gluten-free sides vegan

Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Tahini and Za’atar

April 17, 2014

With cauliflower, chickpeas and drizzles with a tahini and za’atar sauce, this Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Tahini and Za’atar makes a healthy side dish recipe inspired by the Mediterranean!

I mentioned a few days ago that I redid my recipe index. It’s been on my to-do list for I don’t knowwwww, 3 months? Well now that the e-book is in full swing, I knew I had to get it done ASAP. So I spent about 2 weeks going through ALL of my posts (over 300) and re-categorizing them. Fortunately my theme has the code to easily put together a recipe page, but you need to make sure all posts are categorized accordingly.

With cauliflower, chickpeas and drizzles with a tahini and za'atar sauce, this Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas w/ Tahini & Za'atar makes a healthy side dish recipe inspired by the Mediterranean!I probably could have done it a lot faster, but I am very easily distracted. It was actually kind of fun going back and looking at old posts. I got to re-live a bunch of my Weekend Recaps (I kind of miss them, I think I may bring them back this summer!) and see my progression in both my writing and photography.

I know I’ve said this a million times, but it’s literally crazy for me to see how much my photography has improved over the last year. The hard work I put in certainly paid off. One of the realities of being a food blogger is coming to the realization that it’s your pictures that will make or break you. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic but at the end of the day, people eat with their eyes so if you want people to make your recipe you need to make sure your pictures actually get seen using sites like Pinterest or Foodgawker.

There are times when I’m sad that no one will make some of my earlier recipes because the pictures make almond butter look like body scrub, but I hate the idea of re-photographing them. I LOVE that this blog tells my story. I occasionally cringe at some of things I have said or pictures I’ve posted, but at the time it was 100% authentically me. That is far more important to me than being a perfectionist. Plus I ain’t got time fo that!

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Tahini and Za'atar 2One of the recipes I came across in my Recipe Index building was this one for Roasted Veggies with Tahini Sauce based on my favourite cookbook. I immediately knew what I would be having for dinner that night, but I was far too lazy to go to the grocery store. So instead I adapted it to what I had on hand, and made this Roasted Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Tahini and Za’atar I think it may have turned out better than the original. Crunchy chickpeas = god’s gift to the earth.

Dig in!

SAVE print

Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas w/ Tahini & Za’atar

PREP TIME 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Serves 4     adjust servings


  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 T + 1 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt

For the Tahini Sauce

  • 2 T tahini
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 2 T water (or more if it needs more thinning)
  • 2 tsp za'atar
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Chop up cauliflower into florets and drizzle with 1 T of olive oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
  3. Drain and rinse chickpeas (if using canned) and dry completely. Peel off outer skins.
  4. Drizzle 1 tsp olive oil on the chickpeas and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Place chickpeas on middle rack and cauliflower on top rack. Bake chickpeas for 20 mins and cauliflower for 30 mins.
  6. Meanwhile, combine tahini, lemon juice and water. Stir to form a paste. If too thick add a bit more water.
  7. Remove cauliflower and chickpeas from oven and drizzle with tahini sauce.
  8. Top with Za'atar, and salt and pepper.
  9. Serve warm.


With cauliflower, chickpeas and drizzles with a tahini and za'atar sauce, this Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas w/ Tahini & Za'atar makes a healthy side dish recipe inspired by the Mediterranean!Thoughts on recipe re-shoots? What’s your favourite cookbook?


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    April 17, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Bahaha can we just state that your worst photo makes my best photo look like…..think of something bad.

    I feel like I should make this recipe because I remember being kinda jelly when you mentioned eating it a few weeks back. I can already envision meg happy dancing to the cauliflower.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Peanut butter loss and fig custard fail.

    • Reply
      April 19, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      I’m thrilled you’re jumping on the cauliflower chickpea band wagon. It’s nice to have some more people on our ride. I generally cook mine down and then smother it in a butter, cream, tomato, cayenne pepper, tumeric type sauce, but I love your idea of roasting the chickpeas. Gives it a nice textural crunch, and I like a little crunch in my bite, if you know what I’m saying.
      Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: The Blend Edition

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    April 17, 2014 at 7:21 am

    I’m contemplating doing a ‘recipe redo’ of some old recipes on the blog – some of my oldest are my absolute best, so it makes me sad that the pictures look so bad! I’ll probably wait until I’m actually ‘good’ with photography rather than just ‘decent’ (although it’s a step up from ‘horrible’, as I was when I first started blogging…)
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…5 Tips for Working At Home.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Er yes please to this bowl…tahini can’t do no wrong, especially when za’atar & chickpeas are involved! I kinda agree with you about the recipe redos- ain’t nobody got time for that! However I have recently been going through old recipes and playing around with them. If ingredients change & the end result is worth a post, I probably will repost about them. I must have started reading your blog after you pimped out your photography skills because I only ever remember it being a corner of major food porn ;)!
    Khushboo recently posted…Non-dairy breakfasts

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Mmm, I would like this for lunch today! I’ve never tried roasted cauliflower. I always end up pureeing it with a ton of butter & salt.

    I LOVE cookbooks – it’s one of the first places I visit in the bookstore. I really want to pick up Oh She Glows book. Her food & photos are so vibrant and beautiful.

    And your cookbook, obvi
    Jo @ LIVING MINT GREEN recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: I’m Possessed

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    April 17, 2014 at 8:56 am

    i have been thinking of doing the same thing for a while hasnt happened yet. i cringe at my old pics too but at the same time, im proud of how far i have come along..okay i lied, i sometimes wonder what was i thinking? love the idea of roasted cauliflower with zaatar i have yet to try that spice.
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health recently posted…Minka’s Rolls (Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls)

  • Reply
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife
    April 17, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I love how cauliflower can take on all sorts of flavors. This would be such a tasty, satisfying side! (Congrats on the index too. I know from personal experience that it is a BEAST to tackle!)
    Erin | The Law Student’s Wife recently posted…Raspberry Chipotle Bacon Grilled Cheese

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    April 17, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Something with tahini sauce – yes please!!! My favorite cookbooks are The Kind Diet, Isa Does It (and her other cookbooks), and I really want to buy the new Oh She Glows cookbook!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Ahhh this looks so fabulous and delicious! Thank you for sharing!
    Yasmin recently posted…Embrace YOU!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    April 17, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Your recipe index looks fab. I’m jel. Mine needs a makeover. This dish is SO up my alley. I freaking love za’atar but I’ve never bought it!! Whyyyyyyyyy.
    Alexis @ Hummusapien recently posted…Berry Spinach Salad with Maple Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas and Balsamic Dressing

  • Reply
    Karen @ Kama Fitness
    April 17, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Love cauliflower it’s one of my faves! This duo of cauliflower and chickpeas is a must try..Thanks for sharing!! & making me hungry! 😉
    Karen @ Kama Fitness recently posted…Burn Extra Calories Babyyy; Eat Breakfast

  • Reply
    Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner
    April 17, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I think roasted cauliflower is my favorite way to have it. Plus I love anything with chickpeas. So this dish is totally something whip up. I almost always have these ingredients on hand.
    I know what you mean about looking at older posts. I did the same recently and I down rate hate some of the pictures, but it was the best I could do at the time so I have to stay proud of it. I have no qualms about making a recipe again and re-posting it (if enough time as passed in between dates). I’ve seen other bloggers do it and I think to myself “wow, if she’s willing to post it again then it must be really good.” Maybe that’s me being nieve. For all I know, she just ran out of ideas. Lol. Bottom line, you do what you want. It’s YOUR blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
    April 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I love roasted chickpeas! I bet the texture contrast here is awesome. Za’atar is one of my favorite spices to play with. 🙂
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Life is a Jungle Gym + WIAW

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I tried to make roasted chickpeas before and they were kinda soggy… I did NOT let them dry completely! Note to self!!!!!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Yay! I bought a jar of tahini and I need more recipes to use it for other than hummus and this yogurt dip!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Yoga For Strength and Flexibility

  • Reply
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness
    April 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Oh this sounds good! I’m sad that I have recently discovered that my stomach doesn’t really like cauliflower :(. I love roasted and raw cauliflower so I’m hoping that my stomach handles the roasted a bit better. I have yet to have successful roasted chick peas. Mine always turn out mushy.
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted…Wildcats, School and Costco

  • Reply
    Megan @ The Skinny-Life
    April 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I’ve been roasting a ton of cauliflower lately too. I even made a pizza with cauliflower a few weeks back. I used to never love it, but now that I’ve discovered how versatile it is I cannot get enough of it. Do you have any advice for improving photography? I’ve actually considered taking a class as it is not my strong suit.
    Megan @ The Skinny-Life recently posted…Comment on Some Reflection by Michael Anderson

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Defffff no time for re-shoots, I also think it’s fun to see how photography grows within the blogs. No shame in our earlier game. I just wanna be on your level man.
    Brittany recently posted…Poo Poo Point

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    April 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve been going back and reshooting some of my old recipes, not so much because of photography, but because I didn’t have a post to accompany them and I wanted to give them some more attention. Also… please harass me to attack my recipes page. Please? I’ll pay you with skillet cookies.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #74 .

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I absolutely need this in my life. I’m just going to print out this recipe and “forget” it on my mom’s desk when I’m home this weekend.
    PB&Jess recently posted…Thursdays are for

  • Reply
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project
    April 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Yum! I didn’t start eating cauliflower until this past year because I didn’t realize how many great ways there are to cook it! I’ve never had it with tahini sauce before! Sounds yummy!
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project recently posted…Lime and Cumin Salmon & Meet Your New Volunteer!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Almond Eater
    April 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I was actually just thinking about this the other day… part of my wants to go through and reshoot some old recipes but the larger part of me says NOOOO because it’s all about the journey and it’s fun to see the progression! I have come a long way and I still got a ways to go, but I love that about blogging and it’s the same with my writing too.
    Erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…Thinking Out Loud

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    April 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I love cauliflower and I love chickpeas, so I know I would love this. But I don’t know what Za’atar is, so I’ll need to look that up and start experimenting.
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl recently posted…Top Protein Sources for Vegetarians

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    April 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I LOVE that you won’t go back and rephotograph. I feel like that decision perfectly encapsulates so many of the things I love about your blog. 🙂

    I’ve yet to find a cookbook that really works for me. I have a bunch of vegetarian ones, but I’ve honestly only made one or two recipes from them. In other news, can you believe I’ve never had crunchy/baked chickpeas? I’m not sure how it’s possible but it’s the truth! I think I need to make remedying that a life priority.
    Kim @ BusyBod recently posted…Our NY bucket list

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    April 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I hate looking too far back at some of my earlier posts. Not that my photography is much to speak of now but the first posts where you are trying to navigate the whole blog thing have some pretty bad pictures. I don’t bother to fix them either though…Love roasted cauliflower and chick peas. They are pretty routine in my world – as in several days a week.
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Thinking Out Loud – Hormones Speak For Themselves

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Davida, I cannot get over the rawness of your posts. I can just tell that you are being your authentic self. Thanks for being so relatable 🙂 really. Been on your list for 3 months…thats me. Easily distracted…both hands raised. I feel ya girl. Ohhh and the photography, i’ve only had my blog for 6 months, haven’t got a DSLR yet and shocked at my improvement so far. Your photos are always perfect. Keep it up. As for the recipe, ummm sounds awesome. I have an obsession with cauliflower lately and this looks like a fun way to eat it!! Thanks for sharing.
    Kelly – LEFT SIDE OF THE TABLE recently posted…{Denise’s} German Potato Salad

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    April 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Such a delicious garden happy recipe! Im cauliflower obsessed so I’m going to be all over this recipe when our cauliflower is ready to pick!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    April 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I loveeee chickpeas! So I don’t like 2 vegetables, and cauliflower is one of them. Ha! That and brussel sprouts…no thank you! 😉
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…A Visit to The Hoover Dam

  • Reply
    April 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Ughhhhhhh I LOVE roasted cauliflower. Seriously the best thing ever! I can see a big change in your photography too and it’s so cool! I’ve decided to accept the fact that my photography will forever be C+ because 1) I’m not that talented at it which is fine and 2) I have other ways I want to grow in my blog….therefore I leave the professional food photography to you, because dear Lord you are good at it! You really do have a talent.
    Paige@FitNotFad recently posted…Vegas State of Mind

  • Reply
    April 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I love roasted cauliflower! This would be so good.
    I’m not into photography, as I have neither a smidgen of style or creativity. I use my iPhone for allmy pictures, and as long a so can tell what it is, meh. But it might be fun if you’re the creative type to re-shoot old favorites with a new theme or angle. There’s a ton if stuff you can do with food photography, as I understand it, if you’re not lazy like me.
    Emily recently posted…Yes I Can!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I must have missed the bad photos because for as long as I’ve been following your blog you have always had incredible pictures!!!
    Kim recently posted…What Matters Most

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    April 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Im starting to go back and ‘revamp’ some of my old photos and recipes. I intend to keep the original posts in tact though!!
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy! recently posted…Healthy Vegan Fridays [14] + HV News!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Photography is one of those things that, at least for me, I feel like I’m always working on improving. Every year I think my photos have improved so much, but then I look back a year later and i feel the same way! So it’s good to always be learning and growing. Your photos are great! They certainly make me want to dive headfirst into this bowl!
    Joanne recently posted…Coconut Cake with Silk Meringue Buttercream

  • Reply
    Good good links #35 | Let's get living
    April 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    […] Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas w/ Tahini & Za’atar via The Healthy Maven […]

  • Reply
    April 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I should reshoot literally everything up until today. I’m embarrassed of my blog’s first 7 months haha.
    Cassie recently posted…Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding

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    25 Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes in Under 30 Minutes! - The Healthy Maven
    July 23, 2014 at 5:02 am

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  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    March 7, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I finally got around to make this (after all your high praise that this was one of your favourite dishes, I had to try), and I agree: roasted, slightly crunchy cauliflower is incredibly delicious! Love me some tahini sauce, yum! I’m sure I’ll make this quite often. 🙂
    Stella @ Stellicious Life recently posted…Oriental Lentil Casserole

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