Fluffy, buttery side-dish bliss is yours with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes!
Once the trendiest vegetable on the menu, cauliflower has proved itself to be an enduring classic.
Raw or steamed cauliflower is ultra-mild (dare we say bland).
That kind of neutrality is not ideal for a stand-alone side (and why I prefer Roasted Cauliflower to raw), BUT it does give cauliflower a special power.
Cauliflower is a stellar low-carb swap for carby, creamy potatoes in many dishes.
In addition to bulking up creamy soups like Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Cauliflower Chowder, cauliflower makes a surprisingly tasty stand-in for spuds in mashed form.
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 are looking to:
- Keep your meal low carb,
- Sneak a healthy serving of vegetables past picky eaters, or
- Want a healthy side dish that goes with just about anything, cauliflower mash is an excellent option.
Mashed cauliflower also works well as a topping for casseroles that call for mashed potatoes, like Shepherd’s Pie.
Give it a try; you’ll be surprised by how similar mashed cauliflower and mashed potatoes taste!
How to Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Mashed cauliflower doesn’t taste like much on its own, which is why it’s the perfect stand-in for potatoes, another vegetable that’s bland until you liven it up.
For the best cauliflower mashed potatoes possible:
- Season with plenty of salt and pepper
- Add some fat to give it the right texture and satisfaction factor (I use a combo of Greek yogurt and butter)
- Include a little umami in the form of Parmesan.
For good measure, I boil some garlic cloves right along with the cauliflower, but if garlic isn’t your thing, feel free to omit it (if garlic is your thing, you must make this Roasted Garlic soon!).
- Cauliflower. Cauliflower gets a dreamy makeover in this recipe. Low in calories and packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, it’s also a great, low carb alternative to mashed potatoes.
- Garlic. Adds delightful garlicky flavor to the mashed cauliflower (just like Garlic Mashed Potatoes).
- 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.
- Milk. Helps make the mashed cauliflower creamy. Use any milk you have on hand.
- Parmesan. Parmesan adds the perfect cheesy, salty flavor. You’ll miss it if isn’t gone.
- Salt + Pepper. Classic, simple seasonings.
- Chives. The onion-like flavor and beautiful green color of chives make them the ideal finishing touch.
- Boil the cauliflower until tender.
- Drain the cauliflower, then transfer it to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients.
- Puree until smooth. Serve with fresh chives and ENJOY!
- 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.
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
- Chicken. Pair this mashed cauliflower recipe with Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, Rosemary Chicken Thighs, or Cranberry Chicken.
- Pork. Stuffed Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Pork Chops would both be delicious with this recipe.
- Beef. No two dishes pair better with cauliflower mashed potatoes than Braised Short Ribs and Instant Pot Pot Roast.
- Turkey. This would be the perfect side dish for Turkey Meatloaf or Cranberry Turkey Meatballs.
- Seafood. Pair this recipe with Broiled Salmon or Air Fryer Shrimp.
- Vegetables. For a delicious vegetarian dinner, serve mashed cauliflower with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms or Grilled Brussels Sprouts.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Saucepan. A versatile kitchen staple.
- Food Processor. Perfect for pureeing the cauliflower.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A good-quality knife makes chopping a breeze.
Mashed cauliflower, you are the healthy comfort-food move!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can easily make this recipe vegan by using dairy-free butter, dairy-alternative milk, and nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan.
You can doctor up this cauliflower mash however you like! Try a sweet and spicy twist like in my Mashed Butternut Squash, or use my Loaded Baked Potato Dip for inspiration and add bacon and extra cheese for loaded mashed cauliflower.
If you want the best of both worlds (and vegetables), you can combine your favorite mashed potato recipe with this mashed cauliflower.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- 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.
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