Think you don’t like cauliflower? This super satisfying cauliflower salad recipe will make you think again! This deliciously zingy dish is a great alternative to a green salad when you fancy something new and it’s been known to convert even the pickiest veggie eaters (including Mr Magpie, because well, it has BACON).
Cauliflower bacon salad is also a great option for potluck dinners, but don’t expect it to last very long with hungry guests! I love to serve this yummy dish with some crispy oven baked chicken thighs or pulled pork.
Classic Cauliflower Salad
This flavorful salad is simple to make, packs a crispy, crunchy punch, and it’s always a hit whenever I serve it up! This is a healthy and hearty salad that works well as a side dish over the holidays or for lunch any day of the year (if you’re a cauliflower addict like me!). This is close to a classic green pea salad, the same flavors but less carbs!
Can You Prep This Salad Ahead of Time?
Cauliflower bacon salad is super handy to prep in advance and I usually make it the day before serving. You don’t want it to sit in the fridge for too long though or it will go watery, so you make both parts separately.
Just place the cut ingredients in a covered bowl and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Then prepare the dressing separately and keep it refrigerated for a few hours until you’re about to serve. Then just combine them both and give it a couple hours for the flavors to mingle together nicely.
Choosing The Perfect Cauliflower Matters!
Your salad will look and taste amazing if you start with a perfect snow-white head of cauliflower. When you’re choosing your cauliflower, look for a large head and make sure it doesn’t have any yellowish spots or bits of black mold (have a good look as these can be tough to spot when it’s wrapped up).
This is really important when you make this salad raw and aren’t roasting it!
How To Make Cauliflower Salad
- Preheat the oven to 400° F
- In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower, black pepper, salt, and olive oil until the cauliflower pieces are coated.
- Spread the cauliflower pieces out on a large baking sheet.
- Roast in the preheated oven until tender-crisp
- Remove and allow it to cool completely.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cauliflower, cooked bacon, and cubed cheese to the bowl and stir until completely coated in the dressing.
- Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.
How To Add Some Variety To Your Cauliflower Bacon Salad
You can easily customize this creamy salad according to your own preference! If you have a favorite cheese, try using it instead of the cheddar I’ve used here. I’ve tried Parmesan in this recipe and it was just as amazing! You can also try adding some nuts and seeds, and some sunflower seeds always work well.
If the dressing is too tangy, add in some sugar until it suits your tastes! The dressing is So easy to customize!
On the presentation side of things, why not opt for a colored cauliflower to liven things up? I personally prefer a nice white cauliflower for this dish but it’s always nice to try something different!
More Vegetable Side Dishes
Try my candied yams for a lovely old-fashioned side dish, or my Waldorf Salad for a really crisp, delicious salad side dish. Frying up some shiitake mushrooms is always a good idea, or even my hasselback potatoes!
Hope you give this one a whirl!
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Creamy Bacon Cauliflower Salad
- Prep Time
- 30 minutes
- Cook Time
- 9 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 6-7 slices thick cut bacon cooked and diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese cubed small
- 1 large head cauliflower chopped into small bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3-4 green onions sliced small
- 1/4 cup sour cream ( or replace with mayo for all mayo)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- sugar if desired
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Toss the cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in large bowl until the cauliflower pieces are coated in the oil.
- Spread the cauliflower pieces out on a large baking sheet.
- Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven until the cauliflower is tender crisp, 8-10 minutes depending on size. You don't want it soggy, just tender enough to enjoy in the salad.
- Remove the cauliflower and cool completely.
- Place all of the dressing ingredients into a large bowl and combine. Adjust the lemon juice and garlic powder to taste, then add in any salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the dressing is ready to your liking, add the cauliflower, cubed cheese and cooked bacon pieces to the large bowl and stir to coat them completely with the dressing.
- Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
- If you don't have sour cream, use all mayo!
- The cauliflower is best when it's chopped small when you are using raw, just like my broccoli salad.
- When you roast the cauliflower the pieces need to be a little larger so they don't turn to mush.
- if the dressing is too tangy for your liking, mix in a bit of sugar to balance it out!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
Wonderful!! I love cauliflower and bacon salad but I usually make the one with a head of lettuce. Was too lazy to go to store so I searched for lettuce free recipes and came across this!! I like it better!!!