The Loaded Bacon Ranch Cauliflower Salad is so good that you won’t even miss the potatoes!
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Cauliflower is on my shopping list every single week. We eat it so often, it might be borderline crazy. I just love it. It’s such a versatile ingredient and I use it regularly in so many different ways that I never get tired of it.
This Loaded Bacon Ranch Cauliflower Salad was inspired by a somewhat similar potato dish I saw in a magazine and the fact that I often see loaded french fries served with ranch dressing. I figured if the combination works for potatoes, I could easily substitute cauliflower to make a healthy, delicious recipe suitable for low-carb diets. If you’re not following a keto or low-carb diet, you will totally still love this recipe. It might just be more of a special treat or guilty pleasure recipe instead.
I make this dish as a side for barbecues and summer cookouts, but have eaten it on it’s own for lunch a time or two, as well. It’s also a great dish to bring to pot-lucks or a get-together with family and friends. Who doesn’t love food covered in bacon and cheese??
The best part? This is a super easy recipe that can be tossed together pretty quickly!
Loaded Bacon Ranch Cauliflower Salad
Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces. Shred the cheese, if necessary, dice the onion and celery, and thinly slice the green onions. If you don’t have leftover bacon to use, you will need to cook and crumble that as well.
If you are going to steam the cauliflower in a steamer pot, you will want to get the water on the stove top to boil as soon as possible. Directions on how to steam the cauliflower in the microwave are included in the recipe card notes.
Steam the cauliflower in a steamer pot or the microwave until fork tender. Drain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down. Place in a medium-size bowl.
Stir in the ranch dressing, onion, celery, cheddar cheese, and bacon until well combined.
Place in a serving dish and top with the extra cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions.
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Loaded Bacon Ranch Cauliflower Salad
- 1 medium head cauliflower * cut into bite size pieces
- 8 slices bacon * cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese * shredded
- 1/4 cup celery * diced small
- 2 green onions * sliced thin for garnish
- Set a steamer pot filled 2/3rds of the way full with water over high heat to bring to a boil.
- Add cauliflower florets and steam until fork-tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Drain the water, and run the cauliflower under cold water to stop the cooking process. Place in a medium-size bowl.
- Mix together the ranch dressing, celery, cheddar cheese, and half of the bacon until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the cauliflower and toss to combine.
- Place in a serving dish and top with extra cheddar cheese, the remaining bacon, and green onions, if desired.
Tips and Techniques for the Best Loaded Bacon Ranch Cauliflower Salad
- Shred the cheese from a block, rather than using pre-shredded bagged cheese, for the best results.
- Adjust any of the ingredients to suit your own tastes. Just be aware that any changes to the recipe will alter the nutritional information.
- Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days.
How to Steam Cauliflower in the MicrowaveTo steam cut cauliflower in the microwave, place it in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving one edge slightly open to vent. Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, until it reaches desired level of tenderness. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process. ** Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary.