Cauliflower Salad

This cauliflower salad bursts with flavor! A creamy dressing complements the crisp cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes add tang, and toasted pine…

This cauliflower salad bursts with flavor! A creamy dressing complements the crisp cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes add tang, and toasted pine nuts bring a delightful crunch.

Cauliflower Salad

Here’s a fun summer salad to infuse any meal with flavor: cauliflower salad! This one is so much fun, sort of like a mashup of Mediterranean-style flavors with a retro barbecue salad. The raw florets are covered in a tangy, creamy dressing and mixed with peppery arugula, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts! Delish.

Why we love this recipe: This salad is fresh, delicious, and nostalgic all at once! We first served it at a pizza party outdoors, and it was the perfect side for pizza along with a fresh green salad. Since then we’ve made it for cookouts, barbecues, and lunches: and it’s always a huge hit! The toasted pine nuts add that extra sparkle.

“I made the cauliflower salad this weekend as part of my weekly meal prep. I love how easy it was and I had all the dressing ingredients in my pantry so it was super quick to put together! I ate a bowl right away and I love the tanginess of the mustard in the dressing.” -Amanda

Ingredients in cauliflower salad

One fun thing about this cauliflower salad is that it stars raw cauliflower! No need to spend time cooking it: throw it all in this tangy dressing and it tastes incredible. The dressing balances out the bitterness you might sometimes sense from the raw vegetable. Here’s what you need:

  • Cauliflower: Raw cauliflower has a satisfying crunch.
  • Creamy dressing: A tangy, savory dressing binds the ingredients together, made with mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon, sugar, Dijon, and salt.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: These bring a burst of sweet-tart flavor and a chewy texture.
  • Arugula: Arugula adds a bright, peppery note to balance out the richness of the salad.
  • Red onion: Red onion provides a sharp bite and a nice pop of color.
  • Pine nuts: Toasted pine nuts offer a subtle nuttiness and a delightful buttery crunch.
  • Feta cheese: Feta crumbles add a salty, tangy punch to the salad.

How to make cauliflower salad (step by step)

This cauliflower salad is simple to make and works for many occasions, from a summer salad to Memorial Day to 4th of July to pizza parties al fresco. Here are the basic steps for how to make it (or jump to the full recipe):

Cauliflower salad step 1: Chop the cauliflower and other ingredients.

Step 1: Chop and measure out the cauliflower, red onion, and sun dried tomatoes as noted in the ingredients list. Place them in a large bowl with the arugula.

Cauliflower salad step 2: Toast the pine nuts.

Step 2: Place the pine nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.

Cauliflower salad step 3: Stir together the dressing.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, and Dijon mustard. To the bowl of the vegetables, sprinkle in the kosher salt, then add the dressing, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese and stir. Taste and add a pinch or two more salt if necessary.

Flavor variations and tips

Want to change up the flavors? This cauliflower salad is an easy template for mixing and matching flavors. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels started:

  • Nuts: You can omit the toasted pine nuts if desired, but we recommend using them for the amount of nutty flavor they add. Substitute sunflower seeds or toasted almonds.
  • Vegetables: We like how the sun-dried tomatoes add a bacon-like flavor and a pop of red color. You can omit if desired, or use chopped roasted red peppers or thinly sliced red bell pepper. If you use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, you can substitute all or part of the olive oil in the salad dressing with oil from the jar to infuse even more flavor!
  • Greens: Substitute chopped Italian parsley or other fresh herbs for the baby arugula, or you could add chopped baby spinach or baby kale.
  • Onion: Feel free to omit the red onion, or use a shallot for a milder flavor.
  • Cheese: Omit the feta cheese if desired or for a dairy-free salad (you may want to add a bit more salt).
Cauliflower Salad recipe in bowl with spoon.

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

Store leftover cauliflower salad refrigerated for up to 3 days. If making in advance, store components separately and add the dressing and pine nuts directly before serving.

More salad recipes

We are salad fanatics around here! If you are too, here are a few more you might enjoy:

Dietary notes

This cauliflower salad recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. For dairy-free, omit the feta cheese. For vegan, use vegan mayonnaise and omit the feta.

Frequently asked questions

Why use raw cauliflower instead of cooked?

Raw cauliflower has a wonderful crunch and freshness that complements the creamy dressing. It also retains more nutrients when uncooked.

What can I substitute for mayonnaise in the dressing?

Try half Greek yogurt and half mayo, or a vegan mayo alternative. Each will offer a slightly different flavor and texture.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes! The salad is best enjoyed within a few hours of preparation for optimal texture. However, you can prepare the ingredients separately (chop the cauliflower, make the dressing, etc.) and assemble it just before serving.

How long will this salad keep in the refrigerator?

If stored in an airtight container, the salad should last 2-3 days.

What main dishes would pair well with this salad?

This salad is incredibly versatile! It would be delicious with grilled chicken or grilled fish, with a vegetarian main like a veggie burger, or alongside a sandwich or wrap.

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Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

This cauliflower salad bursts with flavor! A creamy dressing complements the crisp cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes add tang, and toasted pine nuts bring a delightful crunch.


Ingredients

  • 8 cups small cauliflower florets, about 1 large head
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped*
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (or sunflower seeds)**
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)***
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles***

Instructions

  1. Chop and measure out the cauliflower, red onion, and sun dried tomatoes as noted in the ingredients list. Place them in a large bowl with the arugula.
  2. Toast the pine nuts: Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, and Dijon mustard.
  4. To the bowl of the vegetables, sprinkle in the kosher salt, then add the dressing, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese and stir. Taste and add a pinch or two more salt if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Store refrigerated for up to 3 days (if making in advance, store components refrigerated separately and add the dressing and pine nuts directly before serving).

Notes

*You can use sun dried tomatoes packed in oil or packed dry. If packed in oil, you can substitute all or part of the olive oil in the salad dressing with oil from the jar to infuse even more flavor!

**You can omit the toasted pine nuts if desired, though we recommend using them if at all possible for the amount of nutty flavor they add. Substitute sunflower seeds or toasted almonds.

***If desired, you can use half Greek yogurt and half mayo for a lighter dressing; vegan mayo also works. Omit the feta cheese if desired for a dairy-free or vegan salad: you may want to add a bit more salt. 

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

This broccoli cauliflower salad recipe will make everyone say wow! The creamy dressing and zingy mix-ins make magic with crunchy…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This broccoli cauliflower salad recipe will make everyone say wow! The creamy dressing and zingy mix-ins make magic with crunchy veggies.

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Here’s a fun summer salad recipe that we’ll eat ad nauseum: Broccoli Cauliflower Salad! Crunchy broccoli and cauliflower are covered in a creamy zingy dressing, then paired with sundried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. We recently brought this to a cookout and when someone said “Wow!” after the first bite, we knew it was a winner. It’s similar to that retro salad with cheddar cheese and bacon, but with a twist!

Ingredients in broccoli cauliflower salad

Got a head of broccoli and a head of cauliflower? Those are the major components for this broccoli cauliflower salad, and it’s accessorized with a creamy dressing and some fun mix-ins. Since we eat a lot of vegetarian foods around here, we ditched the bacon in favor of meaty sundried tomatoes. Toasted pinenuts add big flair here, though you can use sunflower seeds too. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Red onion
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Feta cheese
  • Pine nuts (or sunflower seeds)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt
Broccoli cauliflower salad recipe

For the nuts

Pine nuts can be expensive, but they add a unique flavor to this broccoli cauliflower salad! If you can find them, it’s well worth it. Here are a few notes:

  • Don’t skip toasting; it brings out the flavor. Toasting the nuts for a few minutes in a skillet really brings out their nutty flavor. We taste-tasted without toasting and it was far less flavorful.
  • Or, use sunflower seeds or toasted almonds! Sunflower seeds are traditional in this classic salad. Or if you still want the crunch of nut, you could use Toasted Slivered Almonds.

Serving and storage notes

This broccoli cauliflower salad tastes great immediately, or you can refrigerate and allow the flavors to meld before serving. Leftovers last refrigerated for up to 3 days.

If you’re making the salad in advance, add the nuts directly before serving. This keeps them fresher and crunchier.

Ways to serve broccoli cauliflower salad

This broccoli cauliflower salad recipe is extremely versatile and works with many different dishes! It’s ideal as a summer salad, but it works in any season. Here are some ideas:

Broccoli and cauliflower salad

More broccoli and cauliflower recipes

This broccoli and cauliflower salad is the perfect easy salad to whip up for all your meals! Here are a few ideas for more broccoli recipes and cauliflower recipes to try:

This broccoli cauliflower salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8

Description

This broccoli cauliflower salad recipe will make everyone say wow! The creamy dressing and zingy mix-ins make magic with crunchy veggies.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • 4 cups small cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup jarred sundried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (or sunflower seeds)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Chop broccoli, cauliflower, red onion and sundried tomatoes as noted above and place in a large bowl.
  2. Toast the pine nuts: place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, Dijon mustard, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Add it to the vegetables and toss to combine.
  4. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. Taste and add a pinch or two more salt if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Store refrigerated for up to 3 days (if making in advance, add pine nuts directly before serving).
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Broccoli cauliflower salad, broccoli and cauliflower salad, broccoli & cauliflower salad, broccoli cauliflower salad recipe, cauliflower broccoli salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.