Creamy mashed cauliflower with butter, garlic and parmesan tastes amazing. You won’t miss the mashed potatoes!
This cauliflower puree is creamy and so delicious. It’s such a wonderful low-carb and keto substitute for mashed potatoes. It feels good to eat something that’s delicious, comforting, AND good for you!
My husband, who’s been on a low-carb diet since 2013, says he actually prefers it to mashed potatoes, which he finds bland. The addition of garlic and parmesan certainly makes mashed cauliflower very flavorful.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need six ingredients to make this tasty side dish (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Fresh cauliflower: This is not the best recipe for using frozen cauliflower. For the best flavor and texture, fresh is the way to go. One way to make life easy is to buy a bag of pre-washed cauliflower florets.
Butter: I use unsalted butter. I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be good.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. You can also use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead of the fresh garlic.
Grated parmesan: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan, not coarsely shredded.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of regular salt.
How to make mashed cauliflower
It’s so easy. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Steam the cauliflower in the microwave. You can also steam it in a steamer basket on the stovetop or roast it. But the microwave is the easiest and quickest method. In fact, I often serve microwave cauliflower as a side dish!
2. Add the steamed cauliflower to your food processor bowl along with butter, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper.
3. Process these tasty ingredients into a wonderfully creamy mash.
Can I use frozen cauliflower?
You can, but I believe that the dish tastes significantly better when you use fresh cauliflower.
If using frozen cauliflower, defrost it in the microwave, and make sure you drain it VERY well. But as I said, I do highly recommend using fresh cauliflower in this recipe.
Does it taste good?
Yes! Mashed cauliflower closely mimics mashed potatoes in texture and taste. The first time I tasted it, I was amazed. How can it taste so good? How can this keto, low carb dish be almost as good as the real thing?
There’s something about cauliflower. It’s an extremely versatile vegetable that really helps low carbers find great substitutions for high-carb foods. Examples? Cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower rice – both are really, really good!
Even non-low-carb eaters like mashed cauliflower. The fact that my husband and I like it is not surprising. We’ve been low carbers for a while now, so our palate has changed.
But the fact that my teenage kids love this dish is the real proof that it’s truly delicious, and not just to a low-carb palate.
Having said that, if you deeply dislike the taste of cauliflower, then I don’t think you should try this recipe. Perhaps try mashed butternut squash instead. But if you like cauliflower, or even if you are just indifferent to it, I think you will really enjoy this dish.
What to serve with mashed cauliflower?
This is a very versatile side dish that you can serve with almost anything. It’s especially good when you make a saucy dish and you want to serve it on something that would absorb the yummy juices. So I often serve it with one of the following saucy dishes:
I also use it to top my low carb shepherd’s pie. It’s wonderful when topped with roasted garlic! And obviously, you can serve it with any dish that you would traditionally serve with mashed potatoes, such as ribeye roast or beef tenderloin roast.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep very well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. This is one of those dishes that tastes good even after a few days in the fridge. Unlike mashed potatoes, that don’t keep well. Gently reheat the leftovers in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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- 1 medium cauliflower, trimmed (1 lb.)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Wash the cauliflower, towel dry, trim outer leaves and cut into florets, or just into chunks.
- Place the microwave florets in a microwave-safe bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the bowl, cover with a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for about 10 minutes, until very tender.
- Meanwhile, place the butter, garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper in your food processor’s bowl.
- When the cauliflower is cooked, carefully remove it from the microwave (bowl and plate will be hot and steam will escape) and transfer to the food processor. Process until very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.