Cauliflower "Potato" Salad ♥ Low-Carb, Low-Cal Light "Potato" Salad

Potato salad made not with potatoes, but with cauliflower so a great choice for low-carb for dieters and diabetics -- and anyone who just loves cauliflower! Weight Watchers? You are going to love this salad!

When my friend Lyn from the poignant and inspiring weight loss blog "Escape from Obesity" posted a recipe for Low Carb "Potato" Salad last year, a light went on. Wow -- cauliflower just might be a dieter's best friend.

Cauliflower has virtually no calories; it's easily available year-round; pound for pound, it's an inexpensive vegetable. But most of all, cooked cauliflower creates a creamy mouthfeel that's akin to both potatoes and rice, so can either substitute for potatoes or rice or supplement potatoes or rice for a lower-calorie, lower-carb dish. Without realizing, I've collected several of these "potato" and "rice" dishes that aren't made with either potato or rice but instead with cauliflower. There's the Cauliflower Spanish "Rice" from A Veggie Venture and Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes" from Kitchen Parade.

For this Cauliflower "Potato" Salad, I just adapted my Mom's Potato Salad recipe, so if you have a favorite potato salad recipe, try your own with cauliflower instead.

Now here's a word to the wise. I loved this salad but it really "isn't" potato salad. When I served it first at a birthday party and later at a cookout, there were lots of leftovers: no one was "fooled" and people who don't like cauliflower won't like this salad. So my advice would be to love it for its own sake, not as cauliflower masquerading as potatoes.


Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes but like potato salad, improves after sitting for 2 - 24 hours
Makes about 6 cups

3 hard-cooked eggs (Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs, make an extra egg or two for garnishing the top if you like)

1 large head of cauliflower, washed and outer leaves trimmed off
Water as needed
Salt to taste but be generous

1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 generous tablespoon good mustard
2 tablespoons sweet relish

Cooked cauliflower
Hard-cooked eggs, roughly chopped or mashed with a fork
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 a large onion, chopped fine or grated with a box cutter
3 ribs celery, chopped on the diagonal
Fresh herbs, dill is great, oregano is good too
Salt & pepper to taste

A sprig of fresh herbs, optional
Cooked egg, cut into halves or thirds, optional

EGGS If needed, cook the eggs.

CAULIFLOWER Grate the cauliflower on the large holes of a box cutter. Heat a large, heavy skillet on MEDIUM HIGH, add the water. Drop in the cauliflower and cook, stirring often, adding water as needed, until the cauliflower's rawness is cooked out, until it reaches the desired level of done-ness, seasoning with salt along the way. Don't let the cauliflower get brown, the color is unappealing.

DRESSING Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

COMBINE Stir the cooked cauliflower, the cooked egg, onion, celery, herbs into the dressing. Taste and season to taste.

REST & GARNISH If time allows, cover and refrigerate for two to 24 hours, allowing the flavors to meld. To serve, transfer to a serving dish, garnish, serve and savor!

When I make Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs, I steam the cauliflower so that it doesn't get 'wet and soggy'. The downside of steaming is that the cauliflower has no salt to absorb and thus can taste quite bland. That happens to work in the Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs, where the herbs really shine, but for Cauliflower "Potato" Salad, salt is important to match the flavor profile we expect from potato salad. Thus I really do recommend cooking the cauliflower in a way that salt can be absorbed. The first time, I cooked the cauliflower in well-salted water but this actually left the Cauliflower Potato Salad too soggy. So the second time, I stir-fried the cauliflower in a large skillet, as specified here in the recipe. Perfect!

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

~ Roasted Cauliflower ~
~ Cauliflower Cream ~
~ Cauliflower Tomato Medley ~
~ more cauliflower recipes ~
~ more Weight Watchers recipes ~
~ more low-carb recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs ~
~ Quick Cauliflower Soup ~
~ Cauliflower Risotto ~
~ more cauliflower recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous Commenter concerned about eggs ~ Come out from behind the anonymity and I will publish your comment.

  2. I agree with you on 'fake' foods. Call this a cauliflower salad and it'd probably be very appealing. But trying to masquerade as potatoes isn't very flattering, is it?
    Anyway, this does sound nice and looks very pretty too!

  3. This sounds like a great recipe, Alanna. I've done cauliflower mashed potatoes (and fooled a good friend who claimed he "hated" cauliflower). I've also made a tabbouleh salad with cauliflower instead of the bulgar wheat. Amazing how adapting cauliflower is. I'll be trying this very soon.

  4. this looks like an awesome recipe, Alanna!

  5. Sounds yummy and I am going to try this soon! I have been making a cauliflower "potato" salad for years using my favorite potato salad recipe and substituting RAW cauliflower for the potatoes. Break the cauliflower into very small bite size pieces. Not as nice if left large and chunky. Add whatever you like for your potato salad to the cauliflower. Let sit to meld flavours. This is a wonderful salad! I would stress that while it will be similiar to potato salad it is better enjoyed as a cauliflower salad because, you are not using potatoes and it will not be exactly the same! This lasts several days in the fridge and makes for a wonderful addition to any buffet, picnic or gathering! Enjoy!

  6. I never knew cauliflower had no calories... I like it, but I do not love it. These sound interesting though, I'll have to try them out.

    Do you have any pictures from the rice?


  7. What a great idea!! I've only recently discovered how versatile cauliflower can be.

  8. I made Cauliflower Salad yesterday and my family loved it! My husband took the last of it to work today for his lunch. What a wonderful way to use cauliflower!

    Thank you! I look forward to trying more of your veggie recipes. I am a new vegetarian and always searching for interesting ways to prepare vegetables. Your site is a gold mine!

  9. AnonymousJune 23, 2011

    Do you think I could put the cauliflower in a food processor? I ask b/c I HATE grating.

  10. Hi Anonymous ~ Yes, I think you could use the food processor but would recommend using the grating blade rather than just throwing it in and chopping it up. You don't want cauliflower mush! :-)

  11. AnonymousJune 27, 2011

    Made this tonight, it's a big hit! I have to disagree with you, though - it's close enough in texture and taste that I'm calling it Faux-ta-toe Salad. My Dad liked it. He's just been diagnosed with diabetes, so we're still working on diet. He loved the Cauliflower Cream, and I'm probably going to try the Cauliflower Spanish Rice soon. I used full-fat cottage cheese, mayo and buttermilk - did you know that on many products, low fat means extra sugar? I've quickly gone from being a casual label reader to a hardcore label reader.

  12. AnonymousJuly 05, 2011

    One think I love with this recipe is that you can cook-in extra flavor with the cauliflower. The first time I made it, I added a little curry powder, and the next time I added garlic powder.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna