the BEST Cauliflower Potato Salad Recipe (Mock Potato Salad)

 Why not a potato salad made with cauliflower instead of potatoes? It takes absolutely no more time than potatoes, is healthier for you, and just as tasty. A traditional potato salad recipe made healthier, this is the best Cauliflower Potato Salad  no-wait- the best potato salad… period.

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

This Cauliflower potato salad is delicious! I was prepared to not like it. Or, simply tolerate it. But…I think it’s wonderful! Not as wonderful as chocolate cake. But, come on….that’s not even a fair comparison.  We can’t eat chocolate cake all the time.

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Growing up we weren’t exposed to a lot of veggies. My parents tried, to be fair, but when there were as many kids (10!) as us, it can get expensive to have fresh veggies! We had a lot of canned, soggy veggies. But all that means is that we now adore eating fresh veggies. And cauliflower is one that scores high points in our books!

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 potatoes.

This recipe is meant to be shared at a picnic or potluck. Don’t keep it all to yourself…get friends and family over!

You won’t even know it’s cauliflower instead of potato!

make potato salad from cauliflower instead of potatos
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’m looking forward to spending the summer outdoors with my family, sitting around a picnic table, playing cards, and eating all the things. There is something so special about those summer hours that involve eating hotdogs, potato salad, and watermelon..isn’t there?

Tip: 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.

 the cauliflower potato salad recipe that everyone is loving and for good reason....easy and delicious!


4.35 from 47 votes

Best Cauliflower Potato Salad

A delicious version of the classic potato salad featuring cauliflower instead of potatoes. Delicious, much healthier, and easy to make!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • a head of cauliflower
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs-chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery-chopped
  • 1 small onion-chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas-thawed
  • 1/2 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


  1. 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!)
  2. Mix ingredients together.
  3. Put in fridge for at least 3 hours.
  4. This tastes much better after sitting in the fridge for a day or more! NO SERIOUSLY, IT DOES!


Other Picnic Salads:

Buffalo Chicken Salad // I had this once from a grocery deli and had to figure out how to recreate it for football season (SKOL Vikings!). It is a perfect mix of buffalo spicy and cool dressing. Fab for parties and entertaining!

 Watermelon Red Onion Salad // If you have never tried mixing watermelon and onion together…try it! Guaranteed you’ll be hooked. If not, don’t even come back here to tell me about it :). Jk. You can. Quietly.

Picnic Cocktails:

Lemon Drop Cocktail // The magic of this little cocktail is how easy it is to make. No, that’s a lie. Truly, it’s serving it in the tiny lemon shot glasses. Do NOT skip that. Just don’t.

Rhubarb Margarita// Just say Margarita with me. —Marg- a- LOVE- rit- LOVE- a . Did you catch that? Totally love this drink. It’s sweet and tart and oh so lush. I’m making myself thirty.



  1. October 22, 2018 / 10:18 am

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

    • Nellie
      October 22, 2018 / 3:57 pm

      Hooray! Just what we like to here :)

  2. Nancy
    September 29, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    This is absolutely delicious. I put the crumbled bacon on top just before serving…

    • Nellie
      September 30, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And bacon, in any way, is always a good idea ;).

  3. River
    August 24, 2018 / 6:12 am

    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!!

    • Nellie
      August 24, 2018 / 12:17 pm

      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.

    • River
      August 27, 2018 / 8:16 am

      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!!

      • Nellie
        August 28, 2018 / 6:19 pm

        Hooray! So glad to hear it!

  4. Brendalee
    August 12, 2018 / 1:55 am

    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.

  5. Lisa Reade
    May 27, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Recipe calls for 1 tab of mustard – is that supposed to be TBSP?

    • Nellie
      May 29, 2018 / 10:39 am

      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 :).

  6. Jessica
    March 31, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    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.

    • Nellie
      April 1, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      Thanks for the great tips! And you are right…so very very good!

  7. Lani Byrd
    February 21, 2018 / 7:27 am

    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???

  8. Anonymous
    February 2, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    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

    • Nellie
      February 4, 2018 / 2:36 pm

      I love turmeric in these salad’s, as well. And fennel is a great idea!

  9. May 27, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    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

    • Nellie
      May 29, 2017 / 8:01 pm

      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.

  10. May 15, 2017 / 9:19 pm


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


    • Nellie
      May 16, 2017 / 8:28 am

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

  11. May 12, 2017 / 3:52 pm

    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.

    • Nellie
      May 12, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      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 :)

      • Carol
        May 26, 2017 / 6:52 pm

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

        • Nellie
          May 26, 2017 / 8:45 pm

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

  12. Jessie
    May 29, 2016 / 8:29 am

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

  13. Beth
    May 4, 2016 / 5:11 pm

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

    • Nellie
      May 4, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      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.

    • Jessie
      May 29, 2016 / 8:27 am

      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.

      • Nellie
        May 30, 2016 / 8:16 pm

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

  14. Myra Johnson
    April 14, 2016 / 9:36 am

    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.

  15. J.R.W.
    April 7, 2016 / 4:01 am

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

    • Nellie
      April 7, 2016 / 10:47 am

      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.

  16. Lori
    July 28, 2015 / 4:03 pm

    Would be nice if you included the nutritional information.

    • Nellie
      July 30, 2015 / 11:07 am

      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!

      • Diane
        May 28, 2016 / 12:33 pm

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

  17. July 5, 2015 / 6:39 am

    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!!

    • Nellie
      July 5, 2015 / 4:04 pm

      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!

    • February 8, 2016 / 7:03 pm

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

      • Nellie
        February 8, 2016 / 7:39 pm

        Thanks!! That’s a great idea!

        • Grrr
          February 9, 2016 / 6:08 pm

          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!

          • Nellie
            February 9, 2016 / 7:36 pm

            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!

  18. Annie
    March 7, 2015 / 6:59 am

    Do you have the nutritional facts on this? Particularly the carbs?

    • March 7, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      Sorry, we don’t keep close track of those things :)

    • Sarah
      May 7, 2015 / 1:32 pm

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

  19. genie
    February 28, 2015 / 10:23 am

    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

    • February 28, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      Let us know how it works for you! Here’s hoping!

  20. Mary
    January 29, 2015 / 9:20 am

    Quick question: how many does this salad serve? :-)

  21. Sue Tepper
    October 4, 2014 / 12:59 pm

    This recipe is just fantastic. Actually better than potato salad.

    • Nellie
      October 5, 2014 / 3:25 pm

      I’m so glad you think so. I have to agree. It’s a favorite of ours!

  22. Pat
    September 20, 2014 / 8:23 pm

    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

    • Nellie
      September 22, 2014 / 11:41 am

      Oh yeah!! So glad you liked it! It’s always great to hear!

  23. Pat
    July 3, 2014 / 9:09 pm

    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.


    • Nellie
      September 4, 2014 / 12:11 pm

      Let us know how it turns out!!!

  24. Megan
    July 3, 2014 / 2:04 pm

    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!

  25. maura
    June 22, 2014 / 2:12 pm

    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.

    • June 22, 2014 / 8:08 pm

      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.

  26. CindyG
    May 14, 2014 / 9:37 pm

    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!

    • May 15, 2014 / 8:26 am

      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.

  27. Hernan
    February 28, 2014 / 5:17 pm

    Pretty mom and pretty daughter and very delicious recipes

  28. Sandal Queen
    February 16, 2014 / 1:37 pm

    I also put in diced Granny Smith apples and some sweet pickled relish

    • February 16, 2014 / 6:11 pm

      I bet that was delicious!! I haven’t ever tried apples in potato salad.

  29. Lillian Chapman
    October 9, 2013 / 8:03 am

    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

    • October 17, 2013 / 10:46 pm

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

    • Anonymous
      March 2, 2014 / 7:43 am

      Lol…..I don’t enjoy cooking either. This recipe looks tasty.

    • kizzy
      May 25, 2014 / 2:20 pm

      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 :)

  30. September 28, 2013 / 8:32 am

    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!

    • September 29, 2013 / 9:22 am

      It is a great dish!! And a great one to bring to potlucks and parties!

  31. September 27, 2013 / 8:54 am

    How clever and healthy and DE-LISH! Pinning

  32. Bliss
    September 24, 2013 / 4:03 pm

    I never thought of substituting cauliflower for taters, and I LOVE cauli. Pinning.

  33. September 24, 2013 / 8:01 am

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

  34. September 24, 2013 / 6:53 am

    This sounds so yummy and a great way to replace potatoes – can’t wait to try it!!

    • September 24, 2013 / 6:59 am

      It is! So surprising! Thanks for stopping by this morning!

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