Cauliflower mash is a great side dish to choose when you’re avoiding white potatoes or starchy meals. This version comes out thick and creamy, with a texture very similar to mashed potatoes, because of the addition of steamed parsnips! You’ll fall in love with this earthy and satisfying cauliflower puree.
The CREAMIEST Recipe for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Cauliflower is a great low-carb sub for a variety of starchy dishes. It’s fiber-rich, has 100% of your vitamin C needs for the day, and has a mild flavor that allows it to be flavored in a variety of ways.
If you’ve ever made mashed cauliflower, and had it turn out too watery to be satisfying, I hear you! I have come up with a few solutions to making a thick and satisfying cauliflower mash.
This version uses steamed parsnips. If you’ve never cooked parsnips, you’re in for a treat. They are similar to a carrot, but white, and have a lightly sweet, earthy flavor. Because they have more starch than cauliflower, they thicken up the mixture.
I’ve also used celeriac (also called celery root), and love it as well! Bonus points that this recipe adds uncommon veggies to your diet adds in more nutrients.
If you love white potatoes, and but want a lighter version of mashed potatoes, you can also use russet potatoes in place of the parsnips. The recipe card includes all 3 of these variations!
You’ll LOVE this recipe because:
- Creamy cauliflower mash is a satisfying, lower calorie version of mashed potatoes.
- It’s a nutrient-dense alternative, perfect for holiday tables when you need something to pour gravy on!
- When your salads feel “blah,” it’s a comforting hot vegetable side dish!
- It’s perfect for meal prep! Make a batch up and store it in your refrigerator up to 5 days and reheat it as needed.
What You Need
- Cauliflower (chop in large pieces)
- Parsnips (peeled and chopped)
- Grass-fed (pastured) Butter (no milk needed! The cauliflower is high in water already)
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
How to Make Cauliflower Mash
Step 1: Use a steamer basket or pan to steam cauliflower and parsnips for 15-20 minutes, until very tender when pierced with a fork. If your vegetables still have a crunch to them, the mash will turn out lumpy instead of really creamy.
Step 2: Add the steamed vegetables to a food processor along with butter, salt and pepper, and process until very creamy. Tip: Ensure your vegetables have not been sitting in the steaming water. I use a little less water than usual for steaming so the cauliflower isn’t water logged.
Is Cauliflower Mash Low in Carbs?
Cauliflower Mash is lower in carbs than mashed potatoes! Is it low enough to be keto? Let’s look at a comparison.
|Cauliflower & Parsnip Mash
The amounts in the comparison chart are based on the vegetables along with 1 teaspoon of butter, not including any milk or cream added to the recipes. Cauliflower mash doesn’t need cream or milk because of its high water content.
The cauliflower mash with no parsnips is the best for a keto diet. However, the cauliflower and parsnip mash is still much lower in net carbs than mashed potatoes, and is suitable for carb cycling or low carb diets.
Consider that most servings are closer to 1 cup, meaning the differences in these amounts would be double or triple the amount shown in the chart.
Tips & Variations
Dairy Free Cauliflower Mash: This is easily made vegan cauliflower puree by using a vegan butter substitute. I recommend looking for something that is olive oil or avocado oil based, rather than seed-based (such as canola or soy). This is because seed oils are highly refined and cause inflammation.
Is Cauliflower Mash Paleo?: Some paleo dieters avoid white potatoes. This cauliflower parsnip mash is perfect for the paleo diet! If you avoid butter, use ghee instead.
Make the Thickest Mash Possible: Use less water in your steamer than you normally would, and be sure the vegetables don’t touch the water while steaming. If they seem water logged, take the time to add the cauliflower to a cheesecloth or thing kitchen towel, and drain off some of the excess moisture. Don’t want to drain out all the water. Don’t use cream or milk – this will result in a watery mash!
Variations: Use peeled and chopped celeriac (celery root) or peeled and chopped white potatoes in place of the parsnip. Both options are higher in starch than potatoes and will help thicken the cauliflower puree.
You might also want to try Mashed Sweet Potatoes as a delicious and nutrient-dense alternative to white potatoes.
How to Serve Thick Cauliflower Puree
This is a recipe I typically pull out for holiday meals, or when someone in our house is sick and in need of comfort food! I also use this recipe as the topping for my Lightened Up Shepherd’s Pie.
Use this as a complement to:
Thick & Creamy Cauliflower Mash
- 8 cups cauilflower florets, chopped into large pieces (or 1 medium head)
- 2 parsnips peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter grass-fed or pastured recommended
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Add cauliflower and parsnips to a steamer basket, and steam for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are very soft through.
- Scoop steamed vegetables into a food processor, along with butter, salt and pepper. Process until the vegetables are very creamy.