healthy in a hurry: roasted cauliflower tabbouleh salad with crispy toasted almonds

healthy in a hurry: roasted cauliflower tabbouleh salad with crispy toasted almonds |

Today’s recipe is short and sweet-

The boys are back to school in a few days, and we’re currently battling the elements: labeling school supplies, filling out papers, buying uniforms, doctor appointments- it’s like the holiday season, minus the cheer…

I made a batch of tabbouleh to keep in the fridge for when I’m too burnt out to cook. It’s easy to prepare and keeps your energy levels sustained. Plus, it’s something different to enjoy mid-week, you know?

This version of tabbouleh gets a light and fresh update with nutty cauliflower instead of traditional bulgur wheat. The florets are broken down in the food processor until their shape resembles ‘rice’ (you could also use a box grater). It’s heavily scented with zest lemon zest, fresh mint and juicy summer tomatoes. The almonds, lightly toasted, add the perfect crispy crunch.

PS- many recipes call for raw cauliflower in tabbouleh salads, but I like to roast mine for extra flavor. It only takes about 15 minutes and you can use that time to prep the rest of the salad. This would be great for packed lunches too…

How are things going by you these days? Caught up in the back-to-school/getting organized craze? xo

roasted cauliflower tabbouleh salad with crispy toasted almonds
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
For the Roasted Cauliflower
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped mint
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the cauliflower in half and remove the thick center core. Roughly chop the florets. Working in batches, add half of the cauliflower to the food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is broken down and resembles ‘rice’ (alternatively, use a box grater). Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  3. To the bowl, add the olive oil and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Spread the cauliflower onto your baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, add all of the salad ingredients to another large bowl for serving. Season with salt and pepper and allow the tomatoes and herbs to marinate.
  5. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and cool on the tray while you toast the almonds.
  6. Place the almonds in a dry, non-stick pan. Begin to toast over low heat, stirring occasionally. The almonds are ready when light golden brown in color, about 5 minutes or so.
  7. Remove the garlic clove from the tomato and herb bowl. Add the cauliflower and toss well. Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper, or lemon juice if necessary.
  8. Chill the tabbouleh in the fridge until ready to serve, or enjoy at room temperature.



    • Emilie says

      Hello Alice! Hooray for back to school ;) I hope the transition was smooth for you and your girls as well. I’m suffering with getting them to bed on time. You know how that goes…

    • Emilie says

      Hello Nicola, roasting the cauliflower ‘rice’ is a wonderful method. It adds great flavor to the salad, complimenting the crunchy almonds. I do hope you give it a try :)

    • Emilie says

      I think I remember you mentioning roasted cauliflower with pepperoncini? Am I correct? So, so good. You are going to like this one- so light & fresh.

  1. says

    Dear Emilie,
    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog but I am so glad I did! Your recipes are amazing and your pictures are stunning! I absolutely love your aesthetic. I am a blogger myself and I find your work so inspiring. Thank you for being such a wonderful muse.


    • Emilie says

      Welcome Ty! What a lovely comment. To be completely honest, words like this inspire me to create, write better, photograph more- thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. Looking forward to checking out your work as well. xo

  2. says

    Yum! I always see recipes calling for raw cauliflower for salads like these, but I’ve never liked raw cauliflower- I think it tastes metallic. I do love roasted cauliflower, and this sounds exactly like the kind of cauliflower salad I’d love to eat.

    • Emilie says

      You’re not alone Allyson! I’ve never been a fan of raw cauliflower myself. You’ll really enjoy the nutty roasted flavor. Works well in other recipe too :)

  3. says

    Awh! Tabbouleh! I forgot about that most delectable, delicious salad… and there you go, making it even better! Love the roasted cauli and absolutely, so smart to roast it first to bring out the best in flavor. I’ve not tried cauli rice *yet* but this is a delicious way to introduce it! Thank you for this Emilie! Hoping for a smooth transition to the start of a new school year for your boys. … and you too! (ps. I am unable to find your last post – gazpacho) xx

    • Emilie says

      Hey Traci! Roasting the cauliflower ‘rice’ really does enhance the flavor and you can play around with it in other recipes as well. Imagine all of the veggie bowls you could make… I think you’ll like it ;) It shrinks up too! And yes, the soup link- it’s not working at the moment :( I’ll keep you posted xx

    • Emilie says

      Thanks, Ruby! It’s always a little stressful in the beginning, but once we’re settled back into a routine it’s all good! I just wish the boys would eat some of this tabbouleh… that would be a miracle ;)

  4. says

    You got a genuine chortle out of me with this turn of phrase, “it’s like the holiday season, minus the cheer…” I hope that you all make it through this week without too much wear and tear. This salad looks like the perfect solution to a highly demanding week. Thanks for the taking the time to share this with us :-)

    • Emilie says

      Haha… but it’s true! I’ve been racing around like a maniac, battling the crowds of frantic parents trying to decipher their school supply lists- it’s like one big scavenger hunt (what on Earth is a Ticonderoga Pencil?) Anyway, we’re pretty organized now (I think) and it’s meet the teacher day, today. Almost there! xo

  5. says

    This is beautiful Emilie. I’ve missed your fresh, wholesome deliciousness over the past few months (I’ve been doing very little blog reading due to my wrist injury, just thought it’d be better to avoid computers outside of work!). I am a big fan of both cauli and broccoli ‘rice’, and the seasonings in this sound divine. Glad that you are going ok, hope that the school year starts beautifully for the boys! Cannot believe it’s September already! xxx

    • Emilie says

      Hello sweet Laura, how are you? How’s your wrist? I admire that you are able to pull yourself away from the computer. I bet we could all benefit from ‘unplugging’ once in a while. It’s funny you mention broccoli rice, I just made that recently, roasted with garlic and lemon. So simple, but so good! Happy Spring to you… xo

    • Emilie says

      It’s so, so good! I’m not a huge fan of raw cauliflower and roasting it quickly works perfectly in this recipe. It takes the edge off, you know? :)

  6. Emilie says

    Excellent! Roasting the cauliflower will change the flavor of the tabbouleh in the most wonderful, nutty, slightly sweet sort of way. Do give it a go, I think you’ll like it. Thanks for stopping by, Christine!

  7. Mildred Inma says

    I saw this recipe yesterday from an article posted on HuffPost and I immediately bought the ingredients to make it last night. I must say, this tabouleh is very easy to make, clean up is quick and the end result is both beautiful and delicious. Even my boyfriend who doesn’t eat much in the veggie department thought it looked great. I love how the taste resembles traditional tabouleh; the flavors are spot on!

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