Mashed Cauliflower

4 Average
This mashed cauliflower recipe is so creamy, smooth, and flavorful! This lower carb version of mashed potatoes is quick and easy. This cauliflower mash is great as a healthy side dish. Serve for family dinners, holidays, Thanksgiving, and more!
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This mashed cauliflower is thick, creamy, smooth, and delicious! It is a delightful alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. With its creamy texture, subtle flavor, and endless possibilities, mashed cauliflower is great for any occasion. It takes only 15 minutes from start to finish. Great for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holidays, family dinners, meal prep, and leftovers. It has a delicious buttery and garlicky flavor!

Mashed cauliflower.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This mashed cauliflower is quick and easy to make.
  • This healthy side dish takes only 15 minutes in total.
  • The texture is so creamy and smooth!
  • Cauliflower has many health benefits. It is high in fiber, low in calories, and loaded with vitamins.
  • Great way to add more vegetables to your diet.
  • This recipe is great for many diets and lifestyles. It is naturally gluten-free, egg-free, low carb, and sugar-free.
  • If needed, it can be made Paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, and vegan.
  • This recipe is a great alternative to classic mashed potatoes.
  • Check out these Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Creamy Mashed Potatoes for another delicious side dish.

What is Mashed Cauliflower?

Mashed cauliflower is a dish made by boiling or steaming cauliflower florets until tender and then blending or mashing them into a smooth, creamy consistency.

The result is a remarkably similar texture to traditional mashed potatoes, but with a lighter and more delicate flavor profile.

This dish can serve as a versatile base for various flavors and add-ins.

It is light and creamy enough to pair with any main dish. Great with steak, chicken, fish, pork, and burgers.

Ingredients & Substitutes

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full mashed cauliflower recipe.

Use a whole head of cauliflower. Then, chop into florets. Frozen cauliflower can be used too. Be sure to thaw before boiling.

A little butter provides a cozy buttery flavor. Ghee is another great option.

Roasted garlic cloves add a tasty garlic flavor. If needed, use minced garlic or garlic powder.

Lastly, sea salt and pepper add a little flavor.

Ingredients for mashed cauliflower.

Taste & Texture

When properly prepared, mashed cauliflower offers a delightfully creamy texture that rivals that of mashed potatoes.

The taste of cauliflower is subtle, with a slightly earthy and nutty undertone.

Unlike potatoes, mashed cauliflower possesses a lighter and less dense texture. This allows it to complement a wide range of main dishes without overpowering them.

How to Make

Step 1

First, bring a pot of water to a boil. Chop the head of cauliflower into florets. Boil the cauliflower florets for 10 minutes, or until soft.

Boiled cauliflower.

Step 2

Then, drain the cauliflower.

Step 3

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Step 4

Finally, transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, add more butter on top. Serve hot and fresh!

Bowl of creamy veggies.

Expert Tips for Success

Do not overcook the cauliflower to avoid a watery texture. It should be fork tender but still retain its shape.

For extra flavor, sauté the cauliflower briefly in olive oil or butter before blending.

If time allows, use freshly roasted garlic cloves. They add so much flavor!

Get creative with toppings! Try crispy bacon bits, caramelized onions, or toasted whole wheat breadcrumbs to add texture and depth.

If you prefer a more rustic texture, mash the cauliflower by hand for a chunkier consistency. Or, use a potato masher.

Ways to Cook Cauliflower

Before transforming cauliflower into a velvety mash, it is important to choose the right cooking method.

Cauliflower can be steamed, boiled, roasted, or even microwaved.

Each technique yields slightly different flavors and textures.

Steaming is a popular option, as it preserves the nutrients and produces a tender result.

Boiling is another common method, which can be quicker but may result in some loss of nutrients.

Roasting cauliflower adds a depth of flavor and caramelization.

Lastly, microwaving is a convenient choice for those short on time.

Bowl of mashed cauliflower.

How to Blend

To achieve a silky smooth consistency, you’ll need to blend the cooked cauliflower. Begin by draining the cauliflower thoroughly to remove excess moisture. Transfer the florets to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, adding a small amount of liquid such as vegetable broth, milk, or cream to achieve the desired consistency.

Do not over blend, as this may result in a gummy texture.

Alternatively, you can mash the cauliflower by hand with a potato masher or fork for a slightly chunkier texture.

Flavor Variations & Add-Ins

While mashed cauliflower has its own unique charm, it also readily adapts to a multitude of flavors and add-ins.

For a classic twist, add a generous spoonful of butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.

Experiment with different spices like garlic powder, paprika, or cumin to create a more robust flavor profile.

For a touch of indulgence, consider blending in grated Parmesan cheese or a dollop of sour cream.

The options are endless, allowing you to tailor the recipe to your personal taste preferences.

How to Serve & Store

Mashed cauliflower is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways.

For a classic dinner, serve with steak.

Serve it as a delicious side dish alongside roasted meats, grilled vegetables, or baked shrimp.

It can also be used as a nutritious topping for shepherd’s pie or as a flavorful layer in a low-carb lasagna.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When reheating, gently warm the leftovers on the stovetop, stirring occasionally to maintain its creamy consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my cauliflower mash watery?

Drain the boiled cauliflower completely to avoid watery mash.

Is mashed cauliflower good for you?

Yes, mashed cauliflower is a healthy recipe!

Can you buy mashed cauliflower?

Trader Joe’s sells mashed cauliflower, but it contains many ingredients that are not real food.

What should you serve with mashed cauliflower?

Mashed cauliflower is great with chicken breasts, chicken thighs, steak, pork, burgers, and more.

Can you make it vegan?

Sure, use vegan butter.

Buttery veggies in bowl.

Equipment Needed

Food Processor: This food processor is great for blending veggies.

Vitamix Blender: This high-powered blender is great for making smoothies too!

Saucepan: Boil the cauliflower in this saucepan.

You May Also Enjoy

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Recipe Rating

  1. 4 stars
    Highly recommend squeezing extra water out of the cooked cauliflower – I use a clean dish towel. It’s the only way I’ve been able to truly avoid watery mash. This is delicious!