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Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

by Tansy Boggon

Roasted cauliflower quinoa salad is a sweet and mildly spicy salad that combines roasted cauliflower, quinoa, orange and sultanas for a satisfying main meal or side salad.

I love to throw a combination of ingredients together to create substantial salads that satisfy as a complete meal.

My basic salad formula

I generally intuitively create salads with a basic formula that includes:

  • a base of a grain or starchy vegetable (as this satisfies my hunger and gives salads substance)
  • other veggies and fruits
  • protein
  • a flavour profile that encompasses sweet, salty, sour and spicy (to satisfy taste)
  • a variety of textures

Most often, what I combine into the salads I create depends on what is available in the fridge and pantry. But I also consider flavour combinations of various cuisines.

About this recipe for roasted cauliflower quinoa salad

In the case of this recipe, I’ve drawn on some of the flavours traditionally combined in Moroccan couscous.

Like traditional Moroccan couscous, it contains cumin, turmeric, sultanas and herbs. However, I’ve taken a lot of creative licence with this recipe. And you can, too!

Specifically, I have used quinoa rather than couscous. Not that there is anything wrong with couscous!

However, quinoa provides a high protein and high fibre alternative to couscous and has the advantage of being gluten-free.

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad in large white serving dish on a kitchen bench with a cut orange, whole cauliflower, jar of smoked paprika and jar of sultanas beside it.

A vegan and gluten-free cauliflower salad

This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

What you’ll need for this cauliflower quinoa salad

To make this quinoa salad, you will need:

  • one head cauliflower
  • cooked quinoa
  • sultanas
  • pumpkin seeds
  • parsley
  • orange (for juice and zest)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder
  • cumin
  • turmeric
  • cracked black pepper
  • salt

Make this roasted cauliflower salad your own

Feel free to add or extract from the recipe as you wish.

For example, you could use lemon instead of orange. Add a can of drained chickpeas or top the salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons.

You could use slivered almonds instead of pumpkin seeds. Or mint instead of parsley.

Hey, you could even omit the cauliflower and replace it with baked carrots, capsicum and zucchini.

I hope to help you get more creative and intuitive with salad preparation rather than provide a perfectly curated recipe.

How to make roasted cauliflower quinoa salad

Roast the cauliflower in the oven with smoked paprika, olive oil and salt. Then, combine the roasted cauliflower with all the other ingredients.

I share below how to achieve perfectly roasted cauliflower for this salad.

If you are new to quinoa, you can also find my tips on cooking quinoa with the perfect texture for this and other salads.

Tips for perfect roasted cauliflower florets

Slice cauliflower to maximise flat edges:

Cutting cauliflower into bite-sized pieces with plenty of flat edges will help to increase caramelisation.

To maximise flat edges, start by slicing off the leaves and stems to form a flat base. Then, place the flat side on a cutting board.

Cut the cauliflower into quarters and then cut it into 1 cm slices.

Cut apart any florets that are stuck together.

Don’t overcrowd the baking tray:

If crowded on the baking tray, the florets produce steam and minimise crispiness. Thus, keep the florets spaced out.

Bake at a relatively high temperature and flip over during cooking:

200oC is optimal for giving golden edges to your cauliflower.

Check it at 15 minutes. Then, flip the pieces over so they caramelise on both sides.

Cook for a total of 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad in large white serving dish on a kitchen bench with a cut orange and whole cauliflower beside it.

How to serve this vegan cauliflower salad?

You can serve this salad warm or cold.

To serve it warm, serve immediately after preparation while the cauliflower and quinoa are still hot.

Serve alongside BBQ meats, kebabs, grilled salmon or lemon chicken.

Storage tips

Keep this salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. You can make it the day before serving.

Have you tried this quinoa and cauliflower salad recipe?

If you have tried this recipe or roasted cauliflower, I’d love to hear how it went.

Let me know in the comments below.

Are you looking for more salad inspiration?

If you are looking for more inspiration for satisfying salads, check out my other salad recipes that contain quinoa:

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad in large white serving dish on a kitchen bench with a cut orange and whole cauliflower beside it.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

Roasted cauliflower quinoa salad is a sweet and mildly spicy salad that combines roasted cauliflower, quinoa, orange and sultanas for a satisfying main meal or side salad.
Course: Side Dish, Salad
Keyword: vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Tansy Boggon

Ingredients

Ingredients – Baked Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Ingredients – Salad

  • 2 cups quinoa cooked (¾ cup uncooked quinoa)
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup parsley, loosely packed, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • ½ orange, zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Instructions

Method – Baked Cauliflower

  • Heat oven to 200°C.
  • Toss cauliflower in olive oil, smoked paprika and salt.
  • Spread cauliflower on two baking trays lined with baking paper.
  • Roast for 15 minutes. Then, flip the pieces over so that they can caramelise on both sides.
  • Roast for another 10-15 minutes, until golden, with a few brown spots on top.
  • It will require approximately 25-35 minutes all up to cook through.

Method – Construct Salad

  • Combine all salad ingredients with cauliflower in a mixing bowl and then serve on a platter or salad bowl.

Notes

Unsure how to cook quinoa?

Learn how to cook quinoa here.

Serving suggestion

You can serve this salad warm or cold.
To serve the salad warm, serve immediately after preparation while the cauliflower and quinoa are still warm.
Serve alongside BBQ meats, kebabs, grilled salmon or lemon chicken.

Storage tips

Keep this salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. You can make it the day before serving.
Roasted Cauliflower Orange and Quinoa Salad in a white serving dish
Original photo of this Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad.

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4 comments

Jess February 11, 2024 - 1:30 pm

5 stars
Such a delicious and easy meal!

Reply
Laurie Griggs February 12, 2024 - 3:03 am

5 stars
YUMMMMM! Love my whole grains and have these ingredients so making this week!

Reply
Delaney February 13, 2024 - 5:52 am

Love a good roasted salad! Can’t wait to try this one!

Reply
Padma February 15, 2024 - 6:02 am

5 stars
I am on always on the look out for good recipes for my grain-free meal days. This one fits the bill perfectly! Cannot wait to try it.

Reply

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