This Mashed Cauliflower Recipe is packed and loaded with the traditional goods you’d typically find in loaded mashed potatoes but without the high carb count! It’s got sour cream, cheddar cheese, roasted garlic, crispy bacon and scallions… what’s not to love?!
I’ve had my fair share versions of low carb ‘mashed potatoes’ since experimenting with the Keto diet in the past. You know. Those recipes that aren’t actually mashed potatoes at all but PROMISE to give you your mashed potato fix anyway?! Whether it be a potato free ‘potato’ salad or creamy mashed turnips you could have bet your life were in fact potatoes, I have to admit that the various recipes I’ve tried and tested throughout the years have made me forget about my love for potatoes completely. Well, maybe not completely.
But I swear, if I didn’t know any better (and if I wasn’t the one creating and making the recipe!) I likely wouldn’t even notice that some other veggie decided to step up and claim itself a potato! Just like I bet you wouldn’t be able to tell that cauliflower did exactly that in this recipe for mashed cauliflower loaded with all the goods. Potatoes who?!
It’s no secret on this blog – I love cauliflower! And admittingly, I love it even more for its ability to transform into whatever you want it to! Feel like pizza? Cauliflower can do it. Want wings? Cauliflower has got you for that one, too. Want loaded mashed potatoes with sour cream, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, roasted garlic and scallions?! Heck, you already KNOW that cauliflower will get the job done!
This mashed cauliflower is everything you need it to be! Creamy, irresistible, easy to make, satisfying, perfect for every diet and downright delicious. It’s so velvety smooth, you seriously will not believe it’s not actually potatoes!!! So, what are you waiting for, who are you fooling first?!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS MASHED CAULIFLOWER RECIPE
At first glance and without paying too much attention, you might look at these ingredients and assume that I’m whippin’ up a good ol’ batch of loaded mashed potatoes. But although these babies may be just as loaded and delicious, they’re low carb, keto friendly and there are no signs of potatoes in sight! Let’s discuss the exact ingredients you’ll need to make this mashed cauliflower recipe in a little bit more detail down below:
- Cauliflower: The main ingredient in this mashed cauliflower recipe. When cooked and mashed, it provides a creamy and somewhat starchy texture, resembling mashed potatoes.
- Garlic: Adds a rich, sweet, and savoury flavour to the mashed cauliflower, contributing depth and complexity to the dish. We roast the garlic (using this easy method!) for an extra depth of flavour.
- Bacon: Adds a smoky, savoury, and slightly salty flavour to the mashed cauliflower. It also provides a crispy texture, creating a delicious contrast to the creamy cauliflower.
- Cheddar Cheese: Adds creaminess and a sharp, cheesy flavour to the mashed cauliflower. It helps create a luscious and indulgent dish. I personally like the pop of colour and vibrancy that cheddar cheese adds to this dish. However, you can use a different kind of cheese instead, if you prefer. Mozzarella, parmesan or gruyere all make great alternarives.
- Sour Cream: Contributes creaminess, tanginess, and a hint of acidity to the mashed cauliflower. It enhances the overall texture and flavour profile. You can use Greek yogurt instead, if you prefer.
- Green Onions: Add freshness, colour, a mild onion flavour and a little bit of crunch to the mashed cauliflower. We mix them into the final dish as well as use them as a garnish. Fresh chopped green onions provide a nice contrast to the other rich ingredients.
- Butter: Adds richness and a velvety texture to the mashed cauliflower. It contributes to the overall creaminess and helps marry the flavours of the other ingredients.
- Salt and Pepper: Essential seasonings that enhance the overall taste of the mashed cauliflower. They balance the flavours and bring out the natural taste of the ingredients.
- Olive Oil: Used to roast the garlic in the oven before using it in this mashed cauliflower recipe. Adds flavour and helps the garlic cook and caramelize. You can use a different kind of oil instead (such as avocado), if you prefer.
HOW TO MAKE LOADED MASHED CAULIFLOWER (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to make this keto friendly mashed cauliflower recipe in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Roast the garlic ahead of time to allow it to cool and become waaay easier to handle. Roasting garlic is super easy! Use this easy method for roasting it in the oven. EXTRA TIP: You can do this a day or more before making the mashed cauliflower. Just allow it to cool completely then store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Cut the cauliflower florets into uniform and even bite size pieces. This promotes even steaming in the same amount of time. EXTRA TIP: Steam or boil the cauliflower until it’s very tender (use a fork to check for doneness). Overcooked cauliflower is easier to mash and results in a smoother texture.
- After cooking, make sure to drain the cauliflower well to remove excess moisture. Excess moisture can make the mash too watery. To do so, simply place the cooked cauliflower on top of a baking sheet lined with paper towel for a few minutes. Then, using additional clean paper towel, press them down with a bit of force to release the excess moisture.
- For an extra smooth texture, consider using a food processor, stand blender or hand blender to mash the cauliflower. This can result in a consistency more similar to traditional mashed potatoes. However, if you don’t have any of those, you can mash the cauliflower by hand but be thorough to avoid lumps. EXTRA TIP: Stir the green onions, bacon and cheddar cheese into the cauliflower after you have puréed it to add texture to the final dish.
- Ensure you cook the bacon to a crispy texture before adding it to the mashed cauliflower. This provides a satisfying crunch and adds the ultimate flavour.
- Grate the cheddar cheese fresh for better melting and incorporation into the mashed cauliflower. Pre-packaged shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents, which may affect the texture.
- Loaded mashed cauliflower is best served immediately because of the sour cream and cheddar cheese. If you need to reheat, do so gently to avoid drying out the dish.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Cauliflower mash is a versatile dish that you can customize to suit various tastes and dietary needs. The basic ingredients for cauliflower mash typically include cauliflower, butter, cream or milk and salt and pepper. Optional ingredients that are often included to add more flavour and depth to cauliflower mash are garlic, cheese, herbs and spices, sour cream or Greek yogurt, bacon, onions or green onions.
To thicken mashed cauliflower, you can use ingredients that add creaminess and thickness to the dish. Keep in mind that cauliflower has a different texture than potatoes, so achieving the perfect mashed cauliflower consistency may involve some experimentation. Here are some options of ingredients you can add to cauliflower mash to help thicken it: cream cheese, heavy cream or half and half, sour cream, Greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, mascarpone cheese or butter.
Mashed cauliflower can sometimes turn out watery due to the natural moisture content in cauliflower. Here are some tips to help make mashed cauliflower less watery:
After boiling or steaming the cauliflower, make sure to drain it thoroughly. Excess water in the cauliflower can contribute to a watery mash.
Once you cook the cauliflower, you can place it in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and gently squeeze out excess moisture. You can also strain it or blot it with paper towels. However, be cautious not to burn yourself, as the cauliflower will be hot.
Use a food processor or blender. Using a food processor or blender to mash the cauliflower can result in a smoother texture, and it may help eliminate some of the excess moisture.
After mashing, let the cauliflower sit for a few minutes. This allows any remaining moisture to settle, and you can then drain off any excess liquid.
Yes, cauliflower mash does retain the flavour of cauliflower, but the taste is generally milder and less pronounced compared to the distinct flavour of whole cauliflower. When cauliflower is cooked and mashed, its flavour becomes more subtle and takes on the seasonings and ingredients added to it during the preparation.
While cauliflower mash is an excellent low-carb alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, it doesn’t completely replicate the taste and texture of potatoes. The cauliflower flavour is present but is often subtle and versatile enough to be adapted to various culinary styles. If you enjoy the taste of cauliflower, you’re likely to appreciate the unique flavor profile of cauliflower mash, especially when combined with complementary ingredients.
If you store your mashed cauliflower in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it can typically last for about 3 to 5 days. Keep in mind that the texture of mashed cauliflower might change slightly upon reheating, and it may not be as fluffy as when first made. PRO TIP: Adding a bit of extra butter, sour cream, or cheese while reheating can help restore some of the creaminess.
- 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 whole head Garlic, roasted*
- 1/4 cup Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
- 3 tbsp Butter, melted
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated
- 5 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled*
- 4 Green Onions, chopped, for garnish
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to roast the garlic)
- Steam the cauliflower using the following method: bring a stockpot with a few inches of water to a boil, then position the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket over the pot. Cover the florets and steam for approximately 8-10 minutes or until they are very soft (easily pierced with a fork). Once done, drain the cauliflower on paper towels to eliminate any excess water. Press the cauliflower between the paper towels to eliminate as much moisture as you can, and then transfer it to a food processor.
- Add the roasted garlic cloves, sour cream, butter and salt and pepper. Process until smooth and no lumps remain, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- After achieving a smooth consistency, transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions. Save a portion of each for sprinkling on top as a garnish. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 629mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 20g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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