This Crispy Cauliflower Pasta Salad is served with a lemon & shallot vinaigrette, avocado slices, toasted walnuts, arugula & sun-dried tomatoes!
If you are looking for a pasta salad that can be served as a side or an entree AND is totally flavor-packed, then look no further. The cauliflower is seasoned and baked to perfection, then served over a bed of pasta, sun-dried tomatoes & arugula. THEN, everything is tossed together with a lemon & shallot vinaigrette, avocado and toasted walnuts. This is seriously a flavor explosion!!!
How to make Crispy Cauliflower Pasta Salad
Start off by tossing the cauliflower is some seasonings and olive oil. Spread it out on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes.
While the cauliflower is cooking, prep the dressing (this stuff is seriously good) and cook the pasta. Once the pasta is done, drain it, rinse it and place the empty pot back on the stove. Add some oil from a sun-dried tomato jar (hello flavor town) to the pot with some chopped walnuts. Toast the walnuts over medium heat for a few minutes then set aside.
How to assemble Crispy Cauliflower Pasta Salad
Now that everything is ready, it is time to assemble. Grab your largest bowl and add the cooked pasta, arugula, basil and sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle the dressing over top and give it a good toss. Top the pasta with the crispy cauliflower, avocado slices and the toasted walnuts. This salad is not only pretty, it is so freaking good!
I personally like to eat this pasta salad at room temperature, but you could also eat it cold.
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Crispy Cauliflower Pasta Salad
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER
- 1 head cauliflower cut in florets
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
FOR THE LEMON VINAIGRETTE
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons, juiced
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
FOR THE WALNUTS
- 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato oil or sub olive oil
- 1/3 cup unsalted walnuts roughly chopped
- salt to taste
FOR THE SALAD
- 8 oz bow tie pasta dry
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil drained & chopped
- 2 tbsp basil chopped
- 1 avocado diced
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the cauliflower ingredients to the baking sheet and toss to coat evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, flip and cook for another 10-15 minutes – or until crispy.
- Meanwhile, add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place the empty pot back on the stove and heat the sun-dried tomato oil over medium heat. Add the walnuts and a pinch of salt and cook until toasted (approx. 3-5 minutes). Remove from the pot and set aside.
- To assemble, add the pasta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and basil to a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Top with the cauliflower, walnuts and avocado slices.
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