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Mashed Cauliflower

gluten free mashed cauliflower recipe
A perfect addition to your Paleo Thanksgiving.

I’ve been making this mashed cauliflower recipe for several years now.  So I must be on the same page as my readers –when I posted my  Cauliflower Rice recipe I received suggestions from Jose and several others to make mashed cauliflower.

This cauliflower dish (which I make in place of mashed potatoes) is perfect for a gluten free, Paleo Thanksgiving.  I like to have something mashed and gooshy at Thanksgiving not only as a vehicle for gravy, but also to mop up all of the delicious goodness floating around my plate.

What suggestions do you have for a Paleo version of mashed potatoes?

Mashed Cauliflower


  1. Steam the cauliflower pieces until very tender
  2. Puree cauliflower in a food processor, add in olive oil and salt
  3. Reheat in a casserole dish in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes
  4. serve

Chris of Celiac Handbook has a fabulous Gluten-Free Blog Showcase that you might just want to check out.  I really enjoyed reading his little blurbs about each of my favorite gluten free bloggers, and also greatly appreciated his blurb about Elana’s Pantry.  Thanks Chris!

Here are some other gluten free vegetable dishes you may like:

-Roasted Cauliflower and Zucchini from Stephanie of Wasabimon
-Roasted Artichokes from Kate of Gluten Free Gobsmacked
-Caramelized Brussels Sprouts from Gwyneth of goop.com

And last of all, don’t forget about the big Vitamix Giveaway this month!

posted on November 8, 2010, 73 comments

  1. Linda

    Yummy, and I just happen to have a couple of heads of Cauliflower in my fridge! This will be a great new dish for dinner tomorrow! Sounds easy enough too…I think my blender and a hand potato masher can do the trick.

  2. Jane Ballantyne

    I’ve been eating a version of this for quite a while as pureed caulifower…great when cutting carbs…
    So I must say how much I also like the cauliflower rice….super additions to our repetoire.

  3. Noel

    I’ve tried this and love it.
    Tonight I made something similar — it included cauliflower, but also turnips, parsnips and an apple — all chopped and boiled, then smashed/blended with a little nutmeg and plenty of butter and milk (I used almond milk), salt and pepper.
    I’ve read that this can be made 2 days ahead and reheated, as you suggest — in a dish in the oven at 350 for 20 – 30 min.

    Such a nice alternative to mashed potatoes!

    : )

  4. Patricia N.

    I can’t eat cauliflower, or many of the plants in this family, as they mess with the Thyroid. I have too many problems trying to keep THAT on track along with the Celiac condition I have.
    For many women/men who suspect that they have low/hypothyroid situation, beware of these goitrogenic vegetables, along with Peanuts!

  5. We often make a combination of mashed yams (the bright orange ones) and cauliflower and potato, or any 2 of the 3 depending on what we have on hand. The yams are so moist that you don’t need any milk, so they are then dairy free.

    I’d also like to learn more about the cauliflower thyroid connection. Thanks for that flag.

  6. Brandon May @ thehealthyadvocate.com

    I love making mashed cauliflower as well. Even the most pickiest of my family members will eat it, and it is so good and nourishing. Thanks for sharing! Next will you tell us your gravy recipe? I will be tinkering around with my own here and there before Thanksgiving.

  7. nicole

    Certain foods are goitrigens–broccoli, cauli, cabbage,soy, ect…google goitrigens…

  8. Wow, is it Thanksgiving time already? Much as I love my mashed potatoes (with almond milk) the mashed cauliflower sounds delicious! I think I will try half cauliflower and half parsnips, or maybe throw in some turnips. My body really loves roots, but they can be a little strong. I think maybe cauliflower would be a good addition.

    Thanks Elana!

  9. the blissful baker @ theblissfulbaker.wordpress.com

    yum, this looks like a great alternative to mashed potatoes!

  10. Linda M

    Thanks for making it a dairy-free recipe! All the other mashed cauliflower recipes I found have sour cream or cream cheese or such in it. I will try this one soon!

  11. Karen@Cook4Seasons @ cook4seasons.com

    One of my favorites! I use olive oil and add a big bunch of chopped parsley, too.

  12. Janet

    I’ve made cauliflower “mashed potatoes” several times (I found the recipe on allrecipes.com). I love to add a couple gloves of garlic in with the cauliflower while steaming it and pureeing them right in with the cauliflower.

  13. Aurora

    I like to add some cream cheese to the mashed cauliflower.

  14. Licia

    Celeriac puree is a amazing substitute for mashed potatoes. Its prepared in exactly the same way as your recipe above. I’ve only used butter (lots) and salt with it, but other oils or fats might also work. Its especially fantastic with game. Its borderline SCD – some tolerate it, some don’t.

  15. Mia

    Thank you for the yummy recipe! I love cauliflower. This will be a new way to enjoy it.

  16. Katrina (gluten free gidget) @ glutenfreegidget.blogspot.com

    We LOVE mashed cauliflower!

  17. Melissa B.

    I love mashed cauliflower as well! I make it with coconut oil and coconut milk, to give it a creamy texture. We also LOVE your cauliflower rice recipe- so good!

    Yes, could you please share your gravy recipe?

  18. Meghan Telpner @ meghantelpnerblog.com

    Mashed cauliflower is a fav around here too :) Looks amazing, Elana!

  19. Lisa@bakedinmaine.com @ bakedinmaine.com

    I LOVE making “mashed fake potatoes” this way.

    Heathy, easy and delicious!

    Thanks for posting.


  20. Nichole@40daysof @ 40daysof.wordpress.com

    I’m so glad I stopped by today and found this recipe! I’m making a shepherds pie tonight and I want to use mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes as the topping.

  21. Hiarious! I literally just found a giant cauliflower that my mother-in-law left here last week and I was wondering what to do with it.

    I’m starting right now!

  22. Amy Willis

    These are yummy I have been doing them for years also. When I make a roast in the crock pot I add some beef stock. After the roast is cooked. I pour off the juice and then cook that down until its thickend up and use it as “gravy”. One thing that I do different for my “taters” is I cook them in Chicken Broth..when I am feeling festive, after they are mashed. I add garlic and Parm Cheese to them also!

  23. MaryBeth Matthews

    I’ve been making smashed cauliflower for some time. In fact I made it last night, adding chopped parsley. I haven’t seen the reheating aspect of this recipe in any previous version. It makes sense, as the cauliflower usually cools by the time it is mashed and flavored. I’ll have to try the reheating part next time. Thanks!

  24. Kelsey

    This is a recipe I used at our (Canadian) Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and the non-Paleos ate just as much of it as their regular mashed potatoes. I can’t recall what website I gleaned this from, or I would give credit, but I can say that it turned out great (I doubled the recipe to feed our crowd of 10 and had lots left over):

    Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
    2 good-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1-2 inch chunks
    1/2 C shallots (or sweet onion), chopped fine
    3 cloves garlic, mince
    1/2 C fresh basil, chopped
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    1/4 C coconut milk
    1 T coconut oil

    Bring about 4 qts. water to low boil, and add sweet potatoes. Boil for about 10-13 minutes (until potatoes are tender). Drain and mash. (I used a potato ricer… which is nifty kitchen tool that enables the perfect fluffy smooth texture for mashed potatoes) But, mashing with a fork is just fine, too! Add Coconut milk and mix well. In a separate small pan heat coconut oil an saute shallots and garlic, when they are just about done (about 5 minutes), add basil. Saute for a few more minutes and add to sweet potatoes. Stir well, add a little ground black pepper,

  25. Joelle

    I just made these…pretty yummy! I asked my 3 yr old what they tasted like and he said, “Mashed tatoes.” Any thoughts on how to thicken them up to be even more like the real thing?

  26. Linda

    I love this dish & have been making it since a friend gave me a similar recipe. We like to call these “mashed faux-tatoes”!

  27. This is a favorite in our household! This looks like a great recipe, I am excited to try it! I have also started a Gluten Free Recipe Blog– http://www.thesimpleglutenfree.com.

  28. Looks soooo yummy. I wonder if it would work with romanesco? We have tons of it in our CSA box this week!

  29. judee@glutenfreeA-Z @ glutenfreewithjudee.blogspot.com

    I love the idea of a low carb mashed potatoe .. I tried it before, but never pureed it.. what at great idea

  30. Adrienne

    Looking forward to trying this recipe! Saw that Dr. Oz recommends mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.

  31. Kari Miller

    Elana, I am in the kitchen most of my day trying new recipes and trying to fix as many Primal/Paleo recipes as I can for variety in my military family’s meals. I love your website and all the recipes you list. I am in the process of buying your cookbooks so my library of foods choices are as large as can be. I really would love to create a Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe that is as close to a southern sage/sausage recipe I remember as a child. I’d love to visit with those who are trying find the same. Thank you for giving me a world of new flavors and textures and in learning more about Gluten-Free foods. You are truly a visionary!

    • Tammy

      Hi. I’m making my mom’s sausage/sage stuffing recipe this year, though I’ve made it paleo/primal.

      3 lbs sausage of choice
      4 ribs celery diced
      1 medium onion diced
      4 cloves of garlic (put through press)
      1 cup dried cranberries
      1 loaf paleo bread (Elana’s recipe) diced and dried
      1 qt. chicken broth
      2 Tbsp ground sage
      Rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper to taste

      Preheat oven to 350. Brown sausage in skillet. Drain. In a large bowl
      combine sausage, celery, onion, garlic, dried cranberries, bread crumbs,
      sage, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper & mix well. Add the
      chicken broth and mix. Stuffing should be really moist. If more liquid is
      needed add more broth or coconut milk until stuffing reaches desired consistency. Transfer to casserole dish. Bake in oven covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until browned.

      I’m excited to try this one paleo this year! :-)

  32. Bomama

    Sounds yummy, still stuck on your Cauliflower rice…and many variations I’ve come up with…..yumm!!!My kids however will have nothing to do with cauliflower, I will try to sneek this mash in though….;)

  33. Jan

    Don’t forget to add some garlic powder to the recipe. I have been making this since the ’70’s…it is a family favorite. I have added root veggies also!!!
    Thanks for all the comments from the low thyroid folks…I am part of you too!

  34. This is a great low carb rendition of mashed potatoes. Great presentation too.

  35. Christine Steendahl-"The Menu Mom" @ kidapprovedmeals.com

    Great recipe! Easy and delicious. It is so nice to have options for holiday meals and sides that are gluten free! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Brooke Atkins

    I made these tonight but roasted the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then I blended it with vegetable stock and grated parmasean cheese. It was great!

  37. Barbara Bos

    Never thought of making a mash of cauliflower, great! I added broccoli and some nutmeg which tasted wonderful too. Keep ‘m coming!

  38. Susan

    Tonight I made mashed cauliflower with a blender….and I think it would go much, much better in a food processor! I added sour cream, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (only a bit!), lime juice * a necessary addition which really pulls it all together…I also added asiago cheese (shredded) for a great kick! So yummy…..and it would be so much simpler with a food processor. I could chop the cauliflower first….before steaming…which would further simplify the recipe.
    Thank you for your great inspiration for my version of mashed cauliflower!!!

  39. Dorothy Ellis

    Tried this tonight with a little cream and seasoned salt. Fantastic recipes, thanks for all your hard work!

  40. Kathleen

    this was so good. I made it with some added coconut milk and ghee instead of the spread. Oh my it tasted fantastic. Thanks for the great idea. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  41. Aileen

    Um, potatoes ARE gluten free to begin with, so you don’t really need to “replace” them with the mashed cauliflower. BUT if you are a Celiac (like me) who is also on a low-carb diet, the mashed cauliflower is perfect.

  42. Annette

    Tried this tonight as a topping on a gluten-free salmon and leek pie. I mashed it with parsley, salt, pepper and garlic and when I baked the pie, sprinkled a little bit of almond meal on top for colour & crunch. Thanks for the idea!

  43. Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com @ healthymamainfo.com

    This will be a great trick to make my kids eat cauliflower!

  44. kelsey


    I’ve tried in the past to make mashed cauliflower, but it never turned out well until I tried your recipe. It’s delicious!! Tastes just like mashed potatoes. I used olive oil instead of butter/coconut oil because it was all I had on hand. I also added some garlic and pepper.


  45. Nichole

    I just died and went to heaven. My husband and I agree, there is no need to ever eat real mash potatoes again! This was divine. I subbed out the buttery spread for coconut oil. YUM. Love your site and your recipes.

  46. Nicolette Dirks @ nicolettedirks.tumblr.com

    These look so good – thank you for sharing!

  47. Yep, this is so awesome. Made it last night and finishing the leftovers right now. Absolutely delicious!

  48. Jenn

    When asked the question, “What is your all-time favorite food?” I’ve always responded, “Mashed Potatoes!” After trying this recipe tonight, I may never make mashed potatoes again! I used olive oil and the were simply divine! I can’t wait to have them at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! Thanks Elana! You’re recipes are always wonderful!!!

  49. Nancy Nurse

    Hi guys,

    PLEASE know that potatoes are NOT your enemy!! I have lost 40 pounds eating potatoes! It’s the animal fats that make us fat. Anyway, enjoy; this recipe is wonderful! If you’re interested in learning more about the potato, google: The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall. He has literally saved my life! All kinds of ailments are gone including angina!

  50. Jen Mason

    I just made this dish and it was a total hit with my family. I have a 7 yr old and twin 6 yr old (all boys). They ate every last bite of the mashed cauliflower.
    Thank you so much for this recipe and idea! I will definitely be making this again!

  51. Andrea @ Noneyet!

    I have Crohn’s, I wonder if anyone else has had success on this diet?

  52. Chris Rossi @ christinerossiart.com

    Mashed cauliflower is great and I found that if you substitute parsnips for half of the recipe its even better! Gives it a little bit more body and sweetness…
    Its great on your Paleo Shepherd’s Pie.
    Love your site!

  53. kim

    What if I do not have a food processor?

  54. Lila

    I made this last night and it was fantastic! I’m addicted! The only thing I noticed today (I used the Earth-Balance spread) is that the spread apparently contains corn. My family members are allergic to corn and although I have never been tested I suspect that I might be too (with symptoms seemingly more apparent as I get older). Does anyone know if this spread is appropriate for corn-sensitive individuals? I remember reading that Elana can’t have corn, but cannot tell from context if she eats this too with the spread or if it is just for her family.

    I’m making this again tonight with the olive oil! Yum!

  55. Meg

    Can you use just normal sea salt? :)
    I’ll make it tonight otherwise, :)

  56. Suzanne Davis

    I’ve been wheat free/grain free/low carb 10-15 carbs per meal ( Dr. William Davis’s Wheat Belly plan) since February 2014. Love living this way and will never go back! And this is what brought me to you, a lucky day that was!
    About the mashed cauliflower. Love it! Could eat that every day or as a meal all by itself. Very eager to try your Cauliflower Rice recipe, and to find kelp noodles too. But when I make mashed cauliflower, it never looks like your photograph. No, mine turns out limp, never a nice mound. What’s the secret? I use a potato masher and add cream cheese. Do I need to use a thickener? I have wondered if I should use a ricer instead of the masher. Help, please! Thanks!

  57. Renee

    I just made a batch with cauliflower, parsnips, garlic, shallots, horseradish root, ghee, and bone broth. Simmered all together until soft, then blitzed with an immersion blender. Yummy leftovers for breakfast with a crispy fried egg on top.

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