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

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower

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.

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

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

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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47 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Kay Kell June 11, 2018, 11:37 pm

    It says that it is four servings, but what is the serving size? I want to put this recipe in MyFitnessPal if that is okay! This is the ABSOLUTE way to make mashed cauliflower and it is a CONSTANT in my house! Thank you!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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…..my hubby is doing the paleo diet so this will work for his “mash potatoes”. 🙂

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

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


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