Loaded Cauliflower Potato Salad (Video)
When we tested the recipe for Loaded Cauliflower Potato Salad, we couldn’t stop eating it; you’ll love this low-carb version of potato salad! This tasty mock potato salad will be a hit with everyone who tries it!
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When I first made this Loaded Cauliflower 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 though. 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 worth making, 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 a salad made with cauliflower called “potato salad”?
This recipe is indeed 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 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 few days. 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! And I’d love starting out the week with some of this cauliflower potato salad in the fridge, wouldn’t you?
Loaded Cauliflower Potato Salad
When we tested this recipe for Loaded Cauliflower Potato Salad, we couldn't stop eating it! And this salad has the flavors that make people love potato salad, without the carbs!
- 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 for 2-3 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 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 Potato Salad was first posted in 2017; it was updated and slightly improved May 2021 and was last updated with more information in 2023.
63 Comments on “Loaded Cauliflower Potato Salad (Video)”
If you look after the recipe itself, I give two links (where it says “Nutritional Information”) for suggestions of two ways to get that information.
I’m not able to provide nutritional information for the recipes for several reasons, including the additional time it takes, the difficulty in doing it accurately, and the sheer number of recipes on my site. I have over 2000 recipes here and spend 6-8 hours most days working on the blog. I just can’t edit over 2,000 recipes to add that info, and I know once I do it on one recipe people will expect to see it on every recipe. Thanks for understanding.
This recipe is amazing! We eat keto and want to say thank you for this recipe. It was perfect for our family cookout to keep us track and not falling off the keto wagon.
So glad you enjoyed it Amy!
The “potato salad ” is awesome!!!!
So glad you liked it!
I’m not able to provide nutritional information for the recipes for several reasons, including the additional time it takes, the difficulty in doing it accurately, and the sheer number of recipes on my site. If you look after the recipe itself, I give two links (where it says “Nutritional Information”) for suggestions of two ways to get that information.
I have over 2000 recipes on the site and spend 6-8 hours most days working on the blog. I just can’t edit over 2,000 recipes to add that info, and I know once I do it on one recipe people will expect to see it on every recipe. Thanks for understanding!
This is amazing! Doing Functional Medicine elimination plan so used homemade mayo, skipped the cheese and bacon, then added some pickles, red onions, and a dash of paprika. Let sit over night and this is AMAZING! It’s high in fat but a little is awesome!! Thanks for giving me back a little “comfort” food!!
Love that you were able to adapt it to your dietary needs, and so glad you enjoyed it.
Holy moly! This was the best! I am not a potatoe salad person, but this recipe I will make again and again!
Super simple to make as well!
So glad you liked it!
I made this salad with half potatoes, half cauliflower and found myself picking the potatoes out. Next time I will make with cauliflower only. Was KILLER good.
That made me smile! So glad you enjoyed it!
I make this often, but I cook the cauliflower in the microwave. I have virtually no water to worry about. Pat cauliflower with a paper towel and it's ready to go after a bit of cooling or make and serve warm!
Good idea; I will have to try that!
Can this be made with frozen cauliflower- would it still need to be cooked?
I haven't tried it with frozen cauliflower, but I can't imagine it wouldn't be watery even if you thaw and drain very well. Personally I would only use fresh cauliflower for this, but I'd love to know if you try it and it works okay.
I don't know why, but this comment from "Anonymous" came to my e-mail but never showed up here.
I made this salad for The Fourth of July and everyone LOVED it! I received MANY compliments. I didn't even tell them there was any cauliflower in it at first and people thought it actually was potato salad. I made a double batch with two heads of cauliflower, a pound of bacon, and a cheese mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack. The only thing I changed in the recipe was to add a bit of chopped celery for color and crunch. Yummy! This will definitely be my version of "potato" salad from now on. Thanks, Kalyn and Jake! Oops! I almost forgot. My tip for drying the cauliflower is to put small batches of the cauliflower into a salad spinner and spin away! Then lay the cauliflower out on some paper towels until you're ready to assemble the salad. My salad wasn't the least bit watery.
I made this yesterday and approached others at the barbecue with trepidation, not sure how they'd feel about cauliflower. They ate almost the entire bowl! It was truly lush and delicious.
That's kind of how I felt before I tried it too! So glad to hear it was a hit for you!
I made this yesterday – only change was I mixed a bit (1-2 T) of the bacon grease into it. I can testify that it tasted as good or even better today! Thank you for a great recipe – as are all the recipes I try from you!
So glad you liked it! And mmm, more bacon flavor sounds so good in this!
I made this for our Canada Day celebration (okay, it was just the two of us), and it was delicious! I added chopped dill pickle and a tablespoon or 2 of grated onion because that's the way I make potato salad, and it was great! I mix a (very) little of the dill pickle juice with the mayonnaise to thin the dressing. Thanks for another yummy recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it! I do like that idea of dill pickle juice in the mayo!
Thank you for the grated onion idea! I don't have onion powder, and wondered what I was going to use! In the middle of making it right this minute.
Glad that worked out well for you!
This was delicious! I skipped the eggs and slightly oversteamed the cauliflower, but served it at a party and everyone loved it. Thanks!
So glad you enjoyed it! I'll have to tell my sister Pam that you can make it without eggs!
I love using cauliflower as a low-carb option! I've tried cauliflower pizza crust, bang bang cauliflower, using it as rice, and so many more. Now I have another recipe to try,thanks!
Hope you enjoy Kelly!
We made this Mock Potato Salad recipe this morning to take to our daughter-in-laws birthday party this afternoon. We followed your recipe exactly and we even made our own Paleo mayo dressing. It tastes incredible and I have no doubt that everyone will love it like we do and will be asking me where I found this recipe. Kalyn thank you for creating and sharing all of your fabulous recipes with us. I always look forward to reading them everyday.
My pleasure! So glad you enjoyed it, and I love that you made your own mayo!
That's why I let the cauliflower drain until it was completely dry!
Would it work to use a salad spinner?
I haven’t made with a salad spinner. There is plenty more to do while the cauliflower drains well, so to me it doesn’t feel like much an advantage, but it probably won’t hurt if you prefer that method. Don’t spin too vigorously though or the softened cauliflower will stick to the slits in the salad spinner.
I appreciate comments from everyone with an interest in the recipe. However I don't publish comments that use brand names too frequently, as they may seem like an endorsement of that product.
No kidding this looks fabulous! Of course I would skip the bacon!
Letty I think it will still be good without bacon!
If ever there were a time I wished I loved cauliflower, this is it! What a fantastic looking recipe. but you give me an idea — I can swap in half potatoes, and try to love the cauliflower that way. It works with soup, half and half, so maybe it will work here, for me. And maybe the grandkids will like it, too.
Lydia, when it took it to the family party we were talking about the idea of making a version with some potatoes combined with the cauliflower, so I think that's a great idea!