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Roasted Cauliflower Salad

I love this Roasted Cauliflower Salad because of how warming it is, thanks to the cinnamon and allspice. It's the perfect winter salad when you're just not in the mood for a crisp, cold salad
Feb 23, 2019 | Joy McCarthy

Between my Cauliflower HummusTurmeric Cauliflower Rice and Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Stew, it's no surprise that I love cauliflower! Cauliflower might not be the first veggie you think of when it comes to a salad, but since this salad is a bit different from your traditional leafy green salad, anything goes!

I love this Roasted Cauliflower Salad recipe because of how warming it is, thanks to the cinnamon and allspice. It's the perfect winter salad when you're just not in the mood for a crisp, cold salad and also because cauliflower is typically in season in the fall/winter months, which means it will be cheaper at the grocery store and more nutrient-dense.

Just on a general note, as much as I believe in eating a mix of raw and cooked foods, if you have weak digestion or get gassy after eating cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage, then I recommend cooking them (roasting, steaming, sauteeing etc). This salad, of course, includes roasted cauliflower -- my favourite way to enjoy cauliflower.

roasted cauliflower salad in a bowl

This is also helpful for those with a thyroid condition to consume cooked cauliflower. Goitrogens are substances that occur naturally in cruciferous veggies that can suppress thyroid function. If you moderate your consumption of cruciferous vegetables and make sure to cook them, it can actually reduce the goitrogen content.

All that being said, I have thyroid conditions in my family and I've never experienced negative symptoms from cruciferous veggies and I eat a LOT of them. However, I just wanted to caution you on that. 


I may have an extra liking for this recipe too because it's one of Vienna's favourites! She never used to like cruciferous vegetables, which at times hurt my holistic mama heart knowing how much of a nutrient-dense powerhouse they are. I was at the point where I was going to give up on them with her until I started roasting them with a bit of cinnamon (this is my go-to brand by the way) as I did in this recipe, and now she LOVES all kinds of cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower! I will say that she does still pick out the parsley in this salad, but as long as she's getting some cruciferous veg in her, this mama is happy!

If you've read some of my previous recipe posts on cauliflower, you may already be familiar with some of the many health benefits of cauliflower but in case you aren't as familiar, I thought I'd reiterate some of the key ones!

Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower.

Naturally Detoxifying

Cauliflower contains phytonutrients called glucosinolates that can help activate detoxification enzymes and regulate their activity. In a world where we are exposed to toxins on a regular basis, it's incredibly important to be incorporating detox-supportive foods and lifestyle habits daily.


Toxins can damage our cells and put us at risk for developing cancer, which is why anti-cancer foods such a broccoli , Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and cauliflower are key to include in your diet. If you're curious about learning more about how you can implement more of a detox-friendly lifestyle, you may want to check out my online program, Joyous Detox Online!

Antioxidant Powerhouse

Beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin and kaempferol are among cauliflower's key antioxidant properties. This helps to lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells which could otherwise possibly lead to cancer.


Cauliflower is an incredible fibre-rich food to help support the health of your digestive tract and support regular bowel movements. Researchers have actually determined that the sulforaphane in cauliflower can help protect the lining of your stomach by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori in your stomach.


The anti-inflammatory action of glucosinates/isothiocyanates in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables are showing promising results in helping Crohn's disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), insulin resistance, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), metabolic syndrome, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and ulcerative colitis. 

You can most definitely enjoy this on its own or as a side dish alongside fish or Roast Chicken!

roaster cauliflower salad in a bowl

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  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried unsulfured cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Mix cauliflower with olive oil and sea salt. Spread out on a roasting pan or cookie sheet. Bake on top oven rack for 25 minutes or until fork tender and golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Decrease temperature of oven to 325 F degrees. Spread pecans on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Allow the nuts to cool slightly, then coarsely chop. Combine salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add to the cauliflower with all the remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature.
  5. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil just before serving.


Serves 4.
Eat warm or chilled the next day.
Option: Add 1 cup of canneillini or navy beans for some more protein.

I hope this warms you up on a chilly day! I keep reminding myself that Spring is just around the corner, but until then, I will stay warm and cozy with this roasted cauliflower salad!

Have a joyous day!

Joy xo

Anna   •   February 28, 2019

I can't wait to try this! Is there celery in it too? I think it looks like it in the picture 😊

Joy McCarthy   •   February 28, 2019

Ann Linn   •   February 28, 2019

Joy, Love your recipes. Wish you would state all the nutritional values of your recipes(calories, total fat, carbohydrates, sugars, etc) knowing that the recipes are healthy is wonderful and it would show that the recipes/dishes are truly healthy.

Joy McCarthy   •   February 28, 2019

Jimminie Cricket   •   March 11, 2019

This salad was amazing. Who raves about a freak’n salad? Nobody... until you make thus recipe.

Joy McCarthy   •   March 12, 2019

Amelia   •   March 13, 2019

Are unsulfured cranberries hard to find? I have some from Trader Joes with sunflower oil. Will that work? Thanks for all you do, Joy!

Joy McCarthy   •   March 13, 2019

Julie   •   November 16, 2019

I assume their is a dressing for this salad with apple cider vinegar, spices, maple syrup and olive oil but it isn’t mentioned as a step in the recipe instructions. Given some of the olive oil is for roasting the cauliflower I wondered how much was for the dressing? Thank you.

Joy McCarthy   •   November 17, 2019

Sera   •   November 17, 2019

This was even better than expected! I didn’t have cranberries so I tossed in some fresh pomegranate seeds. YUM. Delicious and even a little festive. I’ll be making this again over the holidays!

Joy McCarthy   •   November 17, 2019

Valeria M.   •   January 3, 2020

Hi Joy! It looks really good, I’m going to try it. What would you substitute the pecans for to add that crunch? There’s a nut allergy at my house. Thank you :-).

Joy McCarthy   •   January 6, 2020

Laura C.   •   April 7, 2021

This tasted like Christmas! Yummy - Thank you.


Sandra   •   November 11, 2022

Recipe looks delicious. Could I use sun-dried, sugar free goji berries instead of dried cranberries?

Joy McCarthy   •   November 11, 2022

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