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Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

This curried cauliflower quinoa salad with tahini dressing is so simple. It's the perfect vegetarian weeknight dinner! Hello meatless-Mondays.


Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with tahini dressing with cucumber and cabbage in a bowl with a fork

Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing

When the sky is grey, I like to be sure there is plenty of color on my plate, and right now in the Pacific Northwest, there are a lot of grey skies. A few weeks ago, I fled our cold temps and headed down to soak up some LA sun. In search of a speedy, healthy lunch, I popped into a nearby Sweetgreen and stumbled across a quinoa salad SO good that I was actually a little heartbroken when I scraped the bowl for my very last bite. It was as bright and cheering as those LA skies, a tantalizing mix of:

  • Spicy arugula
  • Warm quinoa
  • Shredded, crunchy red cabbage
  • Roasted curried cauliflower
  • Golden raisins
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Creamy yogurt-tahini dressing
  • Fresh cilantro

People often ask where our recipe inspiration comes from. Often, the answer is from moments like these—tasting something delicious out in the world and coming home to recreate dishes we’ve loved. As soon as I was back home, I headed straight for the kitchen with visions of curried cauliflower and yogurt tahini dressing dancing in my head. The results were pure homemade quinoa salad heaven, and I hope you’ll agree.

Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with tahini dressing with cucumber and cabbage in a bowl with a fork

Is Quinoa Salad Healthy?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is absolutely yes! Here’s why:

  1. Quinoa. This ancient grain is an incredible health-boosting superfood, with loads fiber, antioxidants and all nine essential amino acids quinoa wins the prize for being one of the healthiest foods on earth. And—bonus!—it’s delicious, too.
  2. Vegetables! This quinoa salad relies heavily on the flavor-boosting, vitamin-packed support of savory curried cauliflower, crispy cucumbers and leafy greens.
  3. Homemade yogurt-tahini dressing! Salads like this are held together by killer dressing—the creamier, the better. Nutty, rich tahini is whipped up with tangy yogurt and lemon juice to make a dressing that even the pickiest eater will love. And—surprise, surprise—it’s healthy, too. Tahini is fiber and protein rich, yogurt is full of good bacteria (good bacteria=happy gut!), and soothing, refreshing cucumber and lemon balance it all out.
ingredients laid out raisins, cauliflower, cucumber, arugula, cabbage, cilantro, tahini

How to Cook Quinoa

First things first! Quinoa salads are a breeze to pull together, especially once you’ve mastered the art of cooking quinoa. Cook a big batch and keep it in the fridge, it’s a quick way to add fiber and protein to almost any meal—you can even toss it into a smoothie for a protein boost on the go. Here’s how to cook it:

  • Rinse. Place your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse it under cold water.
  • Measure. You’ll want a ratio of about 2:1 water: quinoa. So, for one cup of uncooked quinoa, you’ll need two cups of water.
  • Boil. Bring two cups of water to a boil, and add the uncooked, rinsed quinoa. Cover and simmer until all of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
curry cauliflower in a bowl
roasted curried cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet
salad dressing ingredients in a small glass jar
tahini dressing in a small glass jar

What Can I Put in a Quinoa Salad?

Because quinoa has such a mild flavor, it makes a great, filling addition to almost any of your favorite, go-to salads. Just toss a little cooked quinoa into a bowl with greens of your choice, add your favorite proteins and / or vegetables, and drizzle with a little olive oil, or whatever dressing you love.

Here are a few quinoa salad combinations we love, to get you started:

Mediterranean quinoa salad:

Kale Quinoa Salad:

  • Kale
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pickled onions
  • Soft-boiled egg
  • And our favorite Caesar Dressing

Southwest Quinoa Black Bean Salad:

  • Romaine
  • Cilantro
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Grilled chicken
  • Black beans
  • This tangy Southwest Dressing
Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with tahini dressing with cucumber and cabbage in a bowl
Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with tahini dressing with cucumber and cabbage in a bowl

More of Our Favorite Single Bowl Meals

We’re all about bowls around here. Fast, forgiving, adaptable and generally pretty healthy, they cover all the bases—proteins, grains, veggies. Plus, they’re ideal for making ahead! Just assemble your bowl(s) ahead of time, and dress them when you’re ready to eat them. Here are few bowls that we’re crushing on right now:

Teriyaki chicken sushi bowl—an umami explosion with homemade teriyaki chicken, seasoned rice, and flaked nori.

Coconut rice salmon bowl—I just can’t think of a prettier food. It will take your tastebuds far away to a warmer place.

Italian chopped salad—with all the cheese and salami, you’ll hardly remember you’re eating a salad.

Tools You'll Need:

Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with tahini dressing with cucumber and cabbage in a bowl with a fork

Is This The Perfect Vegetarian Bowl?

We think so too! Snap a photo of your Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  40 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 608



  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt


  • 1 cup roughly chopped Persian cucumber (from 2 cucumbers)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • 4 cups loosely packed arugula
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup golden raisins


  1. Make the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position

  2. On a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil. Sprinkle on the curry powder and salt and toss to coat. Spread out the cauliflower in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.

  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a blender or food processor, combine the cucumber, yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, oil, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

  4. Make the salad. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, quinoa, and cabbage. Divide the mixture among 4 bowls. Top each with the roasted cauliflower, cucumbers, cilantro, and raisins. Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories608
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates77 g
  • Total Fat31 g
  • Dietary Fiber12 g
  • Cholesterol2 mg
  • sodium229 mg
  • Total Sugars33 g

Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Tammy

    Is this a cold salad, or a combination of cold & warm? And what are the recommendations for storing leftovers/serving again?

    it's a combination of warm and col but you can store it in the fridge and eat left overs cold and it will be just as good. Hope you enjoy! the arugula might wilt a bit in the fridge however if it is already drizzled with dressing.

  • Sharon

    Do you peel the cucumbers for the salad dressing?

    No need! Hope you enjoy Sharon.

  • Delaney

    When you use tahini In these recipes is it paste or powder?

    Paste. Hope you enjoy!

  • Kendra

    Is there really cucumbers in the salad dressing? Cucumbers are listed twice-in the dressing and in the salad

    That is correct, Kendra! Hope you enjoy!

  • Courtney

    Hi, I love all of your recipes so much! Quick question, is your calorie count for all servings generally or per serving? Thanks!

    yes, they are per serving.

  • Liane

    Quick, delicious and a super satisfying dinner salad. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Thanks so much, we are so happy you loved it Liane!

  • Tony

    Followed this recipe to the T and it is a ripper. Everyone who tried it agreed.

    Must say I can certainly trust the recipes you are publishing to be as tasteful as my mind can imagine.

    You, Americans pronounce the ingredients differently to us Aussies though and I was forever having to Google the ingredients the same.

    haha! yes, quite a few differences. We are so glad you loved this recipe, thank you Tony!

  • Gail

    Delicious! Love the mix of the warm curry and cool cucumber dressing. I added some chickpeas for protein and some almonds for a little more crunch. Roasted my cauliflower in the airfryer, ~15 mins at 390.

    Thank you Gail, we are so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Jacquie

    This was incredibly tasty, easy and fun! What a great recipe.

    Thanks Jacquie, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Carrie

    So good! We added shrimp that we combined with the cauliflower mix.

    YUM! Glad you enjoyed it Carrie! Shrimp sounds like a delicious addition!