If you are looking for a healthier way to enjoy mashed potatoes without carbs and bloatedness, this is the answer: cauliflower mashed potatoes.
Before you turn and run in the other direction, let me just tell you that mashed cauliflower doesn’t taste as yucky as it sounds. In fact, they’re just as creamy and fluffy with hints of butter and garlic folded in.
It’s much lighter than mashed potatoes and won’t leave you feeling bloated like you’ve eaten a lot of calories. You may not believe me now, so I suggest you try it for yourself.
Begin by chopping up a large cauliflower into florets (bonus time-saving trick: get a bag of cauliflower rice and skip all the knife work). After steaming the cauliflower florets, simply blend them in a food processor until smooth. Season it with butter, sour cream, garlic, and parmesan cheese (or cream cheese). It is really packed with flavor!
In fact, it’s so incredibly good that I may never go back to mashed potatoes ever again. Don’t get me wrong – I love mashed potatoes, but this recipe does not involve peeling any potatoes and no mashing by hand. And unlike mashed potatoes, you can puree the cauliflower as much as you’d like and they won’t turn gummy or sticky. Cauliflower is also way, way less starchy than potatoes.
These light and fluffy cauliflower mashed potatoes make excellent appetizers at a summer barbecue. I can definitely see it being a side dish to complement meaty main courses like baked caesar chicken, pulled pork burgers, and Persian joojeh kebabs.
Is This Recipe Healthier Than Regular Mashed Potatoes
One cup of cauliflower returns 29 calories, 5 grams of carbs, and a low glycemic index. (Glycemic index tells us how much each type of food increases our blood sugar.)
On the other hand, one cup of potatoes has a whopping 161 calories (about 5 times more than cauliflower) and 36 grams of carbs. That’s a huge difference from cauliflower, and potatoes have a high glycemic index.
Mashed cauliflowers are most definitely, hands-down healthier than regular mashed potatoes. It isn’t something you need to feel guilty about for having more.
This cauliflower mash potato recipe is the ideal dish for diabetics and anyone looking for carb alternatives. Plus, it’s a delicious and fun way to introduce fiber into your diet.
This recipe makes 4 servings of creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes, but really… who’s counting? You can have all of them if your heart so desires.
- Cauliflower – Cut one large head of cauliflower into florets. They should weigh about 3 pounds.
- Pro Tip: At the farmers’ market or grocery store, look for fresh cauliflower that is creamy white and has firm jacket leaves still attached. Good cauliflower should be free of brown spots, blemishes, or a slimy texture.
- Unsalted butter – Measure 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter to saute the garlic. You can also do this with olive oil.
- Sour cream – The secret ingredient to get our mashed cauliflower luscious and velvety.
- Garlic and parmesan cheese – Because cauliflower is slightly sweet and has a mildly bitter taste (it is a vegetable after all), we can balance these out by infusing garlic and parmesan, making it extra yummy.
- Salt and black pepper – Season to taste.
Follow these four easy steps and you’ll be enjoying creamy, buttery cauliflower mashed potatoes in no time.
Step One: Place cauliflower florets in a steamer over a large pot of boiling water. Steam for 20 minutes until fork-tender. Remove the steamer from the pot and cover with a lid or dish towel. Set aside.
- Pro Tip: Steaming is the best way to cook cauliflower and boiling is the worst. Do not boil cauliflower as the direct excess of water will make cauliflower and you will end up with a soupy mash once blended.
Step Two: Dump out the boiling water from the pot and place the pot back on your stovetop. In the same pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Step Three: Blend the cooked cauliflower and garlic butter in an immersion blender or food processor on high until smooth and creamy. You may need to do this in batches of two or three, depending on the size of your processor.
- Pro Tip: Depending on your desired consistency, you can mash your cauliflower by hand or purée it in a food processor. Using a potato masher will give you a chunkier texture whereas puréeing is an efficient way to get it super smooth.
Step Four: Transfer the blended cauliflower into the pot or a large serving bowl. Stir in the parmesan cheese and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Expert Tips & Tricks
Purchase pre-cut cauliflowers – With pre-cut cauliflowers, prep and cook time will be much faster for you. I find that this is especially handy when I’m cooking on busy weeknights or when I have loads of other dishes to prepare during the holidays.
You cannot overcook cauliflower – Don’t be afraid if your steamed cauliflower gets mushy. Since we are going to mash it, it’s impossible to overcook cauliflower, so steam it until it’s super soft. The longer it cooks, the softer it gets and the easier it will be to mash.
Let the cauliflower stand – Allowing the cooked cauliflower to stand before mashing straight away lets it retain heat and continue to steam. Not doing this may result in a watery, soupy mash.
Get the most flavor – The secret to getting the most flavor out of the mashed cauliflower is to cook the garlic in a few tablespoons of butter. This does wonders by releasing the garlic’s natural oil. We take our umami seriously.
Storage & Reheating
To chill or freeze: If you are thinking of including cauliflower mashed potatoes into your meal prep menu, that’s a fabulous idea. After your cauliflower mash has cooled, transfer it into a container with the lid on. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheating mashed cauliflower is easy: simply put it in a microwave or instant pot and stir until it has heated through. (Thaw overnight if it is coming out from the freezer. Mashed cauliflower may lose its moisture after having been in the fridge, so add a touch of milk before microwaving and stir well. Season to taste if needed.
Are you looking for other creative ways to cook cauliflower? Replace your normal doughy pizza crust with a gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust. You can even blend it into a palatable low-carb cilantro lime rice.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets about 3 pounds
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
- Place cauliflower in a steamer over a large pot of boiling water. Steam for 20 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove the steamer and cover with a lid or dish towel and set aside.
- Dump out boiling water from the pot and place the pot back on your stovetop. In the same pot, heat the butter over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute) then let simmer on low.
- Blend cauliflower and garlic butter in a food processor on high setting until smooth. You may need to do this in batches of two or three, depending on the size of your processor.
- Transfer blended cauliflower into the pot. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, sour cream and season with salt and pepper.