Cauliflower & Potato Salad

Less carbs and calories than the classic, but with the traditional summer flavor.

I loved my mother’s potato salad. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it, and she made it slightly different each time, but she always included potatoes, eggs, onion, mayonnaise, and chives. Sometimes she added peas, fresh parsley, scallions, but usually not. When I made it, I also added minced dill pickles.

Oh, and there was always lots of black pepper, and a layer of paprika on top!

Swaps are good, but we need to keep the flavor

I decided to lighten up the recipe a little, but I still wanted it to taste like my mother’s!

We’re using cauliflower as a substitute for everything these days from fried rice to pizza crust, so why not use them in a potato salad. Cauliflower is high in nutrition and low in carbs, and absorbs the other flavors added to a dish. By weight, I replaced half the potatoes with cauliflower. The volume of cauliflower is slightly more.

Bump up nutrition

My second quest was to pack as much nutrition as possible in this salad. The extra nutrients allow me, the carb watcher, to feel more virtuous about the fact that I will indeed be getting some potatoes in this dish. I looked for vegetables that have deeper color as this signals more vitamin, mineral and antioxidant contents. Some varieties, such as the purple potatoes, have a little extra protein as well.

Additionally, the colored vegetables add interest to the plate; there are not many dishes more bland looking than plain potato salad, so a lower carb version would need a little help!

A little less fat

The fat in the original recipe was also a hurdle. 1/4 cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise is 360 calories and 40 grams of fat. The same amount of plain Greek yoghurt is 37 calories and no fat. I wouldn’t want to make the salad with just yoghurt, but by mixing it half and half I saved a lot of calories and fat and still had a taste of mayonnaise. I also decided to use a lot less of the dressing to avoid having a gloppy salad.

We used to boil the potatoes, but steaming is the way to go if thinking about nutrition. When you steam vegetables, you retain more of the vitamins and minerals that otherwise would be lost to the water. I also kept the potatoes in tact, no peeling. We used to boil the eggs too, but now I make them in the instant pressure cooker. Recipe here Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs.

This makes a large batch for a cookout (serves 14) or other gathering, but you can easily halve it.

Cauliflower & Potato Salad

1/2 purple onion, minced, about a cup

2 tbsp. minced dill pickles or dill relish, optional

3 tbsp. lemon juice or white wine vinegar

1 1/2 lb. cauliflower, mixed colors if available

1 1/2 lb. purple or rose potatoes if available

6 hard-boiled eggs

Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup non-fat Greek yoghurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Low fat milk or substitute to thin dressing

2 tbsp. fresh chives, minced

Sweet Hungarian paprika

Mince the onion  and place in a small, deep bowl. add the lemon juice and minced dill pickles, or relish. Set aside.

Cook your eggs  to the hard-boiled stage, drain and let sit in ice water until cold. Peel and place in a large bowl, reserving a few for garnish.

Wash and cut up your potatoes  into bite-sized pieces, do not peel them. Place in a steamer basket with IMG_3799an inch of water underneath, cover, bring water to a boil and steam until the potatoes are tender. The time will depend on how big your cuts are and the type of potato, but check at 7 minutes.

Drain,  and place in a large bowl to cool.

Wash and cup up your cauliflower,  don’t forget to use the stems as well! Place in a steamer basket with an inch of water underneath and steam until crisp/tender.

Drain,  and place in the same large bowl to cool, and add the onions and the chives, reserving a few to garnish. Add a liberal amount of salt and more pepper than you think you need.

A large bowl. I always mix my salads in my large enamel bowl, really a small basin. There will be plenty of room for everything to get combined in less time when mixing. Plus, it looks pretty in the bowl, and I can glance at it and see if I’ve forgotten anything!

Make your dressing:  In a small bowl, combine yoghurt, mayonnaise, and Dijon and mix well with a whisk.

Thin  with a little milk (Mom used half-and-half).

Dollop the dressing  over it all, add salt and pepper, and mix with two wooden spoons like you were tossing a salad.

Place in a bowl lined with lettuce  or kale and top with the reserved eggs and chives, and sprinkle paprika over all.

Nutritional information:  One side serving (a large serving spoonful) is around 107 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium (a whopping 374 mg), and iron.

Sylvia’s Basic Potato Salad

Boiled potatoes

Onion, minced



Hard-boiled eggs

Paprika and parsley for garnish

Peel, chunk, and boil desired amount of potatoes. Let cool completely, or overnight. Add onion to taste, and chopped hard-boiled eggs. Mix in mayonnaise just to the creamy stage, and add a bit of half and half if you have it on hand. Mince some scallions for the top, and sprinkle with paprika.

Note: Mom always said that the best potato salad is very simply made, and the finer the onions are minced, the better the flavor. 

© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen.


  1. sherry says:

    i love potato salad and i love cauliflower so this sounds like a winner! cheers sherry

    1. Thank you Sherry! I love both too!

  2. What a great way to make potato salad healthier!

    1. I’m always looking for a way to boost the nutrition, and, of course, keep the flavor!

  3. trkingmomoe says:

    I agree with mom about the onions. I learned that a long time ago to mince fine for salads like potato. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are very welcome!

  4. Sheryl says:

    I love how you tweaked this recipe, and turned a classic into a healthy and modern dish. The presentation is beautiful. I never would have thought about using purple or rose potatoes in a salad.

    1. Thank you Sheryl! I love to add color wherever possible, and I love the texture of the little, deeply colored fingerlings. They stand up well in a potato salad, and taste great!

  5. Alicia says:

    This looks so inviting, thank you! I love potato salad but rarely eat it because of all the calories and carbohydrates. I will definitely give this one a try.

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