Mashed Cauliflower is a veggie packed alternative to traditional mashed potatoes without skipping out on the taste! Creamy, tangy, buttery, this side dish pairs well with a myriad of delicious dinners.

mashed cauliflower in a pot

This Mashed Cauliflower recipe has all of the flavor and texture of traditional mashed potatoes without the hassle of peeling or the extended boiling time. You can even make these with steamed florets from the microwave to save time! Customize this base recipe with your flavor preference (like a touch of garlic and parmesan, or cheddar and bacon). Blend or mash less to keep some of the texture or blend until completely smooth and creamy. We’re a big proponent of veggies in this house and mashed cauliflower never disappoints. Serve this alongside chicken, steak, seafood, turkey, it pairs with practically everything! Easy and quick to make, it’s the perfect weeknight side dish. 

Mouth watering veggie sides to make any meal complete: Roasted Green Beans, Easy Squash Patties, Classic Broccoli Casserole.

Ingredients for Mashed Cauliflower

With just a few staple ingredients you can make this veggie based side, a healthy alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. 

  • Cauliflower: One head cut into small florets.
  • Cream Cheese: You’ll want this at room temperature. It’s easier to mix this way.
  • Sour Cream: This will give a slight tangy flavor to the mix and make the cauliflower oh so creamy.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted, either will work.
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper: Adjust to taste.  

How to Make Mashed Cauliflower

In under half an hour you have an amazing side dish that will complete any meal!

  1. Begin by boiling 4 cups of water in a medium pot.
  2. Add your cauliflower florets and boil for 15-20 minutes. The cauliflower is done when it is very tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Drain the water and return the cauliflower to the pot. Reduce the heat to low-medium.
  4. Now add in your cream cheese, sour cream, butter, salt, and pepper. Stir then mash with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
  5. Continue to heat the cauliflower until the mashed mixture has thickened to your preference.
  6. Serve with freshly chopped chives as a garnish or with your favorite protein and enjoy!
ingredients to make mashed cauliflower in a pot

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe Notes and Tips  

  • For even more flavor try topping this mashed cauliflower with shredded cheese, bacon,and chopped green onions for a “loaded mash” similar to my Loaded Cauliflower Casserole.
  • Leftover Mashed Cauliflower can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • You can substitute plain greek yogurt for the sour cream if you prefer. 
  • You can use pre-cut cauliflower florets to save time, you’ll need about 1 ½ pounds for this recipe. 
  • To save even more time you can also use frozen cauliflower florets that have been steamed in the microwave instead of waiting for fresh cauliflower to boil. 
cauliflower mash on a plate
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Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower is a veggie packed alternative to traditional mashed potatoes without skipping out on the taste! Creamy, tangy, buttery, this side dish pairs well with a myriad of delicious dinners.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 1 Head Cauliflower about 1 ½ pounds, cut into small florets
  • 2 Ounces Cream Cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper


  • Boil 4 cups of water in a medium pot over high heat.
  • Add the cauliflower and boil for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender.
  • Drain the cauliflower and return it to the pot and reduce the heat to low-medium.
  • Add the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and stir and mash with a masher or an immersion blender until smooth.
  • Continue heating until the mash has thickened to your liking.
  • Serve with freshly chopped chives and your favorite protein such as chicken.



NOTE:  This is a basic recipe for our favorite mashed cauliflower.  We also love to add other seasonings such as garlic powder, onion power, Cajun seasoning, parmesan cheese, cheddar, and chives.  I recommend adding to your own taste.


Calories: 68kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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