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Retro Overnight Bacon Cauliflower Salad

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retro bac-cauli salad


Hello! Well, if you’ve made, or are planning on making my Cheesy Cauliflower, Broccoli & Bacon Casserole , you have a use for that second half-head of cauliflower! If not, well, sorry about your luck!

JUST kidding! 😉 I’m providing my recipe for the regular amount that requires one whole head of cauliflower. But, if you do happen to have a half lying around leftover from the holidays and wanting to use it up before it goes bad, or have a very small head on hand and need a smaller amount to make for a smaller group, this recipe is easily halved.

I made a half of a recipe for Thanksgiving for the two of us no problem or odd measuring at all. And even if you’d like to make a half batch anyways, most vegetables, including cauliflower, freeze extremely well! Just save the extra half for a small batch of creamy cauliflower soup! That way you can add the bigger stems to the freezer bag as well and nothing goes to waste. 

But not to confuse, the recipe below is for a whole, (regular-sized), batch.

About this salad….not sure where to start. All I can tell you is this. It has been a staple on our holiday, special occasion, and everything in-between table ever since I was a little girl.

My mom, as well as my relatives, used to make it quite a lot, and it most likely originated from the back of a box, jar or can of any of the ingredients included. The original origin of the recipe is not known to me. I do use my own directions and amounts to taste, as anyone does with handed-down recipes, so feel free to adjust to your own tastes, too, over the years.  

One thing’s for sure, though, is DO NOT SUB ANY of the ingredients! Any substitutions will result in a disaster. I’ve tried subbing mayo when I was out. Once. Not the same!

I also tried subbing bacon that I cooked, as well as a different, but similar, styles and brands of seasoning. ALL did not work well! It just was not, not, not the same. It has it’s own distinct flavor, and texture, and it’s one of those “it is what it is” recipes that have stood the test of time and are NOT to be messed with.

So please don’t fool with it. Jus’ sayin’. 😉

This recipe requires the ingredients listed below and nothing else. Period.  

What?? You “despise” Miracle Whip over mayo? Then let me tell you a very funny story! 😉


retro bac-cauli salad 2


It’s always fun to get a few digs in on ex-relatives. Especially ones that were so awfully mean and cruel. (WHY I put up with it for almost 24 years is beyond my comprehension now. I blame my ex for letting his family treat me so badly. It’s not the responsibility of the wife, husband, or partner to set their spouse’s family straight.)

But, uhm, yeah, in-laws from HELL. MOST of them anyways. All of them INSISTED that they HATED Miracle Whip, but one in particular was always so very snotty and snooty about it. She was like that about everything, though. So hopefully you can understand the great pleasure I took when I got to tell her, and all, that the salad she was RAVING over and over about was – – yep – – yes indeedy – – made from Miracle Whip.

The look on her face was what I waited for…for 10 years. And I kept my cool. It was tough not to gloat, believe me – – I wanted to jump up on the table, do the can-can, and laugh like a hyena!

But when she asked what was in it….I simply told her. Saving one ingredient for last… Miracle Whip. Jaws dropped all the way around the table. I sat there not saying another word. Not one. Didn’t even smile or snicker, which was about as hard as not laughing when someone in the room farts, sorry, but it just is.

But inside….THE CHICAGO BEARS JUST WON THE SUPER BOWL!!!!! AND I JUST WON THE POWERBALL LOTTERY!!! … was what was going on inside! 😉 Oh yes, it was one small victory from years of being bashed horribly, and intentionally and hurtfully un-included in family functions (like canning) that would have meant the world to me. Be it one tiny one of many, (uncountable!!!), hurtful things they did to me, it didn’t matter. And every last DROP of that salad was eaten, too.

My only loss. No leftovers for me the next day. My ex FIL said it was the best Thanksgiving he’d ever had. TOUCHDOWN.   

So if you’re thinking that you cannot, will not, possibly make this and enjoy this because you, too, are a lifelong member of the “Miracle Whip Hater’s Club”, please just trust me. If the SHE-DEVIL herself can be fooled and RAVE over it, you’ll LOVE it just as much. I promise you. 

I consider myself to be very lucky, though, in that, I love both regular Hellmann’s mayo, as well as Miracle Whip. I don’t understand the rivalry, frankly. Both equally do their job for different things that require different flavors. I very much enjoy them both in and on so many different things. I say, put down the hatchet and just enjoy! 😉 🙂 

One thing to note about this salad. It’s an “overnight” salad. It is lightly coated completely with Miracle Whip, and then, it is to be refrigerated overnight. This causes it to wilt slightly, hence it’s secondary name, “wilted salad”.

If this texture isn’t desirable to you, then only refrigerate it for 3-4 hours. If you refrigerate it overnight and have added a bit too much Miracle Whip, then simply add a bit more lettuce, parmesan cheese and seasoning. It’s very forgiving.

I’ve added “too much” before and LOVED it that way and do mine overnight to boot! You can play around with it and get the hang of how you like it best.

To “lightly coat”, I tell myself when it looks like it’s not quite enough, it’s there. As it sits it will get “saucier”. 

I really hope you all give this a fair shot and try it, though! Every single person I’ve made this for has loved it and asked for the recipe. All but one. Yep, you guessed it – – “Mr. Picky Pants” himself.

But that’s ok, more for me I say! With the minimal ingredients, you can even make a dab for yourself no trouble at all. 😉

With lots more holidays coming up, this is a really good one to set out on the buffet table for something completely different than the same old-same old. People really love it, and it’s always fun to tease the Miracle Whip haters a little, too! 😉

Have a fantastic day and enjoy! 🙂




Serves 8-10


*Note: DO NOT SUB any of the following ingredients

1 head lettuce, cut bite-sized

1 head fresh cauliflower, florets and small stems cut into small pieces

1 (3 oz.) jar Hormel Real Bacon Bits, the small, “shaved” pieces not the bigger pieces

1 medium-sized onion, halved then slice each half thinly

Miracle Whip to coat lightly

1/3 of a 2.60 oz. bottle of McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning, just eyeball it

2/3 of an 8 oz. can Kraft Parmesan Cheese, just eyeball it

more salad seasoning to garnish if desired



Mix all in large bowl until well mixed and lightly, but nicely and evenly coated with Miracle Whip.

Chill 3-4 hours or overnight. Stir and refresh (*only if needed but should be at least a little soft and saucy) with more lettuce, seasoning and parmesan cheese. Spoon into pretty serving bowl. Garnish top with a light sprinkling of more salad seasoning if desired. 

Will last several days in the fridge. 


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