This is the best keto cauliflower mash recipe! It’s rich, thick and creamy, and packed with delicious roasted garlic, herbs, and beautiful butter pools. This is the kind of low carb cauliflower mash that won’t make you even miss the real deal!
I think it’s safe to say that the cauliflower rice and cauliflower mash trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon. I know some people think the keto diet or keto recipes may be a bit of a fad, but I have seen it change and transform so many lives and the healthcare of many for the better.
Though I have even been known as a cauliflower hater over the years, as a chef and keto recipe developer however, I have worked hard to find and utilize a variety of techniques to make it not only be passable, but honest to goodness delicious too.
If you haven’t checked out all the tips and tricks yet to making the best cauliflower rice, you should definitely do that first before making this mash! Because making good cauliflower mashed potatoes means making good cauliflower rice as a base first.
I know there are a lot of cauliflower recipes out there, but you would be crazy to pass on this one. It’s easy to make, is thick, smooth and creamy (the way real mashed potatoes are). They are packed with roasted garlic, fresh herbs, and a ton of butter, creating the ideal keto friendly side dish. Get the full breakdown of making this recipe step by step below.
- Baking Sheet
- Medium Pot
- Immersion Blender
- Rubber Spatula
Here is a quick keto culinary guide to making cauli mash worth your while. Below I am answering a variety of questions to help you make the most of this fauxtato side dish.
Is mashed cauliflower “good” for you?
Good is a relative term with any food. The real question you’re looking for is, why do people substitute cauliflower for regular mashed potatoes in the first place? The answer to that, is that it is much lower in net carbs and if you are following a keto or low carb based diet, cauliflower allows you to have a similar side dish (and similar texture) to classic mashed potatoes.
Does cauliflower taste like mashed potatoes?
Um, that’s a negative. But, it can still taste delicious (even to someone who is by no means a fan of the stuff). The trick to a good tasting cauli mash is roasting your cauliflower from scratch or roasting the pre-made frozen cauliflower rice. Roasting is a dry heat method that produces a more flavorful and less soggy end result. By avoiding microwaving and essentially steaming the cauliflower, you can control the amount of liquid instead while imparting flavor.
Still not loving that cauliflower taste?Add other delicious things like roasted garlic confit, fresh herbs like sage, rosemary, or chives, and butter.
Other variations could include bacon, ham, or crispy prosciutto, You could doctor it up with cheddar or Parmesan cheese as well. The goal here is not to make it taste like mashed potatoes, but for it to not taste like cauliflower (but feel like mashed potatoes).
Making it from scratch VS from frozen riced cauliflower-
Both options are doable, but fresh cauliflower involves more steps (cutting the cauliflower, processing it into rice, cleaning more tools and making a bigger mess). Frozen cauliflower rice is my go to for ease and time! As mentioned in the previous section, baking the frozen rice on a baking sheet reduced the water content and will still result in a delicious mash! So make it easy and go frozen when possible.
How to make thick cauliflower mashed potatoes?
Maybe you’re no stranger to this side dish, but maybe you are finding yourself with watery, soggy, and all too thin fauxtatoes instead. Sounds pretty awful to me!
Besides roasting the cauliflower or the frozen riced version, I prefer to not add any liquid (cream or milk) like you would in standard mashed potatoes. To get the same flavor and affect, I prefer to sub for cream cheese or maybe sour cream. This creates a thicker base and helps keep the texture fluffy and creamy instead.
Best methods for mashing the cauliflower?
After roasting my riced cauliflower, I add it to a pot on medium heat and combine the butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper, and the roasted garlic together. Mix it with a rubber spatula and allow the heat of the rice to melt the butter and soften the cream cheese. Use the immersion blender to cream the cauli mash together nicely to create the perfect keto friendly sub!
No immersion blender? Well, use what you have! Food processors, blenders, and small smoothie bullet style blenders will work too but maybe just not as well as the previous mentioned technique. That doesn’t mean it won’t taste good, but with this recipe I just find that texture is king and the key to a good end result!
Serving, storing, and using the leftovers-
Pour the mash into a large bowl, add a quick swirl with the spoon over the top so there are some great cracks and crevices in place for the butter to pool. I did a quick pan fry of some sage in the garlic confit olive oil (because flavor people) and added that on the top to garnish. Fresh rosemary, thyme, green onion, parsley, or chives are a great subs as well.
Store the extras in a container for up to five days and use the leftovers to make my colcannon style cauliflower mash recipe too! This is easy to recreate with some sauted cabbage and some crispy chopped corned beef for texture and flavor too.
The full recipe for this is below, if you are looking for other stellar keto cauliflower recipes then check out the following:
- 1. Prepare the cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen) by roasting it per the directions here.
- 2. In a medium pan over medium heat, combine the roasted riced cauliflower, cream cheese, butter, and garlic confit. Mix with a rubber spatula to allow the heat to soften the cream cheese and the butter.
- 3. Once softened, use an immersion blender (or other blender/ processor) to mix and mash the cauliflower mixture until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 4. Serve in a large bowl with melted butter and fresh herbs for garnish (I pan fried some sage that's pictured in the leftover oil from the garlic confit) like chives, parsley, or rosemary.
Looking to diversify the flavor but keep the texture? Add 1/4-1/2 cup of cheddar or Parmesan cheese, ham or bacon, etc to add some other flavor profiles!