Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Healthy cauliflower mash recipe

The inspiration for this recipe came from my mother-in-law, Laura. She has served mashed cauliflower many times instead of mashed potatoes when something lighter was needed to balance another component of the dish. I always loved hers and was so surprised by how similar the texture was to mashed potatoes when I first tried it.

Below is my attempt at Laura’s mashed cauliflower. This cauliflower mash tastes fluffy, creamy, rich, and light all at the same time. Feel free to double the serving size. You won’t regret it! You can serve it as a substitute for mashed potatoes or simply appreciate it for what it is: delicious and nourishing cauliflower mash.

Health Facts

Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates and thiocyanates which increase the activity of enzymes that eliminate carcinogens and decrease the activity of enzymes that activate cancer-causing agents. This makes cauliflower a great cancer-fighting food!

Traditional Cauliflower Mash

Makes 4 Servings


  • 1 head
  • 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp
  • to taste
  • Cauliflower
  • Chicken broth
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh garlic, crushed
  • Shallot pepper mix
  • Salt and pepper


  1. 1. Wash and cut the cauliflower into more or less even pieces. Crush the garlic.
  2. 2. In a shallow pan, add enough broth to just cover the bottom. Bring to a boil.
  3. 3. As soon at the broth boils add the cauliflower and garlic and cover. Set a timer for 5 minutes. It is important not to overcook vegetables in order to maximize their taste and nutrition. Add more broth if needed.
  4. 4. Puree the cauliflower and garlic in a food processor until very smooth. Add enough of the remaining broth until it reaches the desired consistency.
  5. 5. Fold in the olive oil until well combined.
  6. 6. Season the mash with more salt and pepper if desired.
  7. 7. Serve with some fresh parsley and a sprinkle or finely grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

What’s in the shallot pepper?

I used shallot pepper from Penzey’s Spices. It contains salt, black pepper, shallots and a hint of tarragon and bay leaves. As a substitute you could add 2 bay leaves to the broth (remove before pureeing) and add 1/8 tsp tarragon and 1/4 tsp onion powder to the mash. Season the mash with pepper (black or white) and salt to taste.

Cauliflower is in season

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do. It is truly satisfying and so quick to make. Cauliflower is currently in season, so take advantage of this healthy and tasty vegetable!

– Christina

4 stars

Mark says:

I think that this mashed cauliflower is much, much better than mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, this is really not saying much for me, since I do not like mashed potatoes. I do not really know that for a fact I guess, since Christina never really makes mashed potatoes because I always say I do not like them…

Although cauliflower is not my favorite vegetable, I consider this the best way of eating it. It is quite tasty. And you cannot forget how good it is for you.

Nutrition Facts (per Serving)

Calories: 65, Fat: 4g, GL: 3, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 4g %DV: Vitamin C 110%, Vitamin K 30%, Folate 20%, Potassium 13% Vitamin B6 10%

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  1. Don’t you love it? My hubs swears he hates cauliflower but once he was introduced to this version he is no longer a cauliflower hater!! :)

  2. Laura Tucker says:

    I agree with Kelly, this dish makes cauliflower palatable to men. In the OLD DAYS (when I had a fear of starches) I substituted this dish for mashed potatoes at dinner parties. I felt bad telling guests half way through their meal that the potatoes they were referring to were actually cauliflower. Some of our males guests looked ill when they heard, but the women always swooned with delight.

    Just a few tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese makes this dish even yummier.

    • What is up with men not liking cauliflower? I have always loved it! Maybe it is time to tell my epic cauliflower story.

      • Mark says:

        I’m a man…and I love cauliflower, and all its relatives. I especially enjoy kohlrabi. It would be interesting to substitute it for cauliflower in your recipe.

        • Mark says:

          Just to clarify…I am Mark H…not the the Mark with the pic in the article. :)

        • Love kohlrabi too! Unfortunately, stores rarely have them. :( I will make sure to post some kohlrabi recipes once they are in season (summer, early autumn). Maybe you could share your favorite way of eating them?

    • Laura Tucker says:

      Yes! time to tell your epic cauliflower story!

  3. Megan says:

    I’ve been on a roasting kick lately; I haven’t had mashed cauliflower in ages, I may have to give it another shot.

  4. Mmm…I will definitely be trying this soon! Does the broth need to cover the cauliflower completely?

    • No! Glad you mentioned it.

      I use this method of cooking all the time. It maximizes flavor and nutrition. In essence, you create a thin layer of liquid between the food and the pan to prevent it from sticking (without using oil) and while the liquid s boiling the vegetables (or meat/fish) gets steamed. By covering it you trap the steam and you can reduce the cooking time a lot. This way the nutrient content of the food does not decrease very much (certain nutrients even become more available). And you end up with perfectly cooked vegetables and either no liquid or a bit of flavorful broth (with nutrients from the veggies in it) depending on how much liquid you add. Just make sure there is enough to create steam and prevent the food from burning to the pan, but never as much to boil the food (about half an inch or less). You will get the hang of it after a while. I will write more about this way of cooking and post pictures of the process. Also, make sure you set a timer. Just a couple of minutes and your veggies are overcooked. Good luck! And try it with ketchup! Yumm haha

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love the idea of this dish replacing potatoes. Looks so yummy and fluffy!
    I am definitely going to have to give this a try!

  6. Jenn says:

    Remember when the Atkins diet was all the rage? People were swearing by mashed cauliflower!!! I never believed them but I believe you and will give it a try! :-D

    • Oh dear, I guess there are some bad diet associations with this recipe. I just love it for what it is: a fast, yummy recipe for cauliflower…and something that my husband eats too.

  7. lisa scaglione says:

    Morning! Where can I find Penzey’s spices? Also is there a difference between the purple cauliflower and the traditional white cauliflower? I’m thinking either one could be used here….thanks!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Unfortunately, the closet store to IC is in Des Moines. But you can order their products online. Their selection is huge and every spice/spice mix has a nice little description. I can only say good things about their products! Having good spices makes a world of difference in cooking. And it is so fun to experiment with new spices! LOVE my spices! ☺

      Yes, there is a difference. Purple cauliflower gets its purple color from a group of antioxidants called anthocyanins (they also color berries!). They taste is the same however, so it makes a perfect substitute. Purple cauliflower can look a little unappetizing in some instances. They key is to not overcook it, so that it retains its bright color. When the cauliflower (and other foods) starts losing its color during cooking, it means that nutrients are being lost to a great extent (including antioxidants). So the color can help in figuring out when your vegetables are cooked optimally. Eat them when their colors are most vibrant! ☺

      Hope this helped! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I love the comment you just posted on my blog! What an amazing story you and your husband have…and such an incredible journey! can’t wait to read more :)

    and, by the way, I adore mashed cauliflower…soooooo good! my husband doesn’t love it, but he doesn’t seem to mind if there are a few potatoes mixed in!

    • Hi Heather,

      Thanks for coming to my blog and your nice comment!

      Does your husband dislike it because it is cauliflower (or any vegetable?) or because of the texture? My dad dislikes all food that are mush. He says as long as he has teeth he wants something to chew!

  9. Carolin says:

    yuuummy! I love mashed potatoes but normally don’t eat it because I would eat like a pound of it haha and I don’t even want to think of the calories! :D
    Thats why I’ll try this alternative with cauliflower (i love cauliflowers, I could eat one thiiiis big ;))
    How soft or hard should the cauliflower be before pureeing?

    • Hey Carolin! Thank you for commenting, I love you! :)

      You should only cook it for 5 minutes. Add the broth to the pan, wait until it boils….then add the cauliflower and cover. Set a timer for exactly 5 minutes. This is the perfect way to cook it. Maximizes nutrients and flavor! Vegetables don’t have to be soft in order to eat. Also, the longer you cook cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower etc.) the stinkier they get (that rotten egg smell). So really make sure not to overcook it. Good luck!

  10. […] Mashed Cauliflower Recipe – Health Foodie […]

  11. Mark says:

    In the interest of enhanced (healthy) flavour I recommend adding a couple of tablespoons of pesto (instead of olive oil). It’s a fantastic combination!

  12. Lily says:

    I added about 1/2 cup of plain yogurt instead of the oil. It was really yummy. thank you for the reicpe

  13. […] a healthier, lower-carb alternative to mashed potato’s. I’ve found a recipe for it on but I haven’t tried the […]

  14. deg says:

    Made chicken enchiladas for my mom & sister tonight and this mashed cauliflower recipe to go with it. When I put the cauliflower in the blender she said she wouldn’t eat it & called it a cauliflower smoothie, but she ate every bite on her plate. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  15. Debby says:

    My son is autistic and, consequently, has some issues with food textures. Thus, we have long “hidden” proteins (e.g., diced, shaved turkey) and pre-cooked or canned veggies in mashed potatoes. He is now a late teen and eats a LOT and has started putting on extra pounds. In an effort to cut starches, I have experimented with mashed cauliflower. My first efforts were soundly rejected. Tonight, I tried your recipe with minor modifications, and he snarfed it down. Thank you!!!

    • Wow, Debby! You just made my day with your incredible story! Thank you so much for sharing! :) You are awesome for trying new things for him. I understand how hard it can be to try to nourish someone who has food issues.. but it sounds like you are doing amazingly well!

      I wish you and your family the best and lots more happy food stories! :)

      – Christina

  16. tiamia says:

    Just made this recipe and it is awesome.( I will never eat mashed potatoes again). I did make an adjustment to the recipe, though: I sauteed diced red peppers with garlic, fresh shallots and diced sweet onions in a teaspoon of olive oil and added it to the cauliflower in the blender for more flavor.Delish! :-)

  17. […] You can make ‘mock’ mashed potatoes by mashing a cooked head of cauliflower (it tastes EXACTLY the same, if not better). Here’s a great recipe from to get you started: […]

  18. Mike says:

    What is a serving size for this recipe?

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