Mashed cauliflower is a delicious and healthy low-carb/keto comfort food that you can use in so many different ways! My mashed cauliflower recipe comes together in under 30 minutes with just a few ingredients and is the perfect side dish for easy weeknight dinners or an elegant holiday table. It is also a great substitute for high carbs mashed potatoes.
To get the most indulgent consistency, I use an immersion blender to mash the cauliflower and add mayo, butter, and parmesan cheese for an extra smooth result. Because this mashed cauliflower recipe is so versatile, it is easy to customize by using different ingredients like fresh herbs or making certain substitutions to fit your dietary needs (like swapping butter for a vegan alternative.)
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
If you’re looking for inspiration on how you and your family can enjoy mashed cauliflower, I’ve certainly got plenty of recipes for you to try! My One-Pan Cauliflower Curry or Cauliflower Fried Rice recipes are perfect for an easy weeknight meal, and these Spicy Chicken Meal Prep Bowls are a great make-ahead option.
For other recipes that feature cauliflower as the star of the show, try my Whole 30 Mashed Cauliflower, Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad, Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice, Cauliflower Tots, Cauliflower Pizza Crust or my popular Cauliflower Potato Salad.
How To Make Mashed Cauliflower
- Cauliflower — The star of this recipe! Cauliflower is hearty, low-carb, and packed full of nutrients.
- Butter — Butter helps make the mashed cauliflower rich and flavorful with that classic comfort food taste.
- Mayo — Mayo is the key to getting a smooth, creamy texture without adding excess liquid.
- Parmesan Cheese — Parmesan cheese adds a delicious nutty flavor to this recipe.
- Seasonings — A simple but classic blend of kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Garnish — Top your mashed cauliflower with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley and black pepper as a garnish.
- Fill a large pot with roughly 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- While the water boils, wash and chop your cauliflower into individual florets.
- Place a steamer basket in the bottom of your large pot and then add the cauliflower florets.
- Cover and steam for 6-8 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender. To avoid soggy cauliflower florets, do not steam for more than 8 minutes.
- Take your steamed cauliflower off of the stove and remove the lid to your pot. This step is important to make sure that you do not continue to steam and overcook your cauliflower.
- Let cool uncovered for 5 minutes.
Mash the cauliflower:
- Place the cooled steamed cauliflower in a large bowl and cover with a layer of plastic film. Leave a small space in the plastic film for the immersion blender. This technique helps prevent splatters and other messes.
- Slowly start to mash the cauliflower with the immersion blender. It may be a little difficult to get started, but after a few seconds, the cauliflower will release a bit of liquid and become much easier to work with. It is important not to add any extra liquid during this step, or you will end up with a watery mashed cauliflower.
- Mash with the immersion blender or a potato masher until smooth and creamy.
- Once your cauliflower puree is nice and smooth, add the butter, mayo, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
- Stir well to combine, then taste to adjust the seasonings to your preference.
Garnish and serve:
- Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, and fresh parsley, then serve and enjoy!
- To choose the best cauliflower for this recipe, keep an eye out for a few details when you’re shopping. You’ll want to make sure the head of your cauliflower is firm and tight and avoid any heads of cauliflower with yellow patches or discoloration.
- If you want to save time, you can also try this mashed cauliflower recipe using pre-cut cauliflower florets!
- Don’t be shy with the seasonings! Since you don’t get too much flavor from the cauliflower itself, season your dish generously and adjust to your taste preferences.
- This recipe is so quick and easy, you’ll want to make it all the time! You can switch up the flavor by adding fresh or dried herbs like rosemary and thyme, or even an Italian seasoning blend.
How To Store Leftovers
- To Store: Allow your leftover mashed cauliflower to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze: This recipe freezes well, so you can meal prep ahead of time, or safely save your leftovers for another night. Place your cauliflower mash in a freezer-safe bag and store frozen for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: You can reheat your leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of liquid to help loosen it up. Just be mindful not to add so much liquid that you make your mashed cauliflower watery. We still want that rich, creamy texture that makes this recipe so delicious!
What To Serve With Mashed Cauliflower
- The Main Dish: Pair this mashed cauliflower recipe with your favorite protein for a quick weeknight meal that is easy and nutritious. Try it with my garlic butter baked chicken breast, easy turkey meatloaf, baked pork chops or pan-seared salmon.
- More veggies: You can never have enough fresh vegetables (or enough sides!) in my opinion. Try this recipe with my roasted green beans, balsamic roasted vegetables or a salad.
- Gravy, of course! Top this low-carb comfort food with a rich, savory gravy or sauce. To enhance the flavor of your gravy or sauce, try making it with my easy homemade vegetable broth.
- Vegan: For rich, vegan mashed cauliflower, you can easily substitute the butter, mayo, and parmesan cheese in this recipe for your favorite dairy-free vegan alternatives.
- Seasonings: Mashed cauliflower is an incredibly versatile dish that works well with so many different flavor profiles. Have fun with different herbs such as chives, green onions, and parsley and seasonings or try this recipe using my homemade garlic butter. You can also garnish this mashed cauliflower with chopped bacon or even cheddar cheese. Mm… So yummy!
- Not a fun of mayo? You can replace it for cream cheese or sour cream.
- Make it a meal: Mashed cauliflower shines on its own as a side dish, but with just a few additional ingredients, you can make several delicious and easy meals that your family will love. Try it with my Mashed Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie, Low-Carb Turkey Meatballs with Mashed Cauliflower or Shrimp Cauliflower Mash Bowl recipes.
- Immersion blender. For the best consistency, you’ll want to use an immersion blender to mash your cauliflower. You can also use a food processor for this step.
- Large Pot. To boil your cauliflower, you’ll need an extra-large soup or stock pot.
- Steamer basket. The steamer basket should fit comfortably inside your large pot.
- Large Bowl. You’ll need a large bowl with plenty of space to work the immersion blender around and mash your steamed cauliflower.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mashed cauliflower can tend to get a little watery if there is too much moisture present. This can happen during the cooking process, or if you use liquid ingredients like chicken stock or cream. I have found that the best way to get a rich, creamy texture is to steam the cauliflower rather than boil it, use an immersion blender or food processor instead of a high-speed blender, and use mayo in place of heavy cream.
Yes! You can make this mashed cauliflower recipe in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. I like to reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop with just a splash of liquid.
If you don’t have an immersion blender at home, I recommend using a food processor for this recipe instead. If you use a traditional high-speed blender, you may end up with watery mashed cauliflower. With a food processor or immersion blender, you have much more control when it comes to the overall texture of your mashed cauliflower.
- First, fill a large pot with about 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- Then, place a steamer basket in the bottom of the pot.
- Add the cauliflower florets into the steamer basket.
- Cover the pot and steam until the cauliflower is fork tender (6-8 minutes). Please do not steam for more than 8 minutes otherwise the florets will become very soggy.
- Remove from the heat, uncover the pot (this step is important) and let the cauliflower cool down for 5 minutes.
- Place the steamed cauliflower in bowl and cover with a plastic film leaving a small space to place the immersion blender. Slowly start to mash the cauliflower. At the beginning it will be a little hard to mash but after a few seconds it will be easy. Do not add any liquid like warm water or chicken broth while you are mashing the steamed cauliflower. Eventually it will release a bit of liquid and the mashing process will become easier. If you add more liquid your mashed cauliflower will become very watery at the end of the process.
- When the cauliflower is completely smooth add butter, mayo, garlic powder, Parmesan, salt, ground black pepper and stir well to combine.
- Taste to adjust the seasoning.
- Garnish with black pepper, olive oil and fresh parsley.
- When buying the cauliflower, make sure the head is firm, tight, and does not have yellow patches.
- If desired, you can buy pre-chopped cauliflower florets to save time.
- Season the cauliflower generously as there isn’t much flavor from the cauliflower.
- You can add rosemary, thyme, or Italian seasoning for some extra herby flavor.
- To serve: Serve a big scoop of mashed cauliflower with turkey, fish, roasted chicken, or meat.
- To store: Place leftover mashed cauliflower in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: I like to reheat the mash in the microwave or stovetop with a splash of liquid to help loosen it up.
- To freeze: Freeze mashed cauliflower in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
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