Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower
How to make creamy mashed cauliflower in less than 20 minutes. This is easier than mashed potatoes. No peeling! Our recipe makes cauliflower that’s light, fluffy, and creamy all in the same bite. Jump to the Easy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
How to Make the Best Mashed Cauliflower
This recipe started as a replacement for our beloved mashed potatoes, but then it took a turn. We fell in love. Creamy, tasty cauliflower without any guilt! Mashed or “smashed” cauliflower is very simple to make and is so versatile. Our recipe only calls for a few extra ingredients, but you can always spice things up.
Whether you make our basic recipe or add your spin, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
Cauliflower Cooks Quickly — There’s no need to boil the cauliflower for more than 10 minutes. You can tell the cauliflower is done when you can pierce it with a fork.
Let the 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, the mashed cauliflower will be watery.
Use a potato masher — If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know we hate washing extra dishes. For the absolute creamiest mashed cauliflower, you can make a cauliflower puree by using a food processor or blender. We actually like some texture in our cauliflower mash so we use a potato masher instead. This recipe is all about quick so we make our mashed cauliflower without a food processor.
Spice it Up — Our recipe below is straightforward and thanks to a bit of cream cheese, it’s extra creamy. 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.
Add your favorite spices, garlic oil, chili oil, or some shredded cheese. We love spicing cauliflower up. Our roasted Thai curry cauliflower and this chili lime roasted cauliflower are great examples. Blue cheese and caramelized onions would be fantastic. Cheddar cheese and a little bacon would also be delicious. Anything goes.
More Easy Cauliflower Recipes
- TUTORIAL: How to Buy, Choose, and Cut Cauliflower. Cauliflower is so versatile and is packed with vitamin C and K. Click over to our simple tutorial showing how to buy and cut cauliflower the best way.
- This Easy Herbed Cauliflower Rice is packed full of flavor, healthy, low-carb and quick to make.
- I love this Parmesan Lemon Roasted Cauliflower. It’s so easy to make and tastes incredible. We also shared a Thai curry version that you might enjoy.
- If you love buffalo wings, try our Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings. Everyone loves them.
- A new favorite! Perfectly golden brown and tender Cauliflower Steaks topped with chimichurri sauce.
Recipe updated, originally posted January 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower
Mashed or “smashed” cauliflower is light, fluffy and creamy. Best of all, though, it’s easy. Our recipe calls for a little cream cheese, which adds extra creaminess. You can 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.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 medium cauliflower or 4 cups cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons cream cheese
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Pinch ground or grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon sliced green onion, optional
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. Drain the cauliflower, and then throw back into the hot pot (off the heat) and cover with lid. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes.
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, grate a little over the cauliflower using a Microplane). Stir then serve with sliced green onions on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Make it vegan: This is a vegan-friendly recipe, just leave out the cream cheese and replace with vegan butter. A sprinkle of nutritional yeast is also a nice touch and will add a bit of “cheesy” flavor to the cauliflower.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We omitted salt from the calculations since you will need to add to your tastes.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
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Just made this to accompany your turkey meatloaf (thanks for the link, exactly what I was looking for!) Very yummy and easy to make, added a little Parmesan for extra flavor too. And I cooked the whole head of cauliflower in my instant pot, 2 mins in a steamer basket with a cup of water in the bottom just for speed’s sake. Will be making again, thank you!
It’s a winner. omitted the nutmeg cuz i didn’t have it. didn’t have cream cheese so i used some other soft cheese i had. also didnt have onion so i just put 1 tbls parmesan cheese insted. so yummy and so easy. loved it
My boyfriend turned up his nose at the idea of mashed cauliflower. I ignored this and made these anyway and didn’t tell him what it was til he was “mmm-mmming”. I made this as a side to your juicy pan pork chops. He was really impressed. Made for a romantic dinner without being too heavy. Thanks!
Can this recipe be made in advance and then warmed up in oven or microwave?
Yes, definitely. Just keep it covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to reheat.
I’ve always wanted to try mashed cauliflower but also always thought it was gonna be difficult. This recipe is SUPER easy and it is delicious! I added 1/2 cup of shredded cheese at the end and that gave me my cheese fix! Highly recommended!
Best mashed cauliflower I have ever had. Thank you!! Wouldn’t change a thing!
Five stars! Made it with frozen florets, low boil for 12 minutes. Other than those changes I followed the recipe. It was yummy! Not quite the texture of mashed potatoes but close enough! I served it with pork chops, gravy and corn. Mixed it with my corn just like I would mashed potatoes! This recipe is a keeper!
I was craving some cauliflower mash, but had no idea how to make it. I tried making it your way and it tastes exactly how I remember my pop making it when I was younger! Thank you so much for sharing.