Make easy LOW CARB Cauliflower Potato Salad for your next BBQ. Keto, paleo, gluten-free, whole 30, healthy and best of all, it’s a crowd pleaser!
Whether you use your stove top, microwave or Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker, this Cauliflower Potato Salad is a perfect side dish for picnics and parties. Everyone will love this dish whether they follow a keto or low carb diet or not.
Plus, it is gluten free, whole 30 and paleo! it is also great for those following Weight Watchers.
I have never been a huge fan of cauliflower, but over the last couple of years or so, I have grown to love cauliflower and have created so many delicious recipes like this Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad, as well as Pressure Cooker Cauliflower Soufflé and Instant Pot Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice. My Instant Pot Low Carb Cheesy Cauliflower Soup is one of my favorite winter soup recipes, but it can be enjoyed all year round.
The first thing to do is to cook the cauliflower. I’m using a pressure cooker (Instant Pot Brand), which will cook the cauliflower very quickly.
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Ingredients for Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Good Mayonnaise
- Two types of Mustard!
- Salt, Pepper
- Secret Ingredient – takes this Cauliflower Potato Salad up a whole other level!
If you are cooking the cauliflower in a pressure cooker, make sure to cut the cauliflower into very large chunks. If you cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces from the start, your cauliflower will be very soft and mushy.
Pro Tip: If using a pressure cooker, just cut the cauliflower in quarters and cook using a steamer basket. (I use the Salbree Steamer Basket.) The cauliflower can be cut into bite size pieces after after it has cooked and placed into a mixing bowl.
Does Cauliflower Salad Taste Like Potato Salad?
Well, this is a tricky question. It’s tricky because even though I know there are no potatoes in this Cauliflower Potato Salad and even though I get a slight hint of cauliflower texture/flavor, I truly feel like I am eating real potato salad. I’m serious and I was shocked the first time I made the salad and it’s become a regular side dish in my house.
If you were to ask me if I miss potato salad, well, I can’t believe I am saying this as I am a HUGE potato person, but truly, I love my Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad so much, so my answer would be no. I don’t miss my go-to Instant Pot Potato Salad. That being said, I still make regular potato salad for friends and it is still one of the most popular and loved recipes on my blog.
The raw eggs will cook at the same time as the cauliflower. Because cauliflower cooks so fast, depending on the size of the eggs, you may need to put the eggs back into the pressure cooker and let them sit a bit. Small eggs can be set aside as they will continue to cook, so before peeling the eggs, let them sit for at least 10 minutes.
Pro Tip: After placing the cooked cauliflower into a mixing bowl, place the eggs into steamer basket and set in Instant Pot (covered) for five minutes to allow the large eggs to finishing cooking.
How Many Eggs for Cauliflower Potato Salad?
This depends on the size of the cauliflower. For a super large head of cauliflower, at least four large eggs or six small eggs. This is a matter of personal preference. Perhaps start with just four eggs and if you feel the salad needs more eggs, add in another.
If you prefer to use less eggs, that is totally fine too. If less eggs are used, it might be a good idea to reduce the amount of salad dressing or use more cauliflower.
My favorite mayonnaise for cauliflower salad is Duke’s Mayonnaise.
Trader Joe’s Honey Pale Ale Mustard is seasonal at the TJ stores, so stock up when you can. I love it on hamburgers because it is so creamy and I try to use as little sugar free ketchup as possible to save on carbs. You’re going to want to lick the spoon, seriously, this stuff is so good.
Best Pickles for Low Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad
- I have a new obsession with Vlasic Kosher Baby Dill Pickles. I can’t get enough. If you prefer a sweet pickle flavor, try these Mt. Olive Sweet Gherkins No Sugar Added. Personally, the dill pickles have my vote in the salad.
- If you don’t have pickles to chop up, use a bit of pickle relish instead.
Can Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad be Prepared in Advance?
Yes, in fact, it is best to prepare your cauliflower with the salad dressing the night before you plan on serving or at least four hours in advance. This will allow for the salad dressing to sink into the cauliflower as the cauliflower and give all the flavors a chance to marry.
Try pairing this mock potato salad recipe with my low carb / keto Instant Pot Rare Roast Beef [Deli Style] for an incredible lunch or dinner. The Instant Pot Deli Roast beef can be prepared in advance too. It is much easier to slice the meat after it has completely cooled. Plus, the juice from the meat will redistribute throughout the roast and the roast beef will be nice and juicy.
Let’s talk about seasoning the cauliflower salad. This is the time when you want to add all the seasonings and flavors to the dressing. It is much easier to add everything BEFORE mixing the dressing with the warm cauliflower.
Pro Tip: As a rule of thumb, use half as much sea salt or table salt as Kosher salt. Kosher salt is a course salt. Therefore, a fine grade salt like sea or table salt would yield a greater amount to the measuring spoon than a salt with large flakes like Kosher Salt.
Always Over Salt the Dressing
- One Tablespoon of Kosher salt is similar to 1.5 teaspoons of table salt.
- After mixing up the dressing, give it a taste and if it tastes saltier than you like, then it is perfect. If the dressing tastes perfectly salted, add a bit more salt.
- It is very important that the dressing be overly salted. Remember, the cauliflower and eggs have not yet been added, so once the dressing is mixed with the cauliflower and eggs, the dish will be perfectly seasoned.
Pro Tip: The trick to making Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad stand out from all the rest is to add a bit of Weober’s Horseradish Sauce to the dressing. People will be floored and probably won’t even be able to detect just what makes this salad so incredibly delicious.
Substitute for Scallions
Make sure to save a handful of the chopped green parts of the scallions to use as garnish. A nice pop of green brightens up any dish.
Once the dressing is added to the hot cauliflower, the large chunks will break into smaller pieces as the dressing is mixed in. The spoon can also be used to “cut” the cauliflower into bite size pieces.
Why Add the Dressing to Hot Cauliflower?
- When the cauliflower is still hot from cooking, the dressing will absorb into each piece and make it swell a bit. Once the cauliflower has cooled off in the refrigerator, it will firm up.
- The consistency of the cauliflower will now be very similar to the consistency of a potato. Each bite will be loaded with flavor.
Make sure to peel the eggs under cool running water to ensure all the shell has been removed. The eggs will still be very hot.
Dicing hot eggs with a knife is easy enough, but if you want perfectly diced eggs (without burning your fingers), grab a stainless steel baking rack and make quick work out of dicing the eggs..
How to Dice Eggs
- Place baking rack over bowl. Place egg on top of rack.
- Using the palm of your hand come down on the egg with enough pressure for the egg to go through the wire rack.
- Rub the rack with your fingers to push though any stuck on egg.
Your eggs will be perfectly uniform. I first showed this method in my very popular Instant Pot Egg Loaf Recipe. It’s so popular that the egg loaf and chopping method has showed up on blog after blog.
Cauliflower Salad Adds Ins
You can fancy up the Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad or eat it as is. We like it just as it is as it reminds me of my old fashion potato salad recipe.
- Crumbled bacon
- Diced or sliced green or red bell pepper
- Dill weed
Watch the video below as I walk you through every step and detail of this recipe. I’ve given you a ton of information above, but sometimes a live visual of the process helps so you can follow along. I have my own cooking show on my YouTube Channel, so be sure to check it out and subscribe!
Watch my video and then scroll to the bottom for the printable recipe card.
How Many Carbs in Cauliflower?
There are approximately 5 grams of carbs per one serving of cut up cauliflower, three of which are fiber. This means that you can have a nice big scoop of cauliflower salad for very little net carbs.
Tips for Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad
- Cut cauliflower in large chunks to avoid it from becoming mushy.
- Over salt the dressing so that when the dressing and warm cauliflower/eggs are combined, the seasoning will be just right.
- Plan a head. The salad needs at least four hours to chill, so that the cauliflower will become firm like potatoes.
If Ed loves this cauliflower salad I know you will too as he was anti cauliflower his whole life until this Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad. Now we both enjoy this cauliflower salad as a side dish to ribs, beef, chicken and more. Sometimes we both have a bowl for lunch as our main protein comes in at breakfast and dinner.
I dare you to make my Mock Potato Salad and compare it to any potato salad and then Try making both salads and see if your guests have a preference.
More Keto Salad Recipes to Make:
- Low Carb Avocado Chicken Salad [Instant Pot]
- Instant Pot Fresh Tomato Salad
- Pressure Cooker Low Carb Deviled Egg Salad Roll Ups
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker
- J.A. Henckels Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- di Oro Living Silicone Spatulas Set
- My FANTASTIC Teak Cutting & Charcuterie Board
- Salbree 3 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart Steamer/Strainer Basket
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
- 1 large Cauliflower (about 25-30 ounces)
- 4 large Hard Boiled Eggs diced
- 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Creamy Horseradish Sauce (or more)
- 1 stalk Celery finely chopped
- 2 Scallions (green onion) chopped (reserve some of the green)
- 2 Tablespoons Vlasic Kosher Baby Dill Pickles (or more) chopped (or dill pickle relish)
- 1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (or 1.5 teaspoons sea salt) or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper or to taste
- Paprika for garnish
- 3 slices Cooked Bacon chopped
- 1/4 cup Green Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Dill Weed
- Add one cup of water to Instant Pot cooking pot.
- Check cauliflower and if there are any brown or discolored spots, scrape them off.
- Remove the green leaves and stem of cauliflower and cut cauliflower into large chunks.
- Place cauliflower and any bits of cauliflower into steamer basket.
- Place steamer basket with cauliflower into Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- Place eggs on top of cauliflower.
- Lock on lid and close pressure value. Cook at high pressure (most machines default to high pressure) for 0-1 minute. (See, "Notes")
- When beep sounds, immediately switch the pressure value to vent and release all the pressure.
- Remove lid and remove steamer basket from pressure cooker.
- Remove the eggs from the steamer basket and set aside.
- Place hot cauliflower into a large mixing bowl.
- Place the eggs back into steamer basket and back into Instant Pot/pressure cooker. Rest the lid on the pot, so that the eggs will continue cooking from the residual steam in the pressure cooker. Let eggs sit in pot for 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, celery, minced pickles (or relish) and pickle juice.
- Add salt and pepper and mix through. Taste and make sure the dressing is a bit saltier than you like, so that when the cauliflower and eggs are added, the salad will be perfectly seasoned. If it tastes perfect, add more salt.
- Chop scallions and set aside a handful of the green part for garnishing the salad.
- Mix in horseradish sauce and the rest of the chopped scallions.
- Spoon dressing into the bowl of warm cauliflower and gently and carefully mix the dressing with the cauliflower to combine. Be careful not to smash the cauliflower. If there are still large chunks of cauliflower, use the spoon and cut them into bite size pieces.
- Remove eggs from pressure cooker and run them under cool water.
- Peel eggs under the water, making sure that all the eggshell is removed.
- To dice the eggs, use a baking rack (see video) and place one egg at a time onto rack. Using the palm of your hand smash down on the egg so that the egg will fall through the grate on the rack and into the bowl. For any egg stuck to the rack, use your fingers and rub over the egg, which will cause the rest of the egg to fall through the grate into the bowl.
- Alternatively, a knife or an egg slicer can be used to chop the eggs.
- Very gently, combine eggs with the cauliflower and dressing.
- Cover bowl with cellophane or other covering and place into refrigerator overnight, or until very cold (about four hours). As the cauliflower cools and absorbs the dressing, it will also swell and firm up.
- Place cauliflower salad into a serving dish.
- Garnish with paprika and the reserved green parts of the scallions.
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