the BEST Cauliflower Potato Salad (low-carb, Paleo)

 Why not a potato salad made with cauliflower instead of potatoes? It takes absolutely no more time than potatoes, is low carb, and just as tasty as the starchy version. A traditional potato salad recipe made healthier, this is the best Cauliflower Potato Salad  no-wait- the best potato salad… period. Your family and friends won’t even notice the swap out, I promise you!

I am in love with how easy it is to swap out cauliflower for potatoes in so many recipes. I do it often in macaroni and cheese and ABSOLUTELY use cauliflower for mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.

"Faux" Potato Salad. Cauliflower potato salad without potatoes.

Potato salad is such a classic summer side dish that we all love. However, so many of us are trying to reduce the simple carbs from our diets. Swapping cauliflower for potatoes in the traditional recipe is a simple and super-effective swap that keeps all the flavor and texture of the potato with none of the simple carbs. The best part is that it is actually EASIER than the potatoes because you can skip all that darn peeling.

Key Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower. I prefer to use a head of cauliflower and cut it into florets, myself. But use already prepared florets to keep it easier, if you prefer. I would recommend that you stay with fresh cauliflower and not frozen so you can be sure that it is steamed just until done and doesn’t get too watery or soft.
  • Hard-boiled eggs. Just like the traditional potato salad, cauliflower potato salad benefits from the hard boiled eggs. Make them yourself or pick up a package of already made hard-boiled eggs in your egg section.
  • Celery. The texture (and nutrition) of celery adds so much to this recipe. Chop up your celery as finely as you prefer.
  • Onion. A good pile of chopped onion gives this salad a nice flavor and texture. If your family doesn’t like onion, skip it. Or try using freshly chopped green onion.
  • Peas. Frozen peas work fabulously in this salad. I recommend you thaw them first to be sure they don’t produce any additional water in your finished salad. But don’t cook them. They will have a fabulous bit of “pop” in the mouth.
  • Bacon. Totally optional. Well, not really. Bacon is always necessary :). Buy already cooked bacon to make it easier on yourself, if you like.
  • Mayo. Or sub Greek Yogurt for a healthier option. I like to use half mayo and half yogurt without my family have one. single. clue.
  • Mustard. Traditional yellow mustard works great! Amp up the flavor with some horseradish mustard or another specialty variety.
Cauliflower potato salad is delicious and easy to make! It tastes so much like the real thing you won't believe it!

How to Make:

Cauliflower Potato Salad whips up exactly the same way you would your traditional version except that you swap out the cauliflower for the potato salad. Exactly the same.

  • Boil the cauliflower until fork tender (about 10 min)–do NOT cook longer than fork tender. (you could also steam the cauliflower for great results!)
  • Cook your bacon, if you are using some.
  • Mix ingredients together.
  • Put in fridge for at least 3 hours.


  • Use a bag of cauliflower florets instead of a stalk of cauliflower for an even faster option!
  • A food processor is a great way to get veggies chopped up quick and easy! Use it to chop the celery and onions for this recipe.
  • Important! Cook your cauliflower just enough to be fork tender and then pull them out of the heat…pronto! This is the key to this salad tasting just like traditional potato salad.
  • Use the oven to bake up your bacon while your cauliflower is steaming. Saves your stovetop from the greasy mess!

How do you fix salty potato salad?

Sometimes we get to the end of making our potato salad and find that it is too salty…how do we fix that? The key is adding something acidic to cut that salt. A bit of vinegar or lemon juice should help alot! Also adding a bit of minced garlic can help with the saltiness.

My family asks for this cauliflower potato salad recipe all the time in the picnic season and I am always happy to oblige!  I’ll admit that each time I make it I change up the recipe a bit, omitting the bacon, adding peppers or scapes, trading out yellow mustard for dijon, etc. These sort of recipes are perfect for playing and adjusting to what you have on hand.

I know that a good many of you have children that refuse to touch a veggie and may not like this salad simply on principle. Have them try it…you might be surprised!

Just for fun, I thought you might enjoy this very very old picture of Katie enjoying a plate of cauliflower potato salad. She is now (at the time of this update) 23 years old and blonde. But still loves this recipe!

This cauliflower potato salad is easy to make and tastes just like the original version. You won't believe it!

Best Cauliflower Potato Salad

| 6 people
Prep Time | 30 minutes
Cook Time | 20 minutes
Total Time | 50 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
A delicious version of the classic potato salad featuring cauliflower instead of potatoes. Delicious, low carb, and easy to make!


  • a head of cauliflower
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs-chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery-chopped
  • 1 small onion-chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas-thawed
  • 6 oz pkg bacon–cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup mayo (I use 1/2 cup greek yogurt 1/2 cup mayo)
  • 1 tab mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Boil the cauliflower until fork tender (about 10 min)–do NOT cook longer than fork tender. (you could also steam the cauliflower for great results!)
  • Mix ingredients together.
  • Put in fridge for at least 3 hours.
  • This tastes much better after sitting in the fridge for a day or more! NO SERIOUSLY, IT DOES!



Calories: 477kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 12gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 221mgSodium: 492mgPotassium: 212mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 490IUVitamin C: 11.1mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1.2mg

Our Recipe Tester said…

My husband’s reaction to this was pretty funny “Outstanding” He doesn’t use that for many things. This looks and tastes very similar to real potato salad. Not sure how many people would notice the difference. I used all mayo. The serving size could be higher – I ended up with about 10 cups of salad. This will depend largely on the size of the cauliflower. I did shoot for an average-sized cauliflower head. Will definitely be making this again I used precooked and crumbled bacon (I hate cooking bacon).

What can cauliflower replace?

If you are looking for all the ways to use cauliflower instead of potatoes I suggest you first master mashed cauliflower. And I have the trick to getting it perfect every time WITHOUT being runny and watery, a common complaint. You can then use mashed cauliflower in any place you might use potatoes. Try my Shepherd’s Pie with it, so good!

After mastering mashed cauliflower try swapping out pasta for cauliflower. A bit more tricky when you have children (the texture isn’t quite the same) I recommend going for a half swap out like in my One Pot 30 Minute Cauliflower Mac & Cheese. Swapping out only half of the pasta for cauliflower and cooking the cauliflower in the pasta keeps it easy and adds a punch of nutrition without sacrificing beloved flavor and comfort.

Additional Healthy Summer Salads:

84 thoughts on “the BEST Cauliflower Potato Salad (low-carb, Paleo)”

  1. 5 stars
    So glad I discovered this recipe! I don’t even make normal potato salad anymore. I do make a few adjustments to suit our preferences; like no peas & adding diced dill pickles. I think it’s better the 2nd day, so I try to make it in advance.

  2. Right!?! Agree. Although my family still can’t know it’s the cauliflower version. Their brains mess with them too much :).

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this recipe for the first time. It is out of this world!!!!! You would never know that there is no potato’s. I actually like this better than regular potato salad.

  4. I chop it fairly large before steaming so that it doesn’t get too mush from over-cooking.

  5. 5 stars
    One of my favorite salads! Made this for a dinner party the other day and everyone was asking for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Just an update: Our camping friends had seconds. They are not necessarily fans of our keto diet usually but literally gobbled this stuff up. I’m making more today!
    thanks again, this is a Wow!!

  7. So glad to hear it! I think this recipe is similar to traditional potato salad in that you can totally customize it to your liking. And yes, the cauliflower can go over fairly quickly. Just a quick steam and it’s about perfect. Glad you loved it and hope it will be a regular addition to your menu. It’s nice to have alternatives to some of the favorites.

  8. 5 stars
    Super!! I was thinking the other night, I could make a cauliflower version of potato salad. Well, this was the first one I looked at. I did make modifications, as I had no peas. I added chopped dill pickles, one of my things I like in potato salad. I also used a bit more mayo, about 1 1/2 cups. I also didn’t control my cauliflower cooking as well as I should have and it got a little softer but workable. This is fantastic. Taking a big batch on our weekend camping trip. Great Keto comfort food! Thanks!!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this califlower potato salad today and it came delicious! One of your reviewers mentioned about how much it tastes like the real deal and she wasn’t kidding. You can hardly tell the difference. Let me mention that I steamed my califlower in my Tupperware steamer bowl. Followed your recipe exactly. This one is a definite keeper.

  10. Sorry, yep! My family always yells at me because I do that. Trying hard to remember the whole world doesn’t shorten tablespoon by tab :).

  11. 5 stars
    EXCELLENT! As good or better than any potato salad I’ve ever had. I omitted the peas to make it keto and used mayo only. I advise letting the cauliflower thoroughly drain and cool while chopping the eggs and veggies.

  12. 5 stars
    I made this but cut my cauliflower too small…still delish, but two of us ate it all…not sure how you would get even 4 servings and the above said 8-10???

  13. I love roasting my cauliflower for this salad but….i also use 1/2 of fennel bulb cut I to like size chunks also I drizzle EVOO salt n pepper and I couldn’t imagin this salad without the tangy zing of turmeric!! While thats all roasting I chopp yellow and red peppers 6 boiled eggs and sundries tomatoes(packed in oil) and half n half mayo and Greek yogurt I add 2tbsp of dill

  14. Put the dressing on when the cauliflower has cooled. And the little stems are fine. It would simply be a texture thing. So sorry for not getting back to you sooner!! I hope you figured it out and it turned out delicious.

  15. Hi,
    I’m making this for tomorrow. I prepared and. It everything, should I put the dressing on tonight. Also, I cut the flowrets to small piece after I steamed it and. It off the little stems. I thinks I cut it too small. Is that going to make a difference. Should I add the little steamed stems

  16. Great idea! I would simply steam them until they are cooked through, cool them, and then proceed. I really like that shortcut…great idea!

  17. Has anyone ever used frozen cauliflower florets? If so, how did it taste? Did you have to change any preparation?

  18. Yahoo! It surprises everyone how good it is! Thanks for taking the time to let us know…appreciated!

  19. Nancy Spoolman


    This was fantastic and my husband loved it! He was so surprised!


  20. Yay!! Let me know if your husband turns into a convert. I found that if I don’t tell people that it is cauliflower they don’t seem to notice…until it’s too late :)

  21. Nancy Spoolman

    Hi Janel! I’m finally trying your Cauliflower Potato salad tonight! My husband is not too thrilled; he just doesn’t think it will be good. He does like cauliflower, though, so we shall see! I cooked it yesterday and let let it get cold overnight and threw it together today. Only had four eggs, but it will be fine. Looks delicious!

    Nancy S.

  22. Yes, I believe another reader mentioned that. It’s also a great way to avoid too much liquid in the salad. Thanks!!

  23. I’ll be trying this tomorrow . It sounds delicious – thanks for keeping it “alive” on the web!

  24. Steam your cauliflower instead of boiling in water. That’s what I do when I make mashed cauliflower (like mashed potatoes). Steam about 10 minutes or until fork tender.

  25. Use to figure nutritional values. Plug in ingredients and their measure. It may not be laboratory perfect but it will be close.

  26. Oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear that. I would bet that the cauliflower is a bit over-cooked and needs to be drained.

  27. Every time I make it, it comes out watery instead of creamy….any suggestions ?

  28. I added 3/4 cup shredded cheddar and used honey mustard . So good…could not stop eating it. Best if chilled overnight. Thanks for all your great recipes.

  29. I do break them into smaller florets before I cook them. And no, I haven’t tried steaming them. But that is a very good idea! It would help reduce the chance of them getting too soft.

  30. Hi. Are you breaking the cauli into small florets before cooking for 10 minutes? And have you tried steaming them?

  31. Thanks for the tip of the cooking time, I’m not sure why it did that on you. Yes, eating it the next day makes a huge difference! I’m going to go add these tips to the post..thanks!

  32. I followed the recipe as-is the first time and my cauliflower turned to mush cooking it that long. The second time I made it I only cooked for 5 minutes, ran it under cold water then let it drain and completely cool. It was so mush better. Also, make it the day before you plan to eat it. If you eat it the day it’s made it tastes like cauliflower. If you eat it the next day it tastes much more like potato. I have no idea why!

  33. This would be really good if you also chopped some cucumber in the salad it gives it a very fresh taste

  34. Lori, Yes, it certainly would! We are working on getting a program in place to help with that. Hopefully we have it soon. Thanks for stopping!

  35. I agree. I’m not a huge fan of potato salad, either. This version is the only one I make, when I feel that it’s needed. Try it out and let me know how it goes over!

  36. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    May I say this without being stoned?? I’m really not a big fan of potato salad. I know that doesn’t sound American does it?? But it would be one of the last things I put on my plate and I do like potatoes. NOW — this cauliflower salad would be one of the first to be plopped on the plate. Next family gathering I’m taking this!! Thank you for sharing and “no” I don’t need the calories and nutritional value — it is what it is. If I knew it wouldn’t change whether I made it and ate it or not . :-) Hope you had a Happy Independence Day!!

  37. MyFitnessPal has a great recipe nutrition calculator. You plug in the ingredients and voila!

  38. Nellie, I’ve never liked cooked cauliflower. I’m going to try this idea with raw c—r.
    I’ll add eggs and mayo and celery + tiny bit of red onion and radish for color. And, of course, Hellman’s low-fat mayo. Great lo-carb idea. Fingers crossed. :) Genie

  39. This salad was FANTASTIC! My finicky husband even like it……alot! I also made it for a church outing on Labor day and it was a big hit. Thanks so much for a truly
    wonderful, unique recipe

  40. Thank goodness, I have no potatoes! I’m going to make just like my regular potato salad in which I use relish. I will probably leave out the bacon and the peas (for calories sake) and use low fat Hellman’s mayo. Can’t wait to try this.


  41. I added some chopped up pickles as well. It’s so delicious I’m afraid I’m going to eat the whole thing before it’s the 4th of July!

  42. We don’t have nutritional info on this. It does still have it’s fair share of fat and calories. I guess for us the point is that it’s a better version of something that is generally bad for you. You know, don’t miss out on the things you love…but realize what they have in them and how to maybe improve nutritional value? This would be fabulous with homemade mayo! Mmmm.

  43. I’m just curious, do you have nutritional information on this? I can’t stand all the food nazi’s who start attacking recipes, but it seems like it has alot of fat and calories. I always thought the bad part about potato salad was the mayo. I still want to try it because I love cauliflower too and it sounds great. I have recently had to go gluten free and am eating paleo, which I love, and I have been making my own mayo. I will use it when I make this. It’s so easy to make, as well as delicious and much healthier.

  44. LOL I have always said if somebody will cook, I’ll clean up! How great that your daughter likes to cook, and you let her plan and follow her menu; well done!
    This Cauliflower Salad looks delish, and I will be making it soon. Thanks for sharing :)

  45. You are most welcome! It’s really surprising, isn’t it? Just goes to show that some things are worth trying, no matter how weird they seem.

  46. I have been craving potato salad lately, to the point of ridiculous. The problem is, when I make it, I’m the only one in the family who eats it, I’m trying to watch my carbs, so eating potato salad all the time is carb overload. So when I saw this recipe, I was a little–ok very– skeptical that it would taste anything like potato salad. I happened to have cauliflower in my fridge, so I thought I would give it a try. Really pretty good! I didn’t have bacon, so I didn’t add it. I used my usual potato salad recipe substituting cauliflower. Never ever thought it could substitute for potatoes and taste good. Thanks for the recipe! My cravings thank you!

  47. What a great daughter to do all the cooking!! I hope you all love this as much as we do! Happy eating!

  48. It sounds delicious and I plan on trying it soon. It will have to wait until my daughter puts up a weeks menu using cauliflower. She cooks all suppers and I wash all dishes. I don’t mind the dishes because after she agreed to the cooking part I went out and bought a dish washer. Not nice I know but I hate cooking . Lily C Canada

  49. Suzy @ Worthing Court

    This sounds soooo good! My hubby and I are trying to eat healthier/lose weight and this recipe will be a great dish for us. Thanks for sharing!

  50. dawn@joyfulscribblings

    This sounds interesting. I’m going to have to try it and headed over to check out your roasted cauliflower soup.

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