This Roasted Mashed Cauliflower is a simple, delicious, and the perfect side dish for the holidays or any day! It starts with roasted garlic and cauliflower florets that are mashed together with butter, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and seasonings for a side that is equally easy and delicious with just minutes of prep.
This Roasted Mashed Cauliflower is one of my favorite side dishes! It has a similar texture and creaminess to mashed potatoes, but you get the benefit of extra veggies and a lower carb side dish!
This cauliflower mash is super flavorful and delicious, great for the holidays but is also great for an every day dinner paired with any entree.
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Low carb – This side dish is perfect for those following a lower carb diet, although you don’t have to be low carb to appreciate how delicious this is!
- Simple ingredients – You need just a few basic ingredients, a couple of seasonings, and chives for garnish. This recipe couldn’t be easier!
- Satisfying – Craving mashed potatoes? Cauliflower mash will do the trick!
- Versatile – Enjoy with any of your favorite entrees! This mashed cauliflower is excellent for the holidays or with any regular meal.
This mashed cauliflower recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few simple ingredients and 5 minutes of prep for a family friendly side dish.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use for how to make this creamy cauliflower mash to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Cauliflower – You’ll need 2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets. Alternatively, just grab a bag of pre-cut florets at the grocery store.
- Olive Oil – Just a little bit of olive oil helps the cauliflower get deliciously caramelized on the edges.
- Garlic – You’ll need whole cloves of smashed garlic. It will roast on the pan with the cauliflower, then get mashed in with everything else.
- Butter – Butter gives the cauliflower mash that classic “mashed potato” flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese – A little bit of freshly grated parmesan adds a delicious salty flavor.
- Seasonings – We’re seasoning with a simple blend of kosher salt, dried oregano, and black pepper.
- Garnishes – Top a generous helping of mashed cauliflower off with additional melted butter and fresh chives.
Make sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full quantities and ingredients list.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Loaded Mashed Cauliflower – Make loaded mashed cauliflower with cream cheese by topping it off with cooked and crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and green onions.
- Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower – Make it extra cheesy with any combination of cheeses your heart desires. Try cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, provolone, almost any cheese will taste great in these.
- Cauliflower and Potato Mash – Use a mix of cauliflower and potato to create the perfect blend of the two sides.
- Cauliflower Mash with Frozen Cauliflower – To roast the cauliflower from frozen, proceed with the recipe as directed, but add 5-8 minutes to the roasting time.
Recipe Step by Step
I am going to highlight a few key steps in the recipe here, but make sure to jump down to the recipe card for comprehensive instructions on how to make this mashed cauliflower.
- Step 1– Chop the cauliflower into 1-2 inch chunks. This will help it roast more quickly and evenly.
- Step 2– Spread the cauliflower florets onto a baking sheet, then add the smashed garlic, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to coat everything, then bake at 425ºF until the cauliflower is soft.
- Step 3– Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl, then add in the butter. Use a stick blender to puree the cauliflower
- Step 4– Add in parmesan, cream cheese, and seasonings and blend until smooth.
- Roast the cauliflower until fork-tender – It should be nice and soft before you try to blend it. If there’s any resistance, then you won’t get that soft and creamy cauliflower mash that we’re going for.
- No stick blender? – You can also transfer everything to a food processor, or traditional blender and pulse until smooth.
- Use for another recipe! This cauliflower mash makes an excellent side dish, but can also be incorporated into another recipe in any way that mashed potatoes might be. Try it in ground beef cobbler, your favorite shepherd’s pie recipe, you name it.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Use pre-cut cauliflower florets – To save a little bit of time, you can buy a bag of pre-cut cauliflower florets at the grocery store. These are slightly more expensive than a regular head of cauliflower, but they are convenient!
- Make ahead and refrigerate or freeze – You can get ahead by completely preparing your garlic mashed cauliflower, then storing it in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this roasted cauliflower mash recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 1 month.
To freeze before cooking
To prep ahead of time, you can freeze your cauliflower florets, then use them whenever you’re ready to make your mash.
- To freeze cauliflower, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in the cauliflower. Cook for a couple of minutes, then drain and immediately transfer into a tub of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the cauliflower well and pat dry with paper towels.
- Spread the cauliflower out in a single layer on a baking sheet and flash freeze it until solid.
- Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, then store.
- When you’re ready to use it, you can roast from frozen or thaw first!
How to Freeze Roasted Cauliflower Mash After Cooking
Finished mashed cauliflower can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month! If you plan to freeze it, I recommend leaving out the dairy products (butter, parmesan, and cream cheese) for the best texture.
- To freeze your cauliflower mash, let it cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the fridge, add your dairy ingredients, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
What to Serve with Mashed Cauliflower
Since this low carb side dish has the delicious flavors and textures of classic mashed potatoes, it will pair well with many of your favorite entrees or sides!
Choose one or several of these side dishes to create a wholesome, well-rounded dinner. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Main Dish Ideas
- Southern Pot Roast– Pot roast served on mashed cauliflower is the most comforting meal!
- Tuscan Garlic Chicken – Whip up this simple and decadent chicken dinner with just 7 ingredients. This recipe features tender chicken, spinach, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken – There’s nothing better than a pile of cauliflower mash next to shredded BBQ chicken. This recipe is hassle-free and requires just 3 ingredients.
- Buffalo Chicken Burgers – These buffalo chicken burgers are easy, healthy, and packed full of flavor. Made using ground chicken, buffalo sauce, Ranch seasoning, and more.
- Crockpot Steak Bites – These are so quick to prep and go great on top of a bed of Mashed Cauliflower.
Side Dish Pairings
- Green Bean Casserole – Round your meal out with another classic side dish! This green bean casserole is made with fresh, frozen, or canned green beans baked into a creamy, cheesy casserole topped with crispy French fried onions.
- Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese – This baked macaroni and cheese is the perfect comforting side dish to pair with cauliflower mash. It takes just 15 minutes to prep!
- Brown Butter Broccoli – Enjoy a veggie-heavy meal with a side of this delicious brown butter broccoli! Broccoli florets are cooked to perfection in brown butter, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then topped with freshly grated parmesan.
Mashed Cauliflower Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this recipe, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
The most thorough way to clean cauliflower before cooking is to cut it into florets, then soak it in a bowl of water. Simply swish it around a few times in the water to dislodge any dirt or grime, then dry well with paper towels.
It may just have too much moisture on it. After washing your cauliflower florets, give them a good pat-dry with paper towels before you roast them. Removing excess moisture will give you a more crisp-tender roasted texture as opposed to a mushy one.
The most likely reason that your cauliflower mash is grainy is that the cauliflower is under-cooked. Make sure that each of the cauliflower florets can easily be pierced with a fork before you blend them up into the mash.
More EASY Side Dish Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy side dish recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Butter, melted
- Heat the oven to 425˚F.
- Spread the cauliflower florets out on a large baking sheet in a single layer. If you don’t have a pan big enough, use two smaller pans. Add the smashed garlic to the pan and the toss the cauliflower with the olive oil.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft. It should have almost no resistance when poked with a fork.
- Once done, transfer to a large bowl and add the butter. Use a stick blender to puree the cauliflower. Then add the parmesan, cream cheese, salt, oregano, and pepper to the bowl and blend again to smooth.ORTransfer the cauliflower, butter, parmesan, cream cheese, salt, oregano, and pepper to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Top with additional melted butter and chopped chives as desired and serve warm.