Dinner, Healthy, Pasta, Salad, Vegan

Roasted Cauliflower & Fregola Salad

This Roasted Cauliflower and Fregola Salad recipe is packed with chewy fregola pasta, chickpeas, paprika-roasted cauliflower, dates and olives. Punchy, delicious and perfect as a hearty side dish or lighter main meal.

What is fregola?

I am so excited about this recipe because it stars one of my all time favorite ingredients! Fregola is a type of toasted pasta that originated in Sardinia. It’s chewy and has this amazing nutty flavor that’s unlike any other type of pasta. Tossed with smoky roasted cauliflower and chickpeas… so many good textures and flavors in one place!

You can find fregola at most specialty food stores or online. I use this brand.

The fregola can be replaced with another small pasta shape, such as orzo or pearl couscous, but I highly recommend giving it a try! Plus, if you have any extra, you can make my recipe Harissa Meatballs with Fregola and Lemony Yogurt!

Ingredients in Roasted Cauliflower & Fregola Salad

  • Cauliflower
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Smoked paprika
  • Fregola
  • Castelvetrano Olives
  • Medjool dates (swap in golden raisins if you prefer)
  • Capers
  • Olive oil & red wine vinegar
  • Shallot
  • Parsley
  • Toasted almonds for serving (optional)

How to make Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fregola

Start by tossing the cauliflower and chickpeas with a little olive oil, smoked paprika and salt before roasting in the oven or airfryer. Once the chickpeas are crisp and the cauliflower is just tender, remove from the oven and let everything cool down for about 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, I like to boil my fregola in salted water for about 15 minutes or until it’s tender but still has a nice bite. Drain the fregola and immediately toss with olive oil to prevent sticking.

To assemble the salad, toss the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with the fregola, olives, dates, capers, parsley and shallot. Pour over teh red wine vinegar and drizzle more olive oil.

You can serve the fregola salad slightly warm (my preference) or chilled. Garnish each portion with some chopped toasted almonds, maybe another drizzle of good olive oil and a pinch of flaky salt. Enjoy!

Serving ideas

This Roasted Cauliflower & Fregola Salad recipe is hearty and filling enough to stand alone as a main meal. It’s also vegan! However, if you’re looking for a more substantial meal, here are a few ideas for accompaniments:

  • Grilled or roasted chicken, steak or fish
  • Olive-oil packed tuna or sardines
  • Arugula tossed with salt, black pepper and olive oil
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Crumbled feta, goat cheese or grated parmesan
  • Crusty bread or warm pita

Made this recipe? I would love to hear what you think in the review section down below! Also, make sure to tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram with your creations and save this recipe on Pinterest for later!

More salads and sides to try

Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Cauliflower & Fregola Salad

Roasted Cauliflower & Fregola Salad

This easy Roasted Cauliflower & Fregola Salad is packed with chewy fregola pasta, chickpeas, dates, castelvetrano olives and capers. Punchy, delicious and perfect as a hearty side dish or light main.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup fregola or pearl couscous, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup castelveterano olives, pitted and torn
  • 1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leafed parsley
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Sliced toasted almonds for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F, preferably set to convection mode (fan on). See note for airfryer instructions.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower and chickpeas with 2 tbsp olive oil, the smoked paprika and salt. Spread on to a sheet pan and roast for 20-25 min, tossing halfway through, until the cauliflower is browned and the chickpeas are crispy. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas to a large bowl. Add the cooked fregola, shallot, olives, dates, parsley and capers. Pour over the red wine vinegar and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve slightly warm or chilled. Garnish with toasted almonds.


Airfryer instructions: Preheat the airfryer to 390° F. Add the seasoned cauliflower and chickpeas and cook for 15-18 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes or so.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 359Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 9gSugar: 12gProtein: 10g

All nutritional info is an estimation

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review below and tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram!

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