Mashed Cauliflower (Vegan, Paleo)

Cauliflower is one of the world’s most versatile vegetables.

Not only does it make a perfect pizza crust and a tasty fried rice, it’s also a surprisingly delicious alternative to traditional mashed potatoes!

Serving mashed cauliflower in lieu of potatoes is an easy way to lighten up your meal, and is a great solution for those of you who need to avoid starches. Thanks to the cauliflower base, this creamy mashed dish can be served with turkey and my grain-free stuffing for a properly combined Thanksgiving dinner!

An added bonus? Steaming cauliflower is much faster than boiling potatoes. Win!

Mashed Cauliflower (Vegan, Paleo)
serves 2

Ingredients:

Medium-sized head of cauliflower, chopped into florets (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
3 roasted garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water, and insert a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil, and add the cauliflower florets. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, allowing the cauliflower to steam for 6-8 minutes, or until fork tender.

Drain the steamed cauliflower, and transfer to the bowl of a large food processor. Add in the roasted garlic cloves and seasonings, and process to your desired texture.

Note: You can usually find roasted garlic cloves available at the olive bar in your local natural grocery store. If you prefer to roast your own, use this method. Sometimes I’ll just use a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead, too!

I don’t usually need to add any additional liquid for blending, but feel free to add a splash of almond milk or water, if needed. I ended up using about a teaspoon of fine sea salt for this particular batch, but each batch may vary, so be sure to start with less than you think you need, and add more as you go.

Serve warm and enjoy!

4.84 from 6 votes
Print
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Serving mashed cauliflower in lieu of potatoes is an easy way to lighten up your meal, and is a great solution for those of you who need to avoid starches. Thanks to the cauliflower base, this creamy mashed dish can be served with turkey and my grain-free stuffing for a properly combined Thanksgiving dinner!
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 2
Calories: 57 kcal
Ingredients
  • Medium-sized head of cauliflower , chopped into florets (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives , chopped
  • salt and pepper , to taste
Instructions
  1. Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water, and insert a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil, and add the cauliflower florets. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, allowing the cauliflower to steam for 6-8 minutes, or until fork tender.
  2. Drain the steamed cauliflower, and transfer to the bowl of a large food processor. Add in the seasonings, and process to your desired texture.
  3. If additional liquid is needed to facilitate blending, feel free to add a splash of almond milk or water, and adjust the seasonings to your taste. I ended up using about a teaspoon of fine sea salt for this particular batch, but each batch may vary, so be sure to start with less than you think you need, and add more as you go.
  4. Serve warm and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

This mashed cauliflower dish makes a great base for any of your favorite add-ins. If you prefer cheesy mashed potatoes, try adding 2-3 ounces of creamy goat cheese, or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast for a vegan variation. You could also add in some extra chives and a few spoonfuls of plain goat yogurt for a "sour cream & onion" flavor. The options are endless! Also, be sure to note the serving size on this recipe. One medium head of cauliflower only made enough to serve two people in our house-- we love to heap it onto our plates! If you're serving a bunch of mashed potato fans, you may want to double or triple this recipe, to be on the safe side.

This mashed cauliflower dish makes a great base for any of your favorite add-ins. If you prefer cheesy mashed potatoes, try adding 2-3 ounces of creamy goat cheese, or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast for a vegan variation. You could also add in some extra chives and a few spoonfuls of plain goat yogurt for a “sour cream & onion” flavor. The options are endless!

*Note: Be sure to note the serving size on this recipe! One medium head of cauliflower only made enough to serve two people in our house– we love to heap it onto our plates! If you’re serving a bunch of mashed potato fans, you may want to double or triple this recipe, to be on the safe side.

Reader Feedback: Have you tried mashed cauliflower before? If so, are you a fan? I was really hesitant to serve it to Austin for the first time last year, but he immediately loved it! In fact, we both prefer mashed cauliflower over mashed potatoes now. Who would have guessed?!

Share:
Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

65 thoughts on “Mashed Cauliflower (Vegan, Paleo)

  1. the delicate place

    i tried cauli mash for the first time in 2009 when i was making a cottage pie recipe from mark’s daily apple. i never looked back! some of my friends had no idea that it was not potatoes! i love to do a coconut curry mash with cauliflower, i love the richness that coconut milk or oil brings to the mashed dish. it’s a staple at my thanksgiving table 🙂

    Reply
  2. kaity @ kaityscooking

    i LOVE mashed cauliflower! to get my family who dislikes most veggies to eat it, i first made it with a few potatoes thrown in there and they loved it and each time i decreased the amount of potatoes in it until there was none and they loveee it still

    Reply
  3. Justine

    I tried mashed cauliflower for the first time last week. Loved it!! A new favorite for sure:) I enjoyed how light they were compared to how heavy mashed potatoes normally leave me feeling. Can’t wait to try your version!! Thanks for all your hard work in posting so many recipes this week!! Enjoying them:) I was wondering, do you have any plans for a healthy version of sweet potato casserole? Yum…..

    Reply
  4. Donna

    You can also substitute celery root (cèlèri râve) for the cauliflower to GREAT effect and family commentary….really…try it!! (Low carb/low cal/paleo)..I love this recipe for BOTH veggies!

    Reply
  5. Abby

    I’ve also done it by boiling it in a small amount of vegetable broth(depends on how much cauli I put in) but usually fill the pot an inch or two with it. Bring everything to a boil together. It’s really good! And adds a little bit of flavor as well. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Fight Fat Tuesday | Runs of Steele

  7. Melodious

    While steaming is faster, I prefer to roast my cauliflower before mashing (which means a whir with the immersion blender) after adding a pat of grassfed butter and a splash of coconut milk. Delicious!

    Reply
  8. Christine

    I made this today and it was amazing! I can’t believe it tastes so much like mashed potatoes! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  9. Linda

    I put mine in the Ninja and with NO additional liquids… they always come out looking like MASHED potatoes! I call them Ninja taters!

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Salmon with Yogurt Dill Sauce and Mashed Cauliflower | Sounds Delish

  11. Pingback: The First Week of Paleo: Recipe Ideas | allpreciousandpleasant

  12. Kris Simms

    Just started on the paleo diet this month and feel so much better! Making this recipe tonite along w skirt steak and chimchurri YUM!!!!!

    Reply
  13. Aurial

    Tip for everyone! Don’t sub raw garlic for roasted garlic.
    I’m a garlic fiend and it was way too garlicky. Next time I’ll try the roasted garlic. Otherwise I loved this recipe, super easy and great texture. All of the other recipes I found were full of
    Butter or cream!

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Creative Cauliflower Recipes | Train Your Body-Change Your Life

  15. Pingback: Leftover Medley | Katy Active Girls

  16. Pingback: Cauliflower Mash | lesleyslovelylife

  17. Pingback: Coconut Curry Cauliflower Mash | Food-Life Balance

  18. Pingback: Mashed Cauliflower Healthy Side Dish « Flo Fitness

  19. Kayla

    This is seriously the easiest, most delicious side dish ever! I added 2 tbsp of coconut cream to the mix for a little creamier consistency! I’ll definitely be making this more often!

    Reply
  20. Pingback: Majorly Awesome Vegan/Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipe Round Up | Make them whole foods. Make them delicious. And make sure you feel great eating them.

  21. Cathy

    Am wanting to loose weight and should avoid potatoes and any of that starchy food so I definitely will try this recipe… stay tuned for tomorrow after I have tried this.

    Reply
  22. Pingback: Toast Thrusters

  23. Pingback: Healthy Holiday Series: The Many Sides of Holidays | Zipongo

  24. Pingback: 8 Thanksgiving-Worthy Alternatives to Mashed Potatoes | Healthy Way To Cook

  25. Pingback: Simple Swaps for a Healthier Holiday Meal | Omaha Integrative Care

  26. Pingback: Thanksgiving | Joy Rises

  27. Pingback: 10 Healthy Foodie Concoctions I’m So Over (And Still So In Love With)

  28. Joanne

    Love the fact that there is no unnecessary butter, cream, coconut oil/milk, or other oil. You simply don’t need it!

    Reply
  29. Emma

    I didn’t know what to do without mashed potatoes, and now I’m so happy I found this recipe! I used sautéed onions, coconut oil, and roasted garlic. Soooo yummy!

    Reply
  30. Pingback: Paleo Bowl | Zipongo

  31. Pingback: Healthy Thanksgiving Favorites

  32. Pingback: » Caulicannon: Irish Comfort Food – minus the carbs

  33. Bill

    WOW! These are awesome!! I spent 35 years avoiding cauliflower because as a child, an adult told me they were just like mashed potatoes. The circle is now complete 🙂

    Reply
  34. Pingback: being vegan: so far so good | the girl who runs

  35. Jamie

    Now THAT was delicious. I don’t have a food processor but I mashed it as best I could and it was awesome. I added a bit of cheese to it and my husband loved it. Maybe it’s time to by a food processor !! Thanks for sharing !!

    Reply
  36. Pingback: Beyond Roasted Cauliflower (...Pizza and Other New Ways to Use the Crucifer) - Appetite for Health

  37. Pingback: Paleo Bowl | Blog

  38. Pingback: Healthy Holiday Series: Thanksgiving Sides | Blog

  39. Pingback: Sneaky Vegetables: Getting Kids to Eat Their Greens (5 Ways + Recipe) -- The Honest Company Blog

  40. Pingback: 12 Recipes for a Healthier Thanksgiving - Me First Living

  41. Pingback: 2014 Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup [All Vegan/Gluten Free]

  42. Pingback: Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes (+ Including Full Dinner Menu)

  43. Pingback: 24 Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Actually Delicious | Sharing Interesting Stuff, Updates News & Free Tips

  44. Pingback: A Low Carb Thanksgiving -

  45. Pingback: Roasted Garlic and Herb Mashed Cauliflower | HealthyFeelsHappy

  46. Pingback: November tips and recipes for Thanksgiving

  47. Pingback: WIAW- My Thanksgiving menu | That Girl Shannon

  48. Pingback: Last Minute Thanksgiving Paleo Recipes

  49. Pingback: Eat in Season – December

  50. Pingback: Healthy Options to Feast On: Eating Healthy Throughout the Holidays | Claire LeGresley, R.H.N

  51. Pingback: Paleo Recipes Mashed Cauliflower - paleorecipesgood.net

    1. Scott

      You could put the florets in a covered casserole dish with a tablespoon of water and heat in the microwave on high for a few minutes (2 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of your cauliflower). That’s how I normally steam broccoli and cauliflower.

      Reply
    2. Samantha

      You could put the entire cauliflower head into a dutch oven pot with about an inch of water and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then remove, cut up, and process per recipe.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *