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Go ahead, call me crazy… I’ve never been a huge fan of mashed potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, they are good. They just don’t have that “wow” factor for me. I don’t recall where I first heard about keto cauliflower mashed potatoes, but I was both a little skeptical and curious. Very curious.
I guess my story with cauliflower mash is similar to the one with cauliflower rice, isn’t it? It sure sounds familiar…
Why Keto Mashed Cauliflower?
My intrigue with the idea of low carb mashed cauliflower happened years ago, and I still remember how excited I was to try it. I recall thinking, how cool would it be to figure out how to make mashed potatoes out of cauliflower?!
I wish I remembered the first place that I found a mashed cauliflower recipe, but sadly I don’t. I’ve been making this for so long!
I can never say no to the idea of creating a creamy, low carb comfort food out of a healthy vegetable. That’s pretty much one of my favorite things ever when it comes to food.
So, even though keto mashed cauliflower is not really potatoes, that makes it all the more interesting. Just like spaghetti squash makes great low carb noodles!
Besides, cauliflower has tons of nutritional benefits over white potatoes. It’s packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, iron, and calcium. It’s definitely one of my favorite low carb veggies.
So, keto comfort food + nutrition? It’s no surprise that I had to try my hand at a keto cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe.
The Secrets to Perfect Cauliflower Mash
It definitely took some trial and error for me to get the perfect result to my liking. I’m excited to share it with you, so you don’t have to figure it out like I did.
It took me a couple tries to get the right texture for keto mashed cauliflower. My first attempt was a little grainy, and then a different time, it was too watery. It was like, yes, these are good, but they are no replacement for potatoes.
For the best cauliflower mashed potatoes, I wanted a whipped, smooth texture that was dense at the same time. Like actual mashed potatoes.
So, here is what I learned – the best tips for perfect cauliflower mash:
Get rid of every last bit of stems.
For the right texture, You only want the florets. No stems! The stems will result in a more grainy texture, so leave those out. You can re-use those for other low carb cauliflower recipes. And if nothing else, you can’t go wrong with throwing them into a stir fry.
Squeeze out the moisture
I know, I know. Squeezing cauliflower sucks. But, your keto cauliflower mashed potatoes will be much better if you do! If you have to, think of it as your workout for the day. Just don’t skip it. You won’t regret it once you see the dense, potato-like texture that you get as a result.
Make sure the cauliflower is cooked through
This seems obvious. What I mean by this is, you want to cook the cauliflower until it’s extremely soft. Don’t just get it crisp-tender. It needs to be SOFT. The softer it is, the smoother and creamier your result will be.
How To Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Paleo (or even Vegan)
These paleo cauliflower mashed potatoes were not the first version I made. For a while, I was making cheesy cauliflower mash instead. Obviously not paleo. In fact, this was originally posted in 2015 as that recipe, but I’ve since re-made it as a new and improved version.
The cheesy recipe was pretty good but required more ingredients. You know I’m a huge fan of five-ingredient recipes, so this new one is just that (not including salt and pepper). And, I really wanted a version of keto paleo cauliflower mashed potatoes.
Fortunately, if you’re wondering how to make cauliflower mashed potatoes paleo, it’s super easy. Obviously, cheese is out, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
The main swap for paleo cauliflower mashed potatoes is replacing heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk. It’s just a small amount for this recipe, so I don’t think it imparts a coconut flavor.
Be sure to use the thick coconut milk in a can, not the thin beverage in a carton. It needs to be relatively thick and creamy since its main purpose is making the mashed cauliflower more creamy.
You can still use heavy cream if paleo or dairy-free aren’t priorities for you, so I mentioned that on the recipe card. Either one will work. Otherwise if you’d rather not use coconut, there’s another roasted garlic cauliflower recipe you can try.
Otherwise, all the ingredients for this cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe are naturally paleo.
I used grass-fed butter. If you’d rather not, feel free to swap that out with ghee or even olive oil.
This keto mashed cauliflower recipe isn’t fussy. I just prefer butter for the flavor of real grass-fed butter, but other fats will work just fine.
If you use the coconut milk and olive oil, this recipe would even be vegan, too. This variation would also make it whole 30 friendly. These are not current priorities for our family, but I like to mention it for readers that would like that.
The Best Paleo Keto Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Recipe
The ingredients for paleo keto cauliflower mashed potatoes are crazy simple. Five of them!
Cauliflower, garlic, butter, coconut milk, and chives. Plus salt and pepper, which I don’t include in the ingredient count by convention.
With the tips above, you can make this the best cauliflower mashed potatoes you’ve ever had. They are, for me. The reason is the combination of the technique and the simplicity.
Those little tricks I told you about make all the difference. (Did you skip over that section above? Scroll up so that you don’t miss out!)
So, how do you make cauliflower mashed potatoes? It’s super easy. You just need 15 minutes!
Begin by steaming the cauliflower. You can do this in the microwave or on the stove, and I included instructions for both on the recipe card.
This is very straightforward, but the key here is to get the cauliflower very soft. If you don’t do this, your cauliflower mash will not be smooth and creamy.
Meanwhile, you can gather the rest of your ingredients. Combine the garlic, melted butter, and milk/cream in a food processor or high-power blender. You can also chop up the chives at this point.
Once you have soft, cooked cauliflower, drain it well over the sink. Then, wrap it in a kitchen towel and twist, twist, twist! You won’t get out as much liquid as you do with cauliflower rice, but there will be some.
Just try to get out as much moisture as you can. The more you do, the more you’ll have a dense, potato-like texture in your cauliflower mash.
Finally, add the cauliflower to the other ingredients in the food processor or blender. Blitz away, until completely smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If it’s too thick at this point, you can thin it out with more milk or cream. Like I said, this garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe is not fussy!
Stir in the chopped chives at the end, and you’re all set. Mmm… creamy, dense, keto paleo cauliflower mash. Try this recipe with crispy oven baked chicken or filet mignon – it’s the perfect side dish!
Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Paleo Recipe - 5 Ingredients:
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Tools To Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Stock pot – For cooking the cauliflower using the stovetop method.
- Glass bowl set – I highly recommend a glass bowl if you’re using the microwave method. Especially for longer microwave cook times like this, glass is better to use than plastic.
- Strainer – You can get rid of the moisture in the cauliflower by placing the cauliflower in this and then press down with a bowl. Alternatively, squeezing in a towel will also work.
- Food processor – The easiest way to puree the mashed cauliflower at the end. This is the one I use all the time and it gets it super smooth!
Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Paleo Recipe - 5 Ingredients
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- 1 head Cauliflower (florets only, stems completely removed)
- 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 3 tbsp Butter (measured solid, then melted; can also substitute olive oil or ghee for dairy-free)
- 1 tbsp Full-fat coconut milk (or heavy cream for non-paleo)
- 3/4 tsp Sea salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/8 tsp Black pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 tbsp Chives (chopped)
RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
- Cook the cauliflower on the stove or in the microwave.
Stove method: Boil a pot of water with a tablespoon (14 g) of salt. Add the cauliflower, and simmer until very soft (about 5-6 minutes). Drain well.
Microwave method: Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover with plastic wrap, so that the plastic is not touching the cauliflower. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes, until very soft, stirring halfway through. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, place the garlic, melted butter, and milk/cream into a food processor or high power blender.
Note: If you want to, you can saute the garlic first to mellow the flavor a bit.
- When the cauliflower is done cooking, drain well. Squeeze out as much extra water as possible. You can do this by wrapping the cauliflower in a towel and twisting, or by pressing a bowl down over a strainer.
- Add the cauliflower to the food processor or blender. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste, and puree again. If it's thicker than you like, thin out with more milk/cream.
- Stir in the chopped chives.
Serving size: 1/4 of the entire recipe
The exact serving size will depend on the size of your head of cauliflower, but a serving is about 1/2 to 3/4 cup.
Video Showing How To Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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