Creamy and Delicious Low Carb-Keto Mashed Cauliflower

Looking for a satisfying savory side dish that’s simple to make? Try our low-carb keto cauliflower mash!

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by
Rebecca Washuta
— Signos
MS, CNS, LDN
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Reviewed by

Rebecca Washuta
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
December 4, 2023
October 16, 2023
— Updated:

Table of contents

When it comes to versatile foods, cauliflower is having its moment. Low in carbohydrates and high in nutrients, cauliflower is now commonly used in place of ingredients like flour (like in pizza crust) and rice (like in cauliflower fried rice). Cauliflower can also be substituted for potatoes like in this recipe for creamy keto mashed cauliflower. 

If you’re looking to satisfy your craving for a delicious savory dish, while still keeping your blood sugar and weight in check, look no further. Mashed cauliflower makes an excellent side dish served alongside pasture raised chicken or steak, can be used to top a shepherd’s pie, or accompany comfort foods like meatloaf and meatballs. This dish is naturally gluten free and can certainly fit in with a low-carb diet.

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Mashed Cauliflower Nutrition

Cauliflower is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables available today. Belonging to the Brassica family (along with its cousins broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage) cauliflower contains the powerful phytonutrient sulforaphane which has shown to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.1 Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin B6, and has important minerals like magnesium and phosphorus.2

Below is the nutrition information for our low carb keto mashed cauliflower:

Servings: 4

Amount per serving:

Calories: 4

Fat: 8.8g

Cholesterol: 21mg

Sodium: 367mg

Total Carbs: 4.1g

Dietary Fiber: 1.7g

Total Sugars: 1.6g

Protein: 1.9g

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Mashed Cauliflower Ingredients

This simple and healthy mashed cauliflower recipe calls for just six ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (6 cups florets)
  • Choose organic whenever possible. Try purple or orange cauliflower for a fun twist! You can also use frozen cauliflower if needed.
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Healthy monounsaturated fats from olive oil increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins D and K. Look for expeller-pressed or cold-pressed olive oils, as these will be more nutrient-dense. 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Butter gives this dish a rich flavor that will remind you of buttery mashed potatoes. Opt for pasture-raised organic butter when you can. 
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • Cream cheese offers a savory flavor and creamy texture that really pulls this dish together. 
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Similar to cauliflower, garlic also contains phytonutrients that offer anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.3
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Add salt to taste (so you may want to use more or less than this amount). Choose Himalayan sea salt for extra minerals. 

How to Make Mashed Cauliflower

Follow these steps to make the best mashed cauliflower. 

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

  1. Wash and chop cauliflower florets into small pieces and place them in a steamer basket.
  2. Fill a pot halfway with water (just below where the steamer basket sits) and bring it to a boil on your stovetop.
  3. Place the steamer basket in the pot with boiling water and cover with a lid.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer and cook cauliflower for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Mince garlic and add to a large pan with olive oil and black pepper. Sauté on low-medium until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat.
  6. Remove cauliflower from the steamer and drain. Add garlic, cream cheese, butter, and sea salt to a food processor. Puree for 1-2 minutes or until you have a completely smooth cauliflower puree. Top with fresh chives or fresh parsley as an optional garnish.

How to Store Mashed Cauliflower?

Mashed cauliflower is best served warm so you can eat it immediately or store it in the refrigerator and reheat it later. It should be placed in an airtight container to reduce the risk of contamination and seal in the moisture. Like all leftovers, mashed cauliflower is good for up to three to four days. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases.4 

Tips for Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Looking for the creamiest keto side dish? Try these tips:

  • Add a tablespoon of plain unsweetened yogurt
  • Add a tablespoon of half and half or heavy cream
  • Chop florets extra small so they blend more easily in the food processor
  • Store in an airtight container to lock in the moisture

Other recipe variations include:

  • Swap half the cream cheese with sour cream, add in chopped, cooked bacon, shredded cheddar, and sliced green onions for a “loaded potato” version.
  • For a dairy-free version, substitute almond cream cheese for the cream cheese and add olive or coconut oil instead of the butter.
  • Add other vegetables like sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Add your favorite cheese the the food processor to make these mashed cauliflower “potatoes” extra creamy. The best cheeses for this recipe are cheddar cheese, gruyere, gouda, and parmesan cheese.

Mashed Cauliflower Keto Alternatives

If you love mashed cauliflower, try these other delicious keto side options:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is mashed cauliflower keto-friendly?

Cauliflower is naturally low in carbohydrates, as are the other ingredients in this recipe, making it keto-friendly.

Can you cook cauliflower in the microwave?

Yes! If you prefer to use the microwave instead of the stove to cook the cauliflower, the dish will come out just as good. We recommend microwaving on high 2 minutes at a time and then checking to prevent overcooking. 

Can this recipe be made dairy-free?

Absolutely! You can use vegan butter and almond cream cheese in place of traditional dairy if you prefer.

Learn More About Healthy Habits and Nutrition with Signos’ Expert Advice 

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References

  1. Quirante-Moya, S., García-Ibañez, P., Quirante-Moya, F., Villaño, D., & Moreno, D. A. (2020). The Role of Brassica Bioactives on Human Health: Are We Studying It the Right Way?. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(7), 1591. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071591
  2. US Department of Agriculture. (2019, April 1). Cauliflower, raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169986/nutrients
  3. Shang, A., Cao, S. Y., Xu, X. Y., Gan, R. Y., Tang, G. Y., Corke, H., Mavumengwana, V., & Li, H. B. (2019). Bioactive Compounds and Biological Functions of Garlic (Allium sativum L.). Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 8(7), 246. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8070246
  4. US Department of Agriculture. (2020, July 31). Leftovers and food safety. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/leftovers-and-food-safety#_Store

About the author

Rebecca Washuta is a licensed dietitian with degrees in neuroscience and nutrition and helped individuals develop long-term health habits and achieve various wellness goals.

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