5 from 2 votes

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

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Easy Keto Cauliflower mashed potatoes, a healthy low carb, and KETO friendly “mocktato” recipe, is the smashed veggie you never knew you were missing.

Incredibly creamy and delicious, these ultimate mashed bits of cauliflower smothered in cheese and bacon becomes the best healthy side dish for chicken and complements other whole veggies as well.

The best part is this cauliflower recipe is pure – it really takes very few ingredients to use the full flavor of a head of cauliflower. While you can leave the cauliflower in more of a thick and chunky mash, it’s also just as amazing lighter, and smoother.

Get ready to hear “These are WHAT?” when you serve up a plate…or two!

mashed cauliflower with cheese and bacon in a dish

Why you will love this recipe

Easily add more taste: I love keeping cauliflower mashed potato’s simple with cheese and butter but it’s fine to add fresh herbs like rosemary or dill. 

Change the texture: This dish is so great because you can rice the cauliflower, leave it full of flavor with bits of cauliflower-like chunky potatoes or make it uber creamy like traditional mashed potatoes.

Guilt-Free: Keto Cauliflower Mashed potatoes are exactly what it sounds like KETO-FRIENDLY and low carb. Talk about an easy and healthy way to stay away from starch with great taste! Using cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes is a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes. Bonus is this one is Weight watchers approved too!

Ingredients

This cauliflower-loaded up mashed potato recipe takes about 20 minutes to steam the cauliflower and then another 20 minutes to bake to the final full double-baked dish. Unlike baked riced cauliflower, this recipe is more like the original mashed potato than any other substitute.

The best part, as you will notice in the list, is that using cauliflower as a side results in a good healthy recipe with zero guilt and all the flavor.

  • fresh cauliflower
  • heavy whipping cream
  • butter
  • salt & black pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • bacon
  • green onions
  • *minced garlic: optional ingredient
a bowl of steamed cauliflower labeled with cheese and bacon (also labeled)

Expert Tips

How to avoid watery cauliflower mashed potatoes: Cauliflower can be tough to work with as it holds water. If using frozen steamed cauliflower, make sure all excess water is dumped prior to assembly. If boiling a fresh cauliflower head, again, drain super well before moving on. It’s best to let any hot cauliflower cool down to make sure all water is gone. 

How to thin it out: Occasionally the opposite happens and you need to take the thick cauliflower and thin it out. Simply add a bit more heavy whipping cream till desired texture is reached. 

How to make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Before you get started:

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • If using bagged steamed cauliflower, you will need 24 oz. Just steam the bag first per instructions.
  • If using raw cauliflower, steam or pressure cook cauliflower until the largest piece is soft when a fork is stuck into it.
  • Cook bacon while cauliflower is steaming. Here is my recipe for Ninja Foodi Bacon that makes it super simple.
  1. Mash cauliflower in a mixing bowl. I like to use a potato masher and manually control how smooth the cauliflower is. Keep in mind that steamed cauliflower IS already hot, so if using a hand mixer or handheld immersion blender, make sure to use it on low and be aware of hot flying pieces of creamy mashed cauliflower.
  2. Add chunks of butter, heavy whipping cream, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  4. Mix all ingredients well to combine – a spatula or spoon works great. Pour mashed cauliflower into the prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle top of cauliflower with remaining shredded cheese and add pre-cooked bacon. Bake cauliflower mash for 20 minutes. Remove casserole dish from oven and serve topped with chopped green onions.
collage of 6 images that show how to make cauliflower mashed potatoes steps

FAQ’S

How many weight watchers points does Mashed Cauliflower have?

Weight Watchers Nutritional Notes: 3 Points per serving for 6 servings IF using fat-free half and half and fat-free shredded cheese

Can half and half be used over heavy whipping cream?

Yes, half and half can be used in a pinch. Just a reminder that half and half in place of heavy whipping cream is just low carb, not KETO. Additionally because half and half is less thick, add less in the recipe to start.

Does Mashed Cauliflower taste like Mashed Potatoes?

I don’t believe you can fool people into thinking cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice is actually a potato side dish but it’s most definitely a perfect alternative to a better eating lifestyle and I am SURE you will love this cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe!

Is Mashed Cauliflower *really* a Substitute for Potatoes?

The texture is a bit different and the taste, well that’s not quite the same either. But it’s GOOD. REALLY good.
And loading it up with bits of bacon, onions, and cheese give you the best cauliflower mash that will keep the complaints down enough that you can get some veggies down everyone’s throat.

What can you serve with cauliflower mash?

Surprisingly, cauliflower also makes a pretty filling lunch on its own or as a base to other meals.
For example, I made this dish and put it in the bowl underneath the pot roast this week instead of boiled red potatoes. DELICIOUS. Other great recipes that I have used cauliflower in for a side are easy roasted cauliflower, cheesy cauliflower au gratin, and cheesy cauliflower casserole.

mashed cauliflower with cheese and green onions on a spoon
5 from 2 votes

Keto Cauliflower Mashed (Loaded)


Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Keto Cauliflower mashed potatoes, a creamy cauliflower side dish smothered in cheese and bacon, is a keto and low carb side dish and an amazing, delicious alternative to mashed potatoes! These cauliflower mashed potatoes are much more healthy than traditional mashed potatoes and can be prepped chunky, riced or fully creamy. A perfectly delicious vegetable side dish, using steamed cauliflower over heavy potatoes makes this side guilt free. Cauliflower mashed potatoes also makes a great substitution for rice bowls and is a low carb alternative to many casserole dishes. Keto approved, I just know you will fall in love with MOCKtatoes! 

Ingredients
 

  • 24 oz. cauliflower steamed
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 5 slices bacon cooked and cut into small pieces
  • 2 green onions chopped, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Additionally, a cast iron pan ( 9 inches) works great.
  • Steam 24 oz. cauliflower. Using bags that are typically found in the produce section of the store is totally fine and makes the process super easy.
  • Mash steamed cauliflower in a mixing bowl with a manual potato masher (for chunks) or hand mixer on low (for super creamy).
  • Add butter, heavy whipping cream, salt, cracked pepper and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Combine all ingredients well with a spatula or spoon.
  • Pour mashed cauliflower into prepared pan. Occasionally I use a cast iron pan, which is 9 inches round. Spray with non-stick spray.
  • Sprinkle top of cauliflower with remaining shredded cheese and cooked bacon. It is fine to add more cheddar cheese to your liking.
  • Bake cauliflower dish for 20 minutes.
  • Remove cauliflower mashed potatoes from oven and serve topped with chopped green onions and sour cream.

Video

Notes

How do I make the cauliflower mashed potatoes super creamy? 

This all comes down to blending. Use a food processor or even a blender to change the texture of the cauliflower from riced to a more mashed potato blend. Another choice is to manually blend with a potato masher, which will leave this side dish a bit chunkier (how I enjoy it).  The choice of texture is up to you!

How to thicken cauliflower mashed potatoes? 

Occasionally cauliflower mash can be over blended and because cauliflower naturally contains a lot of water, they can get watered down. Use full fat plain Greek yogurt to thicken in the food processor.

Are cauliflower mashed potatoes keto? 

Yes! My recipe is keto and low carb. Always check any added ingredients that you may have bought for hidden nutritional changes. 

Can a bag of steamed cauliflower be substituted over fresh?

Yes! I love time sizing tips. Steam a bag of cauliflower over using a fresh head and carefully dump out excess water before proceeding. This dish takes 24 oz. of steamed cauliflower. 

How many weight watchers points is this recipe?

Weight Watchers Nutritional Notes: 3 Points per serving for 6 servings IF using fat-free half and half and fat-free shredded cheese

Does the bacon go on before or after cooking?

Bacon can be precooked and added to the dish or simply use an air fryer and make bacon while the dish is oven baking and add afterward as a topping.

Can half and half be used over heavy whipping cream?

Half and half can be substituted but removes “Keto”.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 527mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 2 votes

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