Spring Detox Cauliflower Salad Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Spring Detox Cauliflower Salad

37 reviews / 4.9 average

Okay, here’s the deal.

Cheese and pasta and Greek pork pitas are all so super delicious and – I do not say this lightly – they have been exactly what my body and soul have needed throughout the last three months. I see them, I acknowledge their place, and I thank them for helping me heal my broken heart.

But now it’s April, and my body and soul are asking for some new things.

Mostly: Vegetables. Fruits. Healthy proteins. And more vegetables and more fruits.

And if that could happen in a way that does not make me hate my life, that would be awesome k thanks.

How To Make Our Cauliflower Salad:

Spring Detox Cauliflower Salad with a drizzle of sweet mustard dressing.

So it works out pretty nicely then that a few days ago, when I was deep in a Google rabbit hole, I came across THIS SALAD from the ultra-inspiring-plant-based-goals blog known as The First Mess.

It’s old. Like, 2014 old. Which is only fitting for Google rabbit holes, right? Where else can you expect to find such hidden gems? But it’s still as crunchy, tangy, nutritious, and buttery (s/o to the perfect avocados) as it must have been in 2014 when it was a newbie to the internet.

When this detoxy cauliflower salad materialized for lunch at the studio, we crunched in blissful silence and all agreed: it’s strange, maybe even unpredictable, but ridiculously delicious. Here’s what we’ve got in this unicorn of a cauliflower salad:

  • RAW cauliflower rice. RAW, thank you very much.
  • Apples.
  • Mint and parsley.
  • Shallots. Super thinly sliced, like paper.
  • Roasted chickpeas.
  • Big chunks of buttery avocado.
  • A two-second honey-olive oil-mustard dressing.
  • Lime juice and zest. because WHY NOT.

It feels kitchen-sinky in the best possible way.

Hands holding Spring Detox Cauliflower Salad in a bowl with a fork.

Raise your hand if you need some spring detox in your life?

Right there with you, girlfriend. Cauliflower Salad to our delicious rescue.

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Detox Cauliflower Salad in bowl with fork.

Spring Detox Cauliflower Salad

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


An herby, fresh vegan power salad featuring cauliflower, apples, shallots, roasted spiced chickpeas, and a quick grainy mustard dressing.



Cauli Salad:

  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • chili powder, salt, and pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 apple, sliced thin
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • a handful of parsley and mint, chopped
  • 2 firm avocados, cut into chunks

Jar Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Roast for 20-30 minutes until crispy and browned.
  2. Cauliflower Prep: Working in batches, run the cauliflower florets through a food processor until you get “rice” – it should take about 20-30 pulses.
  3. Dressing: Shake up all the ingredients in a jar, or whisk together. Taste and adjust.
  4. Assembly: Toss everything together. That’s it!


If going sugar free is important to you, make sure to look for a mustard without sugar.

I like to reserve a few chickpeas and herbs to top the salad, just to make it pretty.

This salad doesn’t last long once tossed together, so if you’re prepping in advance, keep everything separate.

Maple syrup or agave would be a perfect sub to make this recipe vegan.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cauliflower salad, spring salad, vegan salad

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One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our best healthy summer salads page. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I don’t know if I need a spring detox juuuuuuust yet.

    But I’ll tell you what I will raise my hand for. 🙌

    This Cauliflower Salad. It will be perfect for meals at work because I find myself constantly getting burritos from the taco truck that sits outside haha. This salad will be my willpower and distraction.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I had this for dinner tonight – so very delicious! I will say, however, as I was putting the salad together, “this is the weirdest salad ever,” kept going through my mind. 🙂 But your recipes never let me down, so I knew it was going to be great. Thanks, Lindsay!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This sounds so delish and I can’t wait to try. Was thinking about those wonderful packages of minced cauliflower. About how many cups would I need? I’m trying to eliminate a step. 🙂

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Isabelle Tett

    Hey, I’m a college student with no access to an oven, do you have any tips for how I could cook the chickpeas in a skillet? Thank you xx

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have just about overdone it with the Easter candy so this detox recipe is a welcomed change of pace indeed. It looks super delicious and not at all miserable!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I don’t know what is about chickpeas these days, but I can’t seem to get enough! Was SO excited to realize I have all of these ingredients in the fridge — and this is dinner! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Chickpeas, cauli, apples, and shallots together in one amazing bowl?? I am drooling over here. I know what we are eating for dinner next week!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thanks for always including the nutrional breakdown. Do you know how much fiber there is per serving? I would appreciate it!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    this is, ahem, yummy! i didn’t want to pay $1.70 for a single avocado, but i didn’t miss it. the chickpeas didn’t quite crisp as much as i would’ve liked in 30 min., but they were still a nice addition. thanks for this easy, light, quick recipe!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m making this for our big family Easter lunch tomorrow – can’t wait to try it!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so fantastic.

    One question-do you think finely chopping the cauliflower would be enough, for those of us without food processors? I have to believe the consistency would be close enough…

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    THIS SALAD! We’ve started a lunch club at work and today it was my turn to cook. Been wanting to try this recipe since you posted it, and so glad I did. Absolutely delicious, light & healthy. Will definitely be making it on a regular basis. Yum!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Sooooo amazing! Just made this today… So many awesome flavors 🙂 thank you!