Roasted Mole Cauliflower with Chickpeas

Overhead shot of mole cauliflower on a sheet tray, tossed and roasted with mole sauce.

As with most recipes, the most delicious ones come from pure happenstance and whatever I happen to have on hand. This mole cauliflower came about for two reason. An assistant who made a massive amount of mole and a last-minute potluck where I needed to bring a dish. I happen to have a head of cauliflower on hand, so I set to work.

I realize this the mole sauce may be a red flag for some because at it’s root, it’s a complex process with 25+ ingredients. However, you have options here. To start, find local Mexican grocers who might have homemade mole paste for sale. This is best place to start. If you can’t find any there, make a quick version from a recipe like this or this. Or of course, if you’re in it to win it, make an authentic batch.

Mole Cauliflower


Nuts: Pepitas a are a kitchen staple for me but you might not have them on hand. Look and see what nut/seed was used in the mole sauce and try to either match or compliment that. Toasted almond slices or pecans would be lovely.

Grain Bowl: Really the only thing missing, to make this a dinner, is grains. I could easily make a meal out of this cauliflower mix with the help of quinoa, farro, or millet.

Mole: If you don’t feel like trying your hand at mole, you could swap out sauces. I’d recommend roasting the cauliflower in a romesco sauce or a flavorful masala paste. The flavor in this dish is really in whatever you roast the cauliflower in- don’t skip!



Perfect as a side salad or vegan lunch, this roasted mole cauliflower is full of flavor and easy to make.


4 cups chopped cauliflower (roughly 1 medium heat)

½ cup mole sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup cilantro

Zest from 1 lemon

1 clove garlic

1 ½ cups (or 1 can) cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ cup toasted pepitas

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Salt, to taste 


  • Heat the oven to 425˚F. Combine the chopped cauliflower with the mole sauce, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender; 30 minutes or so.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, place the cilantro on a cutting board and add lemon zest and garlic. Chop until everything is well-combined and minced finely.
  • Once the cauliflower is tender, remove from the oven and stir in the chickpeas (optional), pepitas, cilantro, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the salt/lemon juice and desired. Serve warm or cold.


Tips + Tricks: As mentioned, look for homemade mole at a local Mexican grocery store. If you can’t find any there, make a quick version from a recipe like this or this. Or of course, if you’re in it to win it, make an authentic batch.

Use up leftover ingredients: cauliflower, pepitas, cilantro


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the mixture
  • Calories: 245
  • Sugar: 7.1
  • Sodium: 588
  • Fat: 12.9
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Carbohydrates: 25.6
  • Fiber: 7.9
  • Protein: 10.5
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: mole cauliflower, roasted cauliflower

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