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Roasted Frozen Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad

Roasted frozen cauliflower takes the stage in this hearty salad with brown rice, chickpeas, tomatoes & lemon poppyseed dressing.

Roasted frozen cauliflower? Super yummy, not mushy! Add it to a hearty salad with brown rice, chickpeas, tomatoes & lemon poppy seed dressing.

Roasted Frozen Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad in a ceramic bowl with a wooden spoon

“How do you cook frozen vegetables?”

One of the MOST common questions I get asked – both in real life and online – is:

“How can I cook with frozen vegetables so that they don’t taste sad and mushy?”

Frozen veggies can be misunderstood gems, just waiting for someone to treat them right. I mean… aren’t we all? Plus, they’re affordable, available in every grocery store, and are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables!

Roasting sturdy frozen veggies like cauliflower & broccoli is a great way to bring out their flavors and retain their crunch.

Closeup of roasted vegetables with a little dressing and ripe tomato in the background
I mean… look at those crispy, crunchy edges on the roasted cauliflower!

Tips for Roasting Frozen Vegetables

  1. Frozen veggies cook FASTER than their raw counterparts. Y’know how when you add frozen stir fry veggies to a pan, and you swear you followed the recipe time just right, but the frozen vegetables come out all mushy and sad? Me too. They just need LESS time to cook!
  2. Don’t defrost or thaw frozen vegetables. Just don’t. Roast them frozen.
  3. When roasting, put an oiled baking sheet in the COLD oven. This way, when you preheat the oven, the pan will be really hot. When you pour the frozen cauliflower on the pan, it gets a “jumpstart” in the crunchy-roasted department.
  4. Set the oven to “broil” for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Crispy, charred edges are the BEST. No mushy cauliflower here.

Let’s Cook Roasted Frozen Cauliflower!

While the baking sheet is preheating, toss the frozen cauliflower (not thawed!) and chickpeas in a little oil and a breadcrumb mixture seasoned with garlic powder, dried Italian herb blend and sea salt. As always, gluten-free breadcrumbs would be great!

The light breadcrumb mixture adds a little extra crispness to the cauliflower and chickpeas as they roast.

You might be surprised to learn: roasted frozen cauliflower is just as nutritious but has a much milder flavor than roasting raw cauliflower! #science 🤷🏼‍♀️

Let’s Make a Roasted Cauliflower Salad

This hearty “salad as a meal” dish uses one of my favorite formulas: grain + green + bean + flavor. And if you have some leftover grains, even better!

In a serving bowl, add leftover cooked brown rice (quinoa would be equally great). Add some cherry tomatoes and chopped fresh parsley. Then tip the roasted cauliflower & chickpeas to the bowl. I love the contrast of hot and cold ingredients in a dish. But lemme tell ya, the leftovers are awesome straight from the fridge.

bowl of roasted frozen cauliflower and other vegetables. a green cloth napkin on a table, chair in the background.

Drizzle with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

What flavors would perfectly highlight the warm, roasty flavors in this salad? Something lemony and creamy.

I used a store-bought jar of lemon poppy seed dressing. Cuz… well… this salad is pretty easy and I didn’t want to overcomplicate things.

If you like the flavor (and nutrition) of a homemade, vegan dressing then check out Amy in the Kitchen. Her recipe for plant-based lemon poppy seed dressing would be perfection!

ceramic bowl filled with roasted frozen cauliflower & chickpea salad, a wooden spoon resting on the edge

Perfect for Lunch Meal Prep!

This recipe is perfectly suited to make on a Sunday and divide into some containers to enjoy for lunch all week.

It’s a whole meal in one bowl and is packed with vegetables.

Tip: Pack the dressing separately to drizzle on just before eating.

small glass food storage container with a single portion of salad

Hungry for More Plant-Based Lunches?

Print
Frozen Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

Roasted Frozen Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad


  • Author: Katie Allen
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Roasted frozen cauliflower? Super yummy, not mushy! Add it to a hearty salad with brown rice, chickpeas, tomatoes & lemon poppy seed dressing.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 12oz frozen cauliflower florets
  • 14oz canned chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (GF, if necessary)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian herb blend
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups cooked brown & wild rice
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • lemon poppy seed dressing

Instructions

  1. Rub 1 tablespoon of oil on a baking sheet. Place in a cold oven.
  2. Set oven to preheat to 425.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine frozen cauliflower, chickpeas and remaining oil. Toss to coat. Then add bread crumbs, garlic, Italian herbs and salt. Toss to coat again.
  4. When oven is heated, pour the frozen cauliflower mixture onto the heated pan. Spread ingredients in a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes. Turn the oven up to “broil” for the last 1-2 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, add rice, tomatoes and parsley to a serving dish or meal prep containers. Top with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas when done.
  6. Drizzle with creamy lemon poppy seed dressing just before serving.

Notes

This recipe is vegan without dressing. Choose a vegetarian, vegan or homemade dressing based on your needs.

Rice: I used Lundberg’s Wild Rice Blend, cooked in the Instant Pot. 2 cups of rice, 2 cups of vegetable broth, and a pinch of salt. Pressure cook for 28 (30 minutes for high altitude) and natural release.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Calories: 618
  • Sugar: 25
  • Sodium: 900mg
  • Fat: 15.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 93.5g
  • Fiber: 25g
  • Protein: 28.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: roasted cauliflower

12 Comments

  1. Hi Katie, this is roasted cauliflower is happening this week! Yummy!!

  2. This was such a great idea! I was nervous about the cauliflower but it turned out great!

    • HURRAY! I am so happy to hear that this roasted cauliflower dish came out great for you! I always have some random bags of frozen veggies in the freezer.. this is a great way to use them up!

  3. This roasted side dish looks so good! Perfect summer side dish with grilled chicken or salmon.

    • Wow, thanks so much Erin! It is definitely delicious and EASY, perfect as a light, meatless bowl (maybe with chickpeas) or on the side with a fish/meat!

  4. This looks incredibly yummy and healthy. I’d have some of that right now!!! Beautiful recipe.

  5. This does look good for meal prepping. I love that it’s not going to mess up a lot of dishes too to get the whole meal in one container. I’m all about making meal prep easy.

  6. Love your tip for preheating your sheet pan and roasting from frozen!! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. What a healthy and delicious meal! And I love how you use the frozen veggies – makes it even easier to prepare!

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