The Best 5-Ingredient Keto Creamy Cauliflower Mash takes less time to prepare than traditional mashed potatoes and is way healthier! Made with steamed cauliflower, butter, cheese, and salt, this low-carb side dish is perfect for special occasions or weeknight dinners.Jump to Recipe
Push the potatoes aside because we’re making The Best 5-Ingredient Keto Creamy Cauliflower Mash instead. This low-carb side dish is rich, creamy, soft, and out of this world buttery. Ready in less time than it takes to make mashed potatoes, this new staple recipe can easily become a permanent part of your weekly meal prep.
A low-carb cauliflower mash doesn’t need much to help it taste amazing. Just like your favorite mashed potatoes, this easy recipe is made with butter, cheese, and a handful of seasonings for full flavors.
Keto and low-carb lovers aren’t the only ones who will get a kick out of mashed cauliflower. It’s a healthy option you can serve to fit with your New Year’s goals, for the holidays, or when you need a quick side dish during busy weekdays. Serve it next to a ribeye steak, salmon patties, or green vegetables for a nutritious and delicious dinner.
Does cooked cauliflower taste like mashed potatoes?
Whether you’re sticking to a keto/low-carb diet or not, mashed cauliflower is delicious, light, and just as creamy as traditional mashed potatoes. The biggest difference is that the nutritious and light cauliflower won’t weigh you down as much as the starchy potatoes.
Mashed cauliflower is mixed with butter, cream cheese, and salt to add fat and flavor. Just like with mashed potatoes, you need this fat the create a creamy texture, cut down on the starch, and to help the side dish taste its best. It’s even better when you add the extras, like roasted garlic, dill, butter, sour cream, or chives!
What you need to make keto cauliflower mash
- Cauliflower – The best hack to making a quick cauliflower mash is buying pre-cut cauliflower! If you’re looking to save time, just cut the florets away from the cauliflower and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to make this recipe.
- Butter – Just like the best-mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash needs butter! It adds delicious fat and flavor to each bite and helps achieve that silky smooth texture.
- Cream cheese – This helps give the mash its creamy texture while holding everything together. It also adds a sweet and tangy flavor.
- Parmesan cheese – For added creaminess and flavor. Always use freshly grade for best results.
- Sea salt – Just a pinch or two will do!
How to make keto mashed cauliflower on the stove
- Steam 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.
- Mash and season the cauliflower: Add the soft cauliflower, butter, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese to a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste it as you blend and add in salt or any other seasonings as needed.
Tips and tricks
- Creamy cauliflower mash starts with the steam. Boiling cauliflower in water will make it wet and mushy instead of soft and creamy. Cauliflower that’s been steamed will dry as it cools down and absorbs moisture.
- Let the cauliflower sit in a colander or strainer after it’s done steaming. Letting the steamed cauliflower sit for a few minutes will help it retain heat and moisture, and prevent the mash from being watery.
- If the mash does turn out watery or thin, you can thicken it by stirring in more cream cheese until you reach the desired consistency.
- 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.
- You can roast the cauliflower instead of steaming to add layers of flavor. Toss it in a little olive oil and roast the florets on a baking sheet at 450ºF for about 30 minutes.
- Season the mash with any herbs you like, such as dill, chives, parsley, or crispy herbs like sage.
- Add more flavor or texture to the mash by stirring in roasted garlic, bacon, fresh parsley, or more cheese.
- Looking for dairy-free mashed cauliflower? Replace the cheese and butter with olive oil or plant-based butter and cream cheese.
Can you make creamy mashed cauliflower ahead of time?
Yes, you can make a cauliflower mash ahead of time! Save time by separating the florets away from the cauliflower head days before making this recipe. Then you can make the mash and keep it in your fridge for a few days or even freeze it (see directions below)!
Can you freeze cauliflower mash?
I would recommend freezing your mash before adding the cream cheese. The texture just won’t be the same once it thaws because dairy just isn’t great at freezing. Instead, make the mash without the cream cheese and freeze in a ziploc bag.
What goes well with keto cauliflower mash?
Serve this creamy keto side dish with these delicious recipes and more:
The Best 5-Ingredient Keto Creamy Cauliflower Mash
- 6 cups cauliflower florets or one large head
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter divided, cut into smaller chunks
- 3 oz cream cheese cut into smaller chunks
- 2 cups parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 3/4 tsp sea salt more to taste
- 2 tbsp dill for garnish
- If using a whole head of cauliflower, remove florets from head and cut into similar size pieces.
- 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 about 10 minutes, until cauliflower is fork-tender.
- In a food processor, add the cauliflower, 3 tablespoons of butter, salt, cream cheese.
- Puree for a few minutes on high, until smooth. Scrape the sides as needed and finish blending until fully pureed.
- Add parmesan cheese and blend to combine. Adjust salt to taste.
- Sprinkle with chopped dill or another fresh herb of choice. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on top if you'd like. Serve hot and enjoy.