?
You can enjoy this tahini cauliflower salad either way. I like to enjoy it hot when I first make it but cold leftovers are ideal for lunch prep throughout the week.
Can This Cauliflower be made in the Air Fryer?
You can easily make the cauliflower in the air fryer instead of the oven. Just roast in the air fryer for 20 minutes or so, being sure not to overcrowd the basket. You may need to cook the cauliflower in two batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.
How to Store
Tahini cauliflower and chickpea salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Stir before serving. You may want to add more tahini when serving as it can soak up the dressing as it chills.
I do not recommend freezing this salad.
More Tasty Salad Recipes:
- Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad
- Italian Potato Salad with Green Beans
- Cucumber Salad with Dill and Chickpeas
- Panzanella Salad
- Traditional Fattoush Salad
- Hemp Tabouli Salad
Tahini Cauliflower & Chickpeas Salad
For The Salad
- 2 lb cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup za'atar roasted chickpeas
- 1 large yellow onion; sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley; chopped
For the Dressing
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic; minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Place the chopped cauliflower and sliced onions on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°F. Do not flip them during baking. During the last 5 minutes of baking turn the oven to broil to brown the top of the cauliflower a bit.
- While the cauliflower is roasting prepare the tahini dressing by adding all of the tahini dressing ingredients except for the parsley to a medium-sized bowl and whisking until it is well combined or you can also add the ingredients to a small blender and give it a whirl.
- Remove the cauliflower and onions from the oven and transfer to a large heat-resistant bowl. Add the za'atar Roasted Chickpeas, add the parsley and toss with 3 tbsp of the tahini dressing. More if desired. Save the remaining tahini dressing for another day to use on this or other salads. Serve hot or cold.
For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Tahini Cauliflower And Chickpea Salad Story.