Craving a salad that doesn’t leave you feeling hungry? This hearty Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini, Chickpeas & Pearl Couscous is nourishing and filling – full of veggies and plant protein! It’s also delicious thanks to Middle-Eastern inspired spices, fresh herbs, and a creamy tahini dressing. This vegan-friendly dish is the perfect healthy lunch or as a side dish to add excitement to a simple main course.
Why You’ll Love This Salad
- Filling and Satisfying: This salad is not your average light side dish. With the addition of protein-packed chickpeas, it becomes a satisfying and filling meal on its own.
- Flavorful Middle-Eastern Spices: The spices used in this recipe, including cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric, bring a delightful Middle-Eastern flair and warm, aromatic depth of flavor.
- Nutritious and Wholesome: This salad is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Cauliflower is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, contributing to a healthy immune system and digestion. The inclusion of chickpeas adds plant-based protein, fiber, and iron – great lunchtime fuel for a busy day!
- Vegan-Friendly and Plant-Based: Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle or simply enjoy incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, this salad is a perfect choice. It showcases the versatility and deliciousness of plant-based ingredients while providing essential nutrients.
- Perfect for Meal Prep: This salad is excellent for meal prep, allowing you to enjoy healthy quick lunches throughout the week. To maintain the best texture and freshness, I recommend storing the roasted chickpeas separately from the rest of the salad. This helps to retain that satisfying crunch (a variety of textures is an essential component to a good salad IMO). Additionally, store the creamy tahini dressing in a separate container to prevent the ingredients from becoming soggy.
- Cauliflower: Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, cauliflower offers numerous health benefits. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, supporting your immune system and promoting digestion. Roasting cauliflower brings out its natural sweetness and creates a delightful caramelization. The high heat also adds a crispy texture to the florets.
- Chickpeas: These protein-packed legumes provide a satisfying crunchy pop of texture to the salad. They are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and iron, making them especially beneficial for vegetarians and vegans. I love roasting or air frying them to make them extra crispy as a protein rich alternative to croutons in salad or on soup. If you’re into that idea then be sure to check out my Avo Pasta Salad recipe that uses them in this way!
- Pearl Couscous: Also known as Israeli couscous, these small, round pasta pearls offer a delightful chewiness to the salad. They are made from semolina flour and provide a good source of carbohydrates and fiber.
How to make this salad
There’s a detailed recipe card at the bottom of this post, but if you’d like a simplified step-by-step overview, then read on!
Step 1: To begin, oat chickpeas and cauliflower in spices and roast them in the oven until crispy.
Step 2: Cook pearl couscous according to package instructions.
Step 3: Mix dressing ingredients together.
Step 4: Combine the roasted chickpeas, cauliflower, cooked pearl couscous, and dressing in a salad bowl.
Step 5: Toss the ingredients gently to coat them with the dressing.
Customize Your Salad: Feel free to get creative and customize this salad according to your preferences. You can add extra vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, or roasted bell peppers for a burst of freshness and color. Consider sprinkling toasted sesame seeds or chopped nuts over the salad to add a delightful crunch and extra flavor.
Make It Ahead but Keep Separately: You can easily prepare the roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and pearl couscous in advance. Keep them refrigerated separately and assemble the salad just before serving to maintain the best texture and flavors.
Experiment with Spices: While this recipe includes a delightful blend of Middle-Eastern spices, don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust the spice levels to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to add a pinch of chili flakes or a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra kick of flavor.
Yes, you can prepare the roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and couscous in advance. Assemble the salad and dressing just before serving to maintain the freshness and texture.
Absolutely! This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Just make sure to store the dressing and chickpeas separately and toss it with the salad right before serving.
Yes, feel free to adjust the spices according to your taste preferences. Add more paprika for a smoky kick or increase the chili powder for extra heat.
More Cauliflower Recipes to Try
If you’ve got cauliflower to use up, make sure to check out my other popular recipes for inspo on how to get creative with this versatile veggie. If you’re looking for a soup be sure to check out my nutritionist friend Sarah’s @plantbaes recipe for Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup – it’s so yum!
Watch me make this recipe
I hope you give this Roasted Cauliflower Salad a try. Let me know what you think in the comments below or tag me on Instagram and I’ll share your pics on my stories 🙂
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini, Chickpeas & Pearl Couscous
Spiced cauliflower and chickpeas
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into florets
- 400 g canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
Pearl couscous salad
- 1 cup dry pearl cous ous
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley roughly chopped
- 1/2 bunch fresh mint roughly chopped
Creamy tahini dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini hulled
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower florets, drained and rinsed chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Toss well to coat the cauliflower and chickpeas with the spices and oil.
- Spread the spiced cauliflower and chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown and crispy, and the chickpeas are crunchy. Stir or flip the mixture halfway through cooking for even browning. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the pearl couscous and cook according to the package instructions. Once cooked, fluff the couscous with a fork and set aside to cool.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the cooked pearl couscous, spiced cauliflower and chickpeas, finely chopped red onion, roughly chopped parsley, and roughly chopped mint leaves.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lime juice, water, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, and pepper until well combined. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed.
- Pour the creamy tahini dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients.
- Serve the salad and enjoy!