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.