Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad (Video)
When we tested this recipe for Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad, we couldn’t stop eating it, and you’ll love this low-carb version of potato salad!
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When I first made this Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad I took the leftovers to a family party and everyone there loved it. And in a family where very few people care about their carbs (and some don’t even like cauliflower) I knew that meant the recipe had to be a winner. Since then it’s become a huge hit on the blog and with the impending arrival of summer it seems like a great recipe to feature for Friday Favorites this week.
I do understand if you’re skeptical. I noticed recipes for cauliflower “potato salad” for long time before I came up with this one, and every time I read through one, it never sounded like a wow to me. So when I got inspired to see if I could come up with a version that really would be a wow, I consulted my sister Sandee who’s the potato salad queen in my family.
It was the recommendation from Sandee that inspired me to use a lot of mayo and just a tiny bit of mustard in the dressing for the salad, and I also used a generous amount of chopped eggs the way Sandee does in her family-favorite potato salad. And we added plenty of bacon and sharp cheddar too.
This is your assignment for the long holiday weekend coming up: Please. Make. This. Salad. For me it’s been a repeater recipe to make over and over; hope you will enjoy it too!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is ONLY a list of ingredients for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- hard-boiled eggs
- grated sharp cheddar (white or yellow cheddar will work)
- green onion
- Onion Powder (affiliate link)
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- yellow mustard (not Dijon)
Why is it called loaded potato salad?
The word loaded in the recipe title is a reference to loaded baked potatoes that are topped with sour cream, cheese, and bacon. You can make this salad more or less loaded with those ingredients, depending on your preferences.
Why is it called mock potato salad?
This recipe is called mock potato salad because it’s made with cauliflower instead of potatoes, but keeping “potato salad” in the recipe title conveys the idea that this is similar to potato salad.
How to make Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad:
(This is ONLY a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Cut up two pounds of cauliflower into same-sized pieces and steam 5-6 minutes.
- Then drain the cauliflower into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain well. (Don’t rinse with cold water; you want it to continue to cook a little.)
- When you’re ready to make the salad if the cauliflower isn’t quite dry, spread it out on paper towels and blot dry.
- While cauliflower cooks/drains, cook the bacon and drain on paper towels.
- Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs, cool, peel, and chop into pieces.
- Slice green onion, and get the sharp cheddar ready. (We used a mixture of white and yellow cheddar but either one will work.)
- Stir the mayo, yellow mustard, 1 tsp. onion powder, salt, and pepper together to make the dressing.
- Put the well-drained cauliflower into a bowl and top with the chopped hard-boiled eggs; then season with 1/2 tsp. onion powder, salt, and lots of fresh-ground black pepper.
- Add the dressing and combine gently with the cauliflower and eggs.
- Then add the sliced green onion, crisp bacon, and cheese and stir into the salad (again gently) until it’s well combined.
- We ate some right away when we tested the recipe and it was fabulous. But you can also make this ahead and chill for a few hours.
- This was great after it had been in the fridge for a day but I don’t think it would keep longer than a day or two. No worries about that though, because I don’t think this will last for long!
More Salads with Cauliflower:
- Marinated Cauliflower Antipasto Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Feta, Capers, and Red Pepper
- Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Radish Salad
- Low-Carb German Potato Salad
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Feta
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad
When we tested this recipe for Low-Carb Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad, we couldn't stop eating it!
- 2 lb. cauliflower cut into smallish same-sized pieces (see notes)
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and chopped
- 6-8 slices of bacon, cut into short strips and then fried crisp
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (white or yellow cheddar will work; we used some of each)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onion (mostly green parts)
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 tsp. yellow mustard (not Dijon)
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- Cut up cauliflower into smallish same-sized pieces and steam 5-6 minutes in a vegetable steamer (affiliate link) or in a pan with a steamer insert (affiliate link). Test a piece after 5 minutes; you want the cauliflower fairly soft to resemble the texture of potatoes.
- Drain the cauliflower into a colander placed in the sink and let it cool while you prep other ingredients. Don’t rinse; you want it to continue cooking a little.
- When you’re ready to assemble the salad the cauliflower should be quite dry. If it isn’t, spread it out on paper towels placed on the counter and pat dry.
- While the cauliflower cooks and then drains, cut bacon strips in short cross-wise strips and cook until the bacon is very crisp; then drain on paper towels.
- Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs. (click that link to see the method I used, or use your favorite method.) Chop eggs coarsely.
- Slice the green onion. Get one cup of grated sharp cheddar ready.
- Whisk together the mayo, yellow mustard, 1 tsp. onion powder, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper to make the dressing.
- When you’re ready to assemble the salad, put the well-drained (or blotted dry) cauliflower into a bowl and top with the chopped eggs.
- Season well with salt, fresh-ground black pepper, and 1/2 tsp. onion powder; then add the dressing and gently combine with the cauliflower and eggs.
- Add the crisp bacon pieces, sharp cheddar, and green onion and stir (gently) until the salad is well combined. (We saved out a little bacon, green onion, and cheese to garnish the top of the salad!)
- You can eat right away or let the salad chill for a few hours.
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge overnight and can be eaten the next day, although you probably won’t have much left over. I’m guessing it might keep up to two days, but I’ve only kept it overnight.
We started with a 2-lb. bag of cut-up cauliflower and trimmed off some of the stem parts.
This recipe created by Kalyn and Jake after seeing lots of variations of Cauliflower “Potato Salad” that didn’t seem like quite what we wanted, and with advice from my sister Sandee who’s the potato salad queen in my family!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 12gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 793mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad is perfect for low-carb, Keto, or low-glycemic diets and it’s a perfect way to use leftover hard-boiled eggs. It’s definitely a once-in-a-while treat for the original South Beach Diet if you’re following the restrictions on saturated fat, but you could use turkey bacon and reduced-fat cheese if you prefer.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Cauliflower Recipes or Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet TypeIndex to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad was first posted in 2017; it was updated and slightly improved May 2021 and was last updated with more information in 2022.
61 Comments on “Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad (Video)”
I’ve made this and it is very good. I used Happy Salt instead of the spices cause it’s basically the same except maybe has garlic salt in it.
My husband swears this tastes exactly like potato salad. No pressure, but the secret is the texture of the cauliflower!!❤ great recipe… thanks
So glad to hear you are enjoying it!
Is there a substitution for the Mayo for those that can’t eat it ?
I’m afraid I don’t have any experience substituting things for mayo, but try googling it and I bet you can find some suggestions.
Wanting to make your cauliflower fully loaded mock potato salad!!! Could you please tell me how many cups of cauliflower 2 pounds would be??
According to Google, one pound of cauliflower is 1 1/2 cups. so that would be three cups. I haven’t ever measured it in cups, but I would probably use about 4 cups.
This is a wonderful salad with cauliflower. I’ve made it twice now and the first time I forgot the cheddar cheese and it was still delicious. Great recipe.
So glad you are enjoying the salad!
I steamed the cauliflower in the instapot, so it didn’t need to dry. I also did the eggs in the instapot. This is one of my favorite of your recipes. I look forward to making it each summer.
So glad you are enjoying it! I love how you used the Instant Pot!
I doubt Diane will see your question, since that was from 2020 but I bet you can find instructions for that by Googling it.
Awesome salad and so easy to make. Can’t wait to serve it to my friends!!
So glad you enjoyed!
I’m a huge fan of cauliflower. This is a really good cauliflower recipe idea. I will make it tomorrow. Thank you!
I started w 1/2 the homemade mayo dressing ! ; then made it a second time!…
So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Definitely a winner. My husband ask for seconds and said “This on is a do over”. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
So glad you guys enjoyed it.
I just made this today 9-16-19 and it’s so yummy! It was so easy to make! I used crumbled pre cooked bacon I had on hand. I cooked the eggs the day before and tossed it together. So yummy!
So glad you enjoyed!
This blog is focused on carb-conscious eating, so adding potatoes into a cauliflower salad would be not in tune with that. This is called “Loaded” potato salad as a word play on loaded baked potatoes, so that’s why it includes cheese. And of course the cheese is a delicious addition.
Of course you are always free to make the recipe any way you prefer.