This Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe may be lower in carbs and calories but they are just as mouthwatering as regular mashed potatoes. Made with sour cream, parmesan cheese, garlic, and butter, these creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are full of delicious buttery flavor and make the perfect, keto-approved side dish!
Creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potato Recipe
Get ready for one of my all-time very favorite recipes – Creamy, buttery, delicious Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes!
Would you believe me if I told you I’ve been making mashed cauliflower for nearly 10 years!? Before I started food blogging, before I got pregnant with my son, and before I was even married!
I needed something to help me eat more Brussels sprouts and it just so happens that these mashed cauliflower potatoes pair perfectly with roasted Brussels sprouts and rotisserie chicken.
After so many years preparing this low-carb (yet totally delicious) recipe, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way.
Including, how to make a cauliflower mash that is thick and luscious, not watery and sad. I’ve also learned that seasoning is key. Cauliflower will not taste like mashed potatoes just because you mashed it up.
So, grab a couple of cauliflower and your very best blender because we’re making the very best cauli mash ever!
How to Make Mashed Cauliflower
To make perfectly thick and creamy garlic mashed cauliflower that tastes just like mashed potatoes, follow the following step-by-step instructions:
1. Chop your 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.
So, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring the water to a boil. Steam the cauliflower for 10-15 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender.
Remove cauliflower from heat, drain completely, and return cauliflower to the pot. Cover with a lid and allow cauliflower to rest for 5 minutes.
2. 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).
Pulse several times then process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed (if you have a smaller blender or one without a tamper, you may need to do this in two batches).
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and saute, stirring and swirling the pot continuously until garlic is golden brown. Take care not to burn the garlic or the butter. Reduce heat or remove from heat if needed.
4. To the blender add half of the melted garlic butter, parmesan cheese, and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Blend. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
5. To serve, transfer the mashed cauliflower to a large serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining melted garlic butter. Garnish with fresh chives or parsley, if desired.
How to Make Mashed Cauliflower Taste Like Mashed Potatoes
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. When you add your cauliflower directly to a pot filled with boiling water, it 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 actually helps, but I like to think that it does.
- Season to taste. YES! Just like mashed potatoes, you have to season your mashed cauliflower to taste. That means that you may need a little extra sour cream or butter, less garlic, or a whole lot more salt.
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 their own pros and cons.
I personally like to use my blender whenever I make this recipe. It’s fast, easy, and results in the perfect creamy, whipped mashed cauliflower. If you plan to use a blender, however, I recommend using one that comes with a tamper since we are not adding liquids to this recipe.
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. And let’s not forget the handy dandy 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.
Finally, what about a potato masher? Now, 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, making it much more challenging to get a good mash without some kind of blending.
That said, if you prefer a chunkier consistency, absolutely start with a potato masher. If, however, you prefer luscious, whipped clouds of buttery cauliflower, I recommend letting a machine help.
What to serve with mashed cauliflower?
Mashed cauliflower is a delicious (and much healthier) alternative to mashed potatoes. Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and sour cream, it is hard to tell the difference.
As with mashed potatoes, a few of my favorite recipes to enjoy with the cauliflower version include 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.
Other delicious recipes to enjoy with this cauliflower mashed potato recipe includes,
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.
More Cauliflower Recipes,
If you try making this Mashed Cauliflower Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
- 2 large head cauliflower (chopped into florets)
- 3/4 cup sour cream (plus more to taste)
- 6 tbsp butter
- 8 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Steam 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 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 1 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 added 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 you only like it just a little, I highly recommend cutting the total amount of garlic in half.
- I always use salted butter but 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.)