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BEST Mashed Cauliflower Recipe vs. Potatoes and Gravy

This mashed cauliflower recipe that will rise above all the rest — they’re downright craving worthy! 

They taste totally indulgent with their creamy texture and loads of flavor. So good there’s no need for gravy!

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Thumbnail of the YouTube video of The Hubs Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Why Cauliflower Mash?

Yes, I know, mashed cauliflower has been trending for quite a while now. 

And like so many of you, we tried getting on the bandwagon. Several times. 

Yes, each time left us disappointed, because we had to try to like them as a substitute for the well known and well loved mashed potatoes.

This recipe is the reason we are now firmly planted on the bandwagon. My Hubs may be the drivig this wagon, but I’m the publicist riding. in the second seat.

I am sooo glad The Hubs gave Mashed Cauliflower “one more try” and came up with this cauliflower mash recipe.

This version has so much flavor that we immediately stopped thinking of it as mashed potatoes in disguise, but rather a delicious replacement for, or alternative to mashed potatoes.

Not even considering the nutritional benefits), I honestly prefer the flavor!

closeup of hand stirring Cauliflower Mash in a large skillet

Nutrition Comparison

If you’ve been hanging out in cave or holed up under a rock, let me just briefly bring you up to date on this trend.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower is a healthier alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. Primarily due to the carbs. 1 cup of raw cauliflower has 5g of carbohydrates; where 1 cup of raw white potatoes has 12g.

Perhaps even more important is the Glycemic Index score of the two. Cauliflower has a GI score of 10, which is very low. It will not create crazy spikes in blood sugar. However, White potatoes has a GI score of 111, which is higher than pure glucose!!!

And I’ll take this comparison a step further by pointing out that who eats mashed potatoes without a generous lathering of gravy. That’s because potatoes are rather bland. Sure you can add lots of garlic and cream and butter to help add some necessary flavor. But most of the time you end up adding gravy too.

Not with this — the Best Cauliflower Mash!

There’s enough flavor, and it tends to be more creamy anyway, that you won’t even miss the gravy. We put our entree with it accompanying natural juice on top of a bed of the mashed cauliflower and all those juices are absorbed right in. 

Infographics chart showing comparison of macros in The Hubs Mashed Cauliflower vs. KFC and Bojangles Mashed Potatoes

We can compare numbers all day, but really this easy mashed cauliflower recipe is a great way to help keep your blood sugar even, enjoy whole foods, while reducing your carb and increasing your protein intake. 

That’s a whole bunch of wins and it tastes great too!!!

How to Make the Tastiest Cauliflower Mash

Is Mashed Cauliflower Easy to Make?

Admittedly this is easy for me to say since the Hubs has taken over tthe daily meal prep since he retired, but his system is about as involved as making mashed potatoes. But it is a more sure success every time. With potatoes, there is definitely a sweet spot as to how long to cook the potatoes. Too short and they’re lumpy, but too long and they become a pile of starchy gumminess.

With cauliflower, you really can’t over steam them.

Can Mashed Cauliflower be Made Ahead?

Yes! You can make it several hours or even the day before. Just cover and refrigerate it. Reheat on the stovetop. We use a wide skillet on low so it reheats evenly. If you prefer the microwave, you can sure do that to, just stir frequently and avoid high power.

How Do You Keep Mashed Cauliflower From Being Watery?

Closeup of steam rising from cauliflower florets in a steamer on the cooktop

The easiest is to void the issue from the get-go. It will absorb less water if you steam your cauliflower rather than boiling it in a big pot of water. If you don’t have a steamer basket, try a sieve over an inch of water in a pot with a tight lid. 

If you must boil, let it cool in a strainer and then squeeze out as much water as you can before processing it.

Now, if it’s too late and it’s already a bit thin and watery, you can spread it in a large skillet and on medium to low heat, slightly simmer it to evaporate the water. Be sure to stir it frequently.

Or you can thicken it with a roux of a bit of flour or cornstarch just as you would traditional mashed potatoes. For me, that means extra work and it does not enhance the flavor and tarnishes the nutritional value just a bit. 

So do yourself a favor and steam and strain and you won’t need anything else.

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Now back to the yummies!

Equipment Needed:

  • a steamer basket is recommended, see note about how to keep your cauliflower from being watery.
  • blender or food processor is preferred. In a pinch, you can use an immersion blender or a potato masher.
  • large skillet, or a pot will do

closeup of a hand scraping down the inside of a blender containing the cauliflower

This is the basic recipe we work from. But we often change out, or add ingredients rather freely

The Hubs’ Best Darn Mashed Cauliflower

4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 generous servings


  • 1 head Cauliflower 2 1/2 – 3 pounds
  • 3 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 7 cloves Garlic, peeled or more if desired
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Cream Cheese or sub sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Trim and discard all leaves, wash and cut cauliflower into florets, strive for equal sizes
  • Add Cauliflower florets to steamer basket over water. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 12 – 16 minutes, until largest florets are tender.
  • Transfer florets to a colander to drain.
  • Meanwhile saute peeled garlic cloves in butter in a large skillet.
  • Transfer drained, and slightly cooled cauliflower to blender or food processor. Add the sautéed garlic and melted butter. (set the skillet to the side, don't wash it yet) Process with a pulsing action, scraping down the sides regularly. Continue processig until cauliflower and garlic are smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer cauliflower back to the large skillet. Over low heat blend in 2 – 3 tbsp of cream cheese. stir while it melts. (NOTE: you can substitute another fat such as sour cream if you prefer) and the parmesan cheese. Continue stirring periodically while the cheeses melt and fully integrate and while you finish the rest of your meal prep.


This can be made a day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. Heat over low heat in a large skillet, stirring periodically.
Keyword Healthy, Low Carb, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Serving Suggestions

Pair this mashed cauliflower with a wide range of entrees:

  • pork tenderloin medallions
  • shrimp scampi
  • beef stroganoff
  • baked chicken
  • Shepherds pie

We particularly like it with slices of pork tenderloin or baked chicken that have some meat juices.

Expand on the carb replacement idea. Instead of replacing just mashed potatoes, we replaced the linguine under Shrimp Scampi. Oh my!!!

Beef stroganoff would be fab. And how about topping your favorite shepherds pie recipe?

The cauliflower mash is very amicable to all kinds of flavor additions and garnishes:

  • a drizzle of olive oil or extra butter
  • chopped fresh chives
  • chopped fresh thyme
  • chopped green onions
  • roasted garlic (is it possible to have too much garlic)
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Caramelized onions
  • Crumbled bacon bits

Like the idea of caramelized onions, but don’t like the 20 minutes they take? Caramelize them in bulk — in a crock pot == and freeze little packets like I do here.

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Pinterest pin with title "Carve-Worthy Cauliflower Mash" over a pot of creamy cauliflower mash being stirred

I hope you are inspired to give mashed cauliflower another try! Just don’t think of them as mashed potatoes, but rather as an even tastier sub for a creamy side. Experiment with the flavors and share in the comments your favorite versions.

Here's to Joy-Filled Living, Diane


  1. Kim

    Yummy! I do like mashed cauliflower!

    • Diane

      I’ll take it over potatoes or white rice any day!

  2. Wendy McMonigle

    Love this recipe and the video was great!!! I was not able to comment, darn it. I had a password issue, need ot fix it tomorrow.

  3. Deborah Hamilton

    4 stars
    I cook mine in my instapot for 5 minutes in a steamer basket and then use a tofu press to get the moisture out. Finally I add 1-2 T. beef gelatin to the mash to thicken it, keep it low carb and give it the mashed potato consistency. Yummy!

    • Diane

      That sounds like a really smart process. And what do you like to flavor them with?

  4. Linda

    We love cauliflower,, Thanks for the new way to serve it

    • Diane

      I’m afraid I may have ruined mashed potatoes for you. They just don’t have the flavor like cauliflower.



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