Think mashed cauliflower can’t rival mashed potatoes? Think again! This cauliflower puree with sour cream and cheddar is so rich and creamy, your tastebuds will be singing.
I am not going stand before you and pretend that mashed cauliflower tastes exactly like mashed potatoes. I respect you far too much to be that disingenuous.
However, I am going show you exactly how to make the richest, creamiest, most flavourful mashed cauliflower recipe on the planet. And I urge to embrace this keto side dish for all that it is. Healthy, low carb, and absolutely delicious.
I’ve had this recipe for cauliflower mashed potatoes on the blog since 2013. And every time I take a bite, I remember why I love it so much. I think you will love it too.
Pair it with turkey for your Keto Thanksgiving celebrations, or use it to top Keto Shepherd’s Pie. Either way, it’s delicious!
Why you will love it
Cauliflower is just about the most keto friendly vegetable you can eat, and it’s also one of the most versatile. It’s a veritable shape shifter of a vegetable, willing to play the role often filled by starchy side dishes like potato or rice.
Now as far as mashed cauliflower is concerned, don’t try to fool your tastebuds. If you’re a serious mashed potato fan, you won’t think it tastes exactly the same. But you can love it for what it is – a healthy, delicious alternative.
The trick is to get it really creamy and smooth, but not too thin or watery. Adding sour cream and grated cheddar is key to a rich, thick consistency with amazing flavor. A little garlic doesn’t hurt either!
And since cauliflower doesn’t fill you up as much as real spuds do, you can eat far more of it in one sitting. With only 4.2g net carbs, you can have a nice big serving and not have to loosen your belt after dinner.
“All the stars for this one. My boyfriend hates cauliflower, and picks it out of everything. I made this and he ate it up. Said this way was the only way I should cook it from now on! That’s super high praise!! Great recipe ????” — Darci
“Amazing!!! So creamy, so thick and full of flavour! I honestly felt like I was eating mashed potatoes!! Best way to eat cauliflower, IMO ???? Thank you!” — Suzan
“This recipe is so tasty and yummy! My family and I love this! Perfect for easy dinner nights and goes great with our chicken nights!” — Beth
Ingredients you need
- Cauliflower: A large head of cauliflower is about 1 ¾ pounds, and should yield about 6 cups when chopped into florets. You can use the stem of the cauliflower, too, as long as you cook it until fork tender. Frozen cauliflower works well too and you can cook it right from frozen.
- Garlic: Since cauliflower has such a mild flavor, I steam and mash it with a few cloves of garlic.
- Sour cream: Use full fat sour cream as low fat tends to have fillers and can be higher in carbs. You can also use full fat thick Greek yogurt.
- Cheddar cheese: I love using sharp white cheddar for the best flavor. I recommend grating it yourself, rather than purchasing shredded cheese.
- Salt and pepper
1. Steam the cauliflower: Fill a large saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Add the cauliflower and garlic cloves and set over medium high heat. Cook until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
2. Drain well: Drain into a colander or sieve and shake to release as much excess moisture as possible. Let it sit a few minutes to drain fully, as it will continue to release moisture.
3. Puree: Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a food processor or high powered blender and add the sour cream. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl or jar a few times to help move the bigger pieces so the blades can catch them.
4. Add the cheese: Return the puree to the cooking pot and add the grated cheddar. Set over low heat to help melt the cheese and reduce excess moisture. Stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
The most common complaint you hear about cauliflower mashed potatoes is that they are too thin and watery. But they don’t have to be! Follow the steps I provide in the recipe and they should turn out rich and thick from the start.
However, if you still find yours a bit thin, you have a few options. You can add a litle softened cream cheese to the pot in the final step and stir until melted. Or you can add a keto thickener like glucomannan or xanthan gum.
Be sure to whisk it in well when the mashed cauliflower is hot. You don’t need more than about ¼ teaspoon per head of cauliflower.
Feel free to play with the flavors of this mashed cauliflower recipe. Here are some tasty ideas:
- Add crumbled bacon and chopped green onion for “loaded” cauliflower mash.
- Use Pepper Jack in place of the cheddar.
- Stir in goat cheese in place of the sour cream.
- Replace the cheddar with Parmesan and add some rosemary or Italian herbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
This mashed cauliflower recipe has 6.4g of carbs and 2.2g of fiber per serving. That comes to 4.2g net carbs per ½-cup serving.
The key to a thicker consistency is to drain the steamed cauliflower really well before pureeing or blending it up. Put the puree back into the warm pan and add grated cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and you should have a nice, thick texture. You can also add a keto thickener like glucomannan or xanthan gum.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months. Let it thaw completely before reheating gently in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.
How to serve it
Now that you know all the tips and tricks for making the best mashed cauliflower, what do you want to serve it with? It makes the perfect side dish for almost any keto recipe. Here are a few ideas for you:
Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 3 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup full fat sour cream
- 4 oz sharp aged Cheddar cheese grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a large saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Add the cauliflower and garlic cloves. Set over medium high heat and cook until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Drain into a colander or sieve and shake to release as much excess moisture as possible. Let it sit a few minutes to drain fully, as it will continue to release moisture.
- Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a food processor or high powered blender and add the sour cream. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl or jar a few times to help move the bigger pieces so the blades can catch them.
- Return the puree to the cooking pot and add the grated cheddar. Set over low heat to help melt the cheese and reduce excess moisture. Stir until smooth, then season to taste with salt and pepper.