A vibrant low carb side dish, Purple Cauliflower Mash With Roasted Spiced Cauliflower is a lighter option than your everyday mashed potatoes. Its colorful hue with roasted cauliflower and cilantro on top will be a popular choice at dinner parties or for the family.Jump to Recipe
Add a pop of color to your dinner with this Purple Cauliflower Mash With Roasted Spiced Cauliflower! Topped with extra roasted spiced cauliflower, melted butter, and fresh cilantro, it takes your everyday cauliflower mash to new levels.
This rich and creamy recipe is keto, low-carb, and gluten-free. Its vibrant purple hue will make it a popular choice at the dinner table next to stuffed chicken thighs or pork chops. As if it couldn’t get any better, this cauliflower mash recipe takes less time to prepare than mashed potatoes and doesn’t skip on the flavor.
Topped with tender and spiced roasted cauliflower, this side dish is unique, healthy, and perfect for spring or summer. It’s delicious on its own or served next to more colorful keto side dishes like Butter Lettuce Salad and Beet Terrine.
What is purple cauliflower?
Cauliflower can turn purple when it’s exposed to a lot of heat or sunlight. This heat activates something called “anthocyanin” which also gives blackberries, red cabbage, and blueberries their signature colors.
Purple cauliflower is safe to eat and completely natural. Plus, the flavor isn’t affected and tastes the same as white cauliflower.
Ingredients you need to make purple mashed cauliflower
- Purple cauliflower – Cauliflower is in season here in the US around April and May through July. You should be able to buy purple cauliflower at grocery stores, health food stores, or at your local farmer’s market when it’s in season.
- Butter – Because you can’t have creamy mashed cauliflower without the butter!
- Cream cheese – This helps with the mash’s texture while lending a touch of tangy flavors.
- Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated parmesan is best.
- Seasonings – Smoked paprika and garlic powder will season the roasted cauliflower, adding smoky and savory flavors to the mash’s garnish.
- Garnishes – Top your mash with more melted butter and fresh cilantro for a beautiful presentation.
How to make creamy cauliflower mash
- Roast the cauliflower: Begin by roasting some of the cauliflower florets. They’ll be added on top of the finished purple cauliflower mash.
- Steam the rest of the cauliflower: Place a steaming basket over a large pot filled with water. Boil the water and add the cauliflower florets into the basket. Cover with a lid and cook until fork tender.
- Make the cauliflower mash: Add the steamed cauliflower, cream cheese, salt, and butter to a food processor and puree. Finish by pureeing the mash with the parmesan and a pinch of salt.
- Season and serve: Add the mash to a large serving bowl, top with the roasted cauliflower and your garnishes, then serve.
Recipe tips and variations
- Steam the cauliflower for the creamiest results. Boiling it in water will make the florets wet and mushy. Cauliflower that’s been steamed will absorb moisture as it cools.
- Let the cauliflower sit in a colander or strainer after it’s done steaming. This will help the florets retain their heat and moisture, and prevent the mash from being watery.
- Can’t find purple cauliflower? You can make this recipe with white cauliflower instead.
- If you don’t have a food processor, make the mash using an immersion blender or a regular blender. If you like a bit more texture, use a potato masher instead.
- Add more savory toppings or mix-ins, like fresh chives, bacon, caramelized onions, herbed mushrooms, or roasted garlic.
Making cauliflower mash ahead of time
You can easily prepare the cauliflower mash ahead of time. Prepare the cauliflower by separating the florets away from the head days ahead of time. When you finish the mash, just keep it in your fridge for up to 3 days before serving.
Storing, freezing, and reheating
I recommend freezing the mash before you’ve added the cream cheese, otherwise the texture won’t be the same once it thaws. Make a separate batch without the cream cheese and freeze in a ziploc bag. After it thaws, you can mix in the cream cheese by pureeing it all in a food processor.
Any leftover mash and roasted cauliflower can be stored separately in airtight containers in the fridge. They’ll both stay fresh for up to 3 days, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheat the roasted cauliflower in a 350ºF oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to retain its texture. The mash can be reheated for a few minutes in the microwave or in a skillet over low heat on the stovetop.
What goes well with purple cauliflower mash?
Just like mashed potatoes, this cauliflower mash goes with almost anything! Serve it as a colorful side dish next to these delicious dinner options:
- Keto Baked Crusted Salmon
- Citrus and Thyme Pan-Seared Lamb Chops
- Keto Chicken Kofta
- Lemon Butter Scallops
- Herbed Prime Rib Roast
Did you try this Purple Cauliflower Mash With Roasted Spiced Cauliflower? Let me know what you think and leave a comment below! Don’t forget to also take a picture of your recreation and tag me on Instagram. I love to see all of your photos!
Purple Cauliflower Mash With Roasted Spiced Cauliflower
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut florets into bite-size pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 head purple cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into smaller chunks
- 3 oz cream cheese, cut into smaller chunks
- 3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
- ¾ tsp sea salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp cilantro, or your favorite soft-leaf herb
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- Cut cauliflower florets into small bite-size pieces. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and ¼ tsp Kosher salt. Add to a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, making sure to flip the florets halfway.
Steamed Purple Cauliflower Mash
- Using a paring knife, take the cauliflower apart into florets.
- In a large pot or pan, add water up to the steamer basket fitted over it. Bring water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets into the steamer basket.
- Cover the steamer basket with a lid. Lower the temperature and bring water to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until cauliflower is fork-tender. TIP: make sure the water isn't touching the cauliflower, it will make the cauliflower watery, which you don't want.
- In a food processor, add the cauliflower, 3 tablespoons of butter, salt, and cream cheese.
- Puree for a few minutes on high, until smooth. Scrape the sides as needed and finish blending until fully pureed. Add the parmesan cheese and blend to combine. Adjust salt to taste.
- Plate the cauliflower mash in a bowl, arrange roasted cauliflower on top, and sprinkle with cilantro. Add extra butter pieces, serve hot and enjoy.