This roasted cauliflower and broccoli salad makes a delicious low-carb plant-based meal that’s packed with nutrition and flavour.
This recipe is a little different than your classic broccoli and cauliflower salad with a creamy mayo dressing, red wine vinegar, bacon, cheese and sunflower seeds. Instead, it features lemon roasted cauliflower, steamed brocoli, avocado, a variety of seeds and fresh spinach, topped with a creamy lemon tahini sauce.
This bright and beautiful plant-based salad is rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, so it really fills you up! The recipe is low-carb and keto-friendly but can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a simple, nutritious and energizing meal or is trying to include more veggies and plants in their diet.
Enjoy this bowl for a light and refreshing weeknight meal or whip it up in advance for a healthy meal prep option. Either way, it’s full of flavour and texture, easy to customize to your preference and super satisfying!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.
- Low-carb and high in fiber and protein.
- Easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients.
- Can be customized with different add-ins and substitutions.
- If you’re not low-carb, it’s perfect for adding quinoa or rice, roasted sweet potato or chickpeas.
- Great for a meal prep idea.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Cauliflower: You’ll need a whole head of cauliflower to make 4 servings of this salad. Don’t worry about the exact size.
- Lemon: You’ll need 1-2 lemons for the roasted cauliflower and lemon tahini sauce.
- Oil: You can use your choice of oil but I’d suggest olive oil or avocado oil for roasting the cauliflower.
- Tahini: The salad features a lemon tahini dressing so you’ll need plain tahini to make that. Look for a creamy, smooth, not overly bitter tahini that only has one ingredient – sesame seeds.
- Garlic Powder: I used garlic powder in the dressing to avoid having to blend it but it can be swapped for 1-2 minced or grated garlic cloves if you like.
- Spinach: You can use Romaine lettuce, mixed greens, baby kale, kale, spinach, arugula or any other green you like for the base of salad.
- Broccoli: You’ll need roughly 4 cups fresh chopped broccoli, or 1 cup per salad. The amount doesn’t have to be exact. You can use more or less to preference.
- Avocado: The recipe calls for 1/2 an avocado per serving but you can use more or less to preference.
- Seeds: The salad features hemp seeds, pepitas and sesame seeds for a nutritious crunch. You can substitute any nuts or seeds you enjoy and mix and match as needed. Sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans or cashews would all be good. Try toasting them for extra flavour!
Step 1. Roast the cauliflower.
Start by getting the cauliflower in the oven. While it’s roasting, you can prep the rest of the bowls so they’re ready to go when the cauliflower is done.
Chop the cauliflower into florets and toss it with the oil, salt and lemon. I just mix it all up on the pan rather than using a bowl. Pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes. It should be soft but crispy and browned once done.
Step 2: Steam the broccoli.
Broccoli can be steamed stovetop, in an Instant Pot or in the microwave. I like to steam broccoli on the stovetop.
Bring the water to a boil then steam the broccoli in a steamer for 4-5 minutes until tender but still bright and crisp.
Quick Note: Broccoli will turn from tender and bright green to mushy and drab green at about 7 minutes of cooking time. Be careful not to overcook it!
Step 3: Make the tahini sauce.
Add all of the tahini sauce ingredients to any bowl or container and whisk until it’s smooth and creamy. Slowly add a little more water if needed until you have a thick but still pourable sauce.
Step 4: Assemble the salads.
I like to assemble the salads individually to ensure even distribution of the ingredients but you can also just mix everything up in a large bowl.
To assemble individually, start with a bed of spinach then top each serving with equal amounts of the roasted cauliflower, steamed broccoli, avocado and seeds.
Quick Note: Try toasting the seeds for extra flavour! Add them to a skillet and toast for a few minutes over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned. They’ll burn quickly though, so be sure to keep a close eye on them.
Finish each salad off with a generous drizzle of the lemon tahini sauce, hot sauce and salt and pepper, if desired!
- Additional Vegetables: Other veggies that work well in this salad are grated carrot, grated raw beet or roasted beet, pickled red onion or raw red onion, green onions, olives or roasted Brussels sprouts.
- Add Tofu or Tempeh: For extra protein, try adding this baked tofu or marinated tempeh. You could also add this sweet chili tofu, marinated tofu or balsamic tofu.
- If you don’t need the salad to be low-carb, try adding up to 1/2 cup brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils or black beans per serving.
- If you’re not looking for a low-carb salad, roasted sweet potato or butternut squash also make a delicious addition. Try about 1/2 cup per bowl.
- Try 1-2 tbsp raisins or dried cranberries per serving (not low-carb).
- Spinkle the salad with coconut bacon or crumbled tempeh bacon.
- Sprinkle the salad with grated cheese of choice or try this almond parmesan.
- Cool before storing.
- Extra bowls can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days so if you’re making lunch for the next day, simply store in a sealed container.
- Recommended to store the dressing separately until just before serving.
- The roasted cauliflower and steamed broccoli can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored in the fridge in a sealed container until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
- The tahini dressing can be made up to 1 week in advance. It will thicken a bit after storing but you can thin it out with a little water if needed.
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For the Lemon Roasted Cauliflower
For the Lemon Tahini Dressing
For the Salads
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Chop the cauliflower into florets and place on a baking sheet. It can be lined with parchment paper for easier clean up but I find you get a better result when roasted directly on the pan.
- Drizzle the cauliflower with the lemon, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and use your hands to mix until all the pieces are coated. Roast for 30 minutes until tender and browned.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the broccoli and tahini sauce. Steam the broccoli on the stovetop for 4-5 minutes until bright and tender-crisp.
- To make the tahini dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a container until smooth and creamy. Adjust the amount of water used to reach a creamy but pourable consistency.
- Prepare 4 bowls or containers with a handful of fresh spinach. Once the veggies are ready, divide them between the bowls. Divide the seeds between the servings. Add 1/2 an avocado to each salad.
- Drizzle the tahini dressing equally over the 4 bowls.
- Serve right away topped with hot sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper, if desired.
Extra bowls can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days so if you’re making lunch for the next day, simply store in a sealed container. Recommended to store the dressing separately until just before serving.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 593
- Sugar: 8 g
- Fat: 43 g
- Carbohydrates: 38 g
- Fiber: 19 g
- Protein: 27 g
Keywords: cauliflower and broccoli salad, healthy broccoli cauliflower salad