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caramelized onions, lentils and cauliflower salad

Caramelized Onions, Lentils and Cauliflower Salad

  • Author: Emily Toshiko
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Caramelized onion, lentil and cauliflower salad is a healthy hearty side dish, packed full of flavors. The caramelized onions add a touch of sweetness to the slightly charred cauliflower and green lentils.


  • 3 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 c dried green lentils
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss together the cauliflower florets, 1 tbsp olive oil,  ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp garlic powder. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. 
  2. Cook 1 cup of lentils in salted water according to package directions. 
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet. Add the sliced onions and ¼ tsp salt. Saute over medium-low heat for 30-35 minutes until caramelized. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Set aside ¼ cup of caramelized onions to use for the topping. 
  4. Turn down the heat to low and add the thyme, onion powder and freshly ground black pepper to the remaining onions. Stir for 30 seconds, then add in the cauliflower and lentils. Toss gently until combined and evenly heated through. 
  5. To serve: place the caramelized onion, lentil and cauliflower salad on a platter or in a large bowl. Top with the remaining  ¼ cup of caramelized onions, freshly ground black pepper and parsley if using. Enjoy!


  • Although this is more of a side dish, I often eat a giant bowl as the main part of my lunch!
  • This is a dish that tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to combine.
  • Caramelizing the onions is the key to the sweet, buttery flavors of this dish. Make sure to let them cook over medium-low heat until they reach a deep golden brown color.

Keywords: caramelized onions, lentils and cauliflower salad