Here’s an easy raw cauliflower salad recipe with sweet mayo dressing! This crunchy cauliflower salad is filled with carrots, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chickpeas and tossed in a sweet and creamy mayo dressing.
Why I love making this cauliflower salad:
I know it seems silly to be even the tiniest bit excited about a salad recipe (especially one that features very raw and very crunchy cauliflower), but hear me out!
Every once in a while I crave something really hearty and really crunchy that is *not* fried chicken tenders or nachos. For those times, I turn to a salad like this.
It’s loaded with lots of good-for-you ingredients and, most importantly, tastes fantastic thanks in part to that slightly sweet and creamy dressing.
Cauliflower (a.k.a. the reigning wonder veggie of 2018-2020) is packed with tons of nutrients and fiber. It’s an ingredient I really enjoy working into my diet on the regular because of how nourishing and filling it is. (Read more about cauliflower’s health benefits here.)
This salad is great year round and makes a lovely vegetarian side dish for any party, picnic, or potluck. (You know, when we can have those again.)
It’s also great for meal prep!
For this salad you’ll need:
- 1 Head of Raw Cauliflower
- 2 Carrots
- Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
- Dried Cranberries
- Sunflower Seeds
- Green Onions (Scallions)
For the sweet mayo dressing, you’ll need:
- Plain Yogurt
- White Vinegar
- Garlic Powder
- Dried Parsley
*Want to simply save this recipe to review later? Tap the image below to reveal the Pinterest button, and pin it to your salad or cauliflower recipe boards!*
My top tips for a tasty cauliflower salad:
I chop my cauliflower into pretty small pieces. Who wants to chew like a horse to eat cauliflower florets the width of their thumb? Not me!
When all of your ingredients are small-ish and roughly the same size, it’s easier to create that perfect bite on your fork.
If you’re worried about breaking down a whole head of cauliflower, check out this quick and helpful YouTube tutorial.
After you toss the salad with the dressing, allow it to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (but two hours is great if you can make it ahead). This will allow the dressing and the salad ingredients to really get to know each other and become wonderful friends, thus giving you a more flavorful salad.
Don’t forget that if you’re serving this at a picnic or potluck outdoors somewhere to transport it in a cooler and keep it on ice.
Mayonnaise + hot sun = super yucky afternoon.
Need more salad recipe ideas?
Don’t forget to check these easy summer salad recipes, too!
Make this recipe your own!
Of course you can follow this recipe to a T, or you can get creative with what you like and have on hand. Feel free to substitute raisins or dried cherries for the cranberries. You can also replace the sunflower seeds with cashews, almonds, or walnuts.
Use all mayo, all yogurt, or your favorite vegan substitutes. Why not try lemon juice or apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar? How about substituting onion powder for the green onion.
Work with what you have – you get the gist! Cooking is all about inspiration and adapting, especially these days.
Of course, using different ingredients will alter the taste a bit from the original recipe, but you can always adjust to your preferences. And hey, you might find that you like your substitutions even better!
I do hope you give this a try soon! Enjoy! 🙂
Oh hey, before you head into the kitchen can I ask you a quick favor? If you made this recipe, would you mind letting me know in the comments or giving it a quick rating? (Just scroll down past the recipe below.) Not only would I appreciate it, but it will help other people who are learning how to love cooking discover a new recipe they might enjoy! Your feedback also helps me to create better recipes all the time! Thanks for reading!
Crunchy Raw Cauliflower Salad with Sweet Mayo Dressing
Here's an easy raw cauliflower salad recipe with sweet mayo dressing! This crunchy cauliflower salad is filled with carrots, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chickpeas and tossed in a sweet and creamy mayo dressing.
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
- 3 TBS Plain Yogurt (Greek yogurt works, too.)
- 1 TBS Honey
- 3 TBS White Vinegar (Apple cider vinegar works, too.)
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
For the Salad:
- 1 Head of Cauliflower (I used a small to medium sized cauliflower.) Rinsed well, trimmed, and chopped into small, bite sized pieces.
- 2 Carrots Rinsed, peeled, and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 Cup Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
- 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
- 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 Green Onions (Scallions) Use just the green part for a milder onion flavor. Save the white parts for another recipe!
Using a medium sized bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients, and mix with a fork or whisk until smooth and well combined. Taste, and adjust for salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, add the chopped cauliflower, carrots, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and green onion.
Pour the creamy dressing over the salad ingredients, and toss well to combine.
You can serve and enjoy immediately, but I find it's better if it sits in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to a few hours if you can) to let the dressing work it's magic. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Feel free to substitute your preferred ingredients or ingredients you have on hand when making this recipe. I outline several possible substitutions in the post. For example, you can use all mayo if you don't have yogurt on hand or vice versa. You can also replace the sunflower seeds with almonds, cashews, or walnuts. Raisins would also work well to replace the dried cranberry. The salad will taste a little different from the written recipe provided, of course, but I like to always share recipes that can be easily adapted. Enjoy!