This deliciously satisfying mashed cauliflower recipe is not only healthy but also extremely easy to make. I also share three favorite ways my family enjoys this vegetable dish!
I grew up eating a lot of vegetables, and cauliflower showed up regularly on the table. We often enjoyed it raw in salads or cooked coated with some extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt. It was often also mashed into our boiled potatoes with other vegetables like kale or broccoli and served with codfish. It is such a versatile vegetable! But cauliflower can quickly turn into a beautiful mashed side dish without having to add potatoes, which is perfect if you are on a grain-free, low-carb or Keto diet. For this recipe, I also give you dairy-free and vegan-friendly options below.
GARLIC AND ONION MASHED CAULIFLOWER
Because cauliflower has such a mild taste, it readily absorbs flavors of other pairing ingredients. Garlic and sweet onions are great options because they take any bitterness out of the cauliflower while sautéing. The onions also add a subtly sweet flavor. Cook and stir the vegetables for at least 10 minutes to allow everything to come together and the seasoning to release its aromas.
BEST WAY TO SEASON CAULIFLOWER
I use simple seasoning like salt and pepper. Go a little heavy on the pepper if you prefer a punchier side dish. But it is the nutmeg that gives this vegetable that warm spicy aroma. If you can, grate fresh nutmeg instead of using ground—it is even better.
THREE WAYS TO ENJOY THIS SIDE DISH
As a dinner side dish: I enjoy pairing it with oven-roasted crispy chicken wings, seasoned with heartier herbs like Thyme or Rosemary. Another great option is white fish like cod, sautéed in olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper. By the way, kids love this with fish sticks! Here are some other main dinner ideas that go well with this cheesy cauliflower mash:
Make it a Vegan Dish: use coconut or plant milk instead of butter and add frozen peas and shelled edamame beans. Defrost them first for a couple of seconds in water. Then allow them to cook with the mashed cauliflower and onions for 10 minutes. Stir in vegan cheese until melted and serve with apple mouse on the side. Adding the apple mouse to this side dish is also extremely popular with kids.
Make a hearty breakfast: you can quickly reheat any leftovers the next day in a pan, coated with some olive oil. Add an egg (or two) and mash it in. It is a hearty and filling breakfast. I sometimes add crispy bacon.
Have questions? Simply comment below or message me.
- 1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds/900 grams), or 2 (16-ounce) packages rice cauliflower will do as well
- ¼ cup (60 grams) oat milk, pea milk, or melted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 shallots (about 4 ½ ounces/130 grams), peeled and coarsely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons grounded nutmeg
- 1 cup (90 grams) grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley leaves to garnish
- Remove outer leaves from cauliflower. Cut up the vegetable into florets and further coarsely chop the florets—core included. Omit this step if you use the packaged rice cauliflower.
- Place the cauliflower in a high-speed blender or food processor with the plant milk or butter. Blend on high speed until pureed. You might need to puree a certain amount of cauliflower if your blender is not large enough to hold everything, and then add in and puree the rest of the florets (or rice cauliflower) in batches—set aside.
- Cover the bottom of a large skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onions. Cook and stir for 3 more minutes. Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper.
- Transfer the sauteed garlic and onions to the blender containing the pureed cauliflower. Mix everything for a few seconds or until the sauteed veggies are completely blended in with the cauliflower.
- Cover the same large skillet again with one tablespoon of olive oil and heat over the same medium heat.
- Transfer the pureed veggies from the blender to the skillet, spreading it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir frequently to avoid browning for at least 5 minutes or until the pureed cauliflower mix is fully cooked.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Note: a good indication that your cauliflower is ready is by the smell. The aroma of the pureed raw cauliflower will have disappeared completely and taken over by the aroma of the nutmeg, at this point, taste test.
- When fully cooked, stir in the grated cheese until completely melted.
- Garnish with fresh parsley leaves, chives, or extra grated cheese to taste (optional).
Storage: leftovers are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days
Reheating: reheat leftovers either in a pan over the stove for a few minutes or quickly in the microwave. Best to add a teaspoon little olive oil to prevent the cauliflower from becoming too dry.