Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Seasoned with roasted garlic & fresh rosemary, these vegan cauliflower mashed potatoes are wonderfully fluffy and light. Perfect for Thanksgiving.

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

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.

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe ingredients Cauliflower boiling in a large pot

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:

  1. Start by roasting the garlic. I roasted 4 cloves in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, until they became browned, soft, and fragrant.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the boiled cauliflower to a food processor with the roasted garlic, olive oil, minced rosemary, salt, and pepper, and blend until smooth.
  4. 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.
  5. Season to taste and enjoy!

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes in a food processor Potatoes going through a potato ricer

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:

And don’t forget the apple pie, apple crumble, or apple crisp for dessert!

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes in a glass bowl

If you love these cauliflower mashed potatoes…

Try my stuffed sweet potatoes, twice baked sweet potatoes, or sweet potato fries next!

5.0 from 10 reviews

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

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Cook time
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These smooth and creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes are a healthy holiday side dish! Roasted garlic and rosemary fill them with delicious savory flavor.
Recipe type: Side dish
Serves: 6
  • 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
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Serve hot. Mine actually reheated great too - store in the fridge, microwave the next day.
I'd advise against using raw garlic here. (We tested it, and it's just too strong). If you don't feel like roasting the garlic, make garlic-oil instead. Smash a few cloves into your ¼ cup of olive oil. Let it infuse for at least a few minutes and remove garlic pieces before using.

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


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  1. Oh Jeanine and Jack, this post was so adorable 🙂 I’m a HUGE fan of mashed potatoes and it’s quite embarrassing/impressive how much I can put away. I actually am a big fan of cauliflower, I’ll probably ask to make this for the friendsgiving potluck! xx

  2. Jamie from

    It looks delicious – I’ve been on the hunt for a great cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe forever and I definitely will give your recipe a try soon. It looks so, so, so good!!

    • jeanine

      Hi Jenna – so glad you liked them!

  3. Jack! I am so happy my hint helped. Well, I am going to tell myself my hint was the reason you wrote again! Mashed potatoes speak to my soul. Thanks for posting!

    • jeanine

      Ha – thanks again for the request 🙂

  4. Many thanks!
    Now I have another recipe for my vegan son
    Best regards

  5. johanne from

    I was thinking of something new side dish for thanksgiving. This one looks like a perfect match with roasted turkey..

  6. Judy X.

    I saw this post this morning and was dying to try it out. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. You can’t even tell there is cauliflower. The roasted garlic is so much better than putting in raw garlic. I don’t know why I never thought about roasting garlic first. I will definitely be making this again soon! Thank you so much!

    • jeanine

      Hi Judy – I’m so glad you liked it!

  7. Eve

    These sound fabulous. I think I’m going to sneak the cauliflower in for thanksgiving dinner!! When I make garlic mashed potatoes and I don’t have time to roast a head of garlic I just boil the garlic in with the potatoes, the mash in beautifully and boiling takes the sharpness and edge out of the garlic.

    • jeanine

      Thanks Eve, that’s a great tip!

  8. Looks good to me! I realized I’m not a huge fan of potatoes but what goes on them or in them is another problem.

    • jeanine

      Me too :). I’ve actually never been a huge fan of mashed potatoes before…

  9. Those are beautiful! I need to hurry up and get on the Cauliflower bandwagon

  10. I love this post and the point of view in which it was written. Love the roasted garlic in it and the way cauliflower lightens it all up. Genius!

  11. these look so, so good. i totally feel the same way about mashed potatoes jack! i could eat a whole batch and still want more. adding cauliflower sounds so awesome. but…i agree with molly – i still want a butter lake.

  12. can i add a butter lake though?? please please please?? i smashed cauliflower for the first time this week and it was so good! mixing it into mashed potatoes though??? genius. sneakily genius.

    • Jack

      Feel free to add butter lake. Or an entire butter lake system. NO FUNFETTI THOUGH.

  13. Erica from

    Yuuuum! Love love love mashed potatoes and I’ve made them with cauliflower before too and it is a welcome addition! Especially with that roasted garlic, yum!!

  14. Oh, this looks like creamy-fluffy-mashed-potato-perfection! What do you like to eat with this dish? best wishes from Germany, Christine

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.