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Proof that some things that seem too good to be true actually can live up to the hype: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes! A low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes that’s just as smooth and creamy, swapping cauliflower for potatoes in everyone’s favorite side is a great way to provide a healthier option at the holidays, and to sneak more veggies into your everyday dinners.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe in a bowl with chives and butter

Why You’ll Love This Easy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Recipe

  • It’s Actually Delicious! While cauliflower mashed “potatoes” aren’t a 100% I-can’t-even-tell dupe of traditional Crockpot Mashed Potatoes and Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, hear this: they are really, really good. Whether you want to keep your meal low carb, sneak a healthy serving of vegetables past picky eaters, or find a healthy side dish that goes with just about anything, cauliflower mash is an excellent option (as is my Roasted Cauliflower).
  • You Can Use It in a Variety of Ways. Of course, you can serve mashed cauliflower straight from the pot for an easy side dish, but it is also a stellar low-carb swap for carby, creamy potatoes in a variety of dishes. Add them to casseroles (like Shepherd’s Pie and Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie), top them with Beef Bourguignon (this is a crowd-pleaser!), or enjoy them as part of a holiday spread with Air Fryer Turkey Breast and Mushroom Gravy.
  • A Nutritious Side Dish. For an extra nutrition boost, I try to sneak cauliflower into recipes whenever I can (like in my Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Cauliflower Chowder). Not only is cauliflower an excellent source of fiber and vitamins, but it’s also packed with antioxidants.
The best cauliflower mashed potatoes

How to Make Healthy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

The Ingredients

  • Cauliflower. Cauliflower gets a dreamy makeover in this recipe. Low in calories and packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, it’s a great, low carb alternative to mashed potatoes.
  • Garlic. Adds delightful garlicky flavor to the mashed cauliflower (just like Garlic Mashed Potatoes). If garlic isn’t your thing, feel free to omit it (if garlic is your thing, you must make this Roasted Garlic soon!).
  • Butter. Rich, buttery goodness is a must for crowd-pleasing flavor. It also adds some much-needed fat.
  • Greek Yogurt. Adds tanginess and creaminess in a healthy way. Greek yogurt is packed with protein and calcium.

Substitution Tip

You can swap the yogurt for sour cream if you prefer.

  • Milk. Helps make the mashed cauliflower creamy. Use any milk you have on hand.
  • Parmesan. Parmesan adds the perfect cheesy, salty flavor and is key for the best cauliflower mashed potatoes. Don’t skip it!
  • Salt + Pepper. Classic, simple seasonings.
  • Chives. The onion-like flavor and beautiful green color of chives make them the ideal finishing touch.

The Directions

Vegetables in a pot with water
  1. Boil the Cauliflower and Garlic. Cook until fork tender.
Ingredients in a food processor for making mashed cauliflower with Greek yogurt
  1. Add Everything to a Food Processor. Make sure your cauliflower is thoroughly drained first.
A food processor with ingredients for a mashed cauliflower recipe
  1. Puree. Serve with fresh chives and ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. Using dairy-free butter, dairy-alternative milk and yogurt or sour cream, and nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan.
  • Loaded Mashed Cauliflower. Use my Loaded Baked Potato Dip for inspiration and add Baked Bacon (or Air Fryer Bacon) and extra cheese for loaded mashed cauliflower.
  • Mix Up the Vegetables. If you want the best of both worlds (and vegetables), you can combine your favorite mashed potato recipe with this mashed cauliflower. Or, try stir it together with Mashed Butternut Squash or Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate mashed cauliflower in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of milk as needed. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze cauliflower mashed potatoes in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

For easy, portion-sized mashed cauliflower, prepare the recipe as directed, then let it cool completely. Use the leftovers to fill an ice cube tray or muffin pan (with silicone liners). Freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen cubes or “muffins” to a freezer-safe ziptop bag or storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy as desired.

A bowl of easy cauliflower mashed potatoes with butter

Leftover Ideas

Turn leftover cauliflower mashed potatoes, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, and Easy Baked Beans into a scrumptious and fun pulled pork parfait. Using a glass jar, layer mashed potatoes, baked beans, and pulled pork on top of one another as you would a yogurt parfait.

What to Serve with Mashed Cauliflower

A bowl of healthy cauliflower mashed potatoes with butter

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Cook the Cauliflower Until Tender. When you’re cooking your cauliflower florets, make sure they’re fork-tender before removing them from the pot. If the cauliflower isn’t cooked long enough, it can make your mashed cauliflower grainy.
  • Don’t Overmix. As with mashed potatoes, you want to be careful not to overmix your mashed cauliflower. If overmixed, it can turn into a puree or become gummy.
  • Fat is Necessary. Full-fat yogurt (or sour cream) and butter is necessary for this recipe to taste its best. They help create the right texture and satisfaction factor.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

4.82 from 16 votes
Creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes are a healthy, low-carb side that tastes surprisingly like regular mashed potatoes!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


  • 6 cups cauliflower florets about 24 ounces or 1 large head
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk or milk of choice, plus additional as needed
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives optional for serving


  • Place the cauliflower and garlic in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover it. Add ¼ teaspoon of the salt, then bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil until the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Drain the cauliflower and garlic in a colander, shake them very dry, then transfer to a food processor fitted with a steel blade (or return to the pot and puree with an immersion blender—this is a little tricky but will do the job). Add the yogurt, milk, Parmesan, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Puree until the cauliflower is smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. If it is thicker than you would like, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until your desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve immediately or transfer to a heatproof bowl and keep warm over a pan of simmering water. Top with fresh chives.



  • TO STORE: Refrigerate mashed cauliflower in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of milk as needed. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze cauliflower mashed potatoes in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 21mgPotassium: 500mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 246IUVitamin C: 73mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

4.82 from 16 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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