20 Minute Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

How to make mashed cauliflower in less than 20 minutes. These are even easier than mashed potatoes. No peeling! Jump to the full Mashed Cauliflower Recipe now. Or, watch our quick, straight-forward recipe video showing you how to make them.

This recipe started as a replacement to our beloved mashed potatoes, but then it took a turn. We fell in love. This mashed cauliflower recipe is light, fluffy, and creamy all in the same bite. It’s easy, too — let me show you how to make them.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Parmesan and LemonYOU MAY ALSO LIKE THIS: Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Lemon is simple to make and has parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. The cauliflower becomes sweet, nutty, and delicious. A must try! We have a similar recipe with broccoli.

Secrets to Making the Best Mashed Cauliflower

How to make mashed cauliflower in less than 20 minutes.

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 things up. Whether you make our basic recipe or add you own spin, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

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.

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 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.

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.Think about adding your favorite spices, garlic oil, chili oil, or some shredded cheese. (We love spicing cauliflower up. Our roasted Thai curry cauliflower recipe is a great example.

Blue cheese and caramelized onions would be amazing. Cheddar cheese and a little bacon would also be delicious. Anything goes.

How to make mashed cauliflower recipe in less than 20 minutes.

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

20-Minute Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK

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.

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.

Makes 4 Servings

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, just 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, simply 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

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 75 / Protein 4 g / Carbohydrate 8 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 3 g / Total Fat 4 g / Saturated Fat 2 g / Cholesterol 12 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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38 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Jess June 26, 2018, 7:29 am

    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.

  • Bubbletea February 17, 2018, 10:08 am

    Can the cauliflower mash be frozen?

    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 1:17 pm

      Hi there, Yes, definitely. We recommend freezing in portions then thawing in the refrigerator before reheating.

  • chris October 5, 2016, 6:10 pm

    I just love it. Thanks

  • Jay April 15, 2016, 6:43 pm

    An immersion blender does a great job, too.

  • Ann Mahon February 11, 2016, 2:23 pm

    More tasty than potato….what a good idea …and a good vehicle for experimentation ! I have just made it and tasted a little and going to put it under the grill before enjoying later this evening . I’ll have fun with this one and have the family guessing Thank you for this …….I wonder if Jamie Oliver knows about this !

  • Coralie February 6, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Super easy recipe – we love it! A real winner in our home. Our favourite twist is to add grain mustard to make the perfect accompanient to the traditional sausages and mash. Yummy!

  • Marisa January 23, 2016, 4:59 pm

    I just made these and WOW. The only thing that I did differently was that I pureed it in a food processor. Tastes just like real mashed potatoes. Freaking love!!! Thank you!

  • Chris January 10, 2016, 6:36 pm

    Thank you so much! i am researching vegan ideas for my meals and you have made this so simple. of course, i will find a replacement for the cream cheese 🙂 It was fun watching and listening to you 🙂

    • Natalie January 29, 2016, 8:54 pm

      Instead of cream cheese you can use a little sour cream or ranch sauce, maybe even yogurt.

  • Sorbus December 7, 2015, 12:11 pm

    Well this didn’t work at all! I must have done something very wrong because my end result was a bunch of watery bits of cauliflower, nothing like I expected. Maybe the cauliflower was still to raw? Although I steamed it for 20 minutes or so…

    • Joanne December 22, 2015, 12:58 pm

      Try mashing a little longer next time. It’s possible the cauliflower wasn’t as tender as it needed to be (although, 20 minutes sounds right).

  • Chantale June 13, 2015, 4:46 pm

    Wish I saw your blog and recipe before I made my first attempt at cauliflower mash. Will definitely try it your way next time. I was very careful and boring with my first attempt but then started following my instinct by adding pecorino cheese, garlic & herb spice and little bit of cream and off course S&P. End the end my mash was saved and received with open arms.


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