Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

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If you’re looking for a new side dish with a trusted, nutritional vegetable we all love (cauliflower!) that happens to be delicious, then you’re at the right place!

This cauliflower dish is incredibly loaded with flavor and it’s very similar to mashed potatoes, without the starch.  Although it is a lot like mashed spuds, it still has its own unique and wonderful taste.  This is wonderful served with Honey Bourbon Baked Ham!

A white bowl filled with mashed cauliflower and roasted garlic with a pad of butter melting on top, all sitting next to a blue napkin and gold spoon.

How To Make Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

This dish is really surprisingly easy to put together.

There is just a little prep work and then the rest is a snap.


How To Roast Garlic

Roasting garlic has to be one of the simplest culinary creations of all time.

As the head of garlic gently roasts in a 350°F oven, the cloves are transformed into a buttery, milder garlic smear that is incredible.

EXPERT TIP: All you need to do is very carefully cut away the top of a head of garlic. Don’t worry if you don’t cut the tops off of every single clove. And don’t worry if some, or even most, of the cloves fall off. Place them all in a square piece of foil, squirt a little olive oil over them, wrap it up, and bake in the oven at 350°F for 1 hour.

A person squirting olive oil onto garlic cloves on a piece of foil and then the same garlic after being roasted still on the foil.

How To Cut Up a Head of Cauliflower

Cutting up a head of cauliflower is very similar to cutting up a head of broccoli. By the way, cauliflower is loaded with nutritional value…read more about that here.

Very carefully, and slowly, cut away the core with a nice sharp, large knife.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ALWAYS keep the blade of the knife pointing away from your hand(s). You can also cut the cauliflower down the middle, and then start cutting away the core. Then, use your hands, or the help of your knife, to cut the cauliflower into small to medium-sized florets. 

A person pulling apart cauliflower florets on a large wooden cutting board.

Now, it’s time to steam the cut cauliflower.

We love using our bamboo steamer, but any method you have for steaming will work perfectly.

You can even steam them in a pot with a small rack at the bottom and about 1 cup of water. Cover and steam over medium heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until soft.

A lid of a bamboo steamer being lifted up to reveal cauliflower florets that have been steamed.

Building Layers of Flavor

For ease, we place the steamed cauliflower into our large food processor. But you can also mash the mixture in a mixer, with a hand mixer, or even a wooden spoon and a good amount of elbow grease.

After the garlic has cooled enough for you to handle, use your fingers to squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins onto the steamed cauliflower.

EXPER TIP: The roasted garlic taste is not overpowering, however, if you make the mashed cauliflower a couple of days in advance, we do find that the garlic taste becomes a little more pronounced as it sits in the fridge.

A hand squeezing the inside of a roasted garlic clove into a food processor filled with steamed cauliflower.

Next, come the unsalted butter and the Parmesan cheese.

Then the broth. We use vegetable broth, but you could use chicken broth if you prefer.  We find ¾ cup of broth makes the perfect consistency of the mashed cauliflower.  But, pour some in, mash or purée, and then test consistency.  Depending on how thin, or thick, you like your mash, will depend on how much broth you add.  

Our Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic is great for the Keto diet. To make the dish vegan, simply use almond butter in place of the butter and Parmesan cheese.

A hand pouring vegetable broth from a Mason jar into a food processor filled with steamed cauliflower florets and roasted garlic.

When To Serve Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

You can serve this dish as a substitute for any time you would be serving mashed potatoes.

It’s perfect for feasts, such as Thanksgiving, but it’s also so simple to prepare, it makes a wonderful side dish for a busy weeknight meal. Another amazing dish starring this versatile vegetable is our Roasted Butter Cauliflower.

It also makes a wonderful complement to luxurious dishes such as Wagyu Smoked Beef Short Ribs (recipe to come). Just make a bed of the cauliflower on the plate, and then place the ribs over the top. Sublime.

No matter how you serve it, folks will be going back for more and more, it’s really that delicious.

A circular white bowl filled with mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic topped with a pad of melting butter and snipped chives.

This dish is unique and beautiful in presentation.

But more than anything, it’s just so flavorful and goes with many main dishes.

Aren’t you craving a bite right now?

A serving spoon being lifted up filled with a helping of mashed cauliflower and roasted garlic over a bowl filled with the same.

Ready to make one of the most uniquely delicious side dishes of all time? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a picture, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!

A white bowl filled with mashed cauliflower and roasted garlic with a pad of butter melting on top, all sitting next to a blue napkin and gold spoon.

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic is absolutely incredible. Serve this and your guests will swear that it's the best mashed potatoes they've ever had! So good!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy side dish, how to mash cauliflower, How to roast garlic, low carb side dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 210kcal


  • Steamer


  • 1 head garlic cut the end off
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 heads cauliflower cored and cut into medium florets, about 8 cups
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter ½ stick
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth or chicken broth/stock
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground
  • ¼ tsp cayenne optional
  • 1 tbsp chives chopped, for garnish


Make the Roasted Garlic

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place cut garlic in foil and drizzle oil over the top. Wrap completely in foil and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 1 hour. Let cool enough to handle (can be made 1 day in advance).

Make the Mashed Cauliflower

  • Steam the chopped cauliflower for about 20 to 25 minutes, until very soft.
  • Place the steamed cauliflower into a large food processor or mixer. Squeeze the garlic from the skins onto the cauliflower. Add the butter, Parmesan cheese, broth, cayenne (if using), salt, and pepper. Puree, or mix, until very smooth, about 15 to 25 seconds.
  • Add the puréed cauliflower to the serving dish and garnish with a slice of butter and chopped chives.



The roasted garlic can be made up to 2 days in advance.  Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins of each clove and place in an air-tight container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
You can use bagged pre-cut cauliflower found in the produce section.  We don't recommend frozen cauliflower because the texture will be a little too soupy, but the taste will still be good, just we feel the texture won't be right.
You'll need about 8 to 10 cups of florets, this usually comes from 2 medium-sized heads of cauliflower.
The mashed cauliflower can be made up to 1 day in advance, and then gently reheated on the stove over medium-low heat.   We have found that when made in advance, or when reheating leftovers, the roasted garlic taste becomes somewhat more pronounced.
To make this completely vegan, use almond butter in place of the butter and Parmesan cheese. 


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1106mg | Potassium: 617mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 94mg | Calcium: 253mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in June 2014, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe, new tips and photography, and a fabulous new video in February 2021!


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