Learn how to make mashed cauliflower for beginners – without it going soggy (or smelly).

This is one of those amazing keto vegetable side dishes that’s quick to make and the whole family will love.

A white bowl of mashed cauliflower sitting on a blue cloth
How to make the perfect mashed cauliflower

You may also want to see the best keto side dishes for pork, best keto side dishes for chicken, easy keto side dishes for salmon, and quick keto side dishes for beef.

Read my tips and tricks to make this fluffy, light and tasty (and how to avoid soggy mashed cauliflower).

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Is cauliflower keto?

Cauliflower is a keto vegetable that is commonly used in side dishes because it is extremely versatile, low carb, high fiber, and can be used in a variety of dishes.

It can be used in so many ways and is the perfect side dish for chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and of course, curries.

Nutrition of cauliflower per cup (107g): 5.3 g total carbs, 2.1 g fiber, 3.2 g net carbs, 2.1 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 26 calories.

cauliflower nutrition panel

Nutritional values from cronometer.com

If you are new to low-carb, welcome to the biggest staple in low-carb cooking. Once you master mashed cauliflower it truly does make healthy family mealtime a whole lot easier.

One of the easiest ways to remain low carb at mealtimes is to replace your regular high-carb mashed potato with mashed cauliflower instead. It’s much lower in carbs, full of vitamins C, K, B5, B6, folate, manganese, and omega 3.

Cauliflowers is part of the cruciferous family (cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) which provide great anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Ask anyone who is low-carb, keto or Paleo, we all use so much cauliflower each week in a variety of ways.

How to get picky children to eat cauliflower

One of the first meals I made with mashed cauliflower, was my shepherd’s pie.

Mashed cauliflower is a great substitute for mashed potato and rice. Children especially love it if you flavour it with bacon, garlic or butter (or all 3).

Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie Recipe Using Cauliflower Mash

I didn’t tell my children at first that it was mashed cauliflower, I just kept on making it, and they loved it. I would flavour the healthy mashed cauliflower in various ways and they loved each new “mashed potato recipe” I had found.

This is my simple trick to get kiddos to eat new foods. Don’t tell them what it is so their prejudice for new foods doesn’t override their tastebuds for something yummy. Eventually, I told them and because they already enjoyed it they laughed that I was tricking them with cauliflower all along.

We all know children have this natural ability to hate all vegetables at first glance.

A bowl of cauliflower rice on a dark table

They also know one of my tricks is to ‘guess the mystery ingredient’. This is probably the best way to encourage them to try new foods.

And one final BONUS trick is to let them smother any new food with a healthy fat such as cheese, butter, or a creamy sauce.

Mozzarella is fabulous as it goes all stringy and gooey which children adore.

Red bowl of mashed cauliflower
Perfect fluffy mashed cauliflower

Expert tips

  • To ensure mashed cauliflower is really light and fluffy (no one wants soggy mashed cauliflower) you must make sure you allow ALL the steam to escape before pureeing it. Cauliflower has a large surface area within those little florets, and it will happily retain much of its moisture.
  • Ensure all the water is drained from the pan once cooked, but ALSO leave the lid off for a minute and allow the steam to escape also.
  • Use a stick blender with the blade attachment and blend through the butter, garlic, cheese or whatever flavours you are adding until smooth.

More keto cauliflower recipes

Mashed cauliflower on a wooden board and gold fork

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

How to make easy low-carb mashed cauliflower is an absolute low-carb staple. You can vary the flavours and add butter, garlic, bacon, cheese, mustard or even chilli powder.
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Course: Dinner, Vegetables
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Paleo, Wheat Free
Keyword: Low-carb mashed cauliflower
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 14kcal
Author: Thinlicious.com
Want to lose weight and get healthy for life—without dieting, drugs, or making yourself miserable?We can help! Tell me how!


  • Stick Blender


  • 1 cauliflower cut into florets
  • butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Flavouring Options

  • heavy whipping cream
  • garlic minced
  • pieces cooked bacon pieces
  • cheese
  • mustard


  • Cook the cauliflower in boiling water until soft. Remove from the heat and drain well.
  • Let all the steam escape, otherwise, you will get soggy mashed cauliflower, and no one wants that.
  • Add butter, garlic, or any other optional flavours to taste and puree with a stick blender with the blade attachment until smooth.
  • If using bacon and cheese, stir through after the mashed cauliflower is smooth, rather than blend with the stick blender.
  • Season with salt and pepper.



Calories: 14kcalCarbohydrates: 2.5gProtein: 1gFat: 0.25gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 1.2g
A green antique cabbage dish filled with mashed cauliflower

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Recipe Rating


  1. I just love your recipes!. Recipe request – low carb, sugar free rice krispie tweats.

  2. Love the pretty cabbage dishes!

  3. Hi Libby. I have found that cooking (almost steaming) the cauliflower in cream and butter, rather than water, gives a much less watery result!!

  4. Have had really good results steaming the cauliflower rather than boiling it – can’t end up water logged this way..

  5. Letting the steam evaporate really does make a huge difference. We use goat cheese and grass-fed butter in ours and it is wonderful! Can’t wait to try the bacon grease idea. We have only been low-carb for three months, and at first I was thinking I couldn’t make mashed cauliflower every day because you don’t eat mashed potatoes every day – it was so exciting to realize it was okay to eat it at every meal if we want. We don’t, but it’s fun to know we could!

  6. Hi. I need a recipe for the bread machine to make low carb bread with no grains, however buckwheat or nut flours would be great. Many thanks.

  7. Thank you so much for the tip of letting the steam escape! I love cauliflower rice but had written off the idea of mashed cauliflower because the one time I made it, it was so watery even though I steamed it rather than boiling. Your tip makes such a huge difference and it was so much like mashed potatoes I almost couldn’t believe it. Now I love this even more than the cauliflower rice and it is a great side dish for those on a budget compared to a lot of the other vegetable sides. A cauliflower only costs about $3 at my local fruit shop, very cheap!

  8. Sandra Kaye Howard says:

    What is a serving size of cauliflower mashed potatoes

  9. Debbie Thompson says:

    We have loads of cauliflower rice and also cheesy cauliflower florets. I am going to try this, but just wondered, can you microwave the cauliflower instead of boiling it?

    1. Sure thing. Just remember to drain the cooked cauliflower well and allow all the steam to escape so you get nice and fluffy mashed cauliflower, because no-one likes soggy mash 😉

    2. Yes! I microwave the cauliflower without any water.

  10. I have been trying to low-carb some of my fav recipes, 1 problem I am having is what do I use in place of brown sugar? thanks

  11. Have you any hidden recipes for the Instant Pot ? Was given one as a gift and need to start using it !!

    1. YES!!!! I just started an entire section for Instant Pots and Slow Cookers because so many of us are using them for a quick and easy nutritious meal. They are so helpful, especially when we don’t have much time to make a dinner each night. You can see all my recipes by clicking here, and I will be adding more each month so stay subscribed so you don’t miss them.

  12. The mash becomes even better If you cook it in milk!

  13. Charlene Tijerina says:

    What is the tool that you used to mash the cauliflower?

  14. 5 stars
    Cauliflower Mash
    Well, hubby and I have found are new favourite veg. Who would have thought the simple Cauli could be so versatile. Absolutely love this simple recipe. I added come cheddar and some scraps of Mozzarella I had in the fridge. I served it with Lemon Chicken thighs and asparagus. Lovely. Thank you Libby.