I love mixing different ingredients and making delicious salads to go with my main or very often to have as a light dinner.Well, this cauliflower salad has bacon and mayonnaise in it so you wouldn’t call it exactly light. Still, it’s so tasty, full of different textures from the crunchy cauliflower, crispy bacon, creamy from the mayo and cheese, refreshing from the onions and peppers. The cauliflower isn’t fully cooked so you will need less than 30 minutes to put together this salad, making it a great option when you have people coming over or you need a salad to go with a barbecue feast.
So if you are a fan of cauliflower and you are bored of the traditional ways of cooking it, like steamed or braised, I think you should try this crunchy cauliflower salad with bacon. Some other of my favorite mayo based salads that I recommend you to try are my easy potato salad and my pearl couscous and beets salad recipes.
Why you should try my recipe
- Very easy to prepare and healthy.
- Perfect for a light lunch and lunch boxes.
- Full of nutrients and quite filling.
- Great for barbecues and gatherings.
Ingredients & How-to
To make this easy cauliflower salad with bacon, you are going to need some simple ingredients like cauliflower, bell pepper, bacon rashers, cucumber pickle, green onions, mayonnaise, cream cheese, hard cheese and salt. So let’s get started!
01. I start with preparing the vegetables and bacon. I chop the pepper, cucumber pickle and green onions into small bits. You could use a bell pepper like me or a a couple mini sweet peppers. The cucumber pickle gives a nice kick to the salad with its acidity so I definitely recommend to have it.
02. I usually buy a pack with 10-15 bacon rashers, I use 3 for this recipe and then freeze the rest in bags of 3. I cut each bacon rasher first lengthwise and then into squares.
03. I then cook them in a pan with a little bit of oil for a couple of minutes until it gets a nice brown color. Hold yourself from cleaning that pan as we will need it for the cauliflower.
04. I remove the hard stem of the cauliflower and then cut it into bite sized pieces. I use first my hands to remove each floret and then cut it into smaller pieces with a knife.
05. In the same pan that I cooked the bacon, I add the cauliflower and turn it first for half a minute to get a bit of color and flavor from the oil. I then add half a cup of water and let it cook for no more than 5 minutes. Just to soften up a little bit and be easier to fork but not really soft like when you steam or boil it. I want to keep the crunchiness of the cauliflower in the salad as it feels more fresh and healthy.
06. For the sauce, I’m mixing some cream cheese, mayonnaise and cheddar cheese. You could use any hard cheese that you like, hard goats cheese, manchego or graviera would taste good too. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt to enhance all the flavors but don’t overdo it as the cheese and bacon are already high in sodium.
07. Finally, I add all the ingredients to a bowl, the cauliflower, bacon and chopped vegetables. I toss the sauce and mix everything well to cover all the ingredients before serving.
- You could substitute the cheddar cheese for manchego, gooda, graviera or a hard goats cheese.
- You can use full fat or light mayonnaise.
- Instead of bell pepper, you could use a couple mini sweet peppers.
- Don’t overcook the cauliflower florets as we want to keep their crunchiness. Just let the cook in the bacon oil with a bit of water for 4-5 minutes or until the water has evaporated.
- Add a pinch of salt to the sauce before mixing it with the vegetables but don’t overdo it as the cheese and bacon are already salty enough.
You can have this crunchy cauliflower salad with bacon on its own as a light lunch or dinner, or as a side dish or appetizer with your main. It goes very well with meat and burgers, so why not make it next time you are having a barbecue and some friends around.
This cauliflower and bacon salad with mayonnaise is quite filling so it can easily serve 5-6 people as a side dish. You can make it in advance and serve it cold, straight out of the fridge. The mayo and cream cheese will just keep everything together and enhance the flavors without getting too watery which is what usually happens to lettuce salads with vinaigrette.
You can store the cauliflower salad in the fridge for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing it, as I haven’t tried it and the mayo might not be that creamy when thawed. Another option is to prepare all the vegetables and bacon and add them to a bowl, then make the sauce in a separate container and mix as needed rather than all at once.
How long to cook cauliflower for salad? You should cook the cauliflower with the grease from the bacon and a little bit of water for no more than 4-5 minutes to keep it fresh and crunchy.
Can I make the cauliflower salad in advance? You can prepare all the ingredients in advance, chop the vegetables and cook the bacon and cauliflower. Then it takes just 5 minutes to put everything together in a bowl and serve. This cauliflower and bacon salad can also be prepared with the mayo sauce a couple of hours in advance and served cold straight out of the fridge.
Watch the video
Easy, Crunchy Cauliflower Salad With BaconThis cauliflower salad with bacon and mayo is a great side dish with your main or light lunch. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it will become one of your favorite salads! It's crunchy from the cauliflower and pepper, creamy from the mayonnaise and cheese and the bacon gives it a nice, salty and savory taste. Enjoy!
- ½ cauliflower
- 3 bacon rashers
- 3 green onions
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 cucumber pickle
- ¼ cup (50gr) hard cheese
- ½ cup (100gr) mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup (80gr) cream cheese
- Cut each bacon rasher lengthwise and then into squares.
- Heat a little bit of oil in a pan and cook the bacon pieces for 2-3 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon and keep the oil in the pan.
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Add the cauliflower pieces to the same pan you cooked the bacon. Stir for half a minute and then add half a cup of water in. Cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until the water has evaporated (the cauliflower shouldn't get soft).
- Cut the pepper, cucumber pickle and green onions into small pieces around 0.5in (1cm).
- Add the cauliflower, bacon pieces, pepper, cucumber and green onions in a big bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise and hard cheese. Add them to the salad and mix well until it's all combined.
- You can use full fat or light mayonnaise.
- For the hard cheese, I use cheddar but you can use any type of hard cheese you like.
- Instead of bell pepper, you could use a couple of mini sweet peppers.
Store the cauliflower and bacon salad in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.