This cauliflower salad is tender cauliflower florets tossed with bacon and cheddar cheese in a creamy dressing. A low carb alternative to potato salad that’s packed full of savory flavors!
When I’m looking for a hearty salad with bold flavors, I whip up a bowl of avocado tuna salad, seafood salad, or this cauliflower salad loaded with bacon, cheese and herbs.
Potato salad is delicious and all, but sometimes I’m trying to keep my carbs in check. This cauliflower salad has all the same great flavors of potato salad, but with a fraction of the carbs.
How do you make cauliflower salad?
This salad starts with cooked cauliflower florets, which go in a large bowl along with cheddar cheese cubes, crumbled bacon and green onions. A creamy mayonnaise based dressing is poured over the top, and everything gets tossed together. Garnish with additional bacon and green onions, then serve and enjoy.
How to cook cauliflower
You’ll need to cook your cauliflower for this salad, and there are a few different techniques you can use. I typically just blanch my cauliflower, but any of these methods will work just fine.
- Blanch: Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain the cauliflower and place it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry, then proceed with the recipe.
- Steam: Heat 1 inch of water to boiling salted water in a shallow pan. Add the cauliflower in a single layer. Cover the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Remove the cauliflower from the pan. Let it cool, then prepare your salad.
- Roast: Heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Coat the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a greased sheet pan in a single layer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until tender. Cool, then use it in the recipe.
Tips for the perfect salad
- Take care to not overcook your cauliflower. It should be crisp-tender. If the cauliflower is overly soft it will turn mushy as you toss the salad.
- I like to include the cubes of the cheese in this salad because I think it imparts a lot of flavor, but you can use shredded cheese if you prefer.
- This salad stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Keep in mind that the bacon will soften as it sits in the dressing. If you’re looking to prepare this salad in advance, stir in the bacon right before serving.
Cauliflower salad variations
You can add different ingredients to this salad to customize it to your tastes.
- Protein: Add some protein to the mix such as cubed chicken, hard boiled eggs or shrimp.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add more vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots or red onion.
- Herbs: No green onions on hand? Try using fresh chives, basil, dill or parsley.
No matter how you serve this cauliflower salad, it’s sure to be a huge hit!
MORE SALAD RECIPES TO TRY
For the salad
- 4 cups cauliflower florets cooked, see cooking methods described in post
- 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled, plus more for garnish if desired
- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
- 1/3 cup green onions thinly sliced, plus more for garnish if desired
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
- Place the cauliflower, bacon, cheese and green onions in a large bowl.
For the dressing
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the cauliflower mixture. Toss gently to coat everything in the dressing. Sprinkle with additional bacon and green onions if desired, then serve.
Could I use frozen cauliflower and just undercook it?
Yes that should be fine!
I love the creamy dressing to this salad and the alternative to using cauliflower. Bacon and cheese are yummy options too.
Looks so comforting! I love cheddar in this one.
First time using cauliflower to prepare a salad, but it won’t be my last. 🙂
We love cauliflower salad, but I never thought to add bacon to it. YUM!
Never thought to use cauliflower in a salad – thanks for the idea!
What a hearty salad! All these delicious flavors in one dish!
Such a great alternative to broccoli salad!
mmm..this sounds incredibly delicious!!
This cauliflower salad is looks absolutely delicious! Yummy!
This is truly a fantastic combination of ingredients!
I’ve never seen cauliflower used like this! Must try.