Some salads are just so versatile you can enjoy them year-round. This Spicy Roasted Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad is exactly that. Super easy to make—toss the main ingredients together on a baking sheet, roast, then combine with a few garnishes and you’re done—yet packed with flavors, this salad will effortlessly carry you from lunch to picnics. It’s a robust salad that can be made a few days ahead of time and enjoyed as is or stuffed in a pita. So handy!
Helpful Tips for Making Spicy Roasted Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad
Avoid that extra dose of salt: If you can, use “no salt added” canned beans and legumes instead of the regular variety. Regular canned chickpeas contain more sodium than you might suspect: some brands can pack a whopping 700+ mg of sodium per 1/2 cup serving, which is over half the sodium an average adult should consume in an entire day. Chickpeas with no added salt are readily available in grocery stores, and they cost just the same as the sodium-packed variety. So, save on the salt—and use your tastebuds to season the whole salad just as you like it, instead.
Make ahead: This salad will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. If you make the salad ahead of time, omit the arugula or baby spinach at the end of the recipe, and refrigerate the salad in an airtight container. You can serve the salad cold or reheat it for a few seconds in the microwave or a few minutes in a 300°F (150°C) oven. Toss with the arugula or baby spinach right before serving, if desired. Alternatively, if you’re packing this salad as a lunch or for a picnic, simply pack the arugula or baby spinach on the side.
Enjoy this salad many different ways: Stuff this salad into a pita to turn it into a picnic-friendly sandwich! Or serve it over hummus-slathered mini pita breads, mini naan breads, or croutons as happy-hour bites.
In a large bowl, add the chickpeas, cauliflower florets, lemon wedges, and garlic cloves. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, salt, and crushed red pepper. Drizzle this dressing over the chickpeas and cauliflower, then toss to coat. Spread the mixture evenly over the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Broil for a few minutes more to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Press the roasted lemon slices to release their juice over the chickpea and cauliflower salad (discard the wedges.) Press the roasted garlic cloves to release their tender flesh (discard the peels.) Sprinkle the salad with lemon zest, sesame seeds, and fresh thyme or oregano. Toss to distribute the flavorings. Add the arugula or baby spinach and toss just to combine.
Serve the chickpea and cauliflower salad with hummus and mini pita breads.
MAKE-AHEAD TIP: You can prepare the salad, omitting the addition of arugula or baby spinach at the end. Store the salad in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can serve the salad cold or reheat it for a few seconds in the microwave or a few minutes in a 300°F (150°C) oven. Toss with the arugula or baby spinach right before serving, if desired.
ADDITIONAL SERVING IDEAS: Stuff this salad in a pita to turn it into a picnic-friendly sandwich! You can also serve it over hummus-slathered mini pita breads, mini naan breads, or croutons as happy hour bites.
Recipe adapted from the cookbook Simply Citrus, by Marie Asselin.
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