Creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes and cauliflower is a great side dish for Thanksgiving or weeknight dinners! This ultimate healthy comfort food is made lighter with a 50/50 mix of Yukon gold potatoes and cauliflower florets, and seasoned with fresh herbs and garlic! Quick to make in the Instant Pot or stovetop in under 30 minutes!
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Why You'll Love This Cauliflower Mash Recipe
Here are the top 5 reasons you should make this potato and mashed cauliflower recipe:
- Hidden veggies! Cauliflower's mild flavor and color blends well into potatoes creating a fluffy and creamy texture.
- Healthy, gluten-free, and can be made Whole30, vegan, or dairy-free.
- Low-carb alternative and lighter than traditional mashed potatoes - no cream cheese, half and half, sour cream, or heavy cream.
- Easy to make weeknight meal side dish made in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop - no food processor or blender needed.
- Fancy enough for holidays like Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas and simple enough for an easy weeknight meal!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe. Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and the notes below for substitution ideas.
Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes are my top recommendations for making any mashed potatoes recipe.
I have not tested the recipe using canned yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks, or parsnips, however, you may try substituting them.
Using pre-cut and pre-washed cauliflower florets or even cauliflower rice to make the cauliflower puree is easy! Look for it in the produce prepared foods section of the grocery store.
Frozen cauliflower can be used, but it has extra moisture. This may result in the mashed potatoes and cauliflower recipe being more watery and not as thick.
If you are using frozen cauliflower, remove all excess moisture prior to mashing.
Many fresh herbs pair well with mashed potatoes and cauliflower. Thyme, rosemary, and parsley are my favorite herbs to season cauliflower potatoes. Dried herbs may be used if fresh are not available.
Grass-fed butter like Kerrygold gives this recipe a rich and buttery taste and helps to create a silky texture. Use vegan butter like Earth's Balance to make mashed cauli potatoes dairy-free or vegan.
Chicken broth gives these mashed cauliflower potatoes so much flavor. Use water as a substitute if needed. Use vegetable broth to make the recipe vegan or vegetarian.
Regular 2% or whole milk creates a creamy texture. Use unsweetened plain almond milk to make this mashed potatoes and cauliflower without dairy.
Minced fresh garlic cloves elevate the flavor of this recipe. Boiling garlic with the potatoes on the stovetop enables it to be mashed right with the other veggies.
How to Make This Recipe
Below are step-by-step instructions for how to cook this recipe. The recipe card at the bottom shows the exact cooking time and temperatures.
Place cleaned potatoes, peeled garlic, and cauliflower florets into a large stock pot. Cover with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth. Place fresh herbs on top and season with a generous helping of salt.
Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes and cauliflower are fork tender.
Drain in a colander and discard fresh herb stems.
Return the potato and cauliflower mixture to the pot and add in milk, butter, salt, and black pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mash until desired consistency.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower Directions
Follow stovetop directions for preparation using the Instant Pot in place of a stock pot.
Pressure cook on the manual high pressure setting for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
Continue preparation according to the stovetop instructions.
Make Ahead, Storage, and Reheating Instructions
Make Ahead: Potatoes and cauliflower may be peeled and washed the day before. Soak potatoes in water overnight if making the next day.
Freezer: May be stored in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Storage: Store leftover potato cauliflower mash in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Reheating: Add 1 tablespoon or more of milk and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave over medium heat until heated through.
What to Pair with Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower?
Mashed potatoes with cauliflower is a standard side dish recipe that is the perfect side dish for any holiday meal or as a side with a main dish.
- If using frozen be sure to drain cauliflower of moisture before mashing.
- Avoid raw garlic. Boiling it with the cauliflower and potatoes creates the perfect amount of garlic flavor.
- For less cauliflower flavor and more potato flavor reduce the amount of cauliflower from 50/50 to 25/75 cauliflower to potatoes. For more cauliflower flavor (and fewer calories) increase cauliflower to 75/25 to potatoes.
- I highly recommend using the Instant Pot method for the smoothest texture in this mashed potatoes and cauliflower recipe. If you or your family has texture issues the Instant Pot cooking method produced a smoother result for me.
- An immersion blender, hand mixer, or food processor helps to a super smooth cauliflower mashed potato recipe.
- Different cheeses add a cheesy flavor. Try adding gorgonzola, shredded cheddar cheese, or Parmesan cheese to the dish once you are mashing it.
- Add in a little bit of plain Greek yogurt for extra protein and an even more creamy texture.
It is very easy to mash both together for a consistent texture once they are both cooked. Once fork tender you can use a potato masher to combine them to a smooth result.
Nutritionally mashed potatoes and cauliflower have different benefits. Cauliflower has several great benefits like fiber and nutrients according to Healthline while potato benefits are many according to WebMD.
The 50/50 ratio is the best ratio to make sure that the recipe is thick, not watery, and has a balanced flavor.
To make it thicker, use more potatoes. Frozen cauliflower can tend to be water, therefore if you are using it, be sure to remove any excess moisture.
If you didn't know that there were veggies in the potato cauliflower mash, you would think you were eating regular mashed potatoes!
The flavor and consistency of mashed potatoes are most notable, making the cauliflower taste and texture nearly non-existent.
More Delicious Side Dish Recipes to Try!
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Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower with Garlic
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes washed, peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 head cauliflower washed and cut into florets
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 pieces fresh herbs rosemary, thyme or parsley
- 2 tablespoon butter or vegan butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened plain almond milk or 2% milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place cleaned potatoes, peeled garlic and cauliflower florets into a large stock pot. Cover with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth. Place fresh herbs on top and season with a generous helping of salt.1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, 1 head cauliflower, 4 cloves garlic, 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water, 3 pieces fresh herbs
- Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes and cauliflower are fork tender.
- Drain in a colander and discard fresh herb stems.
- Return potato/cauliflower mixture to the pot and add in milk, butter and salt/pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mash until desired consistency.2 tablespoon butter, ¾ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
Instant Pot Instructions
- Place cleaned potatoes, peeled garlic and cauliflower florets into Instant Pot pot. Cover with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth. Place fresh herbs on top and season with a generous helping of salt.
- Pressure cook on manual for 10 minutes then do a quick release.
- Drain in a colander and discard fresh herb stems.
- Return potato/cauliflower mixture to the pot and add in milk, butter and salt/pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mash until desired consistency.
- If using frozen be sure to drain cauliflower of excess moisture before mashing.
- Reduce the amount of cauliflower from 50/50 to 25/75 cauliflower to potatoes for less cauliflower flavor and more potato flavor. For more cauliflower flavor increase cauliflower to 75/25 to potatoes.
- Use the Instant Pot method for the smoothest texture. If you or your family has texture issues the Instant Pot cooking method produced a smoother result for me.
- To make ahead, peel and wash potatoes and cauliflower the day before. Soak the potatoes in water overnight to make them the next day.
- Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, add 1 tablespoon or more of milk and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave over medium heat until heated through.