Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

This creamy mashed cauliflower recipe is an easy, healthy, and delicious side dish! Roasted garlic and a little butter fill it with rich, nutty flavor.

mashed cauliflower recipe

When I asked Jack to sample this mashed cauliflower recipe, I told him it was mashed potatoes. Call me cruel, but I wanted his honest opinion. He loves mashed potatoes more than anyone I know! He wasn’t completely fooled (“I was standing next to you when you bought the cauliflower…”), but he did happily enjoy bite after bite. Since then, he’s devoured several bowls of this mashed cauliflower and accidentally called it “mashed potatoes” more than once. I’ll take it!

In the past, I’ve made cauliflower mashed potatoes with a mix of potatoes and cauliflower. But this year, I decided to skip the potatoes entirely. I often use cauliflower to make creamy sauces and soups, so I had a hunch that it could turn into a delicious mash too. Sure, it’s not quite the same as the sour cream-laden potatoes Jack enjoyed as a kid, but it’s still really darn good.

This mashed cauliflower has a light and fluffy texture, with a rich, nutty flavor from roasted garlic and a little butter. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving, but Jack and I have been loving it at regular dinners too. It comes together in under 20 minutes, so it’s a great healthy side dish for any night of the week.

Cauliflower, roasted garlic, mustard, butter, salt, pepper, and chives

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe Ingredients

You only need 6 ingredients to make this mashed cauliflower recipe:

  • Cauliflower, of course! You’ll use the entire head for this recipe, cores and all! Look for a medium-sized one, about 2 pounds.
  • Butter – For richness and delicious buttery flavor. If you’re vegan, swap in your favorite vegan butter.
  • Roasted garlic – It fills this creamy puree with rich, nutty flavor.
  • Dijon mustard – I use just a little bit of mustard to add savory, tangy depth of flavor. If you’re not a mustard person, don’t worry. These cauliflower mashed potatoes don’t taste mustardy at all.
  • Salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

I also like to garnish my garlic mashed cauliflower with chopped chives. They add a fresh, oniony finish to the final dish. Yum!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Boiled cauliflower and roasted garlic in a food processor

How to Make Mashed Cauliflower

Full disclosure: this mashed cauliflower recipe doesn’t involve a lot of mashing. Instead, I blend it up in the food processor. Trust me, you won’t miss the potato masher one bit. This puree is smooth, creamy, and light. Here’s how I make it:

First, cook the cauliflower. Roughly chop it and boil it in a large pot of salted water until it’s knife-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower, and transfer it to a food processor.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes in a food processor

Next, blend! Add the remaining ingredients, puree until smooth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! If you like, serve the mash with fresh chives, more butter, salt, and pepper on top.

Garlic mashed cauliflower recipe

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower Serving Suggestions

Like classic mashed potatoes, this mashed cauliflower would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday feast. It reheats well, so make it up to 2 days in advance and store it in the fridge. When you eat, serve it next to traditional side dishes like green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing. Don’t forget the pumpkin pie for dessert!

Lately, I’ve also been enjoying these cauliflower mashed potatoes as a meal on their own. Topped with mushroom gravy (look for the recipe later this week!) and cooked white beans for protein, they’re the perfect fall comfort food. I round it all out with a roasted veggie like butternut squash or broccoli and a slice of crusty bread or homemade focaccia.

mashed cauliflower

More Favorite Vegetable Side Dishes

If you love this recipe, try one of these veggie side dishes next:

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

rate this recipe:
5 from 4 votes
Serves 3 to 4
This mashed cauliflower recipe is a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes. It'd be great for Thanksgiving, but note that it serves 3 to 4. If you're feeding a crowd, scale the recipe up accordingly. Depending on the size of your food processor, you'll likely need to work in batches.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, 2 pounds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or vegan butter
  • 7 cloves roasted garlic
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and boil until knife-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a food processor.
  • Puree the cauliflower with the butter, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Season to taste and garnish with chives, if desired.

3 comments

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  1. Sabrina
    11.03.2020

    lovely, dijon is a nice creative touch to this too, cauliflower needs the help! thank you

  2. heather
    11.04.2020

    5 stars
    We made this recipe last night – sooo yummy and easy. To make it even easier/quicker, roasted the garlic in my toaster oven. This will be on regular repeat in our house.

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.