Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

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This Creamy Mashed Cauliflower recipe will make you forget that mashed potatoes even exist! A comforting, buttery, garlicky cauliflower mash recipe that is easy to make and complete in under 20 minutes!

Need something quicker? Grab my recipe for Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower. 😍

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower served in a serving bowl and topped with a pat of butter and chopped parsley.


Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Take out your blenders, friends; we’re about to whip up some cauliflower into a creamy mashed amazingness! Bursting with garlic flavor, this buttery Cauliflower Mash is celebrated not just as a substitute for traditional mashed potatoes but also for its great taste and texture. Pureed or mashed cauliflower is a savory side dish that is ready in under 30 minutes, and can be served with a range of main courses, from a perfectly cooked new york strip steak to a succulent roast chicken, and to classic pork schnitzel. Flavored with savory butter, aromatic garlic, tangy buttermilk, and a sprinkle of cheese, it’s a dish you’ll be proud to set on your dinner table any night of the week.

Why We Love Mashed Cauliflower

  • Potato Alternative: Swapping out potatoes for cauliflower is a genius way to make better food choices without sacrificing flavor.
  • Versatility: Mashed cauliflower is an excellent choice for those who want a unique and lighter side dish. It pairs with a variety of main courses, including roasts and seafood. It’s also kid-friendly, making it a versatile option for family meals.
  • Quick and Easy: In a world where every minute counts, having a side dish that’s both delicious and ready in 15 minutes is invaluable.
Steamed cauliflower florets in a skillet.

Ingredients For Mashed Cauliflower

  • Cauliflower florets: You can either roast or boil the florets.
  • Butter: Adds richness and creaminess.
  • Garlic
  • Buttermilk: Helps to achieve the creamy consistency in the cauliflower mash, and it adds tangy flavor to the dish.
  • Parmesan cheese: Brings a salty flavor to the mix.
  • Italian Seasoning, Salt, & Pepper

How to Make Mashed Cauliflower

Whether you’re aiming for a quicker homemade meal, seeking culinary variety, or just wanting a mouthwatering side dish, this cauliflower mash recipe ticks all the boxes.

  • Roasted or Boiled? The Choice is Yours! How you prep your cauliflower can change the dish’s entire vibe. Roasting provides a rich, deeper flavor, taking the dish to a whole new level. On the flip side, boiling is your best friend when you’re pressed for time.

Using Roasted Cauliflower Florets:

  • Take a head of cauliflower, cut into florets, mix with olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 450˚F.
  • When cauliflower is done, melt butter and sauté the garlic; add garlic to prepared cauliflower florets and mix in buttermilk, parmesan cheese, and seasonings.
  • Grab a handheld immersion blender and blend to a desired consistency.

Using Boiled Cauliflower Florets:

  • Take a head of cauliflower, cut into florets, and boil in salted water for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  • When cauliflower is done, melt butter and sauté the garlic; add garlic to prepared cauliflower florets and mix in buttermilk, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. 
  • Grab a handheld immersion blender and blend to a desired consistency. 
  • Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. I almost always add more salt… and cheese.

Optional Add-Ins For Cauliflower Mash

  • Cheesy Cauliflower Mash: Add a combination of cheddar, mozzarella, or gruyere for a cheesy mash.
  • Oils: Whether it’s a touch of truffle oil, aromatic garlic, or spicy chili, oils can enrich the dish.
  • Green onion slices Or chopped chives: Perfect for a mild, oniony flavor, it’s a zesty addition for a mild bite.
  • Diced bacon: Salty and crispy, a meaty contrast to the smooth mash.
Mashed Cauliflower served in a white bowl and topped with butter and parsley.

Immersion Blender, Traditional Blender, Or Potato Masher

You can use a traditional blender, just as I have done with my Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower. However, I find that it’s easier to get to that desired consistency when I use an immersion blender. I like my mashed cauliflower to have a bit of texture. Creamy, yes, but a bit of chunky and rustic, too. If using a traditional blender, you will need to blend the cauliflower in a couple of batches, maybe even three, depending on the size of the blender. If you’d like a more textured cauliflower mash, use a potato masher

Tips For Mashed Cauliflower

  • Draining is Crucial: Ensure the cauliflower is thoroughly drained after boiling or steaming. Excess moisture will make your mash too watery. A trick to make mashed cauliflower as creamy as possible is to let the steamed cauliflower florets cool down after you’ve drained them. This way, the cauliflower will dry as it cools, absorbing some of that moisture.
  • Roasting for Depth: Roasting the cauliflower before mashing can add a deeper, nuttier flavor. This method might take longer but it is worth it for the added taste.
  • Temperature Matters: Serve your cauliflower mash warm. If it cools down and you need to reheat it, use a microwave or stovetop, but avoid overcooking.
  • Taste Test before serving! Always taste the recipe for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  • Creamy Dream: Swap buttermilk with heavy cream or crème fraîche for an ultra-luxurious texture and taste.
Cauliflower Mash served in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

You can pretty much serve mashed cauliflower wherever you would normally serve mashed potatoes. I love serving mashed cauliflower with this easy meatloaf (the instant pot meatloaf version works, too!) or air fryer steak. Another classic pairing could definitely be our juicy baked chicken breasts or my beef bourguignon!


  • You can store completely cooled mashed cauliflower in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Stir and reheat before serving.

More Cauliflower Recipes


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4.82 from 11 votes

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower is a comforting, buttery, and garlicky cauliflower mash recipe that is easy to make and it’s done in under 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 serves


  • 8 cups cauliflower florets,, about 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon butter,, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic,, roughly chopped
  • cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning,, or any other dried herbs or seasonings that you prefer
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley,, for garnish
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  • If Roasting The Cauliflower Florets: Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Toss the cauliflower florets with a tablespoon of olive oil; spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 18 to 20 minutes or until tender.
    If Boiling The Cauliflower Florets: Fill a large frying pan with 1/4 inch water; add 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower florets; cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. DRAIN WELL and set aside for 3 to 4 minutes to steam-dry.
  • Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • Stir steamed (or roasted) cauliflower florets into the pan with the garlic. Add remaining butter and buttermilk. Grab the immersion blender and blend to a desired consistency.
  • Stir in parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Add more butter or buttermilk to make it creamier.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with parsley, and serve.


  • Drain: After boiling or steaming, drain the cauliflower thoroughly to avoid a mushy, watery cauliflower mash. 
  • Let the steamed cauliflower florets cool down for a few minutes after you’ve drained them. This way, the cauliflower will steam-dry as it cools, and it will absorb some of that water.
  • Roasting: Though it takes longer to make the cauliflower mash, I prefer to roast the cauliflower florets because we like the added depth of flavor.
  • Cheese it Up: Adding your favorite shredded cheese will add a richer taste.
  • Texture Preference: For a more rustic mash, don’t blend it too smooth. Leave some chunks to give it a hearty feel.
  • Out of buttermilk? Grab my recipe for Homemade Buttermilk.
  • If using a traditional blender, you will want to blend the cauliflower in batches because hot liquids can expand and explode when you blend them.


Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 504mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 97mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. VM says:

    My husband is on keto and we paired this with steak. Came out so so good!

    I am dairy-free so I ended up using coconut cream and blended it all in my Vitamix. It was a bit thick for the Vitamix so I added chicken broth to get a creamier consistency. Will definitely make this again thank you for this recipe! 🙂