Cauliflower Salad Recipe + 7 Creative Ways To Use Cauliflower In Your Cooking

This cauliflower salad recipe is fresh, crisp, light, and surprisingly filling.

Cauliflower, a humble cruciferous vegetable, has gained a well-deserved reputation as a nutritional powerhouse in recent years, particularly as a low-carb way to make everything from pizza crust to mock mashed potatoes. Its versatility in the kitchen, combined with an impressive array of health benefits, has elevated cauliflower from a side dish to a star ingredient in many culinary creations. Here, I’ll give you seven ways to use cauliflower so you can work it into your meal plan, along with a delicious cauliflower salad recipe that I ate for three days straight. Yum!

Cauliflower salad in a white bowl. Halved grape tomatoes are seen in both red and yellow colors along with purple onion.

Where Is Cauliflower Grown?

It’s believed that cauliflower originated in the Mediterranean and has been cultivated for centuries. Today, it’s grown in various parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Ideal growing conditions for cauliflower are cool temperatures and rich, well-drained soil. California is known as a major producer of cauliflower, with its mild coastal climate providing the perfect environment for this versatile vegetable to flourish.

Raw Cauliflower Salad

There are many ways to enjoy cauliflower, but raw cauliflower salad has become increasingly popular in health-conscious circles. This delightful dish combines the natural crispness of fresh cauliflower florets with a harmonious medley of flavors, creating a refreshing and nutrient-packed meal.

Preparing a raw cauliflower salad is a straightforward process. Simply chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets, add other vibrant vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers, and toss with a tangy dressing of your choice. The result is a crunchy and colorful salad that bursts with flavors and essential nutrients.

An overhead closeup of a white bowl filled with cauliflower salad.

What To Serve With This Healthy Cauliflower Salad

While this healthy cauliflower salad can definitely be enjoyed as a stand-alone dish, it can also be served as a wonderful side dish. Here are some ideas for what to serve it with.

  1. Grilled ProteinGrilled chicken, salmon, pork chops, or tofu paired with this cauliflower salad make an excellent combination. The smoky char from the grill adds depth of flavor to the salad, whether you mix the protein in or eat it on the side.
  2. Whole Grains – Whole grains like quinoa, farro, or bulgur make wonderful additions to this salad. They add heartiness and complexity as well as great nutrition.
  3. Creamy Dressings – Consider drizzling your cauliflower salad with a creamy dressing, such as a yogurt-based tzatziki or a tahini-lemon sauce. Even ranch dressing will work well here!
  4. Roasted Vegetables – Roasting vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and eggplant alongside the cauliflower can add depth and warmth to your salad. The caramelization achieved through roasting brings out natural sweetness, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.

Recipe Tips

  1. Chop the cauliflower as small as you can without turning it into riced cauliflower. The smaller the pieces are, the better the overall texture of the salad will be and the easier it will be to eat.
  2. If you want some meat in this, good quality, sugar-free bacon is a great way to go. I recommend cooking up a half pound of it and chopping it into smaller pieces.

Can I Make This Cauliflower Salad Ahead?

Yes! This salad can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can adjust the seasoning to your taste and also add other vegetables, such as chopped bell peppers if you like.

A side angle of cauliflower salad served in a white bowl.

7 Creative Ways To Use Cauliflower In Your Cooking

  1. Cauliflower Rice: Grate cauliflower using a food processor or box grater to create a rice-like texture. Sauté the cauliflower rice in a pan with some oil and seasonings of your choice, such as garlic, onion, and herbs.
  2. Cauliflower Pizza Crust: Mix cooked cauliflower rice with eggs, cheese, and seasonings to create a low-carb pizza crust. Bake the crust in the oven until crispy, then add your favorite pizza toppings. Pro tip: squeeze all the water out of the cauliflower with a mesh bag or clean kitchen towel before mixing it with other ingredients.
  3. Cauliflower Mash: Boil cauliflower florets until tender, then mash them with butter, cream, and seasonings to create a creamy and flavorful side dish.
  4. Cauliflower Soup: Blend cooked cauliflower with broth, cream, and seasonings to create a creamy and comforting soup.
  5. Cauliflower Tacos: Roast cauliflower florets with taco seasoning, then serve them in tortillas with your favorite taco toppings, such as salsa, avocado, and cilantro.
  6. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings: Coat cauliflower florets in a mixture of hot sauce and butter, then bake them in the oven until crispy. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for a delicious appetizer.
  7. Cauliflower Fried Rice: Sauté cauliflower rice with vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and onions, and add soy sauce and scrambled eggs for a healthy and flavorful fried rice alternative.

Recipe Cost

These are estimates. Prices vary from area to area.

Salad

  • 6 cups chopped cauliflower: $3
  • 1 cup chopped red onion: $0.25
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber: $1
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes: $1.50
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds: $1

Dressing

  • Oil: $0.25
  • Lemon juice: $0.50
  • Tahini: $0.63
  • Dried dill: Negligible cost
  • Garlic: $0.10
  • 1 tsp. salt: Negligible cost
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper: Negligible cost
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika: Negligible cost

Estimated total cost: $8.23

Cost per serving = $8.23 / 8 = $1.03 (rounded to the nearest cent)

An overhead view looking down into a white bowl on a wood surface, filled with cauliflower salad.

Optional Recipe Additions

  • Bacon
  • Celery
  • Green onions
  • Fresh herbs – Any kind you prefer
  • Cheese – While I can’t imagine this with cheese, some of you may enjoy it. Try feta cheese or even cheddar cheese.

Recipe Variation

You can roast the cauliflower, onions, and tomatoes for a roasted cauliflower salad if you don’t want to eat this raw.

About The Ingredients

Cauliflower – When cutting this, consider that you will be eating this raw. So cut the pieces on the small side to make them easier to eat.

Red onion – Chopped. A yellow onion will work too, but it won’t be as sweet.

Cucumber – Peel before chopping

Grape tomatoes – Halved

Dried dill – Or a ¼ cup fresh dill, if you prefer that.

Oil – Any light-flavored oil will work. I used unflavored coconut oil. Extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil will work well here too.

Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice or bottled. Either will be fine.

Tahini – Use up leftovers by making hummus. (Or more dressing)

Fresh garlic – You’ll get the best flavor if you put it through a garlic press. But if you don’t have one, minced is the next best thing.

Smoked paprika – In a pinch, you can use regular paprika.

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt. Use whatever you normally use for cooking.

Ground black pepper

Slice almonds – These are found in the baking aisle at the store.

How To Make Cauliflower Salad

Dressing ingredients for this cauliflower salad recipe in a glass measuring cup.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, dill smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper to make the dressing.

Chopped cauliflower laying on a wood cutting board.
Chopped cucumbers laying on a wood cutting board next to a measure cup filled with chopped red onion.
Halved grape tomatoes on a wood cutting board.

Chop all your veggies as indicated.

Adding sliced almonds to the cauliflower salad in a large mixing bowl.

Add the chopped cauliflower, red onion, cucumber, and tomatoes to a large bowl, and toss with the almonds.

A white bowl filled with cauliflower salad.

Add the dressing to the bowl, and toss again. Let the cauliflower salad sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve the salad in a medium to large serving bowl at room temperature. Garnish with additional toasted almonds if desired.

Storing Cauliflower Salad

This will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 or 6 days if packed in an airtight container.

Freezing

Freezing is not recommended for this recipe.

Reheating

No reheating is required. However, you can let it sit on the counter for an hour or so to let it come to room temperature.

Recipe Supplies

Mixing bowl set sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Walnut wood cutting board sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Knife set sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

More Healthy Cauliflower Recipes

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Cauliflower salad in a white bowl. Halved grape tomatoes are seen in both red and yellow colors along with purple onion.

Cauliflower Salad Recipe

A delicious, raw cauliflower salad with tons of flavor.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 135kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large mixing bowl
  • 1 large cutting board
  • 1 Sharp knife

Ingredients

Salad

  • 6 cups chopped cauliflower (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Dressing

  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tbsp. dried dill (or a ¼ cup fresh dill)
  • 1 tsp. pressed garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika

Instructions

  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, dill smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper to make the dressing.
    Dressing ingredients for this cauliflower salad recipe in a glass measuring cup.
  • Chop all your veggies as indicated.
    Chopped cucumbers laying on a wood cutting board next to a measure cup filled with chopped red onion.
  • Add the chopped cauliflower, red onion, cucumber, and tomatoes to a large bowl, and toss with the almonds.
    Adding sliced almonds to the cauliflower salad in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the dressing to the bowl, and toss again. Let the cauliflower salad sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve the salad at room temperature, garnished with additional toasted almonds if desired.
    A white bowl filled with cauliflower salad.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 277IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

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