Smoky and Creamy Mexican Cauliflower Salad

January 28, 2016 11:52 am Last Updated: February 1, 2016 5:47 pm

Smoky and Creamy Mexican Cauliflower Salad

Serves: 6 as side dish, 3–4 as main dish


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped (approx. 4–5 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons cayenne red pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper (plus more to finish)
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (red for color)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija/queso fresco cheese*
  • Limes wedges for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly combine cauliflower, oil, cumin, chili flakes if using, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on large sheet pan. Roast for 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, cube avocado. Remove cauliflower from oven. Mix with avocado, quinoa, and cheese. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Top with lime wedges for garnish for tangier flavor.

*You could also use goat cheese for a creamier flavor. I’d recommend using more spice because of the sweetness of the goat cheese.

(Recipe courtesy of Luci Petlak,