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. Or watch our quick, straight-forward recipe video showing you how to make them.

Watch Us Make The 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.

Easy Mashed Cauliflower

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.

Mashing cauliflower with potato masher
Mashing with a potato masher leaves some texture in the cauliflower mash. For an ultra creamy mash, use a food processor or blender.

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.

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower

More Easy Cauliflower Recipes

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

  • PREP
  • COOK

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.

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, 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

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/4 of the recipe / 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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45 comments… Leave a Comment
  • 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… 😉

    • Anne November 22, 2015, 5:08 pm

      I loved this recipe. I boiled the cauliflower in half low-sodium chicken broth and half water with 4 garlic cloves for 8 minutes. After the cauliflower and garlic was boiled, I put it all in the food processor. OMG, the consistency was smooth and the flavor so good! I had my dad try it, telling him it was garlic mashed potatoes(he hates cooked cauliflower). He liked it! I may add 3 garlic cloves next time.

  • Sam May 12, 2014, 12:30 pm

    Thank you for very clear an concise video

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: CalorieCount.com

      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.

  • 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.) 😛 very tasty and creamy texture; with just a bit of “lumpiness” – just like mom’s mashed potatoes, lol!

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

    this was so good will def make again

  • 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

  • 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.

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

    Oh heaven help my face.

  • 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!

  • 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 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!


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