How to Make Cauliflower Mash

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Mashed cauliflower, or cauliflower mash, is often called cauliflower mashed potatoes… even though the only essential ingredient is a head of cauliflower! It’s hard to get much healthier than that! Cauliflower mash is a nearly identical twin of mashed potatoes when it comes to appearance on a plate, minus the starches that potatoes also bring to the table.

How to Make Cauliflower Mash

How to Make Cauliflower Mash

The trick to making a smooth and creamy mashed cauliflower is to overcook the vegetable! That’s right the cauliflower should be steamed until it is falling apart. Here are the steps and options to make cauliflower mash. The nice thing about this recipe is that it is pretty hard to mess it up. When making mashed potatoes, if the potatoes are over whipped in the final steps then the resulting product will be gummy and sticky instead of soft and airy. Cauliflower would never do this!

Here’s the basic recipe for making mashed cauliflower.

  1. Wash and chop a head of cauliflower.
    Make sure to use the stems too, they will mash up just as well as the flowers.

  2. Place the cauliflower into a steamer basket and cover.
    If using a metal steamer basket, now place it over boiling water and let it steam for about 20 minutes.
    If using a microwave safe steamer basket, place the cauliflower into the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes.
    The cauliflower can also be boiled if no steamer basket is available, but less vitamins and minerals will be refined in the mash.
    For either method, allow the cauliflower to steam until it is very soft. It should fall apart when touched with a fork.

  3. Purée the cauliflower.
    – This step is generally done with a mixer, but it can be done in a number of ways depending upon the desired result. A mixer with the whip attachment will produce the smoothest result, closest to what is generally considered mashed potatoes. A food processor can be used if more texture is preferred in the mash. A Vitamix or blender can also be used, generally if a very smooth mash is desired. And, again as with mashed potatoes, if you don’t mind lumps in the mash then you can even mash it by hand using a heavy whip (which is what we did for this pic).
    – Although some people are purists and will simply whip the cauliflower, most people will add about 2 to 4 tablespoons of room temperature butter to a head of cooked cauliflower before mashing.
    – Warm milk, cream or any type of broth that matches the protein can also be used to thin the cauliflower mash to the desired consistency.
    – Flavorings like salt, pepper, nutmeg, rosemary and/or sage can make nice additions to the cauliflower mash.
    – All of these additions (the fats, liquids and herbs) should be added during this mashing step.

  4. Serve.
    The cool thing about cauliflower mash is that it can be used to make beautiful platings, especially if you’ve got dark colored dishes.
    It can be a main dish or a side dish.


    Or, it can serve as an underlayment to raise a beautiful piece of fish or meat into a 3D serving presentation. Either way, for newbies to cauliflower mash it will totally confuse them as to what they are really eating!

How to Make Cauliflower Mash

Additional Information

To find out how long cauliflower lasts, see our cauliflower page.

Riced cauliflower is another option to use an entire head of cauliflower and there are now several ways to get it: buy a bag in the fresh vegetable section, buy a bag in the frozen vegetable section, or make it yourself with these easy instructions.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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