Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Do you love all things creamy? We sure do, and so today I have another healthy dish that’s dairy free, yet creamy and comforting too. This Creamy Mashed Cauliflower is the perfect way to add another veggie to the table, and it’s so good you might just want to make it the main course!

A bowl of Creamy Mashed Cauliflower with a wooden spoon and tan linen napkin.

How does Creamy Garlic Chicken with mashed cauliflower and sautéed mushrooms sound? Yummy right? That garlic chicken is coming next week to go alongside this brand new mashed cauliflower, and it’s our new favorite meal!

Mashed cauliflower is super delicious, and not at all meant to replace mashed potatoes in my mind. Sometimes I think we’ve went a bit too far with cauliflower, especially when I saw some cauliflower crackers at the store the other day. But there’s no doubt that cauliflower can do just about anything, it’s just so versatile.

In fact maybe you’ve seen that meme circulating around saying if cauliflower can become pizza, then you my friend can do anything! Too funny, but for the record I’m not a huge fan of cauliflower pizza crusts.

I’m more along the lines of ‘they said it would be pizza, but turns out it’s just cauliflower!’. However, cauliflower simmered together with some flavorful ingredients and then mashed, well… that is something to get excited about!

A tan pottery dish filled with Creamy Mashed Cauliflower with a wooden spoon.

Ok let’s jump in and talk about the ingredients for this Creamy Mashed Cauliflower!

  • Cauliflower – I’ve tried 2 different ways to make this. First up you can use a head of cauliflower and trim away the leaves the tough stems. From there the florets are steamed with the other ingredients and processed in a food processor. Or you can use frozen riced cauliflower to speed things up a bit. This way does make for a slightly looser mashed cauliflower, (this version is what’s pictured). But I do find it yields up a smoother, way creamier result. And it can be quite a bit more affordable, since fresh cauliflower varies a lot in price.
  • Olive oil or Butter – ghee, or vegan butter, whatever your choice is works here. I mostly make this with either olive oil or butter, and both are really tasty.
  • Coconut cream – just a touch added while the cauliflower cooks creates a creamier mash.
  • Garlic – to add a bit of flavor along with the salt and pepper to keep this a neutral side dish.
  • Sea salt & pepper – to taste brings out the cauliflower flavor and rounds out the creamy ingredients.
  • Fresh or dried herbs – are fun to add when you’re not looking for a neutral side dish. I love adding a bit of chopped rosemary or thyme, or some Italian seasoning when I’m making this with olive oil because the flavors go so well together.

And now let’s make this Creamy Mashed Cauliflower step by step:

A head of cauliflower on a wooden cutting board with the other ingredients place around it.

Step 1:

First up we’ll wash the head of cauliflower and trim away the outer leaves. If you’re using frozen riced cauliflower, you can skip the first few steps of this recipe!

Cut up cauliflower florets on a wooden cutting board with the other ingredients measured out.

Step 2:

Next cut up the head of cauliflower into evenly sized florets. Be careful not to cut too much into the stem portion of the cauliflower, it will make for a tough cauliflower mash.

The cauliflower rice to liquid ration before being cooked.
If you’re using cauliflower rice, this is what the rice to liquid ratio looks like before you cook it.

Step 3:

Cook the cauliflower florets, (or rice) with the other ingredients until tender.

The cauliflower rice cooked with the liquid and evaporated before pureeing.
This is what the cauliflower rice looks like after you’ve cooked it without the lid. You can see the liquid has absorbed and evaporated to almost nothing. This is perfect for a nice and creamy, (never watery) cauliflower mash!

Step 4:

Scoop the tender cauliflower into a food processor and process until chunky or completely smooth. You can also hand mash the cauliflower florets, but it will be very chunky. Also hand mashing doesn’t work very well with the riced cauliflower in my experience.

The cooked cauliflower rice being 'mashed' in the food processor.
If you’re using cauliflower rice, the food processor makes the perfect ‘mashed’ texture. It also makes for a smoother cauliflower mash whether you use fresh cauliflower or cauliflower rice.
Creamy Mashed Cauliflower in a pottery dish with a wooden spoon.

And finally let’s do some troubleshooting!

Why is my cauliflower mash watery?

Cauliflower naturally contains more water content and less starch than potatoes. That’s why with this recipe you simmer the cauliflower together with the liquids in the recipe. You don’t want to boil the cauliflower before adding liquids to mash it, this is why cauliflower mashes tend to be so watery. Also If you steam the cauliflower then add liquids, it can get watery as well but it’s much better. But with my method below you’ll have a super creamy cauliflower mash!

How do I store mashed cauliflower?

You can store this mashed cauliflower in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it in an airtight container for 1 month.

Can I use the cauliflower stems?

No! You definitely want mostly florets with a small amount of stem because you will end up with some tougher chewy bits in your final mash. There are 2 ways to help with waste, first up you can save the stems for something like a soup. And secondly you can use frozen riced cauliflower as mentioned and there’s no waste!

Serve with:

More healthy side dish recipes that go well with mashed cauliflower:

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower | Get Inspired Everyday!

Important note: Depending on what you serve this with you may want to double the recipe. We have pretty big appetites, and the 2 of us tend to eat all 4 servings in this recipe no problem when paired with a simple protein and another veggie!

I really hope you enjoy this simple and easy side dish. And if you do get a chance to make this, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here! Also for lots more side dish recipes, you can head over to the recipe index.

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Creamy Mashed Cauliflower in a pottery dish with a wooden spoon.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower


  • Author: Kari
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This simple side dish is so perfect with just about anything you make for dinner from steak to chicken or pork chops!


Ingredients

Scale

1 package riced cauliflower, (1 pound or 6 cups) or 1 head cauliflower, (1 1/2 pounds) cut into 2″ florets

1/4 cup olive oil, or 4 tablespoon butter or ghee

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup coconut cream, see notes

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning


Instructions

Prep the cauliflower if you’re using a whole head.

Place a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil or butter along with the garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the coconut cream and cauliflower.

If you’re using fresh cauliflower florets, cover the pan while they steam until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 2-3 minutes of the cooking time to reduce the liquid.

If you’re using the cauliflower rice, bring to a boil and stir frequently while the cauliflower defrosts. Then briskly simmer it without a lid until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking. 

Carefully transfer the cooked cauliflower mixture to a food processor and process until chunky or smooth to your liking.

Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and serve.

If you’re using the optional herbs, add them in right after you sauté the garlic.

Notes

You can buy cans of coconut cream, or refrigerate a can of coconut milk and scoop 1/2 cup of the hardened cream from the top.

One pound of cauliflower rice makes 2 1/2 cups cauliflower mash.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mashed Cauliflower, Best Mashed Cauliflower, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

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