Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

4.83 from 29 votes
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Grab a big spoon and dive into a bowl of fluffy cauliflower mashed potatoes for your next low carb side dish. By merely boiling cauliflower florets and then whipping with a dollop of butter creates a smooth and creamy consistency.

bowl of cauliflower mashed potatoes with butter and chives

Mashed potatoes are always a hit, no matter if it’s for a holiday celebration or a simple weeknight side dish with dinner. Although, let’s face it, sometimes a low carb option is needed when you’re eating lots of heavy foods. Whether you’re on a special diet or want a tasty alternative, give the mighty cruciferous cauliflower a try and see if your family can taste the difference.

All you need to make this light as air cauliflower mashed potato recipe are a few simple ingredients. Cauliflower florets, butter, salt, and pepper, that’s it! Boiling the vegetable pieces until fork-tender, then blending into a silky smooth puree, yields a velvety product that rivals the traditional spud version. Give it a try. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

chopped cauliflower florets boiling in a stockpot

How to make cauliflower mashed potatoes

  • Boil the cauliflower florets with salted water to help season the vegetables while cooking.
  • Drain the cooked cauliflower well, so it doesn’t become too runny.
  • Puree the cauliflower in a blender, hand immersion blender, or food processor with butter and salt until very smooth.

boiled cauliflower florets and a piece of butter inside a blender

A healthy alternative

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, eating a cup of cauliflower packs just 20 calories, 200 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, plus vitamin c, calcium, and iron. I often make cauliflower rice for a grain-free alternative. It’s delicious!

Don’t let the indulgent taste deceive you. In this recipe, I only add about 1 tablespoon of butter, which can easily be substituted with olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee. Because of the natural starches in the cauliflower, I found that you don’t need an excess of butter, or the addition of cream or milk to create a luscious consistency.

However, if you did want to add a hint of tartness to the mash, sour cream, greek yogurt, or a small amount of cream cheese does the trick. Garlic or fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage would also be a nice twist.

cauliflower mashed potato puree inside a blender

Does it taste like mashed potatoes?

Cauliflower has a very neutral flavor with a hint of sweetness. When it’s cooked, the raw, sulfurous notes disappear. The rigid structure effortlessly breaks apart in the blender, creating a velvety consistency that melts in your mouth. It’s heavenly, and I can’t get enough!

I have experimented with adding just a few white potatoes in with the florets, to add heartier texture and a more identifiable flavor, like in this recipe for cauliflower mash recipe with swiss chard. You can also check out this version if you’re on the hunt for a classic mashed potatoes recipe. This easy and uncomplicated side dish will leave you reaching for seconds.

cauliflower mashed potatoes in a bowl with a serving spoon

More side dish recipes

Smooth or chunky mashed cauliflower texture

I designed this recipe to have a light, airy, and creamy texture. This is achieved with a high shear tool with blades like a blender. However, if you’re a fan of the chunky texture, that is easy to do! Use a potato masher to break up the cauliflower pieces until a mix of smooth and rice-sized pieces are dispersed in the dish.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

The perfect low carb side dish, cauliflower mashed potatoes whipped with a dollop of butter creates a smooth and creamy consistency.
4.83 from 29 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American


  • 3 ½ quarts water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, for boiling
  • 10 cups cauliflower florets, 1-inch pieces, about a 3 pound head
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, as needed for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives


  • In a large pot add 3 ½ quarts of water and 2 teaspoons salt, bring to a boil.
  • Add the cauliflower florets and cook until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Carefully drain the cooked cauliflower well.
  • Add cauliflower, butter, and ½ teaspoon salt to blender or food processor.
  • Process until cauliflower pieces are smooth, 30 seconds.
  • Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  • Garnish with chives, serve warm.

Recipe Video

YouTube video


  • Recipes Yield: 3 cups
  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • MAKE IT WHOLE30: Use ghee or extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. Use sea salt instead of kosher salt.
  • MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE, VEGAN and PALEO: Use olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 58kcal (3%)Carbohydrates 8g (3%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 2g (3%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Cholesterol 5mg (2%)Sodium 271mg (11%)Potassium 498mg (14%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 3g (3%)Vitamin A 60IU (1%)Vitamin C 80.4mg (97%)Calcium 53mg (5%)Iron 0.7mg (4%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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11 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Donna Ogrady says

    Add garlic cloves and chopped onion to the cauliflower and boil in chicken broth. Return boiled and drained vegetables to cooking pan and steam off excess moisture. Process in food processor with 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup ghee until smooth. Stir in chopped chives.

  2. Teresa Barberry says

    If you’re boiling the cauliflower 15 – 20 minutes, doesn’t that destroy most if not all the water soluable vitamins?

  3. Darlene says

    Dear Jessica,

    Thank you for recipes that utilize regular kitchen appliances like a blender. or potato masher. In a small living space, I don’t have the luxury of space. I enjoy your recipes and science so much. You have made me fall in love with cooking again. Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Awww, you are welcome, Darlene! Sometimes simpler is better 🙂 I’m thrilled to hear that you have fallen in love with cooking again, that makes me so happy!

    • David Aubin says

      Are you Ok?????It’s a substitute for potatoes… one would make them if it just said mashed Cauliflower! Duh