Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
You’ll love these lightened up mashed potatoes that are loaded with cauliflower. Use a food processor or high powered blender to get everything perfectly creamy and serve with your favorite gravy.
These Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are just in time for the holidays! This delicious side dish is a blend of both cauliflower and potatoes to get that creamy texture we associate with classic mashed potatoes. While cauliflower can certainly be used on its own to create a cauliflower mash, I find that incorporating some potatoes results in even better results. The potatoes help make the finished dish so much smoother!
So why cauliflower? Cauliflower is high in fiber and B vitamins. Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes means your side is lower in calories, lower in carbs (if you’re into that), and just overall more nutritious. You know I love any opportunity to sneak in some extra veggies.
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Milk, any kind
- Seasonings and dried herbs
Frozen vs Fresh Cauliflower
You can use either frozen or fresh cauliflower for this yummy mash. I prefer using frozen simply because I can pop a steamable bag of frozen cauliflower into the microwave and let it work its magic while I boil the potatoes. I think we all know I’m Team Keep It Easy over here. Fresh cauliflower works just as well though. You’ll simply chop it into florets and boil it in the water with your chunks of potato.
Can this be made vegan and dairy free?
Absolutely! Simply use a dairy free milk to keep this vegan and dairy free. I personally use an unsweetened almond milk but soy or oat milk could also work too. Choose one that is unflavored and unsweetened so it doesn’t compromise the final taste of this dish.
How to customize this dish
While these Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are pretty perfect as is, here are several ways to further customize them:
- Stir in other veggies like steamed peas or chopped broccoli.
- Blend roasted or sautéed garlic with the other ingredients to really amp up the garlic flavor.
- Add fresh herbs like parsley, rosemary, and basil.
- Stir in shredded cheddar cheese and chopped crispy bacon.
- Top with your favorite gravy. I think we all know gravy is always a good idea!
How to achieve that perfect creamy texture
There’s a lot of cauliflower in this recipe (in fact we’re including twice as much cauliflower as we do potatoes!) so using a hand mixer or potato masher isn’t enough to give us the smooth consistency we want. While cauliflower softens a lot when it is steamed or boiled, it can still give you a stringy or lumpy texture and it takes a smidge more work to get it broken down. To achieve that perfect creamy texture every single time I recommend two things:
- Make sure your cauliflower is cooked enough. It needs to be really soft to break down completely so it’s always better to overcook it instead of undercooking it.
- Use a food processor or high powered blender instead of a hand mixer or potato masher. Trust me. I’ve tested this many times and the food processor or blender is the way to go. Both options will puree everything in no time at all.
- Add extra milk as you puree until you have the creaminess you desire. Start with the recommended 1/2 cup but don’t hesitate to add an extra splash or two as you puree if needed.
How to store leftovers
Place leftovers in a sealed airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Easy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, about 4 cups, or use a 15 oz bag of frozen cauliflower
- 2 medium potatoes, about 2 cups, peeled and diced into 2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup milk, any kind
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Cook your cauliflower and potatoes until fork tender using one of the two methods below:To Boil Potatoes + Cauliflower: Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Then add the chunks of potatoes and cauliflower florets and cook until tender. Drain the water and move to the next step in the recipe. To Boil Potatoes + Steam Cauliflower: (This is my preferred method because it gives me very soft cauliflower every time and I always have frozen cauliflower in my freezer ready to go.) Add water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Then add the chunks of potatoes and cook until tender. While potatoes are cooking, microwave a 15 oz steamable bag of cauliflower per package instructions. When cauliflower is done, set aside. Drain the water from the potatoes and move to the next step in the recipe.
- Add the cooked potatoes and cauliflower to a food processor or high powered blender along with milk, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Puree until smooth. Add a little extra milk if you like until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Stir in dried parsley and dried thyme. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve as is or top with your favorite gravy.