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A bowl of mashed cauliflower topped with chives. A serving spoon rests inside the bowl.
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4.60 from 20 votes

Mashed Cauliflower

Swap potatoes for cauliflower with this healthy mashed cauliflower recipe! It's the perfect side dish and comes together quickly with only 6 ingredients. It's just as creamy and delicious as mashed potatoes, but has half the calories and one-third of the carbs.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower, mashed cauliflower
Servings: 4


  • 1 large head of cauliflower chopped into florets (about 10 cups)
  • ½ Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ghee or butter plus more for topping
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives chopped, plus more for topping
  • ¼ cup reserved water


  • Chop cauliflower into florets and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the cauliflower and heat until water is boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 12-15 minutes.
    Cooked cauliflower florets in a large pot that has been drained of the water and has spices added.
  • While cauliflower is cooking, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon ghee or butter and minced garlic. Sauté until garlic is tender and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
    Ghee, garlic, and sea salt sautéd in a saucepan. A small spatula rests on the side of the saucepan.
  • Before you drain cauliflower, scoop out ¼ cup water to save for later. Drain cauliflower and add to food processor with sautéd garlic, ½ Tablespoon ghee or butter, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and chives.
  • Process until cauliflower is smooth, adding water as necessary to reach desired consistency. I used 2 Tablespoons of reserved water. If you don’t own a food processor, an immersion blender, standing mixer or potato masher would all work work.
    Mashed cauliflower in a large pot.
  • Transfer to a bowl, top with chives and additional butter/ghee if you prefer and serve.


  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the cauliflower using a stand mixer, blender or a handheld potato masher — the consistency just won’t be as smooth. If needed, you can reheat the mashed cauliflower in a small saucepan before serving.
  • To make this dish vegan swap the ghee for butter flavored coconut oil and use this hemp parmesan.


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 766mg | Potassium: 660mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g