The Best Mashed Cauliflower, EVER! This recipe is so delicious, ULTRA creamy and just about perfect. Includes step-by-step recipe video.
This cauli mash makes for the ultimate low carb side dish for THM S-Meals, for keto diets or just when you need creamy comfort food but are out of potatoes 😉 For more low carb side dishes, see my Roasted Radishes!
Mashed cauliflower. Oh, how I hated you.
The first time I read about cauliflower in mashed potatoes (yes, that is in mashed potatoes, not instead of) was in my quasi-Vegan rebellious teenage phase in a popular vegan cookbook.
Then came Pinterest. And then came mashed cauliflower – no potatoes.
Watch the Mashed Cauliflower Video Tutorial:
I revolted. I didn’t want anyone to take away my potatoes and replace them with cauliflower.
I even tried a few recipes, and all of them re-inforced my stance: Mashed cauliflower is awful.
But then… I decided to stop with all the tricks and gimmicks and just prep the cauliflower exactly how I would for actual mashed potatoes.
And, oh wonder: My Best Mashed Cauliflower
- turns out amazingly creamy, thick and almost fluffy
- tastes SO good – not watery, not bitter, not boring
- my kids l-o-v-e it. Seriously. They ask for thirds (and they are very much into white potato anything)
Next to mashed sweet potatoes, this might just be my favorite side dish. Ever.
And it is SO easy to make, you won’t believe it – no chopping the cauliflower into tiny bits. No reserving of cooking liquid (who even remembers to do that at crunch time!) or any other special tricks needed!
How to Make Mashed Cauliflower:
Read on for the detailed steps, or scroll down for more tips and the printable recipe card!
How to cook the cauliflower:
Trust me, I tried everything. From steaming (too much hassle) to roasting (too crispy) and pressure cooking to mash right in the same pot (too watery).
Finally, I started cooking the cauliflower like I would potatoes, and it changed everything:
- boil in plenty of salted water until buttery-soft
- drain very well
- return to pot and place over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time until all excess water has steamed off
This works like a charm for silky smooth, thick and almost fluffy cauli-mash.
How to mash the cauliflower:
The ONLY way I like mashed cauliflower is by processing it in my food processor until it is perfectly smooth.
A potato masher makes mushy cauliflower rice, at best. So, use your food processor!
How to season cauliflower mash:
Ah, the seasoning. You can obviously go wild and pile on the cheddar, chive and bacon (I should really share my recipe for that, too!).
Here I’m keeping it basic to imitate plain and amazing mashed potatoes: Sour cream, a bit of cheese, butter, nutmeg. Top with extra butter and chives, if you like.
- The sour cream is really necessary to give it that uber-creaminess the potatoes get from their starch.
- The cheese helps to kind of offset the strong cauliflower taste and the butter makes it silky.
- Nutmeg is a classic with potatoes, so it really gives it that hint of grandma-made-it.
Tips for the Best Cauliflower Mash:
- make sure you steam off all the excess water, or you’ll end up with watery mashed cauliflower
- use a food processor for the smoothes cauliflower mash
- don’t skip the sour cream, it adds a nice creaminess you’ll otherwise miss
Can you freeze this recipe?
Uhm… I have honestly never tried. I don’t think so. BUT you can buy cauliflower when it’s on sale, clean it and divide it into florets and freeze it.
No blanching necessary for mashed cauliflower. Just drop into water, bring to a boil and cook until soft.
What can you serve with mashed cauliflower?
You can use it like you would use mashed potatoes!
To use the mashed cauli in an E setting (low fat):
Use low fat or fat free sour cream and keep the butter to 1/2 tablespoon and the cheese to 1 tablespoon.
- with turkey meatloaf and another starchy side
- as a side for lentil stew (a yummy, budget-friendly meal!)
- with stuffed peppers (brown rice and ground turkey filling plus tomato sauce = yum!)
For an s setting (low carb):
- to top a shepherd’s pie made with juicy pork, lamb or beef
- with saucy meatballs or a juicy meatloaf
- as a side for anything saucy, really! We love it with creamy pork chops (see above!)
Get the printable recipe:
The Best Mashed Cauliflower
- 30 oz frozen cauliflower ; or 1 large head, cut into florets
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream ; use low fat or fat free for a FP
- 1 tablespoon butter (cold from fridge) ; reduce to 1/2 tablespoon for a FP
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg ; you can use more if you like the tase, but be careful not to overdo it
- salt and pepper ; to taste
- 1/3 cup shredded cheese ; I used a cheddar blend – use 1 tablespoon for a FP
- Cook cauliflower: Place cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil until buttery-tender. Drain very well. Place back in the pot over medium-low heat. Stirring from time to time (don’t burn it!), steam off all the excess water (about 3-4 minutes). Take off the heat.
- Make the mash: Place the cauliflower in a large food processor with the blade attachment. Add all other ingredients and process until thick and smooth.
- Serve warm topped with extra butter and chives, if you like.