Cauliflower lentil salad is a delicious and easy Mediterranean-inspired recipe to add to your lentil salad repertoire.

Packed with bold flavors and wholesome ingredients, this salad, paired with some pita bread, is excellent for a quick lunch or a healthy dinner.

You can make it with roasted cauliflower, lentils, parsley, and a Moroccan-inspired cumin and lemon dressing.

Lentil cauliflower salad on a white platter

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet. It’s low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

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What is Cauliflower Lentil Salad?

Cauliflower lentil salad with parsley on a white platter

Cauliflower lentil salad is a Mediterranean-flavored vegan salad with tender oven-roasted cauliflower florets, earthy lentils, fresh parsley, and a bold and zesty cumin, lemon, and mustard dressing.

The recipe will remind you of our quinoa lentil salad and sweet potato lentil salad, as it uses the same dressing and fresh herbs, and you can make it in about 30 minutes with simple pantry staples.

Also, like our aromatic Moroccan carrot salad and carrot lentil salad, you can serve cauliflower lentil salad warm or at room temperature.

Cauliflower lentil salad on a long white platter

It is excellent for making ahead; you can use it for meal prep, a quick lunch, or a healthy dinner, and bring it to potluck gatherings and picnics.

As you’ve seen in our easy lentil salad, cauliflower salad, and lentil tabbouleh, both lentils and cauliflower lend themselves well to salads.

They are wholesome, packed with fiber and healthy plant protein. They are affordable and keep well for days.

Pair them with warm pita bread, a dollop of Greek-style yogurt (also non-dairy) or yogurt tahini sauce, and some quick pickled red onions, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful meal.

Cauliflower lentil salad video

Ingredients and Substitutions for Cauliflower Lentil Salad

ingredients for cauliflower lentil salad

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Cauliflower

Cut a large cauliflower head into small florets and roast it in the oven or the air fryer with a drizzle of olive oil, a hefty pinch of salt, and a twist of black pepper.

Roasted cauliflower is beautifully tender, slightly charred, almost meaty, and delicious!

We recommend using fresh cauliflower for this recipe, as frozen cauliflower tends to get too soft for salads.

Lentils

You can use canned lentils or dry lentils that you previously cooked in lightly salted boiling water for 15 to 45 minutes or until tender but with a slight bite.

You can use brown lentils, green lentils, black lentils, or French lentils.

Avoid split red lentils as they lose their shape quickly and are not ideal in salads.

Here’s everything to know about how to cook lentils and how to cook black lentils.

Substitute chickpeas, black beans, or white cannellini beans for lentils.

Nuts

Cauliflower and nuts go well together. You can add toasted almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and pistachios.

You can toast the nuts on a pan for a few minutes, moving them around often, or bake them in the oven at 340°F or 170°C for 6 to 8 minutes.

Parsley

Fresh flat-leaf parsley is a staple in Mediterranean cooking and an essential ingredient in this cauliflower lentil salad.

Substitute dill, chives, cilantro, and even green onions for the parsley.

Cumin Mustard Dressing

This dressing is bold, tangy, and creamy enough to hug the lentils and cauliflower perfectly and make them super flavorful. You’ll need:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice: substitute apple cider vinegar, lime juice, or red wine vinegar.
  • Ground cumin
  • Paprika
  • American mustard: substitute Dijon mustard.
  • Grated garlic: substitute garlic powder.
  • Red pepper flakes or chili powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
Cumin and honey mustard dressing in a bowl with a whisk

How to Make Cauliflower Lentil Salad

US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

1. Roast the cauliflower

Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Wash the cauliflower head, pat it dry, separate the florets, and transfer them onto a baking tray.

Season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, two pinches of salt, and two twists of black pepper.

Toss well and arrange on a single layer without overlapping.

cauliflower florets on a baking tray

Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the florets are slightly charred and fork-tender but not overcooked.

roasted cauliflower on a baking tray

2. Make the dressing

In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, mustard, grated garlic, red pepper flakes, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

Tip: you can also add everything to a small mason jar, close it, and shake it well.

Cumin and honey mustard dressing in a bowl with a whisk

3. Build the salad

To a large mixing bowl, add the roasted cauliflower, drained and rinsed canned lentils (or cooked lentils), a handful of nuts, chopped parsley, and the dressing.

large bowl with all ingredients for cauliflower lentil salad

Mix well until the ingredients are combined, taste, and adjust for salt, then serve in the same bowl or on a serving platter with some more parsley and nuts sprinkled on top.

Cauliflower lentil salad on a long white platter

Serving Suggestions

This cauliflower lentil salad can be a starter with other Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern small dishes. It’s delicious with:

Alternatively, you can have a larger portion of the salad for lunch.

We love mixing in some pasta, such as rotini or fusilli, and turning it into a delicious cauliflower and lentil pasta salad.

You can make it ahead and bring it in an airtight container for a work lunch, picnic, or potluck.

We recommend eating this salad slightly warm or at room temperature.

Variations

Creamy Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower salad on a white plate

A tasty, nutritious, and fulfilling roasted cauliflower salad with chickpeas and tahini sauce.

Check out our creamy roasted cauliflower salad recipe.

Quinoa lentil salad

Lentil quinoa salad and hand holding a fork

Protein-packed, nutritious, and incredibly flavorful, you’ll love this lentil quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes and mustard dressing.

Check out our quinoa lentil salad recipe.

Carrot Lentil Salad

Lentil carrot salad with shaved almonds

This Moroccan-inspired carrot lentil salad has a similar cumin dressing that coats the warm carrots and lentils.

Serve it as an appetizer or side dish; this recipe will impress with its simplicity and bold flavors.

Check out our carrot salad recipe.

Sweet Potato Lentil Salad

lentils and sweet potato salad

Inspired by our carrot lentil salad, this sweet potato lentil salad recipe is a winner because it’s loaded with nutritious and wholesome ingredients that will make you feel amazing and satiated for hours.

Check out our lentil sweet potato salad recipe.

Storage & Make Ahead

Make ahead: Cauliflower lentil salad is excellent for meal prep as it keeps well for days. The next day, it will be even more flavorful as the ingredients have time to meld.

Refrigerator: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. After the second day, you might want to add more dressing as the salad will dry up a little.

We recommend taking the salad out of the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before eating it or warming it in the microwave for a short minute.

Freezer: Not suitable for freezing.

More Salad Recipes

For more ideas, have a peek at our 45 best salad recipes.

More Lentil Recipes

Lentil cauliflower salad with fresh parsley on a white platter

Cauliflower Lentil Salad

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 14 votes
Cauliflower lentil salad is another delicious and easy Mediterranean-inspired recipe to add to your lentil salad repertoire.
Packed with bold flavors and wholesome ingredients, this salad, paired with some pita bread, is excellent for a quick lunch or a healthy dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower about 2½ pounds or 1.2 kg
  • 1 can (15 ounces) lentils or 1 ⅓ cups cooked lentils or ⅔ cup dry lentils
  • 4 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted nuts almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts or 2 tablespoons pine nuts

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste
  • tablespoons mustard American or Dijon
  • 1 small clove garlic grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • teaspoon black pepper or red pepper flakes

Instructions 

  • CAULIFLOWER: Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C.
    Wash 1 large cauliflower, pat it dry, separate the florets, and transfer on a baking tray.
    Season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, two pinches of salt, and two twists of black pepper.
    Toss and arrange on a single layer without overlapping.
    cauliflower florets on a baking tray
  • Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the florets are slightly charred and fork-tender but not overcooked.
    roasted cauliflower on a baking tray
  • DRESSING: In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1½ tablespoons mustard, 1 small clove garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
    Cumin and honey mustard dressing in a bowl with a whisk
  • BUILD SALAD: To a large bowl, add roasted cauliflower, 1 can (15 ounces) lentils (drained and rinsed), ¼ cup toasted nuts, 4 tablespoons parsley (chopped), and the dressing.
    Mix well until the ingredients are combined, taste, and adjust for salt before serving.
    large bowl with all ingredients for cauliflower lentil salad
  • MAKE IT A MEAL: Cauliflower lentil salad is delicious with a dollop of Greek-style yogurt or yogurt tahini sauce, quick pickled red onions, and warm pita bread.
    Cauliflower lentil salad on a long white platter

Video

Cauliflower Lentil Salad is a healthy lunch idea

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 portion of cauliflower lentil salad out of 4 portions without bread.
STORAGE & MAKE AHEAD
Make ahead: Cauliflower lentil salad is excellent for meal prep as it keeps well for days. The next day, it will be even more flavorful as the ingredients have time to meld.
Refrigerator: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. After the second day, you might want to add more dressing as the salad will dry up a little.
We recommend taking the salad out of the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before eating it or warming it in the microwave for a short minute.
Freezer: Not suitable for freezing.
ALSO ON THIS PAGE

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 1237mg, Dietary Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 599IU, Vitamin B6: 1mg, Vitamin C: 154mg, Vitamin E: 4mg, Vitamin K: 120µg, Calcium: 118mg, Folate: 287µg, Iron: 4mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 98mg, Zinc: 2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 14 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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10 Comments

  1. Hi Nico,
    There is mustard 1 and half tablespoons in the recipe, but not on the video…Help!

    1. Hi Julie,

      Well spotted, thank you so much! We need to re-shoot the video, it is now on our to do list.

      For now, please include the mustard – it makes everything better 😉

      I hope that helps. All the best,

      Nico & Louise

  2. 5 stars
    I just recently became a vegetarian and needed some recipes. I like cauliflower and lentils so I decided to try this recipe. I love it! I gave some to a coworker who is a vegan and she wants the recipe. My sister loved it too and wants the recipe. Excited to try more of your recipes.

    1. Fantastic, Rachel, I’m delighted to hear 🎉

      Thanks very much for your support and for taking the time to leave a rating here. All the best,

      Louise

  3. 5 stars
    I love this! And the dressing that goes with this goes with lots of other stuff as well. I have been putting it on everything! Thanks.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you Nico and Louise…this salad is wonderful! I just made it this morning and I couldn’t wait to taste it. SOOO DELICIOUS!

    1. Hi Trudy!
      I’m so delighted that you liked the cauliflower salad.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.
      Kindest,
      Louise

    1. YAY! I’m happy you liked it, Juanita. Personally, this is one of my absolute favorite ways of eating cauliflower.
      Have a great week! Kindest,
      Louise