The best Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are made with smooth and creamy mashed cauliflower mixed together with sour cream, parmesan cheese, garlic, and butter. They make the perfect, keto-approved side dish with fewer carbs and calories than regular mashed potatoes!
Creamy Keto Mashed Cauliflower
This mashed cauliflower recipe is one of my all-time favorite recipes and the perfect low-carb alternative to regular potatoes. After more than a decade of preparing cauliflower mashed potatoes for friends and family, I can finally say that this is the best and creamiest version that I’ve made to date. With that said, mashed cauliflower will not taste like mashed potatoes just because you mashed it up. Seasoning is key. In this post, I’ll explain everything you need to know so that your cauliflower mash is creamy, not watery, and how to season it perfectly so that they taste just like your favorite mashed potatoes.
How to Make Mashed Cauliflower
1. Steam the cauliflower: Chop the cauliflower into florets and place them in a large steamer basket set inside a large pot filled with approximately 1-2 inches of water. For best results, we want to steam the cauliflower, not boil it. Steam the cauliflower for 10-15 minutes or until it is fork-tender.
2. Drain and rest: Remove from heat and drain the water from the pot completely. Return the cauliflower to the pot, cover with a lid, and allow the cauliflower to rest for 5 minutes.
3. Blend the cauliflower with the sour cream: Transfer the steamed cauliflower florets and sour cream to a large high-speed blender. I was able to fit all my cauliflower into my 64 oz Vitamix blender but work in batches if needed. Pulse several times, then process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.
5. Prepare the garlic browned butter: Melt the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and saute, stirring and swirling the pot continuously until the garlic is golden brown. Take care not to burn the garlic or the butter by reducing the heat or removing the pan from heat if needed.
4. Add the browned butter and cheese: To the blender, add half of the melted garlic butter, all of the parmesan cheese, and one teaspoon of salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve: Transfer the mashed cauliflower to a large serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining melted garlic butter. Garnish with fresh chives, green onion, or parsley, if desired.
There are a few simple steps that help ensure that your mashed cauliflower actually tastes like mashed potatoes.
- Do not boil your cauliflower: This is pretty important. Adding your cauliflower directly to a pot filled with boiling water draws water into the florets. The result? A watery, bland cauliflower puree rather than fluffy, creamy, delicious mashed cauliflower.
- Steaming is better: This is my favorite way to cook cauliflower for mashed cauliflower. Just be sure to use a steamer basket. Also, be careful not to over-steam your cauliflower.
- Strain and rest. I like to let my cauliflower rest for a few minutes before I immediately start blending. Honestly, I can’t say with 100% certainty that it helps, but I like to think it does.
- Season to taste. YES! Like mashed potatoes, you must season your mashed cauliflower to taste. That means you may need a little extra sour cream or butter, less garlic, or a lot more salt.
- Use full-fat ingredients: This is especially true for sour cream (or Greek yogurt if you’re using that instead).
- Garlic: If you prefer not to use fresh garlic, use approximately 1/8 of a teaspoon of garlic powder for every whole clove of garlic.
Blender, Food Processor, or Potato Masher: Which One Should You Use?
The great news about making mashed cauliflower potatoes is that you have several mashing options, each with its own pros and cons.
- Blender: I personally like to use my blender whenever I make this recipe. It’s fast, easy, and results in perfectly creamy, whipped mashed cauliflower. If you plan to use a blender, I recommend using one that comes with a tamper since we are not adding liquids to this recipe.
- Food Processor: Of course, a food processor will also work well. You will probably need to scrape down the sides more often until the mixture starts moving along on its own.
- Immersion Blender: Perhaps not as smooth a blend as the blender or food processor, but it will absolutely give you the most control to reach your desired consistency.
- Potato Masher: I love using my potato masher to make mashed potatoes as it prevents them from turning gluey, but it’s not my favorite for cauliflower. Cauliflower doesn’t have the same starchy, crumbly effect as cooked russet potatoes.
How to Serve
Mashed cauliflower is a delicious, low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes. Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and sour cream, it is hard to tell the difference.
I love to enjoy this recipe with Salisbury steak, cioppino, Instant Pot beef stew, and beef bourguignon. Anything with a rich sauce or gravy pairs extremely well with the creaminess of the potatoes. I’ll even add a scoop or two to veggie-filled soups like my minestrone soup or black bean soup.
Other delicious recipes to enjoy with this creamy cauliflower mashed potato recipe include,
You can easily swap out the mashed potatoes and add mashed cauliflower in recipes where mashed potatoes are a key ingredient—for example, Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage pie.
Leftovers, Freezing, Reheating
Leftovers: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Freezing: For best results, freeze the mashed cauliflower before the sour cream has been added. This is because dairy products don’t always thaw well. Allow the mashed cauliflower to cool down to room temperature first before transferring to an airtight container or freezer-safe ziplock bag. If you have a large amount of leftovers, consider portioning the leftovers into individual servings before freezing. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Reheating: From frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. If you’re in a hurry, it is possible to reheat them directly from the freezer, but it may take longer and require more frequent stirring. To reheat from the refrigerator, you may do so on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.
More Cauliflower Recipes,
- Vegetarian Cauliflower Tikka Masala Recipe (Instant Pot)
- Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe
- Roasted Cauliflower Recipe (How to Roast Cauliflower)
- Cauliflower Leek and Potato Soup (Dairy-Free)
- Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe
- Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe
If you try making this Mashed Cauliflower Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
- 2 large heads of cauliflower - chopped into florets
- ¾ cup sour cream - plus more to taste
- 6 tablespoon butter
- 8 cloves garlic - minced
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese - grated
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Steam the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower florets in a large steamer basket set inside a large pot with approximately 1 inch of water. Cover with a lid and bring the water to a boil. Steam for 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender. Remove cauliflower from heat, drain, and return to the pot. Cover with a lid and allow cauliflower to rest for 5 minutes.
- Puree the cauliflower. Add the cooked cauliflower florets and sour cream to a large high-speed blender. Pulse several times then process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed (you may need to do this in two batches).
- Brown the garlic and butter. Melt the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring and swirling the pot until the garlic is golden brown (reduce heat if needed to prevent the butter or garlic from burning).
- Puree again. Transfer half of the melted garlic butter, parmesan cheese, and one teaspoon salt and black pepper, to the blender filled with the mashed cauliflower. Blend. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve. Transfer mashed cauliflower to a large serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining melted garlic butter. Serve.
- I made this recipe using two large heads of cauliflower. If you plan to feed more than 4-6 people with decent appetites, I would add a third.
- Sour cream is one of my must-have ingredients whenever I make mashed potatoes. Since we are not adding any milk or buttermilk to this recipe, the sour cream and butter are the two ingredients that help move the blender along and puree the steamed cauliflower. Feel free to substitute with Greek yogurt if necessary.
- If you do not like garlic or only like it a little, I highly recommend cutting the total amount of garlic in half.
- I always use salted butter when I cook. Feel free to use unsalted butter and add more salt as needed. You can easily make your cauliflower mash healthier by cutting the total amount of butter in half.
- Use a tamper to help push the steamed cauliflower down as you blend it. For the thickest, creamiest results, try not to add additional milk or liquids other than the butter and sour cream.
- For creamier mashed cauliflower, try adding some cream cheese.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
- Can you use frozen cauliflower or cauliflower rice? I have not tried using cauliflower rice or frozen cauliflower myself; however, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The taste may be slightly different, but with adequate seasoning and spices, it will probably be pretty hard to notice a difference.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)