Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”.  This mashed cauliflower recipe is a deliciously satisfying side, low in carbs and big on flavor! The perfect way to enjoy cauliflower and a delicious substitute for mashed potatoes!

Mashed Cauliflower

A Healthier Alternative to Mashed Potatoes

We eat a lot of veggies in our house and I pretty much love all of them.

Our favorites are spaghetti squash and of course broccolicauliflower!  Broccoli & cauliflower are amazing as a side dish casserole, in soups or roasted, in fact I can’t think of a single way I don’t love cauliflower. This recipe is definitely one of my favorites!

While they’re clearly not potatoes, there’s a reason people often refer to them as fauxtatoes! These “mashed cauliflower potatoes” can easily take place of mashed potatoes to serve with almost any dish!  I love them with gravy or even just on their own.

The texture is similar to a mashed potato but much less starchy and they do have a very mild cauliflower flavor (obviously).  They’re naturally low carb and they’re rich and creamy.

Mashed Cauliflower

How to Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

We love to cook cauliflower like mashed potatoes! To make sure your mashed cauliflower turns out perfectly, you’ll want to remove as much water as possible before mashing them.

I cook and drain the cauliflower, slightly cool and then put it in a small mesh strainer in small batches.  I press the cauliflower in the mesh strainer removing as much water as I can.  Another option (if you don’t have a small mesh strainer) is to squeeze it with paper towels, again removing moisture.  I don’t add cream or milk to this recipe, cauliflower has less starch than potatoes so removing liquid (instead of adding it) gives a better texture.

I puree the cauliflower either in my food processor or with a hand blender until smooth.  If you prefer a less smooth mash, you can certainly use a potato masher.

Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower Toppings & Mix-ins

Depending on what I am serving this with, I sometimes add in a handful of cheddar cheese or parmesan.  This recipe is very versatile, so feel free to mix in your favorite add-ins… bacon bits, cheese, green onions!  You can even add in a potato if you’d like a slightly starchier texture.

Carbs and Calories

According to MyFitnessPal, a large head of cauliflower has only 146 calories (for the whole thing) 29g carbs, and 12g fiber (only 17 net carbs for a whole head). Not bad right?

For this recipe, 1 head makes 4 servings (about 3/4 cup each). Even after the bit of cream cheese/sour cream this dish is much lower in carbs/calories than a plate of regular mashed potatoes and a super tasty side!

More Healthy Veggie Recipes

Mashed Cauliflower "Potatoes in a bowl with pats of butter
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Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes”. This mashed cauliflower recipe is a deliciously satisfying side, low in carbs and big on flavor! The perfect way to enjoy cauliflower and a delicious substitute for mashed potatoes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 1 head cauliflower about 2.5-3 pounds
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • chives and butter for topping


  • Wash cauliflower and boil until very soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain well. Place cauliflower in a mesh strainer and press to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. (Or squeeze with paper towels).
  • Using a food processor (or immersion hand blender) puree until smooth. Add in cream cheese, sour cream and seasonings. Blend until smooth.
  • Place back into the pot and heat on the stove on medium low until heated through.


Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients
5 from 11 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 184 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 1319mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 206.3mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Mashed Cauliflower with writing
Mashed Cauliflower with title



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. This is very good, but it isn’t a substitute for real mashed potatoes…..(IMHO). My husband is on a strict low carb diet, though, so I’m glad I can make it for him. He thinks it’s wonderful!

  2. So yummy! I steamed the cauliflower to decrease water content.  Also used chive and onion sour cream. Will not disappoint!