If you're looking for a creamy, delicious, low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes, look no further than this recipe for Mashed Cauliflower. Serve it alongside your favorite meal for a perfect replacement of your favorite form of spuds. See? Eating keto doesn't have to be so bad!
Look, if you're someone who lives for comfort foods, I feel you. And if the top of your comfort food list happens to be mashed potatoes, I'm here for it. Heck, I wanted to have a mashed potato bar at my wedding! But if you're doing the whole low-carb thing for health or other reasons, don't you fret. This recipe for Mashed Cauliflower is a low carb swap that isn't painful at all.
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A Simple Swap for Health
Joe and I have done our fair share of low carb dieting since we met. In fact, we did about a three month stint of keto going into our wedding. Honestly, it wasn't too difficult as soon as we got into the swing of things. Recently, my mother-in-law Linda started her own low-carb journey, and she asked us for some help getting started.
One of the first things I wanted to show her was that just because she was aiming for foods that were lower in simple carbohydrates than she was used to didn't mean that she had to give up on all the foods she has loved her whole life. Instead, making some simple swaps meant that she could eat healthy and familiar meals at the same time.
In an attempt to break her into the low carb lifestyle, I aimed for meal prepping a week of dinners that would fall into the "comfort food" category. This low-carb Mashed Cauliflower recipe immediately became one Linda's favorites, and she has requested that I make her a big batch every week that she has been on her diet.
How to Make Mashed Cauliflower
This recipe is quick and easy, requiring just a sheet pan and a high powered blender or food processor.
TIP: I personally prefer to buy my cauliflower from Costco, where 3 pounds of it is just $4.99. I also love that it is already cut into florets and I'm not being charged for the leaves. When I bought three heads of cauliflower from Aldi, they were each $3.50, required butchering and yielded the same amount as one bag from Costco for twice the price.
Preheat your oven to 450F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or Silpat to make for quick clean up. Dump your cauliflower florets onto the pan, drizzle with a few glugs of olive oil and season with some Johnny's Garlic Seasoning and Spread. Get in there with your hands and toss everything together.
TIP: I love Johnny's seasoning mix. It's awesome for making literally any roasted veggies taste more delicious. I use it to make quick and dirty garlic bread. It makes boxed mac and cheese taste like something more adult. In short, it's awesome. If you don't want to purchase it, you can sub in some garlic salt, but it won't be quite as delicious.
Spread the cauliflower out in a single layer on your baking sheet. Do your best not to overcrowd the pan, as it will cause the cauliflower to steam more than roast. We want all that good charred, caramelized goodness!
Roast for about 10 minutes, shake the pan (or flip pieces with a spatula) and return to the oven. Roast another 10 minutes, until easily pricked by a fork. Remove from the oven.
Fill your blender about ¾ full with roasted cauliflower, working in batches if necessary. Add about 2 tablespoons of butter and about ¼ cup of cream for every batch. Blend until creamy and thick, similar to mashed potatoes, using the plunger if necessary.
TIP: Is your blender blade getting stuck? Add small amounts of cream at a time to help loosen the mixture. You don't want it to become too loose, so just add about a tablespoon at a time. If the blade can move and the contents of the blender are in action, you don't need to add anymore cream.
Once the "mashed" cauliflower is a consistency you like, taste it. Season with salt, pepper and more of Johnny's seasoning as needed. Serve hot in place of mashed potatoes. Enjoy!!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can serve mashed cauliflower as you would mashed potatoes. Simply swap one for the other. It's great topped with gravy, or as a side kick for chicken, steak or pork. Top with a little melted butter for some added richness!
The trick to making mashed cauliflower act as a real, convincing substitute for mashed potatoes is making sure it stays relatively starchy. You don't want to add too much liquid, which will result in more of a cauliflower purée or soup consistency.
As a result, you should either steam or roast the cauliflower. I prefer the roasting method because it results in better flavor, but steaming is perfectly acceptable.
Do NOT boil the cauliflower, however. It will absorb a lot of water, and you'll end up with a purée. If you made this mistake, I've learned from experience that it can be remedied with patience.
Simply pour the purée into a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir often, allowing the liquid to evaporate. This takes upwards of 30-40 minutes depending on how loose your purée is, which is annoying, but not the end of the world.
Sure! Johnny's seasoning has parmesan cheese, so you'll want to swap it for garlic salt or a mix of garlic powder and salt. You can easily swap the butter for a vegan variety and unsweetened oat or almond milk for the cream.
I like where your head is at. The answer is a resounding YES. Feel free to gussy this mashed cauliflower up by adding in your favorite mashed potato flavorings. Some of my favorites include cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions and sour cream, but you're the boss.
Need more healthy food inspiration? Check out these other recipes:
- Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
- Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
- Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Creamy Maple Vinaigrette
- Tandoori Roasted Turkey Breast
If you made this yummy low carb Mashed Cauliflower recipe, let me know how it turned out for you! Your comments and ratings feed my soul AND my standing with Google. 🙂
If you want more recipes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my email newsletter. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook for other ideas on what to do with your groceries. Until next time, friends! I hope your year is off to a healthy and delicious start.
Easy Low Carb Mashed Cauliflower
- 3 lb Cauliflower Florets
- 3-4 glugs Olive Oil
- 1 ½ tablespoon Johnny's Garlic Spread and Seasoning Mix or sub homemade garlic salt mix (read notes)
- 4 tablespoon Butter plus more for serving
- ¼ - ½ C Cream
- Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
- Line sheet pan with parchment or silpat. Preheat oven to 450F.
- Place cauliflower florets on prepared sheet pan in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Johnny's Garlic Seasoning. Toss thoroughly and return to a single layer.
- Roast for 10 minutes, then shake or flip pieces with a spatula and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
- Add roasted cauliflower to pitcher of blender (in multiple batches if necessary). Add cream and butter, then blend until creamy but still thick.If blender blades are catching, try using manufacturer's plunging stick to move the stuck pieces. Add any extra cream 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen cauliflower mix just enough to get blades turning.
- I find it cheapest to buy bags of fresh cauliflower florets from Costco (3# is $4.99 here).
- Will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer.
- Garlic salt mix should be about 3 teaspoons of granulated garlic and 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt.
- Make vegan mashed cauliflower by subbing vegan butter and alternative unsweetened milk of choice. I personally prefer oat milk in this application.
- Feel free to boost the flavor of your mashed cauliflower by making them "loaded." Add chopped, cooked bacon, cheddar and sour cream.