Cauliflower Lentil Salad – a vegan protein and vegetable-packed salad with a creamy and sweet dressing. Ideal for meal prep!
I have been making this salad for a while now and it has become quite the staple in my diet.
Why have I taken so long to share it here? I was dragging my feet because lentils aren’t the most photogenic of pantry staples. Since we eat with our eyes first, I put off sharing it.
I finally had some sense knocked into me and realized this salad is just too darn tasty to ignore. What it is lacking in visual appeal, it makes up for a few times over in taste.
Lentils make up the base of this salad and add tons of protein while they’re at it. Carrots and onions help to flavor the lentils as they cook. The cauliflower lightens things up and adds a deep roasted flavor.
The Tahini Honey Mustard dressing is both nutty, bright, and sweet all at the same time. It works perfectly to bring this salad together, and I have to keep myself from eating it straight from the jar by the spoonful.
Reasons to love this recipe:
- It’s flexible! You can swap in another roasted veggie in place of the cauliflower and even try different dressings!
- The flavors get even better as it sits in the fridge, making it perfect for meal prep.
- It’s vegan, gluten free, and healthy-to-boot but tastes hearty, rich and satisfying.
- There’s a whopping 15 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber in each modest serving.
What Ingredients are in Cauliflower Lentil Salad?
- A head of cauliflower
- Olive oil
- Cumin seeds – we leave them whole for a pop of flavor
- Brown lentils – sometimes also called green lentils
- Bay leaves – fresh of dry will work!
- Green onions
- A batch of Maple Tahini Dressing
How do you make Cauliflower Lentil Salad?
There are three main components in this salad recipe, each with their own steps.
First component: The cauliflower.
Toss it with a little olive oil, salt ,and pepper. Spread it out on a sheet tray and let it roast. First component conquered.
Second component: The lentils.
Our lentils start with a quick sauté of carrots, cumin seeds, paprika and garlic in a little olive oil. This brings out the flavors of the spices and builds a sturdy flavor base for the lentils.
Lentils, water, and bay leaves go in. The pot’s lid goes on and they simmer until tender. Remove the bay leaves. Toss in some fresh parsley and scallions. Lentils DONE.
Third component: The dressing.
The last and simplest. Grab a bowl and stir together all the dressing ingredients. Make sure to use ice cold water since room temperature water may cause the dressing to thicken up and seize. More on that here.
Then all thats left to do is add the cauliflower to the pot of lentils. Drizzle in half the dressing and toss! Serve and tip with an extra drizzle of dressing, if desired.Print
Cauliflower Lentil Salad – a vegan protein and vegetable-packed salad with a creamy and sweet dressing. Ideal for meal prep! This salad might be humble in appearance, but it is jam-packed with flavor.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Large garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
- 3 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1 batch Easy Maple Tahini Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray and roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, add the last tablespoon of oil to a large pot. Add the carrots, cumin seeds, and paprika and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the seeds become fragrant, 2-3 minutes, add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the lentils, bay leaves, and water. Simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the carrots and lentils are tender. Remove from the heat. If the lentils are cooked and there is remaining water, drain off the excess water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the roasted cauliflower, parsley, and scallions to the lentils.
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the vegetables. Serve warm or cold.
- Serving Size: 1/6th recipe
- Calories: 275
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 293mg
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 38g
- Fiber: 17g
- Protein: 15g
Keywords: diary-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free, vegetarian