Potato Cauliflower Mash

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This Potato Cauliflower Mash recipe is a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes that is full of flavor and sure to please. Made with real potatoes and cauliflower!

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These Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower are a great way to lighten up your favorite mashed potato recipe without sacrificing any flavor. Made with a combination of mashed potatoes and mashed cauliflower, this Potato Cauliflower Mash has the best of both worlds. 

This healthy side dish will be a hit and is one of our family's favorite side dishes.,

Let's talk about mashed cauliflower for a minute. The problem I have found with many cauliflower mash recipes is that they can be bland, watery, and sometimes have a weird, almost gritty texture. While it is low carb and low calorie, it doesn't necessarily fulfill those mashed potato cravings. 

After lots of trial and error, I finally developed a cauliflower mash recipe I love, but it's still not mashed potatoes. It's delicious don't get me wrong, but the texture is still quite different. 

That's where this recipe comes in! To get that creamy potato texture but still lighten things up, this recipe combines cauliflower and potatoes.  

Pro tip: There is also an option to fold in some roasted garlic which adds a ton of flavor and ensures no one misses all the butter and cream found in traditional mashed potatoes.

Why We Love this Potato Cauliflower Mash

  • Mashed potato texture but with half the calories: By combining cauliflower and potatoes, you get the creamy texture you want in mashed potatoes with fewer calories.
  • More nutritious: Adding cauliflower to the potatoes adds vitamins, minerals, and sneaks in an extra serving of veggies.
  • Easy to customize: Add all your mashed potatoes favorites including cheese, butter, sour cream, chives, crispy bacon, or nutritional yeast. Make them your own.

How to Make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Now that you’re sold on this cauliflower recipe, let’s look at how we create this simple vegetable side dish.

Start by roasting a whole head of garlic in the oven. This can be done in advance for easier weeknight prep. Don't be worried this is too much garlic flavor. Roasting the garlic creates a more mellow flavor. It's so good! This step is optional but really kicks up the flavor. 

When the garlic has about 20 minutes left to go, get started on the potatoes and cauliflower.

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. While you’re waiting for the water to boil wash your potatoes and cauliflower. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cauliflower and allow them to cook for 12-16 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes and cauliflower in a colander and set the water aside, you may need it later.

Mash the potatoes and cauliflower using a hand masher for a thicker consistency. You can also add the potatoes and cauliflower to a blender for a super creamy option. 

Once all your ingredients are well blended and your cauliflower mashed potatoes are complete, feel free to add additional toppings of your choice. Or place them on the side for your friends or family to add at their discretion. These toppings can include extra roasted garlic, cheese, sour cream, butter, chives, crispy bacon, or other mashed potato toppings.

This cauliflower mashed potato recipe will quickly become a fan favorite! It has a bold flavor, great consistency, and hidden nutritional goodness!

Mashed cauliflower and potatoes in a bowl with a pat or butter, fresh thyme, and a spoon.

Tips and Tricks for Making Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

  • Do you have to peel the potatoes? It's completely up to you if you peel the potatoes. Just make sure to wash them really well if you plan to leave the skin on. 
  • Use frozen cauliflower: Frozen is fine! Reduce the cook time for the cauliflower to about 5 minutes if using frozen florets. Make sure to really dry the cauliflower well after since frozen can have a lot of moisture. 
  • Dry the cauliflower well. The most important step in this recipe is fully drying the cauliflower and potatoes. This simple step ensures that your dish has the consistency of traditional mashed potatoes. Without this step, the cauliflower retains lots of water and can lead to a watery, flavorless dish.
  • Roast the cauliflower: Switch things up and make this recipe with roasted cauliflower instead of boiled for a slightly caramelized, nutty flavor. 

Storage and Make Ahead

If you are making this for a holiday meal or serving it as a weeknight side dish, you can get ahead and prep it in advance.

  • Roast the garlic in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  • Make the entire recipe in advance and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days. The flavors will get even better as they combine. Then reheat gently in a pot with a touch of milk or broth.
  • This recipe can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat with a splash of milk or broth. 

Make it Yours! Recipe Ideas

  • Potatoes: You can use almost any potato in this recipe and choose to make it with the skins or without the skins. It works with sweet potatoes too. 
  • Fresh Herbs: Consider adding some chopped chives, thyme, rosemary, or parsley to the potatoes to add some extra flavor.
  • Cheese: We love cheese around here and I often time will throw in some Parmesan, cheddar, cream cheese, or goat cheese to my mashed cauliflower.
  • Toppings: Add chives, crispy bacon, butter, sour cream, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, or crispy shallots. 

Garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes in a bowl with garlic and thyme on the side.

Main Dish Ideas

This cauliflower and potato mash works with anything dish where you would normally serve mashed potatoes. This recipe is great served with meatloaf, baked or grilled fish, or your favorite baked chicken recipe. Here are some of our favorite main dishes to pair with mashed cauliflower.

Is cauliflower good for you?

Cauliflower does not get enough credit for the powerful vegetable that it is. Blame it on the plain color or bland flavor when eaten raw, but this veggie should be held in high esteem.

Cauliflower provides an abundance of phytochemicals which include carotenoids, tocopherols, and ascorbic acid. This combination is shown to have many health benefits.

 A one-cup serving of cauliflower provides nearly 80 percent of the daily value of Vitamin C and 20 percent of Vitamin K while only adding approximately 25 calories to your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions when making roasted garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

The most common reason that mashed cauliflower is watery is that the cauliflower wasn't dried thoroughly after it was cooked. The extra water in the cauliflower needs to be removed. 


If you find yourself with watery mashed cauliflower, you can add some extra cooked cauliflower or potatoes to the mixture to soak up some of the liquid. 

If you don't have any additional cauliflower or potatoes, you can thicken the mash with a cornstarch flurry. 

The Recipe
Cauliflower potato mash with roasted garlic and butter in a ceramic bowl with a wooden spoon.

Potato Cauliflower Mash

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  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 14 oz. cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (use broth for Whole30)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and Pepper

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top off the garlic bulb and place on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and close the foil. Place in the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes until browned and tender.


Fill a large pot with water. Season with kosher salt. Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-16 minutes until cauliflower and potatoes are fork tender.


Strain the potatoes and cauliflower. Then dry thoroughly using a kitchen towel. This ensures fluffy mashed cauliflower since it removes the extra moisture.


Add the potatoes and cauliflower back to the pot with the milk, butter, and roasted garlic cloves. Mash until it reaches your desired consistency. You can also blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 190
Calories from Fat 66
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 16mg
Sodium 61mg
Total Carbohydrate 28g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 4g
Protein 6g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


Skip the roasted garlic for a more traditional mashed potato flavor.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Potato Cauliflower Mash
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Liz McGee Barr
April 5, 2016 - 12:23
Add a Rating:
Love this recipe!! It's a favorite at my house. I don't add the milk but use the fat free sour cream or Greek yogurt. This is one of my new favorite things to bake, super easy and goes so well as a side dish.
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