Creamy Dairy-free Mashed Cauliflower

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What’s Inside: Potatoes are great, but you know what could be as good or even better? Cauliflower. This easy mashed cauliflower recipe is vegan, low carb, keto-friendly, and an AIP-approved mashed potato alternative. Can be made with fresh or frozen cauliflower too

vegan mashed cauliflower that's dairy-free and low-carb

Yes, Mashed Cauliflower Is as Good or Better than Mashed Potatoes

Now, I hold no grudges against mashed potatoes. But with all the stretchy pants, sweet tooth indulgences, and excess eating many of us are guilty of during the holidays, the less blood sugar spikes, the better.

Just keeping it real, folks. When there’s an entire Thanksgiving or Holiday meal ahead of me, and I don’t feel like wasting my allotted sugar or stomach space on heavy, dairy-laden mashed potatoes.

Not only is this creamy mashed cauliflower recipe EASIER and FASTER to make as their spud sisters, but they’re EQUALLY DELICIOUS. Yes, I said it. While they’re not as fluffy as potatoes due to the lack of starch, they are still super comforting and are the perfect pillow for gravy (which is really all you need out of a good mash anyway).

delicious and easy vegan mashed cauliflower that's dairy-free and low-carb

How To Make the Best Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Where traditional mashed potatoes can get weighed down with butter, sour cream, and cheese, the beauty of this vegan mashed cauliflower is that it is simple and delicious.

You definitely have to be a fan of cauliflower to enjoy this easy side dish. (If you’re not, we may not be able to be friends … ) The light, nutty flavor of the cauliflower really shines through in this recipe, and it’s enhanced with the salt, pep, and fresh chives. Sautéed or roasted garlic would also be divine here. Get creative!

You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower in this recipe, there’s no difference nutritionally (and sometimes the frozen version can be even fresher), so go with whatever is most attainable and convenient for you. While using cauliflower florets are preferred, you can also use cauliflower rice (just add more, of course).

how to make mashed cauliflower that's dairy-free and low-carb

Serve Mashed Cauliflower at Your Thanksgiving or Holiday Meal

This mashed cauliflower pairs perfectly with all the fixings for a full-blown Thanksgiving dinner, like roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, green veggies, and gravy (check out this match made in heaven below!). And trust me, your friends and family will appreciate that this side dish leaves plenty of room in their bellies for the rest of your holiday spread!

vegan mashed cauliflower with mushroom gravy
Don’t miss my herbed mushroom gravy recipe to drizzle on top!

You can find my recipe for mashed cauliflower below! And make sure to check out my roundup of healthy Thanksgiving basics to ensure you stay on track this holiday season and impress your guests with a delicious, clean, homemade meal.

how to make vegan mashed cauliflower

More Healthy Veggie Side Dishes

If you like this healthy homemade mashed cauliflower, make sure to save these healthy side dishes and Thanksgiving recipes when planning to host your own holiday feast:


Watch How To Make Creamy Dairy-free Mashed Cauliflower

5 from 7 votes
vegan mashed cauliflower that's dairy-free and low-carb
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Creamy Dairy-free Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed potatoes are great, but you know what’s as good or even better? Creamy mashed cauliflower! This easy mashed cauliflower recipe is vegan, low carb, keto-friendly and an AIP-approved mashed potato alternative. Can be made with fresh or frozen cauliflower too
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 people


  • 2 heads cauliflower, chopped into florets (or approx. 20-24 oz. florets, fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Bunch of fresh chives for topping
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper (omit for AIP) to taste


  • Bring water to boil and place florets in a steam rack on top, covering until tender and you can easily pierce with a fork (but they’re not falling apart), approx. 7-8 minutes or so. Alternatively, you may steam in the microwave for 3-4 minutes (do in 2-3 batches in a bow.) If using cauliflower rice, a steam basket won't work. You can try sauteéing in 1 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet just until soft and you'll need the amount of ounces as noted above.
  • Once ready, remove the florets and add to a food processor with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste. (you may need to do this in batches if you have a small food processor). You may alternativeely mash using a hand masher, an emulsion blender in a largee mixing bowl or pot if you don't have a food processor.
  • Transfer the mashed cauliflower to a serving dish and top with more oil or butter/ghee and fresh chives and sea salt if needed. Hot tip: check out my herbed mushroom gravy as a perfect topping.
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Recipe Rating

  • GloriaOctober 9, 2020 - 3:41 pm

    Love this alternative to mashed potatoes. We do love cauliflower, and I know this would go over well at the dinner table.ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasOctober 14, 2020 - 3:44 pm

      Awesome, I agree! It’s a crowd-pleaser.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa LottsOctober 9, 2020 - 3:49 pm

    I make this ALL THE TIME! It’s one of our favorites with steaks and chops — makes me feel like I’m having mashed potatoes but so much healthier and without feeling guilty.ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasOctober 14, 2020 - 3:43 pm

      Amen! and honestly, it’s way quicker with less mess so why not!ReplyCancel

  • JessOctober 9, 2020 - 3:52 pm

    I love this healthier version of a side dish classic!ReplyCancel

  • Bless my food by payalOctober 9, 2020 - 3:54 pm

    Always knew about potato mash but cauliflower mash is new and amazing idea.ReplyCancel

  • NoelleOctober 9, 2020 - 4:22 pm

    I love this recipe, perfect for thanksgiving! Saving to make againReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasOctober 14, 2020 - 3:43 pm

      Wonderful! You’ll love!ReplyCancel

hey thereI'm Alison

I believe your healing journey with real food can be a stress-free lifestyle, filled with joy and flavor.



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