Vegan 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

Hi, my name is Jack, and I have a problem. A mashed potato problem.

It started when I was a child. 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. Usually, I would end the meal with a plate of half- eaten mashed potatoes and sadness that I could never finish them all.

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 bit of 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 – cauliflower.

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

My fears were soon assuaged when we tried the cauliflower mashed potatoes. We mixed (roasted) garlic, olive oil, and 1 part cauliflower puree with 2 parts potato put through a ricer.

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

What we ended up with were some of the smoothest, lightest clouds of mashed potatoes ever. In spite of the lack of “butter lake,” I’m officially a convert. I still ended up overly full and staring at a plate bowl of half eaten potatoes, but happy to know that they’re back in my life.

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes in a glass bowl

If you love these, click here for more vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe ideas.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.
Notes
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

43 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

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

  2. Erica from Itsaflavorfullife.com
    11.13.2014

    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!!

  3. 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
      11.13.2014

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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
      11.14.2014

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

  8. Eve
    11.13.2014

    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
      11.14.2014

      Thanks Eve, that’s a great tip!

  9. Judy X.
    11.13.2014

    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
      11.14.2014

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

  10. johanne from digitalviews.me
    11.13.2014

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

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

  12. 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
      11.16.2014

      Ha – thanks again for the request 🙂

    • jeanine
      11.16.2014

      Hi Jenna – so glad you liked them!

  13. Jamie from wennwennwenn.blogspot.ch
    11.15.2014

    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!!

  14. 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

  15. Taylor
    11.18.2014

    I HAVE to know where your dishes are from! Especially the gold rimmed server and dinner plate with the amazing detail along the edge.

  16. jaime
    11.22.2014

    hi there!
    can i use dried rosemary?
    –jaime

    • jeanine
      11.23.2014

      I’m not exactly sure since I haven’t tried it (and since there are so few ingredients here, it might make a big difference). If you give it a try, I would definitely use less than what’s listed in the recipe since dried spices are more concentrated.

  17. Regina from mollymell.blogspot.com
    11.24.2014

    I don’t like cauliflower much, but I love mashed potatoes, and this recipe and your photos made me curious and definitely I’m going to try it.

  18. Bonnie
    11.26.2014

    I make this but use an immersion blender.

  19. jaime
    11.26.2014

    i was wondering why you don’t peel or chip the potatoes before cooking?

    • Jamie from wennwennwenn.blogspot.ch
      01.28.2015

      Hey 🙂 I did peel and chop the potatoes before cooking – because I didn’t read the whole recipe before I started … Whoops! But it was very delicious so I don’t think that the order matters.

  20. Jamie from wennwennwenn.blogspot.ch
    01.28.2015

    I made your mashed cauliflower for lunch today and it was absolutely delicious, everybody loved it! Sadly we don’t have a food mill, ricer or masher so I used a fork – took quite a long time but was SO worth it 😉
    Thank you for this scrumptious recipe 😀

  21. Margaret Kessler
    11.26.2015

    I would just rebrand these as the best mashed potatoes ever. I made these (with some guilt) for my family who loves traditional potatoes and no one was the wiser. I will make these every time.

  22. Jess
    11.28.2015

    Made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was soo good! Just what I wanted. I added no milk or butter but it tasted rich and creamy. Thanks you for this wonderful recipe! <3

  23. farah
    08.19.2016

    was looking for a recipe using my least favourite veg – cauliflower.. and one that omits dairy and finally found this! Tried this for dinner and it was AWESOME! Thank you guys! Tried it with dried rosemary, as it’s not so easily available where we are. The taste was still great that my niece made sure there was nothing left in the bowl. Super fluffy, super yummy! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.19.2016

      Ha, I’m glad your family loved it!

  24. Shelly
    12.04.2016

    Thank you so much for this yummy recipe. No one knew it was cauliflower until I told them. I used the left overs to make Shepard Pie and that meal was so light but filling. I will definitely be making these again.

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.