Mashed Cauliflower, Really?

March 20, 2017 | Christine Hradek

Mashed Cauliflower, Really?

Our featured recipe this month is Roasted Cauliflower. It is delightful and probably my favorite way to eat cauliflower. You can’t miss the buzz around cauliflower over the past couple of years. I have noticed many recipe sites and food bloggers using it to mimic other foods like pizza crust, rice or mashed potatoes. This intrigued me, so I decided to try out the cauliflower mashed potatoes myself.

I read a bunch of recipes online and most have very similar steps. I made mine in the microwave because I thought that would be the simplest. Here is what I did.

  1. I cut a small head of cauliflower into florets. You want the florets small so they soften quickly while cooking.I put the florets in a microwavable dish with a lid and added two cloves of chopped garlic and ¼ cup of water.
  2. I microwaved the dish for five minutes, stirred and then two minutes more until the cauliflower was soft.
  3. I used a potato masher to mash the cauliflower as much as I could.
  4. I added one tablespoon each of butter and light sour cream along with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  5. I was left with just shy of two cups of mashed cauliflower.

The verdict?

I feel I need to share that I have a deep love for mashed potatoes, so this cauliflower was going to have to be pretty fabulous to win me over. That being said, I would make this again and it is a quick and tasty way to eat cauliflower. It does not taste like mashed potatoes; it tastes like mashed cauliflower.

I have a few tips based on my experience.

  • I typically add milk to mashed potatoes. The cauliflower did not need any liquid added to it, so you can save your milk for dinking.
  • I used basic seasonings, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. You could easily substitute garlic powder or your favorite seasoning blend.
  • I was not able to get my cauliflower completely smooth with a potato masher. It tasted fine, but was somewhat fibrous. I gave it a buzz in the food processor and it became much smoother and much more like mashed potatoes. Here are two pictures that show the difference.

Food Processor

Hand Mashed









Cauliflower is inexpensive and low in calories. It also contains vitamins C and K as well as folate. If cauliflower is new to your family, try it mashed and see what you think – just don’t tell them it’s mashed potatoes!

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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