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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
More Favorite Vegetable Side Dishes
If you love this recipe, try one of these veggie side dishes next:
- Parsnip Puree
- Roasted Delicata Squash
- Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Roasted Beets
- Creamed Spinach
- Or any of these 50+ Thanksgiving Side Dishes!
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- 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
- 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.
Where do I find the nutritional information?
Hi, we don’t calculate nutrition info for our recipes. The best way to get a nutrition estimate is to plug the recipe into an online nutrition calculator such as MyFitnessPal.
OH MAN, THIS IS SO GOOD!!! I cannot believe what a good cook I am becoming, thanks, in large part, to your recipes! xo
Ha, aww, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes!
Jeanine, in your blog you suggest this Mashed Cauliflower reheats well. What is your best suggestion for reheating this? We don’t have a microwave.
Hi Carolyn, I would put it in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil or an oven-safe lid. Then, I’d warm it in a 325 degree F oven until heated through, maybe 20 to 30 minutes as an estimate. Hope this helps!
Phoebe, thanks for your reply. YES, it does help having your instructions on how to reheat this dish. Thank you!
The best mashed cauliflower I’ve ever tried! I didn’t have roasted garlic, so just fried minced garlic on butter and it was amazing! Mustard added a restaurant taste to the dish. Thank you for the recipe! Even my toddler, who doesn’t like cauliflower, ate it all!
First time making this recipe, easy to follow directions. I’ve never had garlic mashed cauliflower, so I don’t have anything to compare to, but it was very tasty. The consistancy was creamy, but wet, again I doubt that it was the recipe, would definitely make again. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I made mashed cauliflower for the first time the other day with this recipe- it was easy, healthy, and delicious! Will definitely make again.
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.
lovely, dijon is a nice creative touch to this too, cauliflower needs the help! thank you