Make these cauliflower cashew lunch bowls ahead of time and have work lunches ready for the week! Roasted cauliflower, toasted cashews, barley and chickpeas are all tossed in a delicious honey-ginger vinaigrette!
I love a hearty, healthy vegetarian lunch that can be enjoyed without reheating, like these Cold Sesame Noodle Meal Prep Bowls or Southwestern Sweet Potato and Lentil Jar Salads. Another wonderfully simple and satisfying recipe are these cauliflower lunch bowls!
The roasted cauliflower, pearl barley, toasted cashews, and chickpeas all have a mild, somewhat nutty taste to them, creating a harmonious bowl of earthy, irresistible flavor. These bowls are surprisingly filling and with fuel you through the afternoon!
This recipe is enough to create 4 individual meal prepped bowls, perfect for enjoying as healthy lunches throughout the week.
Reasons you’ll ♡ these cauliflower cashew bowls
- easy to meal prep with simple, wholesome ingredients
- vegetarian (easily made vegan!), but packed with protein
- stores well for up to 4 days in the fridge, and only gets more flavorful the longer it sits
Wondering how to meal make these lunch bowls? Watch this 1 minute video to see how easy it is to prepare! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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Ingredients you'll need
- Barley- go for pearl barley. For a gluten-free option, quinoa works great!
- Cauliflower- 8 cups which is one small head of cauliflower. Use pre-chopped cauliflower as a short cut!
- Chickpeas- one canned drained & rinsed, or make your own for extra flavor using this Instant Pot Chickpeas recipe!
- Cashews- I used roasted + salted cashews for extra flavor.
- Honey Ginger Vinaigrette- a super simple dressing made with olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, grated ginger
Meal prep tips
An entire batch of these lunch bowls are easily made with just a few steps and my simple tips:
- Multi-task - Get the barley cooking first, then roast your cauliflower, and mix up the vinaigrette while everything cooks.
- Cashews - You've been warned: cashews will soften if stored in the fridge, so if you really want that crunch factor, add them just before serving.
- Heating - I love to eat as a cold salad, but cauliflower cashews bowls can definitely be enjoyed hot, too! Ben likes to heat his up in a frying pan and add a fried egg on top for an extra boost of protein.
- Storage - These bowls keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. I do not recommend freezing.
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Can I swap the chickpeas for another vegetarian protein?
Absolutely. Cooked brown lentils would also work well. Let me know in the comments if you try this or another legume option!
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Barley is not gluten-free. Swap for quinoa for a yummy gf option with a similar texture.
Can I make these vegan?
Yes! Simply substitute maple syrup in place of the honey, and you're good to go.
More vegetarian lunch ideas:
- Chickpea, Barley, Butternut Squash Jar Salads
- Kale Barley Salad with Feta and Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette
- Enchilada Sweet Potato Noodles Skillet
- Farro Arugula Salad
- Instant Pot Fiesta Rice Bowls
Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2015. It has been republished with fresh photos, tips and a new video in 2020.
Did you make this? Tag me on social @sweetpeasandsaffron and be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe!
Cauliflower Cashew Lunch Bowls
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon dijon
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger using the fine part of the box grater
- ⅔ cup uncooked pearl barley (makes about 2 cups cooked)
- 1 head cauliflower chopped into bite-sized pieces (8-10 cups)
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup cashews
- 15 oz chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- Cook pearl barley according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
- Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Spread cauliflower on a large baking sheet.
- Roast cauliflower, turning occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, until soft and golden in places.
- Shake together all vinaigrette ingredients.
- Toss all salad ingredients together, divide into 4 sealable lunch containers, and store refrigerated until you're ready to eat.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Serve cold or warm up if you'd prefer.
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