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Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Harissa Chickpeas

4.85 from 32 community reviews

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Fall in love with cauliflower and make this flavor-packed Moroccan-inspired roasted cauliflower salad. It’s loaded with spices, harissa paste, roasted chickpeas greens and feta cheese.

Photo of a bowl with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas  with fresh parsley leaves.

The dish features sheet-pan roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, all mixed up with bold seasonings, fresh herbs, feta cheese and lemon.

Serve this dish as a hearty warm salad, or make it more of a meal by spooning it over couscous or other healthy whole grain that you like.

Do you play on team cauliflower? Or, maybe you absolutely love cauliflower, but some of the close, personal people in your life draw a firm boundary line around it?

In either case, I offer this recipe to bring the lovers, haters and the in-betweens together, all in the name of vegetable deliciousness.

About the ingredients:

Photo of ingredients on a pice of brown butcher paper, with a head of cauliflower, lemon, onion, chickpeas, harissa and fresh parsley and cilantro.

About the ingredients

  • Cauliflower: One large head, separated into florets.
  • Chickpeas: Canned or home-cooked.
  • Onion: Red or sweet yellow.
  • Harissa paste
  • Cumin seed
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh lemon
  • Fresh cilantro and parsley

Roasted cauliflower and chickpeas for the win!

I’ve been making and sharing this recipe for years, and it’s never stopped being totally crave-able. If you’re a fan, you already know that plain roasted cauliflower is fantastic.

Close up photo of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas on a baking sheet with a spoon and harissa sauce.

And cauliflower plus chickpeas are so good roasted together.

Cauliflower and it’s cousin Romanesco gets all crisp and toasty when roasted in the oven, on its crumpled edges, while chickpeas turn into irresistible nutty-tasting nuggets.

They’re two somewhat neutral-tasting, down-to-earth vegetables that really benefit from bold seasonings that bring out their best features.

Surprisingly, I discovered that not everyone agrees that roasting cauliflower is a great technique.

A gray bowl filled with Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Harissa Chickpeas, garnished with sprigs of parsley and cilantro leaves.

One day, I was browsing through a huge and wonderful cookbook (Vegetable Love), and I came across the section on cooking methods for cauliflower.

The author lists the many ways cauliflower can be prepared:

  • Steamed.
  • Stir-fried.
  • Boiled.
  • Fried.
  • And last but not least, microwaved.

Then she said: “Cauliflower...is not good roasted”. Are you freaking kidding me?! I couldn’t disagree more. Because, come on!

Cauliflower is delicious roasted. In fact, it might be my favorite way to eat it. In the meantime, let’s skip down the path of roasting brassicas.

How to roast cauliflower:

It’s not a complicated process (and you can apply the same technique to broccoli).

  1. First, heat your oven to 425 degrees for at least 20 minutes before roasting. This ensures the oven is fully to temperature.
  2. Next, spread cauliflower florets out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with a sheet of parchment for easy clean-up (that part is optional).
  3. Drizzle the cauliflower with oil, season well with salt and roast until the edges turn golden brown and crisp, usually about 25 minutes.

Along with crisp, toasty cruciferous vegetables, the spicy Tunisian chili paste harissa is an incredible condiment you need in your life.

A jar of red harissa paste with a spoon inside.

I could put harissa on everything at any time of day, from eggs to leftovers I eat for lunch, as if it were the global version of ketchup.

To make this roasted cauliflower salad, you can use a good quality prepared harissa paste (look for brands packed in glass jars rather than tubes).

Or, try my recipe for easy homemade harissa recipe and go to town!

What is harissa?

Harissa is a chili paste condiment from North Africa, very common in Tunisian and Moroccan cooking. It’s usually made with a combination of dried red chili peppers, garlic, olive oil and spices like caraway and coriander.

You can find harissa in many well-stocked supermarkets — I recommend one made by Moulin Mahjoub or Mina.

But if you really want to find harissa nirvana, it’s easy to make yourself. It has just the right amount of smoky, sweet-heat and savory deliciousness without being spicy-hot.

More easy cauliflower recipes:

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Harissa Chickpeas

Karen Tedesco
The incredibly tasty roasted cauliflower salad with spicy harissa and chickpeas makes a hearty vegetarian main dish. 
Print Pin
4.85 from 32 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (907 g) head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), separated into bite-sized florets (8 cups)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 small sweet onion, like Maui or red onion; finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons harissa paste
  • ¼ cup each Italian parsley and cilantro leaves
  • ½ a lemon, 2 tablespoons
  • cup (50 g) crumbled feta cheese

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven to 425 (220 C) degrees.
  • Spread the cauliflower out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt and the cumin seeds. Roast 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden. Add the chickpeas and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in medium (8-10-inch) sauté pan. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat until the onions are very soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and harissa along with 2-3 tablespoons water and stir until blended and saucy. Pour over the cauliflower on the sheet pan.
  • Tear the parsley and cilantro into rough pieces and toss them over the chickpeas. Squeeze the lemon over, add the feta and gently mix together.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • If you’d rather make this a vegan dish, simply omit the cheese.
  • Use your favorite brand of harissa, or make this easy homemade harissa recipe.
Serving ideas:
  • This is terrific as is, but fantastic with Lemon Tahini Sauce and a side of warm flatbread.
  • The salad will keep well for 3-5 days in the refrigerator, and reheats well.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest
Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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44 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried it yesterday. What a great combination of flavours! It is perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    Tried this last night to great success – it was delicious! I also added the outer cauliflower leaves to roast at the last minute and used fried halloumi as didn’t have any feta. The lemon tahini sauce recommended to go with it was the perfect creamy but zingy accompaniment 🙂 – thanks for the recipes!

  3. OMG second time this week I am making this! So good it’s now my favorite recipe! First time I didn’t had harissa paste so I made a paste from scratch… The cumin seeds bring such deep to this plate, if you don’t have any it’s worth the trip to the grocery store!

  4. 5 stars
    Despite not having cilantro, parsley, or feta, I made this today and it’s delicious. Another hit! Thanks, Karen.

  5. I have been making this recipe for a couple of years now….. SO SO GOOD. I tend to add more cauliflower than stated. Just keep in mind that harissa strength is not standard – I have used a middle easter brand that 1Tbs is enough or a one which is more saucy where I need more like 1/3 cup.

  6. Yum, this sounds so good, looks delicious and definitely very healthy! Never tried harissa before but I love everything spicy!!

  7. ur talent is unbelievable

  8. 5 stars
    Sounds delicious. I’ve never had harissa with many recipes that don’t include chicken – but I think this sounds so good! Can’t wait to make this recipe at home. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This delicious veggie recipe tastes like a salad I would order at the finest restaurant! I am astounded at the flavor to effort ratio! Thanks for sharing!