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Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad

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This Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad is easy to make, totally vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free, and tossed with my favorite “Dreamy” Tahini Dressing. We can’t get enough of it.

Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad Recipe with Tahini Dressing

Guys, we finally turned in all of our visa paperwork for our move to Spain! ?  ?  ?

To be specific, 100+ pages of visa paperwork for Spain. ?

Good grief. We had been warned that Spain has some of the most intense visa application requirements — including a trip in person to our consulate in Chicago to turn everything in, certified translations of most of our documents into Spanish, a lease for an apartment that we had to book sight-unseen, plus an enormous stack of 100+ other papers each full of applications and financial statements and doctors’ notes and personal essays about why we want to move to Barcelona and more. Basically, so much paperwork.  Ha, we agreed that it felt like we were back in college preparing for a final, trying to get all of this ready.

But as of last Friday, we’ve now handed everything over to the Spanish government. So now we get to sit and wait…and hope that they take us! ?  And in the meantime, soak up our last few months here in Kansas City. Which, for me, includes soaking up time in my favorite little spot in the world…

…our kitchen.

Man, it’s starting to sink in how much I’m really going to miss this space. And ha, literally, it’s spaciousness. After living for years in teeny tiny kitchens, the 5 years I’ve spent in this loft with its wide-open spaces have been so refreshing and inspiring. And I’ve loved every second that I’ve gotten to stand in this beautiful kitchen and stir a soup round and round, or pull a fresh batch of cookies out of the oven, or mix a chilly cocktail, or just hang out and chat there with friends who have come over for a dinner party. So many of my favorite memories have been made in this one little room…and man, I’m going to miss it.

So while it’s tempting to make the rounds (and rounds and rounds) of all of our favorite restaurants in Kansas City before we leave, I’m feeling all da feelz about wanting to cook as many final meals as possible here at home. Especially some fresh and flavorful and feel-good meals like this one. It’s been on repeat here for weeks, and I keep forgetting to share it with you. But today’s the day. I think you’re going to love it. ?

Dreamy Tahini Dressing for this Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad Recipe

As I’ve mentioned on here before, I married a salad-obsessed vegetarian…who also happens to be a major fan of Mediterranean food. So we regularly whip up a batch of my Dreamy Tahini Dressing (inspired by our favorite lemon-maple-tahini dressing at The Westside Local in KC) to mix into salads…which is always a winner.

Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad Ingredients

Add to that some roasted chickpeas and cauliflower, lots of fresh baby arugula (our favorite salad green), some ripe avocado, sliced red onion, toasted pine nuts, and maybe an extra squeeze of fresh lemon…

Vegetarian Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad with Dreamy Tahini Dressing

…and in less than 30 minutes, this gorgeous rainbow of a salad can be yours to enjoy too.Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad Bowls with Dreamy Tahini Dressing

Oh my gosh, we can’t get enough of this one. All of those zesty savory flavors pair perfectly together, it’s nice and hearty without being too heavy, it’s totally plant-based, and — guys — that dressing.  Do yourself a favor and make a double batch to use on a different salad (or drizzle it on some baked chicken, or roasted veggies, or use it as a dipper) the next day. SO. GOOD.

The BEST Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Chickpeas, Arugula and Tahini Dressing

Actually, as I’m typing this, I’m pretty sure we’ll need to make this one again this week. And hey, hopefully then again sometime soon when we’re actually living on the Mediterranean. ?

Enjoy, everyone!

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Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad is a fresh and feel-good salad that’s bound to be a hit, especially when tossed with my favorite “Dreamy” Tahini Dressing.  Deeeelish.  (P.S. Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients — this recipe flies by quickly!)



Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 batch roasted cauliflower and chickpeas (see below)
  • 4 large handfuls baby arugula
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 batch Dreamy Tahini Dressing
  • optional: extra lemon slices/wedges for serving

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin + garlic powder + smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (or more/less to taste*)
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Dreamy Tahini Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 24 tablespoons warm water


To Make The Salad:

  1. Prepare the Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas as directed below.  Then to save time, prep the remaining ingredients while they are roasting in the oven.
  2. Once the cauliflower and chickpeas are ready to go, spread the arugula out evenly on your serving platter or bowl.  Top with the cauliflower, chickpeas, avocado, red onion, and pine nuts.  Then drizzle everything evenly with the dressing.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with extra lemon slices/wedges if desired.

To Make The Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas:

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.  Prepare the baking sheet with aluminum foil, if desired.
  2. Spread the cauliflower out on the baking sheet, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Toss to combine until the cauliflower is evenly coated.  Then spread the cauliflower out evenly on the baking sheet, and set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, toss together the chickpeas, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne, and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil until evenly combined.  Sprinkle the chickpea mixture on top of the cauliflower, and give the pan a good shake so that everything forms one single layer.  Season evenly with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower turns slightly charred around the edges.  Transfer the pan to a cooling rack until ready to use.

To Make The Dreamy Tahini Dressing:

  1. Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, plus a generous pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl until smooth.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of water until combined, then add an extra tablespoon of water if needed to thin.  Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper if desired.  Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or use immediately.


*I really love making the chickpeas significantly spicy in this recipe, so I use about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.  But you’re welcome to use less, or omit it entirely if you would prefer the chickpeas to be mild.

**If you’re a cheese lover, this would also be yummy with some crumbled feta sprinkled on top.

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33 comments on “Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad”

  1. Have you thought about which small appliances you are going to bring with you to Spain? I’ve often thought about moving overseas, but I, too, would miss the spaciousness of my kitchen! I worry about how everything would fit into a smaller kitchen. I don’t think I could do without my blender or Nespresso, but I don’t know if there would be space for a toaster oven, Sodastrem or food processor! Eep! I figure you might share these concerns as a food blogger. Is this a concern you share, moving to Barcelona?

  2. This sounds incredible! So many of my favorite things in one!

  3. Wow! This looks amazing! I married a man who loves meat and potatoes, so sometimes salads are a hard one to convince him to eat for dinner alone. But on the rare nights we don’t eat dinner together, I will definitely be making this…or as a nice lunch al desko. :)

  4. Even without having made it yet, I think I can see why you keep coming back to this one. I would probably use a spring mix instead of straight arugula, because arugula is one of my least favorite greens (I just got sick of it rom eating too much of it on a cruise ship). This one’s definitely on my list of things to try.

    Congratulations on getting all your paperwork turned in for the move to Barcelona. I hope they accept you, at least partially for the selfish reason of looking forward to seeing what kind of Spanish recipes you’ll post… (but mostly because the two of you really want to go).

  5. Hi, this looks wonderful so I will try it soon. I have lived in Spain twice, once in Barcelona. I loved it but am a little worried about the challenges you will face food wise. There are a LOT of foods and spices that are not available there that we consider basic. No doubt you will be wonderfully creative with what is available and I look forward to seeing/ trying the results. All the best.

  6. Where does the extra tablespoon of olive oil (in reserve) go?
    Please answer quickly as I am making for company

  7. Many thanks!

  8. Ah, that’s why my roasted chickpeas were dry, that’s where the extra oil goes! Do the chickpeas get crunchy then? I made the salad last night and it was AHMazing especially the dreamy tahini) but the chickpeas were lacking…

    I’ll try again!

    Thanks for the yummy salad!!

  9. OK made this, loved it soooo much!!! That roasted cauliflower and roasted chick peas, were the best thing ever!! I made it for my husband and myself for dinner last night, had a sandwich baggie of the cauliflower and chickpeas and pine nuts left over, and just now stood at the sink and ate those for lunch!! Seriously, the best!!! Shared the recipe with two of my friends this morning and told them they have to make it. Make it, I tell you make it, you will love it!!

  10. I have made this salad twice now in the past two weeks. It is amazingly good!!!! Thank you :-)

  11. From one Alli to another – Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe! It was a huge hit for the whole family.

  12. This is hearty! Interesting and wonderful flavors, but I am not sure it needs the pine nuts. Every other ingredient registers and is vital. My husband was skeptical, but he loved it. I used a baby kale mix because that is what I had on hand, and it was wonderful. My only issue is that the dressing will not thin out, but that is a minor issue. (I did the hot water, and it had seized up again by the time I served it.) Thanks for a great salad, and good luck in your new life!

    • Wonoderful, so happy to hear it! And yep, feel free to tinker around with adding extra water to that dressing if need be. :) And thank you!

  13. I made this salad for dinner and I could easily eat this several times a week. Although I don’t care for the taste of maple syrup, I always make a recipe as written the first time and then make my adjustments. I will leave the syrup as it did not overwhelm the dressing at all. Honesty, this salad is absolutely, positively delicious. I am new to this website and so excited to have found it!!

  14. Easy, beyond delicious and highly addicting! A family favorite!

  15. Wow this was so good!! I finally caved and bought some smoked paprika just for this recipe and I’m glad I did, I don’t think regular paprika would have the same effect. This is the first of your recipes I’ve tried and it definitely makes me want to try more.

  16. Absolutely delicious!!! I got a “wow” from the fiance, so that says a lot :) Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  17. This was a great salad for those of us who are more plant based in this house. Hard to convince the husband that he wouldn’t be starving, but it’s a slow process to get him over to our side. This dressing was surprisingly easy. I originally thought I would just buy a dressing to keep it fast, but am trying to buy less plastic and another bottle of dressing wasn’t needed in our fridge. I didn’t have pine nuts, but had slivered almonds that needed to be used up so threw those in. I’m thinking that next time I’ll roast them in the oven for a couple of mins at the end of the chickpeas and cauliflower roasting. Thanks for this great recipe. It will be in our rotation!

  18. This was so good! Didn’t have avocado or pine nuts but added golden raisins and shallots. Adding water to the dressing is a necessity, so don’t skip that step.

  19. Made this tonight exactly as described and everyone loved it! Simple but delicious. The flavor combo was everything. Served it up with some grilled bread–yum! Will make again and again.

  20. Really good recipe! I made this for my wife for a surprise when she came home from work and she loved it. I added red peppers to it which added a lot more flavor. I also did pumpkin seeds instead of the pine nuts because that is what I had in the pantry. Will have to make this one again soon!

  21. Delicious. I’m trying to get my family to eat vegetarian three times a week. I’ve had a lot of push back. I served this tonight with one modification I used Arugula and spinach. I also allowed the family to choose their dressing as long as they at least taste this one. The dressing was gone, the salad was gone and I thought they were going to lick the plate. This is a keeper and repeater

  22. I’m such a doofus. I ate half of the roasted cauliflower while I was prepping the rest of the salad. It was still totally delicious. I challenged myself to make this because I either historically hated the ingredients (cauliflower, chick peas), or they were scary unknowns (tahini…and just say it…Arugula!) This was seriously delicious! The only change I made was pepitas instead of Pine nuts (alright, there’s a limit to my gastronomic spirit of adventure.) Oh, and it was a little light on Cauliflower. But whose fault was that?

  23. This is delicious!! I can’t stop eating it! Love the dressing w the tahini and maple syrup. Will definitely be making this for guests…

  24. made this for my family and it did not disappoint!!!
    so full of delicious flavor this will be recipe i will use again and again
    Thank you!

  25. Oh my goodness,, I had a head of cauliflower that needed eating up and stumbled on this recipe. It is my new “desert island food”!! So delicious, made exactly to the recipe, except had no red onion so subbed green onion. Thanks so much for sharing, I’ll be poking around your site for more deliciousness!!

  26. This is really really good!!

  27. The dressing really did not sit right with me. but excellent taste on chickpeas and cauli

  28. Found this recipe while googling what to make with cauliflower and it is AMAZING. The flavor combinations of the tahini with the cauliflower, avo, and red onion are so delicious. One of the best salads I’ve had in a while