Mashed Cauliflower

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

mashed cauliflower recipe

When I asked Jack to taste 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 vegetable 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 cauliflower 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 Cauliflower Mash

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. Remove and discard any coarse outer leaves. Then, roughly chop the cauliflower florets and core. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the cauliflower. Boil until it’s knife-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower, and transfer it to a food processor.

Creamy puree 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

What to Serve with Mashed Cauliflower

Like classic mashed potatoes, this mashed cauliflower would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday feast. Serve it alongside 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 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.

Storage Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They reheat perfectly in the microwave! You could also reheat them in a covered baking dish in a 350°F oven.

  • Tip: Because this mashed cauliflower reheats so well, it’s a great recipe to make ahead for Thanksgiving.

mashed cauliflower

More Easy Cauliflower Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these easy cauliflower recipes next:

Looking for more holiday recipe ideas? Check out these 50 Thanksgiving Side Dishes!

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Mashed Cauliflower

rate this recipe:
4.95 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves 3 to 4
This mashed cauliflower recipe is a delicious low carb or keto 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.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, 2 pounds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 7 roasted garlic cloves
  • 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.


4.95 from 17 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Valarie

    4 stars
    Delicious! Loved the roasted garlic flavour.

  2. Linda

    5 stars
    Great! Very tasty. Some guests didn’t know that it wasn’t mashed potatoes. Served as the base for pot roast and didn’t need any gravy.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad they were a hit!

  3. Ellen

    Where do I find the nutritional information?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      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.

  4. taylor

    5 stars
    OH MAN, THIS IS SO GOOD!!! I cannot believe what a good cook I am becoming, thanks, in large part, to your recipes! xo

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ha, aww, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes!

  5. Carolyn

    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.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      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!

      • Carolyn

        Phoebe, thanks for your reply. YES, it does help having your instructions on how to reheat this dish. Thank you!

  6. Olya

    5 stars
    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!

    • Tania

      5 stars
      Hello 🙂 is it possible to freeze this side dish?

      Also, it is DELICIOUS!

      • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

        Hi Tania, so glad you love the mashed cauliflower! I think it would freeze fine.

  7. Elaine

    5 stars
    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Stacy

    I made mashed cauliflower for the first time the other day with this recipe- it was easy, healthy, and delicious! Will definitely make again.

  9. heather

    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.

  10. Sabrina

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

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.