Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

This recipe began as a replacement to our beloved mashed potatoes, but then it took a turn. We fell in love. Our mashed cauliflower recipe is light, fluffy, creamy and rich all in the same bite. It’s easy, too — in fact, it’s easier than mashed potatoes. No peeling!

Simple Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Secrets to Our Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Mashed or “smashed” cauliflower is very simple to make and is so versatile. Our recipe only calls for a few extra ingredients, but you could really spice the cauliflower up a lot. Whatever you do, though, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Cauliflower Cooks Quickly

There’s no need to boil the cauliflower for more than 10 minutes. You’ll be able to tell when the cauliflower is done when it’s easily pierced with a fork.

Let Cooked Cauliflower Stand

We’ll do this when we make mashed potatoes, too. Just after draining, throw the cooked cauliflower back into the hot pot you cooked it in. Cover, then let it stand 2 to 3 minutes. During this time, the cauliflower will continue to steam and any extra moisture will reabsorb into the cauliflower. If you don’t do this, you risk the cauliflower being watery.

Spice it Up

Our recipe below is very simple and tastes creamy and light. We love it so much we’ll eat it with a spoon, but there are so many things you could do to spice up the flavors. Think of what you could do to mashed potatoes — this is the same. Blue cheese and caramelized onions would be amazing. Cheddar cheese and a little bacon would also be delicious. Or, add a little smokiness with some cumin. Anything goes.

Simple Creamy Smashed Cauliflower RecipeDid you like our Simple Creamy Mashed or “Smashed” Cauliflower Recipe? If so, we bet you’ll also love these:

4.8 from 8 reviews
Simple Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Why we love this recipe. While this recipe began as a replacement for mashed potatoes, it quickly became one of our favorite sides. Mashed or “smashed” cauliflower is light, fluffy and creamy. Best of all, though, it’s easy.

What you need to know. Our recipe calls for a little cream cheese, which we think adds extra creaminess. You could omit it, though. The cauliflower would still be quite delicious. We also call for a tiny bit of nutmeg, which rounds out the flavors and adds a little richness.

Equipment you’ll need. You will need a large pot with lid, chef’s knife, potato masher and if you are freshly grating the nutmeg, a microplane.
Created By:
Yield: 4
You Will Need
  • 1 medium cauliflower or 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/2 ounces (43 grams) cream cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground or grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green onion (optional)
Cook Cauliflower
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut cauliflower into florets then add to boiling water and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until a fork can easily be pierced through the cauliflower.
  2. Drain cauliflower then throw back into the hot pot (off the heat) and cover with lid. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes.
Mash Cauliflower
  1. Add the cream cheese, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to the cauliflower. Then, use a potato masher to smash the cauliflower. Finish with a pinch of nutmeg. (If you have whole nutmeg, just grate a little over the cauliflower using a microplane).Mashed Cauliflower Recipe Steps
  2. Stir then serve with sliced green onions on top.

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24 comments… Leave a Comment

  • Clem January 6, 2013, 12:43 pm

    Great recipe! I’ve been looking (who isn’t) for healthier recipes for January, this one is definitely on my list!

  • Susan January 6, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Thank you for the yummy sounding combination of cauliflower with nutmeg, onion, and cream cheese! I’ve made mashed cauliflower with a consistency of mashed potatoes – in a food processor with added butter and milk. Then I add in some grated cheddar cheese. Also sooo great!

  • Lindsey January 6, 2013, 10:19 pm

    Yum! We LOVE mashed cauliflower in our house! I cook the cauliflower in chicken stock instead of water so that it has more flavor. :)

    • Jeneen November 27, 2014, 5:18 pm

      I agree, I use the chicken stock as well n it’s a very yummy recipe.

  • Mandie January 7, 2013, 3:25 am

    I’ve never liked mashed potatoes, but I liked anything else mashed—sweet potatoes, squash, rutabegas, parsnips, etc. I’ve never tried it with my favorite veggie, cauliflower, though. Thanks for the tips! I’ll be sure to try them soon :)

  • Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon January 7, 2013, 8:53 am

    We LOVE cauli mash at our house. Makes me feel completely not guilty about going back for seconds!

    • Adam January 7, 2013, 5:07 pm

      or thirds!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks January 7, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Oh heaven help my face.

  • Jessica January 8, 2013, 2:51 pm

    This is a great idea and could be a great substitute for mashed potatoes as a healthier alternative. I’ve never seen this before but think it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  • Fiona Maclean January 14, 2013, 5:58 am

    I’ve been mashing celeriac to reduce calories and carbs – looks like cauliflower is a great alternative as I know some poepl don’t like the celery taste you get with that

  • lynnette clark February 27, 2013, 5:07 pm

    this was so good will def make again

  • kristi de March 5, 2013, 8:14 pm

    i made these tonight and they are DELICIOUS! next time, double the recipe! (and i used chicken broth to boil the cauli.) :P very tasty and creamy texture; with just a bit of “lumpiness” – just like mom’s mashed potatoes, lol!

  • Bruce April 21, 2013, 9:17 pm

    I love this site. I can’t believe it has all this information and does not contain the nutritional values. I must be missing it. I am a senior citizen and I am sure that must be it. Could some one tell me where to look for this information.

    • Joanne April 22, 2013, 12:43 pm

      Hi Bruce, At the moment we do not provide nutrition facts for our recipes. It is something we are considering, though. For now, a great resource is this url:

      It allows you to copy the ingredient list of our recipe and paste it into the form. Then it outputs nutritional facts. Hope that helps.

  • peggy May 10, 2013, 2:00 pm

    just found your page i am going to try the hummus and mashed cauliflower tonight’ Do you have vegan recipes? peggy

    • Joanne May 11, 2013, 9:30 am

      We have a meatless category and we may have a few recipes that can be vegan adaptable but we do not have specifically a vegan category.

  • Josie May 4, 2014, 5:23 pm

    This is a very good idea, so I tried it and liked it. I used onion and chive cream cheese for more flavor. can’t wait to make this again for my family.

  • Sam May 12, 2014, 12:30 pm

    Thank you for very clear an concise video

  • Amanda June 2, 2014, 6:58 pm

    This is sooo good! I bet it would fool the crowd at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving!! I would even serve it to my dad (who hates cauliflower)! Of course I wouldn’t tell him what it was… ;)

  • Bo Stenberg July 14, 2014, 3:08 am

    Brilliant. I added bacon fat. I wash my meds down with bacon fat. What the hell.

  • Meginnah July 19, 2014, 10:43 am

    Well everyone else boiled their califlower….where as I just placed it in the microwave for about 12 minutes…..still extremely moist and easy to cut into chunks. I made the mistake of putting too much garlic for my first batch….so next batch I will not use any garlic per hubby’s request. Added about 1/4 of cup of cream cheese, butter….no milk needed and placed in the food processor…..the consistency was amazing… hubby is doing the paleo diet so this will work for his “mash potatoes”. :)

  • Lindsay Smith November 21, 2014, 11:02 am

    This recipe looks great -especially the suggestions from Bo Stenberg. can this be made in advance and reheated? any tips would be appreciated.thx

  • Paula January 30, 2015, 8:12 pm

    I love this recipe! I am moving toward cooking a healthy diet. My husband usually likes potatoes with everything. I tried this recipe, thinking that he would definitely give it a “thumbs down.” Instead, he really liked it and I’ve been cooking it in place of mashed potatoes — a much healthier, and tastier, replacement.

  • Jane Harris March 9, 2015, 1:56 pm

    I made it substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream. After putting mashed cauliflower in a casserole dish I sprinkled flavored breadcrumbs on top followed by a thin sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and finished with a drizzle of EVOO. I place in oven and broil until golden brown and crusty.


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