roasted cauliflower dressing with lemon peels on the side

roasted cauliflower salad + citrus tahini dressing {keto + gluten-free}

This roasted cauliflower salad with citrus tahini dressing is a flavorful combination of fresh, sweet and spicy, with a creamy, citrus-y dressing that you’ll want to make over and over again. It’s the perfect end-of-summer salad as we transition to fall- an easy yet elevated keto salad recipe you’ll love!

overhead of roasted cauliflower salad with citrus tahini dressing drizzled on top

I’m excited that I finally get to share this recipe here on the blog. It’s one I developed a while back for a feature in The Salad Gazette, a free, digital (and stunning) salad recipe book created by the amazing team at The Devil Wears Salad. The Salad Gazette was just released a couple of weeks ago, and you can get your free copy on their site. It features over 30 salad recipes, and while not all of them are low-carb or keto-friendly, it’s a beautiful resource full of yummy salad inspiration.

roasted cauliflower salad, a delicious keto salad recipe

There’s something about citrus and heat that make an unbeatable combination. And while oranges typically fall in the “off limits” category when it comes to keto-friendly fruits because they tend to be higher in sugar and carbs, I don’t really care for hard and fast rules when it comes to low-carb eating. The dressing only calls for a little bit of freshly-squeezed orange juice, so the amount of sugar/carbs per serving is still quite low and considered low-carb/keto-friendly. In fact, a good portion of the citrus flavor in this roasted cauliflower salad is from the tart lemon, so douse your salad in that creamy tahini goodness and ENJOY.

What else… cauliflower and walnuts are both toasted in the oven, smothered with a seasoning blend of chipotle and smoked paprika. Shaved fennel (and those pretty fennel fronds) give it a satisfying crunch. So much YUM. The ultimate keto salad recipe with bold flavors!

And wait- it’s not just a keto salad. This roasted cauliflower salad is also:

  • gluten-free
  • dairy-free and vegan (unless you opt to add feta)
  • grain-free
  • sugar-free
  • paleo

Let’s make one!

how to make roasted cauliflower salad

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • baby arugula, baby spinach, and romaine lettuce
  • head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder
  • chipotle powder
  • salt
  • raw walnuts
  • fennel bulb (save the fronds– those fluttery ends of the fennel stalk that look like fresh dill)
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • feta (optional, omit if dairy-free)

for the citrus tahini dressing

  • olive oil
  • liquid monk fruit drops like llinea monk fruit (you can also sub with stevia drops but I like the flavor of monk fruit more)
  • orange
  • lemon
  • apple cider vinegar
  • shallot
  • tahini (I love Soom tahini!)
  • dash of smoked paprika

the process for this keto salad recipe

This roasted cauliflower salad is so simple to make! Here’s a quick step-by-step to prove it, but be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to check out the full recipe along with the ingredient amounts.

  1. Roast the cauliflower and walnuts: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss the cauliflower florets in the olive oil and sprinkle on the seasonings, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of seasoning aside for the walnuts. Use your hands to spread the seasoning evenly on the cauliflower, then place on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Toss the walnuts in the reserved oil and spices, and add them to the baking sheet with the cauliflower. Return the pan to the oven and roast for another 7-10 minutes.
  2. Make the citrus tahini dressing: In a blender or food processor, blend/process all of the dressing ingredients until it’s smooth. Adjust to taste, adding more smoked paprika for smokiness, monk fruit or stevia for sweetness, or more citrus juice if you prefer the dressing to be more tart.
  3. Assemble the salad: Mix the arugula, spinach, and romaine in a large salad bowl. Add the shaved fennel slices, sliced cucumber, and roasted cauliflower and walnuts onto the salad. Arrange sections of avocado slices and cucumber slices around the cauliflower. Use the fennel fronds to top the salad and drizzle the dressing on right before serving. If using feta crumbles, sprinkle them on at the same time the dressing is added.
roasted cauliflower salad with citrus tahini dressing

This roasted cauliflower salad will keep for about a day, possibly longer if you keep the dressing separate. I also recommend letting the cauliflower and walnuts cool for about 5-10 minutes before placing them on top of the salad.

For extra protein, add chicken or even some grilled salmon to this keto salad recipe. You can also sprinkle on tofu or hemp hearts to keep it a vegan option.

p.s. if you have leftover citrus tahini dressing, try it out as a dip for fresh veggies, or even these jicama fries or air fryer zucchini tots!

Enjoy this delicious roasted cauliflower salad!

more keto cauliflower recipes you’ll love

roasted cauliflower salad with dressing and utensils

roasted cauliflower salad with citrus tahini dressing {low-carb}

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This roasted cauliflower salad is mildly spiced with chipotle and smoked paprika, and served with shaved fennel and toasted walnuts for the perfect amount of crunch! The citrus tahini dressing is creamy and flavorful, and adds extra goodness to this keto salad recipe that's also gf/df/vegan/paleo.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (set aside 1 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups chopped romaine
  • 1/2- 1 fennel bulb, shaved or sliced thin (reserve fennel fronds for salad topping)
  • 1 avocado, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional)

citrus tahini dressing

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1/2 small shallot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid monk fruit (like llinea monk fruit drops)
  • dash of smoked paprika

Instructions

for the salad

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the cauliflower florets onto a baking sheet. Drizzle on 3 tbsp of olive oil (set the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil aside). Use your hands to evenly coat the cauliflower in the oil.
  2. In a small dish, stir together the smoked paprika, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and salt. Sprinkle the seasoning onto the cauliflower florets, leaving 1 tsp of seasoning remaining (set aside for the walnuts). Use your hands to spread the seasoning evenly on cauliflower. Roast at 425°F for about 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, mix the walnuts, remaining olive oil, and remaining seasoning together in a small bowl. Set aside. Once the cauliflower has roasted for 15 minutes, pour the walnuts onto the baking sheet and use a spatula to toss the walnuts with the cauliflower. Return to the oven and roast for another 7-10 minutes, or until the cauliflower looks crisp around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
  4. Make the dressing. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients. Blend/process until smooth. Adjust to taste, adding more smoked paprika for smokiness, monk fruit for sweetness, or more of the citrus juice if you prefer the dressing to be on the tart side.
  5. To assemble the salad, mix the arugula, spinach, and romaine in a large salad bowl. Add the shaved fennel slices and sliced cucumber, tossing them into the salad. Save a few slices of cucumber for the top.
  6. Pour the roasted cauliflower and walnuts onto the salad. Arrange sections of avocado slices and cucumber slices around the cauliflower.
  7. Garnish with a generous amount of fennel fronds and feta (optional).
  8. Drizzle the dressing on top right before serving (or serve it separately on the side).

Notes

  • You can you another lettuce variety or mixed greens for this salad.
  • Use up to 2 tsp of chipotle powder in the cauliflower seasoning if you prefer it extra spicy.
  • Substitute liquid monk fruit drops with liquid stevia drops if you wish. Start with a few drops and increase to taste.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 504Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 16gNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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