Harissa Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

4.97 from 33 votes
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Harissa Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing and mint. Enjoy this vegetarian recipe for a side dish or entree for a guaranteed crowd pleaser.Roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad drizzled with tahini and herbs in a wooden bowl

Why You’ll Love This Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad:

This vegan salad has it all: spice, crunch, creaminess, and a refreshing herb accent. You can serve it as a light lunch or dinner, or enjoy as satiating side dish. It’s filled with protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats to keep you full and fueled.

I love that this salad is evergreen in terms of seasonality, too. Enjoy it during spring and fall when cauliflower is in season, or around the holidays while entertaining. The spice level is mild enough for kids and any heat-adverse palettes to enjoy, too.

It’s also super versatile in terms of ingredients. You can swap out the mint for parsley, or the shallots for red onion. Either way, you’re in for a flavorful salad that will likely become a household favorite.

Recipe Ingredients:

Cauliflower florets, chickpeas, tahini, harissa, and tahini in separate bowls with ingredient label tags

  • Cauliflower: The star of this salad is roasted cauliflower. You need one medium head of cauliflower, which amounts to 6 or 7 cups of florets. Alternatively, you can buy the bags of pre-chopped cauliflower, which you’ll likely need two of.
  • Chickpeas: This recipe calls for one can of rinsed and drained chickpeas (or ~1 1/2 cups). You can certainly use dry beans that you cook yourself, however the cans just offer convenience.
  • Harissa: This spicy, aromatic chile paste that is a widely used staple in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. Though the recipes vary by region, the typical version includes a blend of chile peppers, garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, and caraway. My go-to brand is Mina Harissa, which is sold in small jars in the international aisle.
  • Tahini: My go-to sesame seed paste makes a killer dressing for this salad. In terms of brands, I suggest Soom Tahini, which is unctuous and smooth. Alternatively, Whole Foods 365 brand is also a great choice. (Code dishingouthealth saves you 10% on all soomfoods.com products!)
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice adds brightness and acidity to the dressing. You can either use fresh lemons or bottled lemon juice here. It’s also nice to garnish the salad with a couple lemon wedges.
  • Mint: I LOVE lots of fresh herbs to finish this salad. I chose mint to add cooling contrast to the spicy harissa paste, however you can also use parsley.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

This cauliflower and chickpea salad comes together in under one hour. All you need is one large baking sheet, one small mixing bowl, and a large serving platter! Here’s how to make it:

Step 1: Roast the Cauliflower

Spread the cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet and toss in olive oil, harissa, and a pinch of salt. Once all the florets are well-coated, place the pan in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes.Cauliflower florets on a baking tray tossed in olive oil and red harissa paste

Step 2: Roast the Chickpeas and Shallots

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and toss it in more harissa paste. Push the cauliflower to one half of the pan, and place the chickpeas and shallots on the remaining half. Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and transfer the baking pan back to the oven. Roast for an additional 15 minutes.Roasted cauliflower and chickpeas on a baking sheet

Step 3: Prepare the Lemon-Tahini Dressing

In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Begin stirring the dressing while gradually streaming in 1 to 2 Tbsp of warm water. Once the dressing is smooth and creamy, set it aside. Lemon-Tahini Dressing in a blue bowl with a whisk

Step 4: Assemble the Salad

Transfer the roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and shallots to a large serving platter or bowl. Next, add the mint leaves and gently toss to combine. Drizzle the Lemon-Tahini Dressing overtop, and garnish with lemon wedges and/or additional mint, if desired.

FAQs About This Recipe:

What Temperature to Roast Cauliflower At:

For cauliflower that’s buttery and tender on the inside with quintessential crisp, roasting is the way to go. Not only does roasting create perfectly caramelized florets, it also brings out cauliflower’s natural nutty flavor. However, they are a couple tricks to maximize the veggie’s goodness and versatility.

First, avoid overcrowding the pan, which will encourage steaming over browning. Second, crank the oven up to 425°F, which will tenderize the veggies while also creating those yummy charred bits. Roasting cauliflower should take about 35 to 40 minutes total. If you pull it out too early, you’ll be missing out on its full flavor potential, so patience is key!

Why are My Roasted Chickpeas Not Crunchy?

A couple tricks to achieve crispy chickpeas is to make sure they are completely dry before roasting. Typically, I’ll drain and rinse them well before roasting to give them time to dry out. Alternatively, you can gently roll them in a kitchen towel to remove any access water.

You also want to make sure the chickpeas aren’t too crowded on the baking sheet. If you don’t have a baking sheet large enough for the cauliflower and chickpeas, roast the chickpeas on a separate one.

What Can I Substitute for Tahini in this Dressing?

If you don’t have tahini on hand, you can use almond butter, Sun Butter, or Greek yogurt in the dressing. You won’t get the same depth of flavor from the yogurt, but you’ll at least get creaminess. Also, the amount of water will likely vary by nut or seed butter. Just use your discretion and gradually whisk it in. Harissa Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing and herbs in a serving bowlTo sum up, this salad is healthy, flavorful, and easy to make. Serve it for any and all occasions and it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

More Roasted Cauliflower Recipes to Try:

Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos with Garlic Aioli

Moroccan Cauliflower with Tahini Honey

Teriyaki Cauliflower Power Bowls

If you make this roasted chickpea salad a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

4.97 from 33 votes

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

Harissa Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing and mint. Enjoy as a side dish or entree for a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large baking sheet
  • Large serving bowl/platter

Ingredients  

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. mild harissa paste (I use Mina brand)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced into thick rounds
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh torn herbs (I like a mix of mint and dill)

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. tahini (I use Soom brand)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread cauliflower on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. harissa, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove cauliflower from the oven, toss, and brush with remaining 2 Tbsp. harissa paste. Push cauliflower to one half of the baking sheet, and add chickpeas and shallots to remaining half.
    Toss chickpeas and shallots with remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and black pepper. Place baking sheet back in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp.
  • Meanwhile, prepare Lemon-Tahini Dressing by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and stirring to combine. Gradually stream in 1 to 2 Tbsp. of warm water, whisking constantly, until dressing is smooth and creamy.
  • Assemble salad by transferring roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and shallots to a large bowl or serving platter. Toss with fresh herbs, and drizzle with Lemon-Tahini Dressing.

Notes

Salad can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature. 
STORE: Transfer salad to an airtight Tupperware container and refrigerate up to 4 days. Salad CAN be dressed ahead, however you may want to store extra dressing separately to dress again prior to serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 645mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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29 Comments

  1. Hannah says:

    4 stars
    Love the flavours

  2. Alli says:

    5 stars
    I had a similar salad from a salad bar and wanted to find something similar to make at home. This was better (and lots cheaper)

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Alli, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!

  3. inaa says:

    5 stars
    made this last night ,best dish ever…..in love. will def make again and again

  4. Beth says:

    5 stars
    I’m always looking to ‘sneak’ more veggies into my husband’s diet, so tried this the other night and served it with salmon. Delicious! The next day we put a couple of fried eggs over the leftovers and enjoyed it for breakfast! Love having new options for cauliflower. Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one, Beth. Thank you for coming back and leaving a review!

  5. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    So hearty and healthy! Totally loved!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Sarah – I’m so glad the recipe was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  6. Stephanie Garrity says:

    Delicious!! The lemon tahini dressing was AMAZING. Tripling the recipe next time so I can have lots of leftovers.

  7. Caroline says:

    5 stars
    Not usually one to rate recipes but this was just too good to not say something. Added potatoes with cauliflower and used chili paste since I didn’t have harissa and turned out so delicious. Flavors all pair together perfectly.

  8. Heather Brown says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner. Absolutely delicious. Tahini, Harissa and lemon… Perfection!
    This is my second recipe in a week from your site. Full flavors, easy to make and deliciousness. Cannot wait for the next recipe of yours we are making in two days.

    YUM!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Heather – I’m so glad the recipe was a hit! Thank you for coming back and leaving a review!

  9. Mari says:

    Hi! I am struggling with high blood pressure and working to cut out as much sodium as possible. I really want to make this recipe, but in comparing harissa paste to harissa powder, I found that powder has none, while paste has 65 mg per Tablespoon. I know that spread out over the course of the whole recipe it’s not a lot, but there’s also the chickpeas and other ingredients. Do you think that it would work to make a paste out of the powder and maybe a little oil or water? Have you ever tried it?

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Mari – you can certainly make a paste out of the powder! For the paste, I typically mix equal parts Harissa powder, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and hot water until you reach your desired consistency. Enjoy!

  10. Carolyn says:

    5 stars
    This was so tasty and easy to prepare! I’m just starting my journey into healthy plant based eating and getting used to the fact that vegetarian meals are a whole rather than the meat and 2 veg I grew up eating. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes and experimenting with new flavors.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Carolyn – I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!