Meat Free Monday: How To Make Creamy Mashed Cauliflower without the Cream

This creamy Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower is a guilt free low carb replacement for our beloved Mashed Potato. It is creamy even without the cream, and can even be made dairy free by removing the cheese in it.

Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

We love Mashed Potato, the creamy texture, the soft and fluffy melt in your mouth consistency, all that but not so much on the carbohydrates we got from it. Well, this Mashed Cauliflower is the answer, it’s taste good but most of all its low carb. It’s not Mashed Potato but it’s good enough to replace it and actually be satisfied with it.

I’ve been having a blasts using Cauliflower in so many of my dishes. From my Cauliflower Curry, Roasted Cauliflower, Popcorn Cauliflower and more. Cauliflower is not something that I used often before, but recently I had been buying this almost every week. This Mashed Cauliflower is one of the BEST used I had for the Cauliflower. It’s creamy even without cream or milk and it taste good, I did not even miss Mashed Potato, it’s as good as it gets.

Mashed Cauliflower

What is the best Cauliflower for Mashed Cauliflower

Often times I buy a whole cauliflower and cut it into small pieces, sometimes I even use my food processor to break it down into tiny pieces. This works but will require extra time, but if you want to simplify the process the best way is to use an already “rice” cauliflower. You can buy this in a bag just like salad greens. Not only that it will save you time, “rice” cauliflower is the best one to use because it will cook faster and mash easier without any extra prep work. It cost a little bit more, but it saves you some time. It’s up to you, whichever works for you in terms of time and budget. But again, if you have few money to spend, get the “riced” cauliflower. It will produce the best creamy Mashed Cauliflower.

Can I use colored Cauliflower?

However tempted you are to use the yellow, green or purple variety, control yourself not to use it. These colored cauliflower don’t hold up well to boiling and puréeing so using the white cauliflower for best result.

How to Make Mashed Cauliflower

Tips for the Creamiest Mashed Cauliflower

  • Sauté the cauliflower before boiling: This soften the cauliflower even before cooking and it gives a nice flavor and taste. You can use butter or olive oil. Butter will enhance the flavor, but it you want to keep it healthier, use olive oil instead.
  • Just barely cover the cauliflower with water: If you are used to using a lot of water when boiling vegetables, this should not be the case when making Mashed Cauliflower. Use only as much water as needed, that is just enough to submerge the Cauliflower pieces.
  • Boil until tender: The longer it cooks, the creamier the result will be. Unlike Mashed Potato, Mashed Cauliflower is not as fragile in terms of handling.
  • Use the cooking liquid for mashing or puréeing:  Instead of using cream or milk when mashing or pureeing the Cauliflower, use the cooking liquid instead. The cooking liquid will add flavor to the Mashed Cauliflower, it will make the texture and consistency lighter less the extra calories you get from cream or milk. but if you don’t  care about any of this, then go ahead and use milk or cream instread.

What You need to make this Mashed Cauliflower

  • Cauliflower – Use only white Cauliflower: “Rice” is better but you can also buy whole Cauliflower and chop it to small pieces.
  • Herbs and Spices:  Salt, pepper, garlic for flavoring and taste
  • Butter:  For flavoring and creamy buttery taste. Can be removed if you want to make it dairy free.
  • Parmesan Cheese:  Adds make flavor and taste. You can use other types of cheese or even remove it to make this dairy free.
Small Batch Mashed Cauliflower

Mashing or Puréeing the Cauliflower

There are few ways that you can puree or mashed the Cauliflower depending on your preferred consistency and texture.

  • Blender or Food Processor: This is the fastest and easy way to go that will give you a smooth creamy texture.This work best for both “riced” Cauliflower or manually chopped Cauliflower.
  • Immersion Blender:  This will also give a smooth or chunky texture and easier to control the texture as you can stir it as you go.
  • Potato Masher: This will give a less smooth but chunky texture and consistency, a more rustic look.
  • Potato Ricer: Will  give a smooth texture and consistency but you have to make sure that the Cauliflower is super tender and in small  pieces.
Healthy Mashed Cauliflower


  • 543g Cauliflower – Riced or chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove (or 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tbsp Cauliflower Cooking Water
  • 2 cups Water (for boiling)


  1. Chop the Cauliflower to small pieces (If using whole cauliflower). Remove the core (the hard part) and use only the florets. The smaller the pieces, the faster it will cook.
  2. Saute the Cauliflower: In a heated large pan, add the olive oil and cauliflower. Sauté, stirring occasionally, cover until the cauliflower has lightened in color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Boil the Cauliflower: Pour water into the pan, cover and bring to boil. Cook until the Cauliflower is tender. To test, spoon few pieces into a plate and use a fork to mash it. If you can mash it easily without exerting too much effort, then it is done. This could take more or less 10 minutes. Adjust time as needed.
  4. Drain the Cauliflower: Drain the Cauliflower and reserve the cooking liquid for use later.
  5. Mashed/Puree: Depending on what tools you are using, mash/puree the Cauliflower.
    • If using a Food Processor or Blender: Transfer the cooked cauliflower into the food processor. Add cauliflower cooking water, butter, salt, pepper and garlic. Puree to desired consistency. Add parmesan cheese and mix manually to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
    • If using Immersion Blender: Retain the cooked Cauliflower in the pan. Add cooking water, butter, salt, pepper and garlic. Puree to desired consistency. Add parmesan cheese and mix manually to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
    • If using Potato Masher: Transfer the cooked cauliflower into a bowl. Add cauliflower cooking water, butter, salt, pepper and garlic. Mash to desired consistency. Add parmesan cheese and mix manually to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
    • If using Potato Ricer: Fill the potato ricer with cooked Cauliflower. Transfer mashed Cauliflower in a bowl. Add cauliflower cooking water, butter, salt, pepper and garlic. Mash to desired consistency. Add parmesan cheese and mix manually to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Serves 2 -3

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information was calculated using Veryfitwell Recipe Calorie and Nutrition Calculator. For details about Nutritional Information in this website, please read the Disclaimer page.

Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

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