Low-Carb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Just use this Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe in place of your regular mashed potatoes for an easy, healthy, and very flavorful low-carb alternative!   This recipe is clean, keto, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, and easily altered for vegan and vegetarian diets.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes | Make this recipe for cauliflower mashed potatoes instead of regular mashed potatoes for a low-carb alternative. Easy to alter for paleo and vegan diets. | A Sweet Pea Chef

For the LONGEST time, I had seen different bloggers share their mashed cauliflower recipes and talk how they tasted just like real mashed potatoesOpens in a new tab..  

Honestly, I never really believed them. 

I mean — we’re talking about MASHED POTATOES here.  Smooth, heavy, delightfully creamy mashed potatoes.

And with mashed cauliflower, instead?  No way.

But I kept seeing more and more people rave about them.

Could it actually be true?

View of all the ingredients needed to make cauliflower mashed potatoes, including cauliflower, garlic, sea salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and almond milk.

Well, much to my surprise, it was true!  

Mashed cauliflower really does nicely replace mashed potatoes.

Are they exactly the same?  

No, they’re not identical.  But they are definitely good enough as a stand-in.  And they are so tasty.

If, like me, you have been weary about trying mashed cauliflower potatoes, I hope I can help convince you to finally go for it.  

Overhead view of a food processor that is filled with steamed cauliflower florets, steamed garlic, sea salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and almond milk that will be pureed into cauliflower mashed potatoes.

How To Make Mashed Potatoes Healthy

Mashed potatoes aren’t typically high on the “healthy foods” lists for a number of reasons.  Typically, they’ve been bathed in butter, and have lots of salt, cream, and butter added to make them creamy and thick. In order to make them healthier, I did some easy healthier ingredient replacements, like the following:

  • replaced white potatoes with cauliflower (which provides more fiber and protein for less calories)
  • reduced the amount of salt in the recipe
  • removed any cream, sour cream, or cream cheese
  • reduced the amount of parmesan cheese
  • replaced cream with almond milk

These changes all help to make this mashed potato alternative healthier without sacrificing the flavor or texture.  Because the whole point of mashed potatoes is the dense, luscious, thick texture!

Steamer basket filled with cauliflower and garlic cloves that will be steamed until tender and then pureed for the cauliflower mashed potatoes.

How To Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Creamy

Okay, okay…we all know and love creamy mashed potatoes, but can you make mashed cauliflower creamy, too?  Yes, you most certainly can!  Here are some tips for how to make mashed cauliflower creamy, just like you love your mashed potatoes.

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of plain full fat greek yogurt. This will help to make them creamier and also a little heavier, if that’s how you prefer your texture.
  • Let the cauliflower cool down a bit after it’s done steaming.  By doing so, the cauliflower will dry out a little as it cools, which makes it much easier to get a good texture on the mash.
  • Add just a little organic half and half (I only use this brand) for a slightly creamier texture.

To make creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes thinner, you can just add a little more unsweetened almond milk and then process again to mix it through.

Overhead view of a food processor once the cauliflower, garlic, and seasonings have been processed to turn into cauliflower mashed potatoes.

How To Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Thicker

Fortunately, if you really like your cauliflower mashed potatoes to be thick and hearty, there are some easy methods to make it happen, including:

  • Add in plain greek full-fat yogurt, which will add texture, flavor, and thickness.
  • Use a hand potato masher, not a food processor for more texture (a food processor will make it more smooth)
  • Add in a couple actual potatoes to help thicken, but keep the majority of the cauliflower mash.
  • Add a little more grated parmesan cheese for more binding.
  • Reduce the amount of almond milk being used.
  • Allow the cauliflower to cool before blending to get more texture and thickness.

How To Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Thinner

To make these creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes thinner, you can just add a little more unsweetened almond milk and then process again to mix it through.

Close-up view of the pureed cauliflower mashed potatoes in the food processor with a spoon digging into the mixture to show the smooth texture.

Is Cauliflower Better (Healthier) Than Potatoes?

In a nutshell, yes, cauliflower is much healthier than potatoes.  BUT that doesn’t mean potatoes aren’t healthy.  Let’s compare the health benefits and nutrition from both cauliflower and potatoes to determine which is healthier to use in your mashed potatoes.  Compared to potatoes, cauliflower is…

  • lower in calories (134 calories for potatoes compared to the 28 calories for cauliflower in a single serving);
  • lower in carbs;
  • higher in fiber;
  • higher in antioxidants;
  • a greater source of minerals;
  • a greater source of vitamins.

On the other hand, potatoes contain decent amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals (just different than the ones found in cauliflower) but they ALSO contain more carbs and calories, too.  That means cauliflower wins on the paleo, keto, and low carb front, too.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes in a bowl that are topped with sliced chives and ready to eat with a hand coming in with a spoon, about to eat.

How To Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Vegan

The only non-vegan ingredient in this cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe is parmesan cheese.  To make these cauliflower mashed potatoes vegan, all you would need to do is replace the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast or just omit entirely. 

You’ll likely need to add a touch more sea salt if you choose to remove it altogether, since the parmesan adds some saltiness.

Are These Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Paleo?

The only non-vegan ingredient in this cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe is parmesan cheese.  To make these cauliflower mashed potatoes vegan, all you would need to do is replace the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast or just omit entirely.

Are These Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Keto?

Fortunately, cauliflower is a very keto-friendly vegetable because it is so low in carbs, especially when compared to potatoes.  That means this recipe for cauliflower mashed potatoes is keto and would even benefit from a slab of organic unsalted, grass-fed butter on top.  Feel free to add a little more parmesan cheese in as well.

Horizontal image of the cauliflower mashed potatoes that are garnished with sliced chives.

What Goes with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes?

While these cauliflower mashed potatoes are tasty, they are best when enjoyed with other foods.  Here are my favorite recipes to serve with cauliflower mashed potatoes:

More Low-Carb Recipes Using Cauliflower

For more great low-carb cauliflower recipes, check out:

4.82 from 11 votes
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Square Recipe Preview Image
Low-Carb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Just use this Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe in place of your regular mashed potatoes for an easy, healthy, and very flavorful low-carb alternative!   This recipe is clean, keto, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, and easily altered for vegan and vegetarian diets.

Categories: Clean Eating. Gluten-Free, Food Processor, Healthy, Low Carb, Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: cauliflower mashed potatoes, cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe, cauliflower potatoes
Servings: 4
Calories: 103 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated (omit if vegan or use nutritional yeast)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat a large stock pot (with steamer attachment) over high heat until boiling.
  2. Add the cauliflower and garlic cloves to a steaming basketOpens in a new tab. and place over boiling water. Cover and steam until cauliflower is soft when poked with a fork, about 6-8 minutes. (Tip: If you let the cauliflower cool down a bit after it’s done steaming, it’ll dry out a bit, which makes it much easier to get a good texture on the mash. It also lets you add other flavorful liquids to balance out the moisture content.)
  3. Add the steamed cauliflower and garlic to a food processorOpens in a new tab. (or, if you'd prefer, mix in a large bowl with an immersion blenderOpens in a new tab. or a potato masherOpens in a new tab.). Add the parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pulse the food processorOpens in a new tab. until all contents are mostly smooth. You want some texture here, but not a lot. You may need to scrape the sides of the blender or to move around the cauliflower to make sure it all gets mashed. Use the almond milk, tbsp. by tbsp., as needed to bring the mixture together. Try not to use too much as this will cause the mixture to get soupy. You want to keep it as thick as possible (like mashed potatoes).
  5. Serve hot. Garnish with fresh chives or whatever you like on your mashed potatoes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Tip: If you let the cauliflower cool down a bit after it’s done steaming, it’ll dry out a bit, which makes it much easier to get a good texture on the mash. It also lets you add other flavorful liquids to balance out the moisture content.

 

To make creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes thinner, you can just add a little more unsweetened almond milk and then process again to mix it through.

Nutrition Facts
Low-Carb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 103 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1.8g9%
Cholesterol 6.6mg2%
Sodium 419.2mg17%
Carbohydrates 13.9g5%
Fiber 3.4g14%
Sugar 3.2g4%
Protein 7.5g15%
Vitamin A 100IU2%
Vitamin C 104.8mg127%
Calcium 180mg18%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

44 thoughts on “Low-Carb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

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  5. 5 stars
    Just made this and followed everything. Skeptical at first, but when I see the steamed cauliflower, I know this will work. Added half tbsp more of almond milk but otherwise it’s delicious!

  6. 4 stars
    Very good recipe, except our garlic cloves must have been too big because with 3 raw cloves we were breathing, sweating, and living garlic for the next week. Our neighbors are donating mints and air fresheners.

    1. 5 stars
      Ohhhhh, you’re supposed to steam the garlic! Note: do not make this dish with raw garlic or you’ll be elevators and other confined spaces.

  7. 4 stars
    so I made this and it was great! one thing i didnt add was the cheese, and i added some sour cream. The mash ended up having a sweet taste which I didnt like. Does anyone know why? I add the same seasonings to regular mashed potato and doesnt have the same taste.

    1. Hey Susana, that is so strange about it having a sweet flavor, especially after adding in sour cream. I’m guessing the cauliflower was just particularly sweet for some reason?

  8. 5 stars
    I was also a skeptic when comes to cauliflower”mashed potatoes.” Stumbled onto your recipe and decided to try it tonight since I have all the ingredients on hand. I’m happy to report that this dish was a big hit with my diabetic husband! I love how simple it was to make with so just 6 ingredients. I added 2tbs of Greek yogurt to make it creamier and used garlic powder instead. Hubby loves it so much he already requested that I make it again SOON! 😁

  9. 5 stars
    I was also a skeptic when comes to cauliflower”mashed potatoes.” Stumbled onto your recipe and decided to try it tonight since I have all the ingredients on hand. I’m happy to report that this dish was a big hit with my diabetic husband! I love how simple it was to make with so just 6 ingredients. I added 2tbs of Greek yogurt to make it creamier and used garlic powder instead. Hubby loves it so much he already requested that I make it again SOON! 😁

  10. Delicious! I did not have a food processor so I used my cake mixer in a tall, plastic storage container and it worked just fine! (A mixing bowl wouldn’t work – it flew everywhere!). Quite a hit with my gluten free, carb free, guests!

  11. Made a mistake in my first reply, sorry … Cauliflower is indeed a very low GI food, but NOT “ZERO” — don’t quite know where I got that little bit of misinformation, but wanted to correct it. Cauliflower is about 15 GI.

  12. 5 stars
    Was looking around for a good “base” for Coq au Vin …. and needed something with a low glycemic index. Bingo! Cauliflower rates “zero” on the GI scale, a good thing. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. I made these tonight and they got a 3/4 thumbs up from my husband. He was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes this last year, and that’s a pretty good sign from him. I will be making these again.

    Things I did differently: I don’t have a big steamer pot, but I do have a microwave steamer pot from pampered chef. It worked like a charm! I didn’t steam the garlic. I used garlic powder and added onion powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. I did add about 2 TBSP of margarine and I used 1% milk because my husband doesn’t like almond milk.

    These were much easier to make than I thought they would be. I’ll be doing this again.

  14. This is really good! I too have heard of it for years, but could not believe that cauliflower could substitute for potatoes in any meaningful way. And I too got interested right about when I had to let go of potatoes in my diet (Waaaahhhhh! Much protest!!!). I agree that is not identical to mashed potatoes, but as substitutes go, it’s excellent. This dish will happen a lot at my house.

  15. Just a tip: If you let the cauliflower cool down a bit after it’s done steaming it’ll dry out a bit, which makes it much easier to get a good texture on the mash (in my experience). It also lets you add other flavourful liquids to balance out the moisture content.

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