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swirls of mashed cauliflower in grey bowl with chives

Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower is a low carb, creamy alternative to regular mashed potatoes. This version is so full of flavor!

Cauliflower is so popular in low carb eating plans. It takes the place of starch in everything from cauliflower rice to tortillas.

bowl of cauliflower mashed potatoes with chives and a spoon

If you’re looking to sneak some more veggies into your routine, try making this mashed cauliflower as a side dish. It’ll go well with any main protein from chicken to fish.

Is Cauliflower Low in Carbs?

As a vegetable, cauliflower is low in carbs. A 100-gram serving of cauliflower has 5 grams of total carbohydrate. Of that, 2 grams is fiber. That makes the net carbs 3 grams which makes it a great substitute for denser carbs like white potato or sweet potato.

Low carb diets aren’t for everyone. However, if you need to lower your carb intake, making swaps like this mashed cauliflower recipe can be a great way to get started toward changing things up.

large grey bowl of mashed cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower Ingredients

Mashed cauliflower has the texture of mashed potatoes. However, because it contains no potatoes, the final dish is much lower in carbs. That makes cauliflower mash if you’re following a lower carb eating plan.

The main ingredients in this recipe are simply cauliflower and garlic. The garlic adds plenty of flavor but it’s not overwhelming.

Olive oil helps make the final mashed cauliflower creamy. If you’d like, you can substitute the olive oil with avocado oil. Or, use ghee or butter if you can tolerate dairy.

This side dish is seasoned simply with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley for an added color and flavor boost.

swirls of mashed cauliflower in grey bowl with chives

How to Make Mashed Cauliflower

Making this cauliflower mash is very easy. With a few basic ingredients, you’ll be surprised at how tasty this simple mashed cauliflower side dish is. Follow these steps:

  • Cut the cauliflower florets off the core, and peel the garlic cloves.
  • Steam the cauliflower and garlic for about 8 minutes or until tender.
  • Next, combine the steamed cauliflower and garlic in a food processor along with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Process the ingredients until the mixture is smooth and you end up with mashed cauliflower.

bowl of mashed cauliflower on dark background

Other Tasty Cauliflower Recipes

Looking for more delicious cauliflower recipes? You’re in luck. Check out these cauliflower recipes from the archives:

swirls of mashed cauliflower in grey bowl with chives

Mashed Cauliflower

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: AIP, American, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo, Plant-Based, Veggies, Whole30
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 71 kcal

Mashed Cauliflower is tasty, low carb alternative to regular mashed potatoes. It's creamy and satisfying with a hint of garlic. See how easy it is to make!



  • 2 lb cauliflower
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Rinse the cauliflower and cut the florets away from the core. 

  2. Place the cauliflower florets and garlic cloves into a medium saucepan along with about one inch of water. You can also use a steaming basket with one inch of water under it.

  3. Steam for 8 minutes until the cauliflower is tender when pierced.

  4. Put the steamed cauliflower and garlic cloves into a food processor or high speed blender. Add the olive oil, pepper and salt. Process for 30 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.

Recipe Notes

This mashed cauliflower can be frozen.

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Nutrition Facts
Mashed Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 239mg10%
Potassium 458mg13%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin C 73.3mg89%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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pinterest pin of large bowl filled with mashed cauliflower and chives for garnish

Recipe was originally published in September, 2012 and was updated to include new photos, an improved recipe, and more information.

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37 Responses

  1. I am so excited to try this version Steph!!! I tried one version that I had to use coconut milk in it and it tasted like coconut so much. It was not good at all!!! 🙁 I may make this tonight!!!

    1. Awesome! You could also try butter (if you are doing that) or ghee as an alternative to the olive oil. You could also try adding in some dried chives or parsley 🙂

  2. I LOVE Cauliflower! Raw, roasted… I like it with curry and other random spices. Tried the garlic mashed once before and it didn’t turn out, as you mentioned. This recipe sounds yum!

  3. I did this recipe but I added sauteed spinach, leaks and rosemary into the food processor. Looks like green baby food, smells and tastes delicious!

  4. This was so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it! I only had one head of cauliflower so I halved the recipe and I think I ate half of what was made before my husband got home for dinner. I roasted my garlic instead of steaming it and used some lemon garlic flavored olive oil. YUM!
    My husband is not a big veggie fan (although he is trying really hard to eat/like more) and he even ate these. Thanks!

  5. Oooh all the garlic in this sounds delish. Cauliflower mash has been one of my favourite things since starting paleo 6 months ago, going to try this version!

  6. I loved this!!!! I followed it exactly minus the food processor, I used a blender. The consistency was exactly like my Mom’s mashed potatoes loaded with butter and milk. My boyfriend, who doesn’t like vegetables, ate some thinking they were mashed potatoes and asked why I gave him such a small portion! He was fooled! I also let coworkers try it and a couple asked for the recipe. I’m totally addicted! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

  7. Hi, First time to your site and this is my 1st day with the Paleo lifestyle. Will definitely try this recipe and thanks for the other versions of adding cabbage, onion and bacon!
    Looking forward to finding other recipes on your site!
    Thanks Again Steph!

    1. First day?! 🙂 Oh wow…that is such an honor to have you visit my site on the first day! I wish you great success and much health 🙂

  8. Hi! Do you know if I can substitute butter for the olive oil? I like to have a buttery taste, but I’m not sure if I should substitute, or just add butter also. Thanks!

    1. And I just realized you answered that in another comment. I will melt the butter first and see how it goes 🙂

  9. Made this for my family tonight and everyone loves it! Even my picky eater son!! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Mary…I’ve never tried. I’m guessing it would be okay but it might be hard to make a smooth consistency if you’re using the “riced” cauliflower.

    2. Yes frozen is fine. I just boil it with the garlic till done, drain and season. I use a potato masher.

    1. If you like the taste of butter, then use organic MELT it tastes just like butter and its dairy free/soy free. you can find it in the dairy section at Clarks or Sprouts.

      1. Hi Marianne…I really appreciate your suggestion. I went ahead and looked up Melt because I’d never heard of it. Turns out, it contains canola and sunflower oil, two industrial seed oils. It does say these oils are expeller pressed which is a better method than most industrial oil production, but the resulting oils are still very fragile. This product seems healthy, and though it’s dairy free, it’s not what I’d classify as healthy. Even when some people can’t eat most other forms of dairy, they can eat cultured ghee or butterfat. It’s a delicious, stable, healthy oil. Coconut oil is another option. I know how confusing food labeling can be!

Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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