November 1, 2021

by Alyssa

The Best Vegan Mashed Cauliflower

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This is hands down the BEST vegan mashed cauliflower you'll ever taste. It's creamy, buttery, and flavorful, with a thick texture that happens to be dairy-free and low-carb. 

close up on mashed cauliflower with chives and butter

I've been working on this recipe for vegan mashed cauliflower for years. These days, it's my go-to substitute for mashed potatoes when it comes to holiday side dishes.

I first tried making cauliflower mash a few years ago when cauliflower was becoming super popular. I even started adding cauliflower to my smoothies!

But cauliflower mashed potatoes just never fooled me. They were always watery and not as satisfying as the real thing. That's why I developed this recipe for the absolute perfect, most delicious vegan mashed cauliflower you'll find. Give it a try for Thanksgiving or any night of the week and see for yourself!

What is Mashed Cauliflower?

If you haven't tried it yet, mashed cauliflower is a dish meant to mimic mashed potatoes. But instead of the potatoes, it uses cauliflower for a lower carb and lighter side dish.

It's difficult to hide the “cauliflower” nature of this recipe, but by adding a few key ingredients, you can build a deliciously garlicy and rich flavor that will rival potatoes.

ingredients for mashed cauliflwoer with yogurt, garlic and oil

Ingredients

This recipe doesn't have a long or complicated ingredient list, but each element is key:

  • Cauliflower: This cooks down a bit, so I use two whole heads of cauliflower to feed a crowd.
  • Almond milk: You can use any dairy-free milk you like. Just make sure it's unsweetened!
  • Coconut yogurt: one of the things that kept popping up when I was looking at mashed potato recipes was sour cream. I haven't found a good vegan sour cream that I like, so I always opt for coconut yogurt. If you can't find it, use your favorite vegan sour cream, or cashew cream and a bit of lemon juice.
  • Garlic: one of the secret weapons to this dish is the sauteed garlic. It adds so much flavor!
  • Fresh herbs: I also LOVE adding fresh herbs to this dish. You can have fun with this, but I like to keep it more on the hearty side. For this one I did: chives, sage, and fresh thyme.
  • Vegan butter: to add a little bit of pop, we're beating in some vegan butter. It just gives it that extra decadence that mashed potatoes have, and really rounds out the recipe.

food processor with mashed cauliflower on a spoon

How to Make Vegan Mashed Cauliflower

This is also quite a simple recipe which I know you always appreciate. Here's how to make it:

STEP ONE: Steam

First we need to steam the cauliflower. I use a steamer basket inside a large pot and let it steam for about 5 minutes. The florets should be very tender.

Tip: you can also boil the cauliflower in water if you prefer.

STEP TWO: Saute

While the cauliflower is steaming, quickly saute the smashed peeled garlic in some olive oil. This helps to elevate the flavor and is NOT a step to miss. Raw garlic will not have the same rich flavor.

STEP THREE: Blend

Once the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is cooked, you'll blend it all together in a food processor until it's smooth. You can also use a blender!

From there, you're done and ready to serve!

bowl of creamy mashed cauliflower with butter

How to Serve Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

This honestly is one of the best recipes I've ever made and I don't say that lightly. It's a staple on our Thanksgiving table. I like to serve it with a pat of vegan butter and a sprinkle of herbs like fresh rosemary or parsley.

And if you're looking for more holiday side dishes that happen to be gluten-free and vegan, give these a try:

Storage

You can store leftover cauliflower mash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove and top with a pat of dairy-free butter to serve.

bowl of vegan mashed cauliflower with butter

More Cauliflower Recipes

If you make this Vegan Mashed Cauliflower, let me know what you think with a comment below!

Best Vegan Mashed Cauliflower

This is hands down the BEST vegan mashed cauliflower you'll ever taste. It's creamy, buttery, and flavorful, without being watery at all. It's easy to make and absolutely delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 84kcal
Print Pin
close up on mashed cauliflower with chives and butter
5 from 5 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower , chopped into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 5 - 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup coconut yogurt
  • 1 tsp chives
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • Generous pinch of salt and pepper , to taste

Instructions

  • Add the cauliflower to a large pot with a steamer basket. Add 2" of water and cover. Turn to high and steam the cauliflower until tender, about 5 minutes.
    steaming cauliflower in a pot
  • While the cauliflower is steaming, saute the garlic in the oil over medium heat, until the garlic is fragrant and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
    sauteeing garlic in a pan with olive oil
  • Transfer the steamed cauliflower (not with the water) into a food processor. Blender on high until smooth.
    making mashed cauliflower in the food processor
  • Add the garlic, and remaining ingredients and process again until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
    making vegan mashed cauliflower in a food processor
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
    bowl of vegan mashed cauliflower with butter

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 0.666cup | Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 437mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

With a week’s worth of simple and healthy meals, Eat Clean will help you see just how easy living a life full of whole foods can be. Recipe are 100% gluten-free and vegan!

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