This cauliflower potato salad recipe goes with all your grilling favorites. It’s creamy, flavorful, and packed with classic ingredients. You won’t miss the spuds with this perfect keto side dish.
Grilling season is here and everyone is getting together for easy backyard parties and barbecues. And they’re bringing popular summer sides like potato salad. But you don’t eat potatoes, so what do you do?
You bring this easy cauliflower salad, of course! What a silly question. And then you sit back and enjoy the good times with friends and family.
I brought this to a get together recently and it was a massive hit. People couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the real thing! I think I gave out the recipe to at least a dozen people.
Serve it alongside dishes like 7 Layer Salad, Grilled Zucchini, and my famous Dry Rub Ribs and you have the perfect menu for a summer party.
Why you will love this recipe
This cauliflower salad recipe features all the great flavors and mix-ins of the potato salads you used to love as a kid, with a mere fraction of the carbs. In fact, it has only 5g net carbs per serving.
And because it’s so light and fresh, you can indulge in even more of it. SCORE!
The cauliflower can be roasted, marinated, or lightly steamed. And you can play with the dressings and flavors to suit your tastes.
This recipe takes its cues from the classic potato salad served frequently in the summer. It’s packed with hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, and some crispy bacon for good measure.
All tossed together in a large bowl for an easy and healthy summer side dish.
“I like to try anything that is supposed to taste like something else it just never measures up. but I tried this tonight and I can only say thank you for this recipe; It’s delicious full of flavour and the texture is very similar.” — Laura
“I love this recipe. Other bloggers got popular in this low carb, keto rush. But Carolyn’s recipes are complete….well done and reliable. Can’t say that for every keto low carb blogger/author.” — Anne
“Just made this. YES! YES! YES! This definitely quells my craving for potato salad. And I followed your tip for the eggs, exactly, and I swear the shells practically slipped off the eggs by themselves. The only change I made was using 4 eggs instead of 3. SO DELICIOUS!” — MC
This delicious keto side dish is made with fresh ingredients available everywhere. You will need:
- Cauliflower florets: You can steam fresh cauliflower until it’s fork tender. But you can also purchase frozen cauliflower and let it thaw completely. It’s the perfect texture.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Be sure to read below for my fool-proof way to hard boil eggs perfectly. They peel like a dream!
- Celery: This adds some additional crunch and nutrition to cauliflower potato salad.
- Bacon: Because everything tastes better with bacon! Cook it nice and crisp to add texture and flavor.
- Green onion: You can also use chives or chopped red onions.
- Mayonnaise: You can use homemade or store-bought mayonnaise. I really like Primal Kitchen or Chosen Foods. Duke’s is another popular choice.
- Dijon mustard: The unique flavor of Dijon adds a little kick to the dressing.
- Lemon juice: I highly recommend fresh lemon juice for this recipe. It helps give it a tangy freshness and keeps the veggies from browning as they sit.
- Seasonings: Paprika, salt, and pepper.
1. Hard-boil the eggs: Bring the water to a full boil before adding the eggs, the lower them in carefully with a slotted spoon. Set the timer for 12 minutes.
While the eggs are cooking, set up a bowl with water and ice. Once the eggs are done, transfer them straight to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Give them 10 minutes to cool and they should peel quite easily.
Chop two of the eggs for the salad dressing, and slice the third egg for garnish.
2. Cook the cauliflower: Cauliflower cooks much faster than potatoes, so you want a light touch here. Don’t even leave the kitchen, it will be done in a flash!
Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and place in a large saucepan filled about halfway with water. Bring to a boil and and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until fork tender. Drain in colander and let cool.
PRO TIP: I tested this recipe out with frozen cauliflower florets recently. You don’t even need to cook them, just thaw them completely and they should be just the right texture for cauliflower potato salad. It’s a great shortcut!
3. Put it all together: Place the cauliflower, chopped egg, bacon, celery, and green onion in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and paprika and stir until everything is nicely coated.
4. Garnish and serve: Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then garnish with the sliced egg and some additional paprika. Place the salad in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes or so before serving.
Want a great shortcut? Grab a 16-ounce bag of frozen cauliflower florets. Let them thaw completely and chop into bite-sized pieces, if they’re big. The freezing and thawing process should make them just the right tenderness for this recipe.
Cauliflower salad is always best fresh, but the leftovers are good for several days. You can make this ahead of time and serve the next day. Keep leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can easily customize this cauliflower salad to your own personal taste. You can add some cayenne pepper, garlic powder, celery salt, chopped dill pickles, fresh dill, fresh tarragon or any other favorite potato salad ingredient.
Frequently Asked Questions
For those of us who are eating a low-carb diet, cauliflower is a very popular substitute for potatoes. Cauliflower has a mild flavor so it takes on the flavors of the other ingredients. It is also low in carbohydrates and can be steamed, roasted, boiled, fried and grilled – just like potatoes!
This cauliflower salad recipe has 6.5g of carbs and 2.5g of fiber per serving. That comes to 4g net carbs per ¾ cup serving.
Even if you aren’t on a low carb or keto diet, cauliflower is a healthy choice. It has more vitamins and minerals than potatoes do, as well as fewer calories and carb. Overall, it’s more nutrient dense and it won’t fill you up nearly as much. Which leaves more room for other healthy foods.
Want more light summer recipes?
Cauliflower Potato Salad Recipe
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 ribs celery sliced
- 6 slices cooked bacon chopped
- 2 medium green onions white and light green parts only, chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot over medium high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Gently lower the eggs into the water and boil about 12 minutes.
- While the eggs are cooking, fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Once the eggs are done, quickly transfer the eggs to the ice bath. Let sit 10 minutes before peeling. Chop two of the eggs and slice the third.
- In another large pot, place the cauliflower florets and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the cauliflower is just fork tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped eggs, cauliflower, celery, bacon, and green onions, and toss to combine. Add the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon juice, and paprika. Stir until well mixed and the cauliflower is well coated.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the sliced egg.
Cauliflower is a fodmap vegetable for me. Too bad there isn’t a substitute.
I am sure there is… radishes? Turnips?
Had this last night as part of a picnic supper–hamburgers ( no buns) and your cauliflower potato salad–with your fudge sickles for dessert. All Delicious!!
Great to hear!
So if you use the frozen cauliflower, thawed but not cooked, what weight bag do you use for this recipe?
I mentioned the amount in the Expert tips… 16 ounces.
Just curios, how long did it take to thaw the frozen cauliflower?
An hour or so?
This is really delicious, full of flavor!
but I made it with cubed cooked turnips- everybody thought it was potatoes!
Nancy Adle says
I find that if I cook the cauliflower the day before and refrigerate. Then the next day I set it in a strainer to let it dry?drip for an hour or so that the salad comes out dryer and keeps longer in the fridge without becoming watery.
Bonnie Traynor says
The Creamy Cauliflower Salad was amazing!! Family approved!bo
I’m curious.. in the first paragraph, it says this cauliflower salad recipe is dairy free. Yet it has eggs and mayonnaise in the list of ingredients. 🤷🏻♀️
Neither eggs nor mayonnaise are dairy. Eggs come from chickens, not cows. Mayo is made with eggs and oil. No dairy.
I find the smell of cooked cauliflower very off-putting… like sulphur. How do you manage that and what causes it?
Pam B says
Thank you for your tips. I tried to make something like this last year and it was a watery mess. This time I cut florets small, put in a colander after cooking . Let it drain until cool. Then I made it using my usual ingredients except potato. It tasted very close to usual. I made it the day before use to allow the flavors to meld.
I made this. My wife makes a great potato salad and I was looking for something low carb that I could replace potato salad with, and this is it. I made it pretty much as written except I added a handful of chopped onion, 2 Tbs pickle relish, and a Tbs of cider vinegar. I cooked the cauliflower in my instant pot on high pressure for 0 minutes. I really liked this cauliflower salad.
I am so glad to hear it!
Laura Pizziketti says
I just made this and it will be my go to summer grilling side dish….the hardest part of these recipes is that dang cooling time!!