Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower | Cookie Monster Cooking

When I was growing up, my very favorite side dish at Thanksgiving was always my mom’s mashed potatoes.  I would load up a huge portion on my plate, passing over plenty of other sides that my brain didn’t even register because of my utter focus on that creamy dreamy bowl of goodness.  She makes a mean mashed potato I tell you.

While I certainly do still love mashed potatoes, this creamy mashed cauliflower has become the object of my affection in recent years.  I’m not exactly sure when the change happened, but somewhere along the way I started to prefer this dish.  I’ve tinkered with my recipe over time, trying to find the best way to achieve that creamy consistency that reminds me of actual mashed potatoes.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower | Cookie Monster Cooking

And bingo, here it is.  The little bit of cream cheese and milk really help to give it that silky smooth texture.  And oh is it good.  While this side dish is a great option for Thanksgiving, it is something that we enjoy all throughout the year as well.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower | Cookie Monster Cooking

Getting a decadent feeling while eating lots of a healthy vegetable?  I’ll take it.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
Yield: about 4 to 6 servings
  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, florets chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 9-10 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • about ¼ to ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • fresh chopped rosemary, for garnish
  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add in the cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.*
  2. Drain and then carefully transfer the cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor. Add in the garlic, milk, butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Process until smooth (start with ¼ cup of the milk and then add more if needed to get it to the right consistency). Taste and add additional salt/pepper if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped rosemary.
*Make sure that the cauliflower is very tender - otherwise it will not blend as smoothly and you won’t have a creamy consistency. If you need to cook it longer than the 10 minutes, go ahead and do so.

I would recommend doing this in the food processor (or a blender should also work). Whenever I try to do it by hand I just don’t wind up with the creamy consistency that I want.

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  1. Jo @ The Contented Baker says

    Mmm! I have never been a huge fan of cauliflower but maybe you have converted me. This looks delicious and creamy. Think my kids would love it too :-)

  2. says

    Hi Ashley! These are brilliant! I love that they’re made with cauliflower (my favorite white veggie) and the addition of cream cheese is brilliant! Will be making these soon!

  3. says

    I love cauliflower but I need to get out of my comfort zone. I always just steam the florets and eat it plain. I’d love to try this…a little bit of cream cheese is a great idea. I have a feeling you are more than ready for your Thanksgiving dinner(s). : )

  4. says

    My mom’s mashed potatoes are my favorite as well, but I do love me some cauliflower! For some reason, I still haven’t tried in mashed, but I really do need to. Your recipe looks amazing, so it’s getting pinned and made soon for sure!

  5. says

    I’m going to echo what everyone else has said because they really, really do look like mashed potatoes! And so pretty in that blue bowl! I’ve only tried mashed cauliflower one time and it was the recipe in the South Beach Diet Cookbook. Thought it was dreadful and I usually like cauliflower. But your recipe looks so much better. I think I just mashed mine with a masher and they were lumpy. I love how smooth yours look from being in the food processor!

    • Ashley says

      Whenever I try to do it by hand they just don’t come out that great – too lumpy. The food processor works wonders! lol

  6. Maria@TheBrooklynFig says

    I gotta be honest, cauliflower is one of those hit or miss foods for me. I’ve had it prepared deliciously (is that a word?!) and not-so-great as well. But this consistency I think I’d really enjoy- thanks for the idea!

  7. says

    I love cauliflower but have never tried it mashed – it sounds incredible and looks so creamy! Pinning, I can’t wait to try this – it sounds wonderful with the cream cheese and garlic:) Thanks for sharing Ashley!

  8. says

    Like others have said, I legitimately thought these were mashed potatoes. I read the title, but saw mashed potatoes, and STILL thought they were mashed potatoes, haha. This could be a good way to trick picky eaters into eating veggies. Like me. :) Definitely making me reconsider cauliflower though! It looks so good!

  9. says

    I’ve never had mashed cauliflower before but I really love this idea. It’s such a great way to sneak in more veggies, but I bet cream cheese tastes awesome with cauliflower!

  10. says

    I love cauliflower, and have wanted to try them pureed or mashed for so long. What’s wrong with me that I haven’t tried this yet?? This is inspiring me to get on it — they look delicious!

  11. Hannah @ Not From Concentrate says

    How cool I just made this over at Not From Concentrate! Wow yours looks delish – I can’t wait to try it out!

  12. says

    So funny, I just made a slow cooker version of mashed cauliflower the other day! It was my first time trying it, and was so pleasantly surprised how creamy and “mashed potato-y” it was! It’s such a healthy alternative! And instead of a food processor, I actually used my new favorite kitchen gadget… my immersion blender! Love that thing.

    Love your idea of adding cream cheese and rosemary. I’m definitely going to have to try this!

    • Ashley says

      They both definitely add a little something to it! I would have never thought to have tried it in the crockpot! That’s so different!

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