Imagine having a big serving of mashed potatoes but with a quarter of the calories. Now you can with creamy garlic mashed cauliflower. That's right, cauliflower. This easy side dish is buttery, garlicky, and so flavourful. It's pure comfort food but so much healthier. The best part? It comes together in just 20 minutes with only a handful of simple ingredients. So perfect on any night of the week.
Mashed Cauliflower vs. Mashed Potatoes
Ok, so you may be thinking, hold on. You cannot serve mashed cauliflower and call it mashed potatoes. Well let me tell you. I had heard and read about cauliflower "mashed potatoes" for a while before I decided to attempt to make it myself. And believe me, I was the biggest skeptic of all. How is it possible that a vegetable such as a cauliflower could live up to the delicious potato in its amazing creamy mashed form? Well, it does. It just does. And here is how:
- Aesthetics: Let's start off with the aesthetics. It looks identical to mashed potatoes.
- Texture: Silky, velvety, creamy. Yup, just like mashed potatoes.
- Taste: Obviously, this is the main question. Well, you will be pleasantly surprised that when taking a bite, you'll barely be able to tell the difference. Of course, it is slightly different but the difference is minuscule enough to pass for the real thing.
So what is the point of using cauliflower instead of potatoes? Well cauliflower is way healthier for you. Potatoes are starchy and full of carbs and contain 4 times the amount of calories than what you will find in the same serving of cauliflower. Also, unlike potatoes, cauliflower cooks really fast. Which explains how you can have this side dish ready to serve (including prep) in just 20 minutes.
Ingredients in Garlic Cauliflower Mash
Here is the few ingredients that you will need to gather in order to make this dish:
- cauliflower - 1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets.
- butter - adds flavour and helps give this cauliflower mash super silky and velvety.
- milk - adds a creamy and velvety texture.
- Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- fresh herbs - optional, for garnish. Some great options are chopped parsley, chives or rosemary.
You will also need a large cooking pot, colander, skillet and food processor.
How to Make the Best Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Watch this short 1-minute video to see how quick and easy it is to prepare this creamy garlic mashed cauliflower, and follow along the detailed steps below.
To summarize, here are the steps you need to take in order to make this delicious side dish:
- Cook the cauliflower: Bring a large cooking pot of salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower florets and turn the heat down to medium. Cover and cook for for 15 minutes until cauliflower is soft and tender. When the cauliflower is ready, remove from heat and drain in a colander.
- Sauté the garlic: While the cauliflower is cooking, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for about 2 minutes until fragrant and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
- NOTE: You could skip this sautéing step and add the butter and raw garlic directly into your food processor in the next step. However, I highly recommend sautéing. When you sauté the garlic, it brings out an amazing flavour that you just don't get when it is raw. It also infuses the garlic flavour into the butter which takes it to a whole different level.
- Puree: In a food processor, add the cooked cauliflower, sautéed garlic with the butter it was cooked in, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Puree on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Serve: Serve hot and sprinkle some fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives or rosemary) on top.
- How to store and make ahead: This quick and easy recipe can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- How to reheat: To reheat, transfer to a skillet or cooking pot and heat on low heat until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave.
How to Serve Mashed Cauliflower
Creamy garlic mashed cauliflower are the perfect side dish to pretty much any meal that you can think of. It goes really well with roast chicken, steak, roast lamb, baked salmon or turkey.
It is also the perfect side to serve during the holidays for Thanksgiving dinner. Serve it with a juicy whole roast turkey or an easy juicy roasted turkey breast. Browse through some of my other favourite sides to pair it with during the holidays:
More Cauliflower Recipes
- Easy Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup
- Spinach and Feta Quiche with Cauliflower Crust
- Creamy Cauliflower and Garlic Soup
- Quinoa Cauliflower and Chickpea Vegetarian Meatballs
This post was originally posted in 2016. It has been completely updated with new photos, recipe video and helpful tips.Print
Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Diet: Gluten Free
Craving a big serving of mashed potatoes but with a quarter of the calories? Now you can with creamy garlic mashed cauliflower. Ready in just 20 minutes.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- fresh herbs (optional, for garnish)
- Bring a large cooking pot of salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower florets and turn the heat down to medium. Cook covered for 15 minutes until cauliflower is soft and tender. When the cauliflower is ready, remove from heat and drain.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for about 2 minutes until fragrant and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a food processor, add the cooked cauliflower, sautéed garlic with the butter it was cooked in, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Puree on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Serve hot and sprinkle some fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives or rosemary) and freshly cracked black pepper on top.
Equipment used: large cooking pot, colander, skillet and food processor.
Recipe video: Watch the quick video tutorial in the blog post to see how easy it is to make creamy garlic mashed cauliflower.
How to store: This quick and easy recipe can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How to reheat: To reheat, transfer to a skillet or cooking pot and heat on low heat until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: mashed cauliflower, cauliflower mash, garlic mashed cauliflower, cauliflower recipes
Turned out great except it was WAY too garlicy (and we like garlic!) Will try 1/2 clove next time and adjust from there.
Hi me and my family do not use dairy. Can I substitute the milk in this recipe for a non dairy milk such as coconut or almond?
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Sorry, I have not tested this recipe with any dairy substitutions so I cannot say for sure until I try. If you do experiment with some milk alternatives, let me know.
Bo Pruski says
Outstanding ... great substitute for mashed potatoes. We served it with grilled skirt steak, chimichurri sauce and grilled tomatoes. 5 STAR!!!
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Thank you so much for your comment! So glad you liked the recipe. You dinner menu sounds delicious!
Tiffaney Graham says
This was delicious!!!! My forget potatoes all together!
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Hehe, so glad you liked it! 😀
I love this recipe. I cook my cauliflower in the microwave for better control and it keeps more of the vitamins plus the more stem you can cut off of the flower the drier it is that's why I don't buy the rice, a cheese grater makes the best rice.
Sam | Ahead of Thyme says
Thanks for the tips!