This raw cauliflower salad recipe is a fantastic healthy side dish to make when you’re tired of green salads (or don’t want to turn on the oven). Raw cauliflower is shaved or sliced in a food processor and tossed with tons of fresh herbs, white beans, green olives, parmesan cheese, and a homemade white balsamic vinaigrette. No cooking required and ready to eat in about 20 minutes!

bowl with raw cauliflower salad and silver serving spoons, surrounded by grey dish towel and ingredients

As a Registered Dietitian, you can be sure I love a healthy side dish recipe that is packed with fresh vegetables! I’ve got plenty of cauliflower recipes on my blog, but I have to say, this raw cauliflower salad is a new favorite!

This cauliflower salad is ideal to make on those nights you don’t feel like turning on the oven. Shaved or thinly sliced raw cauliflower is crunchy and fresh. It has a neutral enough flavor that pairs wonderfully with many other ingredients and a zippy salad dressing.

You’re going to love the combination of flavors and textures in this salad from the fresh herbs, creamy white beans, salty olives, and parmesan cheese! This recipe takes about 20 minutes to make and serves 6 as a side dish.

Raw cauliflower salad is vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, and soy free.

raw cauliflower salad ingredients measured out on a light background

Ingredients

Here are all the ingredients you need to make this salad:

  • Cauliflower: When shopping for cauliflower, look for a medium-large size head without any brown spots or blemishes – especially important since we’ll be eating the cauliflower raw! Cauliflower is packed with dietary fiber and other nutrients. Read more about the nutrition benefits of cauliflower, below.
  • White beans: Any canned white beans, such as cannellini beans, navy beans, or Great Northern beans, will work for this recipe. You can also swap chickpeas for white beans. White beans bring dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and micronutrients to this recipe. More on the nutrition benefits of beans, below.
  • Castelvetrano olives: Castelvetrano olives are a type of Italian green olive. They have a buttery flavor and slightly firm texture. Try to buy pitted castelvetrano olives for ease of prep and to save time making this salad. Olives are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Parmesan cheese: Nutty, salty parmesan cheese is delicious in ANY salad, including this raw cauliflower salad.
  • Parsley: You can use flat leaf parsley or curly Italian parsley for this recipe.
  • Basil: Fresh basil is lightly sweet, and fragrant.
  • Scallions: Sliced scallions add a zippy bite of mild onion flavor.
  • White balsamic vinaigrette: To make the dressing, you need white balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, tahini, scallion or garlic, salt, and pepper.

More cauliflower recipes you will love: tahini cauliflower, turmeric roasted cauliflower, cauliflower piccata steaks, and cauliflower and kale pasta.

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Food processor with a slicing disc
  • Chef’s knife, 6-inch or 8-inch
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Swivel peeler or cheese grater
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Salad spoons

To shave the cauliflower, I used a food processor fitted with a slicing disc.

If you do not have a food processor, you have two options to slice the cauliflower. You could use a mandoline slicer, or you can thinly slice the cauliflower florets with a good, sharp knife.

Alternatively, you could just cut the caulilfower into small florets instead of slicing them with a knife.

Step-by-step instructions

raw cauliflower florets on a dark teal cutting board
1. Cut cauliflower into florets and wash them under cold water.
Food processor with shaved raw cauliflower in it
2. Using a slicing blade, shave the cauliflower in a food processor.
chopped fresh herbs and sliced olives on a dark teal cutting board
3. Slice scallions and olives and finely chop the parsley and basil.
white balsamic vinaigrette in a glass jar on a light backdrop
4. Prepare the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a jar, closing it, and vigorously shaking it.
raw cauliflower salad in a light blue bowl before being mixed together
5. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl with about half of the dressing.
Raw cauliflower salad mixed up in a light blue mixing bowl
6. Use salad mixing spoons to thoroughly mix everything together. Add a little more dressing as desired.

Serve with freshly cracked black pepper.

Can I prepare this salad in advance?

This salad tastes freshest when enjoyed shortly after making it. If you do have leftovers, be sure to eat them within 1-2 days.

Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.

Serving suggestions

This salad is rich in dietary fiber and micronutrients. To use this in a well-balanced meal, pair it with some protein and a starchy carbohydrates. Here are some personal favorite recipes:

bowl with raw cauliflower salad and silver serving spoons, surrounded by grey dish towel and ingredients

Cauliflower nutrition benefits

Cauliflower is incredibly nutritious. One cup of raw cauliflower provides:

  • 2.1 grams of dietary fiber (8% of your daily needs)
  • 2.1 grams of plant-based protein
  • 60.99 mcg folate (15% of your daily needs)
  • 0.714 mg pantothenic acid (14% of your daily needs)
  • 0.197 mg Vitamin B6 (12% of your daily needs)
  • 51.6 mg Vitamin C (57% of your daily needs)
  • 16.6 mcg Vitamin K (14% of your daily needs)

Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

Cruciferous vegetables have a beneficial plant compound called sulforaphane. This compound has anti-inflammatory effects and helps protect our cells against certain diseases.

White beans nutrition benefits

Beans are one of the healthiest foods in the world! One half cup of white beans provides 7 grams of fiber (22% of your daily needs) and 10 grams of plant-based protein. Additionally, white beans have lots of vitamins and minerals:

  • 0.18 mg thiamin (15% of your daily needs)
  • 101.7 mg folate (26% of your daily needs)
  • 39.05 mg choline (7% of your daily needs)
  • 2.08 mg iron (12% of your daily needs)
  • 5.4 mcg selenium (10% of your daily needs)
  • 67.5 mg magnesium (16% of your daily needs).

Additionally, white beans are a good source of potassium, copper, and phosphorus.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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bowl with raw cauliflower salad and silver serving spoons, surrounded by grey dish towel and ingredients

Herby Shaved Raw Cauliflower Salad with White Beans

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: salads
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

This raw cauliflower salad recipe is a fantastic healthy side dish to make when you’re tired of green salads (or don’t want to turn on the oven). Raw cauliflower is shaved or sliced in a food processor and tossed with tons of fresh herbs, white beans, green olives, parmesan cheese, and a homemade white balsamic vinaigrette. No cooking required and ready to eat in about 20 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale

Raw Cauliflower Salad

  • 1 medium-large head of cauliflower, cut into florets and washed
  • 1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbsp shallot or garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


Instructions

  1. In a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, add the cauliflower to shave it into thin slices. Alternatively, use a vegetable mandoline or a sharp knife to manually shave the cauliflower as thin slices.
    Food processor with shaved raw cauliflower in it
  2. Make the white balsamic vinaigrette: add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a 12 oz jar. Close the jar and shake vigorously to mix and emulsify the dressing.
    white balsamic vinaigrette in a glass jar on a light backdrop
  3. Add the shaved cauliflower to a large mixing bowl along with the white beans, sliced olives, parmesan cheese, scallions, basil, and parsley.

    raw cauliflower salad in a light blue bowl before being mixed together

  4. Pour about half of the vinaigrette onto the salad. Mix together using salad spoons until well combined.
    Raw cauliflower salad mixed up in a light blue mixing bowl
  5. Taste, and add more dressing and/or a pinch of salt to taste. Enjoy cold or at room temperature with a few cracks of black pepper.

Notes

Can I prepare this salad in advance?

This salad tastes freshest when enjoyed shortly after making it. If you do have leftovers, be sure to eat them within 1-2 days.

Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.