Think mashed cauliflower can’t rival mashed potatoes? Think again! This sour cream and cheddar cauliflower puree is so rich and creamy, your tastebuds will be singing.
Be sure to check out the video in the recipe card to see all the tips and tricks!
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 delicious keto side dish for all that it is. Healthy, low carb, and absolutely delicious.
I’ve had this recipe for sour cream and cheddar mashed cauli 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.
Is cauliflower keto?
Heck yeah, it is! With only 5 grams of carbs and 2.1 grams of fiber per cup, cauliflower is just about one of the most keto friendly vegetables you can eat.
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. And doing an admirable job of it, I must say.
I don’t think I appreciated just how useful it was until I came to the low carb lifestyle. Up to that point, I’d eaten it mostly raw or lightly steamed, perhaps once in a while having it in a gratin or some other more complicated dish. Nothing too fancy.
But now I have a growing collection of cauliflower rice recipes that I adore. I also make cauliflower mash almost every year for our Keto Thanksgiving celebrations. And my Slow Cooker Pepper Jack Cauliflower remains one of my most popular recipes to this day.
There is just so much to love about this unassuming white vegetable.
How to season mashed cauliflower
Don’t try to fool your tastebuds. If you’re a serious mashed potato fan, you aren’t going to think it tastes exactly the same. But you can love it for what it is – a healthy, delicious alternative.
Since cauliflower doesn’t fill you up as much as real spuds do, you can eat far more of it in one sitting. And it’s up to you how to season it and serve it. It’s a blank slate, waiting for you to come along and make it interesting.
You could simply do the classic butter, salt, and pepper. Or add a little garlic and onion. I’ve got a great recipe for Creamy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower. And one of my favorite ways to serve it is in Keto Shepherd’s Pie.
Back in the day, I used to love the old Sour Cream and Cheddar potato chips, and I realized it would be the perfect flavor combination for cauliflower mash. All that luscious cheese and cream results in a smooth, rich flavor that rivals any mashed potato recipe.
How to make super creamy mashed cauliflower
There are a few tricks to getting the best texture and flavor for your keto cauliflower mash.
Add some garlic cloves right into the pot as you steam the cauliflower. The flavor will permeate right through and the garlic will cook sufficiently to be mashed along with the cauliflower.
You don’t want to overcook your cauliflower, but you don’t want to undercook it either. It should be fork tender, which means you can easily pierce the florets with a fork.
You want to drain away all the cooking liquid before proceeding. Any amount of extra liquid will make your mashed cauliflower more runny. Be sure to shake the colander or sieve to drain off any excess water.
Puree until smooth
You want to use a good blender or a food processor to get a creamy, smooth consistency. Mashing with a potato masher just won’t work as well. You will find that you need to scrape down the sides of the jar or bowl a few times with a rubber spatula. This helps to get the larger pieces of cauliflower to the center so that the blades can catch them properly.
Add some creaminess
Add the sour cream to the blender or food processor help the cauliflower blend up more smoothly.
Return to the pot
Return the cauliflower puree to the cooking pot and add in the cheese and seasonings. You can set the pot over low heat to help you melt the cheese. This will also help cook off any excess liquid.
How to thicken cauliflower mashed potatoes
Perhaps one of the most common complaints about mashed cauliflower is that it’s too thin and watery. This can be avoided if you take the steps I outlined above, draining the cauliflower very well before blending, and returning it to the cooking pot. Mine usually turns out rich and thick from the start.
However, if you still find yours a bit on the thin side, you have a few options. You can add a bit of cubed 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 1/4 tsp per head of cauliflower.
What to serve with mashed cauliflower?
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:
- Keto Meatloaf
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Instant Pot Leg of Lamb
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Easy Keto Steak Bites
- Keto Pizza Chicken
Creamy Keto Mashed Cauliflower
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 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.
- 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.
- Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a food processor or high powered blender. 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.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.