This cauliflower potato salad recipe is a wonderful low carb salad. For the Keto option just make it with all cauliflower and no potatoes. If you’re like me, you love potato salad but don’t love all the carbs. This potato salad recipe is an easy way to satisfy those potato salad cravings without all the extra carbs I don’t need.
Potato salad has always been one of my favorite dishes, and it’s a big hit with the family. I figured it would be off the menu when I’m watching carbs, which of course made me crave it even more! So I was very interested when I read online that cauliflower can be used in place of some or all of the potatoes. They swore it tasted almost the same as regular potato salad. I didn’t believe it, but I like potato salad so much I was willing to give it a try.
As unusual as it sounded to me, the claims were true. Cauliflower does make a fantastic potato salad! I didn’t realize how much of the traditional potato salad taste I crave comes from the combination of dressing, eggs and crispy veggies chilled together. I was truly surprised that the potatoes themselves weren’t necessary for a great potato salad experience
You don’t have to worry about this recipe being too “weird” for everyone in the family to enjoy. My kids could barely tell the difference when I tried replacing all of the potatoes with cauliflower. And when I made it with half potatoes and half cauliflower, they didn’t even notice.
Cauliflower potato salad sounds a little scary, but believe me, it’s anything but. Give it a try and find out what an easy way it is to cut carbs and still enjoy the potato salad taste you love.
You’ll need just half a pound of potatoes to make the half and half version. The number of potatoes will vary according to the size and type of you’re working with, but you want roughly two cups diced.
I avoid using Russet potatoes because they’re starchier, which makes them more likely to fall apart during cooking. I buy inexpensive white potatoes for my potato salad and save the Russets for baking or mashing. The white potatoes stay firm, hold their shape and don’t mush up into the dressing. Yukon Gold, Fingerling, and New potatoes are also said to be good choices for potato salad. If you try one of those types let me know. You might convince me to give them a try!
If you want to replace all of the potatoes in this recipe with cauliflower, just use two heads. I wanted to try it half and half first to ease into the idea. Now that I’m loving it I don’t hesitate to use all cauliflower, and in some ways I prefer it. It’s not as heavy as the version with some potatoes, and there’s a way to use all cauliflower where you can skip the stove all together!
The secret is using frozen cauliflower florets! Two one-pound bags of florets replace each head of cauliflower you’re using in the recipe. I keep it easy and cook the cauliflower according to the microwave instructions on the package. Then I drain them thoroughly and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until they’re completely cool. When I’m ready to mix the salad up, I just grab them from the fridge and toss them into the dressing.
If you’re doing the half and half version, it’s still very easy cooking. Cauliflower and potato cook at a similar rate, with cauliflower cooking very slightly faster. I can still cook them all together with a little trick: I dice the potatoes slightly smaller than I would for a regular potato salad. That way they cook at the same rate.
There are a lot of methods for cooking potatoes for salad. I like to peel and chop them first. Then I start them in cold water, which discourages them from breaking down and releasing too much starch. It’s the same idea which behind the method my grandmother used, which was boiling them with their skins on, and then peel them after they’re cooked.
The dressing for this salad gets its wonderful savory flavor from using plenty of dill pickle and Dijon mustard. I don’t recommend changing the dressing ingredients too much, but the veggies and mix-ins are easy to customize. You can replace the veggies in the recipe with your favorites, or add them in addition. The dressing is generous, so there should be enough to coat an extra cup or so of chopped veggies, extra egg, or whatever you’d like.
It’s important to me to make my food look as good as it tastes, especially when I’m trying something new. I started adding chopped red pepper to my potato salad for the color. I was surprised at how much its fresh, slightly sweet flavor added to the salad.
I also used green onions instead of regular bulb onions because their tops are a built-in garnish. Just chop them up and sprinkle them over the salad for instant prettiness. I’ve come to like green onions in my salad more than bulb onions because they have a milder flavor, and they don’t get super-strong as the salad chills in the fridge.
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This cauliflower potato salad can either be made with half cauliflower/half potato for a lower carb option or all cauliflower for a Keto option.
- 3 eggs + cooking water
- 1 head fresh cauliflower (chopped into florets, discard the core)
- 2 cups potatoes (peeled and chopped into small-ish bite-size pieces OR another head of cauliflower + cooking water)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup mayo
- 3 – 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard (to taste)
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup dill pickle (chopped)
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1/4 cup green onion (5 stalks, chopped and tops set aside for garnish)
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: low-carb sweetener equivalent to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon sugar (see package for amounts)
- Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and turn the heat off. Let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Drain and refrigerate 30 minutes, or until cool. Peel the eggs and store in cold water in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Add the cauliflower and potatoes (if using) to a large cooking pot. Cover with cold water and stir in the salt.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer 8-10 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Remove from heat and drain into a colander. Rinse under cold water and transfer to a bowl. Cover with ice cold water let stand in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mayo, mustard, pepper and optional sweetener together.
- Drain the cauliflower and potatoes and pat dry. Fold into the dressing mixture.
- Chop the hard-boiled eggs and fold into the salad. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl.
- Chop the green onion tops and sprinkle over the salad.
- Cover and refrigerate at least half an hour, or until ready to serve.
This recipe makes 7-8 cups of potato cauliflower salad. It doubles easily if you’re cooking for a crowd.
Store leftover salad covered in the refrigerator. It stays fresh for at least one week, and the flavor gets even better as it chills.
If you’d like to add some sweetener to the dressing, Stevia is a good natural choice. Splenda and other artificial sweeteners will also work if clean eating is not a priority.
Green onions are also called scallions. No matter what name they’re sold as, they’re the same thing.
- Calories: 111
- Sugar: 1
- Sodium: 609
- Fat: 6
- Saturated Fat: 1
- Carbohydrates: 10
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 3
- Cholesterol: 64