Seasoned with roasted garlic & fresh rosemary, these vegan cauliflower mashed potatoes are wonderfully fluffy and light. Perfect for Thanksgiving.
Jack here today. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m now a cauliflower mashed potatoes convert.
To be honest, I used to be mashed potato traditionalist. When I was growing up, every holiday with my dad’s family, the mashed potatoes came out, and it was a frenzy. My uncle Billy, my grandfather, and I would load up, devouring what seemed like a truck full of mashed potatoes.
Fast forward to today. Now, I have a lovely wife who makes wonderful, healthy food – all full of vibrancy and flavor. But there has always been a hole in my heart that only mashed potatoes could fill. So when Jeanine told me that we were making mashed potatoes, I was both excited and hesitant. There had to be a catch, and there was – we weren’t making regular mashed potatoes, but cauliflower mashed potatoes.
My fears were soon assuaged when we tried the cauliflower mashed potatoes. These guys are smooth and creamy – all without sour cream, cream cheese, or even Greek yogurt! If you’re looking for a lower carb side dish for Thanksgiving, or if you just want to try something new, I highly recommend you make these cauliflower mashed potatoes.
How to Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
We only used 7 ingredients in this cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe: garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. We ended up making some of the smoothest, lightest clouds of mashed potatoes ever. In spite of the lack of “butter lake,” I’m officially a convert. Here’s what we did:
- Start by roasting the garlic. I roasted 4 cloves in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, until they became browned, soft, and fragrant.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and boil the potatoes and cauliflower until they become fork-tender, about 15 minutes for the cauliflower and 25 for the potatoes.
- Add the boiled cauliflower to a food processor with the roasted garlic, olive oil, minced rosemary, salt, and pepper, and blend until smooth.
- When the potatoes are tender, remove their skins and mash them with a potato masher or ricer. Fold the cauliflower mixture into the potatoes until everything’s smooth and fully combined. You might need to add some of the starchy potato water to loosen things up.
- Season to taste and enjoy!
What to Serve with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
This mashed cauliflower is an excellent addition to a holiday spread. Here are some of our favorite fall and winter dishes to pair with it:
- Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage
- Simple Roasted Beets with Citrus
- Roasted Beet Salad
- Simple Lemon Green Beans
- Poblano Cornbread Stuffing
- Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Zest
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
And don’t forget the apple pie, apple crumble, or apple crisp for dessert!
If you love these cauliflower mashed potatoes…
Try my stuffed sweet potatoes, twice baked sweet potatoes, or sweet potato fries next!
Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- 3-4 cloves of roasted garlic (see notes)
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 (1-pound) cauliflower head, broken into a few large pieces
- 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
- 4-6 tablespoons olive oil (or butter/vegan butter)
- Salt & pepper
- Reserve some starchy potato water
- Roast a whole garlic bulb for 1 hour using this method or drizzle individual cloves with olive oil and salt and bake at 350 until soft (about 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and the cauliflower (I did them at the same time) and boil until knife-tender (until you can poke with a knife and it easily slides out). My cauliflower took about 15 minutes, while my potatoes took 25-35.
- In a food processor, puree the cauliflower with roasted garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, rosemary, and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Tip: this mixture can be over-flavored because it'll get mixed with the potatoes later).
- When the potatoes are soft, remove them from the pot. Peel them (careful, they’re hot) and use a food mill, ricer, or masher, to mash them. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, then stir the cauliflower puree into the bowl with the potatoes. Stir in a folding motion until smooth and creamy. If necessary, add ¼ cup (or so) of hot starchy potato water to help it out. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more olive oil, salt, pepper, and/or rosemary to taste.
- Serve hot. Mine actually reheated great too - store in the fridge, microwave the next day.
This recipe can also be adapted to make a cauliflower puree without the potatoes. Double up the cauliflower and adjust seasonings to taste.
Norpro Potato Ricer, Stainless Cookware from Williams Sonoma
I would like to make this the day ahead of Thanksgiving and reheat it in my crockpot – any tips about time,settings and how to avoid it turning runny?
Hi Nancy, I don’t have a crockpot, so I’m not sure what the settings are exactly – I would heat them until warmed through and then is there a warming setting to keep them warm until ready to serve? They shouldn’t be runny. If they’re dry at all the next day, you can stir in a touch of water or a little more oil.
Have you or any of your readers tried to freeze and reheat these potatoes before? I’d love to cut down on prep time by having some ready in the freezer! By the way, this was a very good recipe; it’ll be added into our rotation. I used a butter/EVOO combo. And I think next time I’ll add even more cauli for the health benefits. Thanks for a good recipe!
Ok, so roasting individual garlic cloves – you leave them in their skins, but drizzled in oil, or you peel them, drizzle and then cook?
Hi Elizabeth, I leave them in their skins.
Thanks! I’d never heard of this approach before so now I not only have a healthier fluffy mashed potato recipe (I made it with purple potatoes b/c: purple), I also have a faster roasted garlic recipe. Double win! Thanks for sharing this tasty, easy twofer!
This is my FAVORITE recipe. My go-to for the nights my boyfriend brings home a rotisserie chicken after work.
What is your opinion on trying these with sweet potatoes instead?? We love sweet potato mashed potatoes too and am curious to see if you think cauliflower would put nicely with them. Thanks!!
How delicious! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
I was quite ready to add vegan mayo to this for creaminess, since I wasn’t focusing on reducing calories for this one meal… but I didn’t even need to! Just the potatoes and cauliflower created a symphony of perfectly balanced mash! Roasted garlic added a comforting depth.
Will make this over and over again 🙂
Hi Irma, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
Thank you so much for this yummy recipe. No one knew it was cauliflower until I told them. I used the left overs to make Shepard Pie and that meal was so light but filling. I will definitely be making these again.
was looking for a recipe using my least favourite veg – cauliflower.. and one that omits dairy and finally found this! Tried this for dinner and it was AWESOME! Thank you guys! Tried it with dried rosemary, as it’s not so easily available where we are. The taste was still great that my niece made sure there was nothing left in the bowl. Super fluffy, super yummy! Thank you!
Ha, I’m glad your family loved it!
Made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was soo good! Just what I wanted. I added no milk or butter but it tasted rich and creamy. Thanks you for this wonderful recipe! <3
I would just rebrand these as the best mashed potatoes ever. I made these (with some guilt) for my family who loves traditional potatoes and no one was the wiser. I will make these every time.
I made your mashed cauliflower for lunch today and it was absolutely delicious, everybody loved it! Sadly we don’t have a food mill, ricer or masher so I used a fork – took quite a long time but was SO worth it 😉
Thank you for this scrumptious recipe 😀
i mean chop!
i was wondering why you don’t peel or chip the potatoes before cooking?
Hey 🙂 I did peel and chop the potatoes before cooking – because I didn’t read the whole recipe before I started … Whoops! But it was very delicious so I don’t think that the order matters.
I make this but use an immersion blender.
I don’t like cauliflower much, but I love mashed potatoes, and this recipe and your photos made me curious and definitely I’m going to try it.
can i use dried rosemary?
I’m not exactly sure since I haven’t tried it (and since there are so few ingredients here, it might make a big difference). If you give it a try, I would definitely use less than what’s listed in the recipe since dried spices are more concentrated.
really very tasty i made it today and i enjoyed this food
check this http://www.homemadeyogurt.net/
I HAVE to know where your dishes are from! Especially the gold rimmed server and dinner plate with the amazing detail along the edge.
🙂 I got the gold one from Etsy (the brand is Noritake, I’m not sure what year it was made). The plate w/ the brussels sprouts & butternut squash is from Anthropologie: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-tabletop-dinnerware/29299005.jsp#/