Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are a lighter, lower carb way to enjoy your favorite comfort food in a healthier way! Made in the slow cooker for easy prep.
This is one of those recipes that is all about balance. It still has all the delicious holiday flavor of traditional mashed potatoes, just slightly lighter with the addition of cauliflower. These Crockpot Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are truly a delicious version of a traditional side dish made just a bit healthier!
Trust me when I say, no one will even notice the addition of the mashed cauliflower. The dish is still light, fluffy, and creamy since the main recipe component is still potatoes. It's such a good vegetable side dish.
This recipe also comes in two versions - the holiday edition and a lighter version. Both are delicious and both should be enjoyed.
During the holidays, I am all about the traditional flavors I grew up with. For me, that means milk, butter, and sour cream in my mashed potatoes. So there is a version with those things.
There is also a healthier option that uses olive oil or ghee. Combined with the garlic and fresh herbs, it’s really tasty. This version is one I use all the time for weeknight meals and meal prep.
Why We Love this Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash
- Lower carbs and fewer calories but still tastes like the real thing
- More nutritious with the addition of cauliflower
- Smooth and fluffy texture
- Made in the slow cooker for hands-off preparation. Great to make ahead!
Ingredients and Swaps
Here is everything you need for crockpot cauliflower mashed potatoes.
- Cauliflower: This recipe uses a whole head of cauliflower. You can also use 5-6 cups of cauliflower florets or frozen cauliflower.
- Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are my favorite for mashed potatoes, but any potatoes will work. For the best texture, I recommend peeling the potatoes.
- Garlic: I love the addition of garlic in mashed potatoes, but feel free to leave it out.
- Chicken broth: To add some flavor to the potatoes and cauliflower, I like to use chicken or vegetable broth. Feel free to swap in water.
- Make it indulgent: When I think of holiday mashed potatoes, they are usually super creamy and buttery from a combination of butter, milk, and sour cream. If you are looking for a similar flavor, we still need to add those flavors. Even with those additions, these mashed cauliflower potatoes are still lighter than traditional mashes that have up to a stick of butter and a full cup of sour cream
- Healthier option: If you want a lighter version of this recipe, then leave out the butter, milk, sour cream, and cream cheese. Instead, use 1/4-1/3 cup of olive oil or ghee to mash the potatoes and cauliflower. Kick up the flavor with fresh herbs like rosemary or chives.
All Cauliflower Mash: Make it Low Carb or Keto
Looking for a low-carb version of this recipe that uses all cauliflower? Don’t worry! It’s really easy to switch just a few ingredients and make these cauliflower mashed potatoes work for any diet.
Simply swap in another head of cauliflower for the potatoes. Cook them in the chicken or vegetable broth to add extra flavor. Then make sure to drain them really well. The more moisture you can remove from the cooked cauliflower, the fluffier the mash.
Mix in the butter, sour cream, and milk. For the best results, lightly blend in a food processor. You can also hand-mash the cauliflower, use an immersion blender, or use a regular blender. However, I think the food processor produces the best results.
There are so many different ways to serve mashed cauliflower potatoes and mixing things up means you will never get bored.
- Fresh herbs: Mashed potatoes and herbs is a natural combination. Consider adding rosemary, thyme, parsley, or chives.
- Cream cheese: Another way to add a creamy layer is cream cheese. Add regular cream cheese or herb cream cheese (so good!). You can use it instead of sour cream or use both.
- Greek yogurt: Instead of sour cream, use Greek yogurt for a healthier option.
- Crispy bacon: Add some texture and crunch to your potatoes by topping them with crispy bacon (turkey or regular). Level things up more with some grated cheddar cheese and chives.
- Green onions: Green onions are really great on top of mashed cauliflower potatoes. They add a subtle onion flavor, beautiful color, and some texture.
- Add more veggies: Stir in some fresh spinach or kale to add more nutrients. For best results, cook it separately so it doesn’t add moisture to the potatoes.
Main Dishes to Serve with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
These work with any dish where you would serve traditional mashed potatoes. From holiday meals to weeknight meals, this easy side dish works.
- Holidays: Serve this classic side dish with a Slow Cooker Turkey Breast, Turkey Breast Tenderloin, or Balsamic Pork Tenderloin.
- Weeknight meal: This cauliflower mash is delicious with Rosemary Chicken, Baked Turkey Meatballs, or Baked Chicken Drumsticks.
Cauliflower mashed potatoes can be made 3-4 days in advance. Once they are cooked and mashed, let them cool to room temperature. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Reheat gently on the stovetop with a splash of milk or broth if needed. They can also be slowly reheated in the slow cooker, just only heat them on low. Stir as they reheat so they don’t burn on the bottom.
Storage and Leftovers
Keep any leftovers in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight container. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Cauliflower mashed potatoes also freeze well and can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost naturally overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop or slowly in the microwave.
How do you keep cauliflower mash from getting watery?
The cauliflower shouldn’t get watery in this recipe since it is combined with potatoes, which have a thicker texture.
If you are making regular mashed cauliflower and find it is watery, it is likely due to not draining the cauliflower enough. Always dry the cauliflower thoroughly before mashing it so the end result is fluffy instead of watery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these slow cooker cauliflower mashed potatoes.
If you are making cauliflower mash with just cauliflower, it will not taste like traditional mashed potatoes since cauliflower has a softer, less creamy texture and milder flavor. If you combine cauliflower and potatoes to make your mash, it will taste very similar to mashed potatoes. This is especially true if you add butter, milk, and sour cream.
Frozen cauliflower works great fro slow cooker mashed cauliflower. Just make sure to drain it really well so the mashed cauliflower isn't watery.
To make this paleo and dairy-free, leave out the sour cream and milk. Instead use chicken broth to mash the potatoes and cauliflower.
Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
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- 3 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped (Yukon gold is best)
- 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup sour cream (light or regular)
- 1/2 cup 2% milk (or skim)
- Salt and pepper
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- Nutritional Information
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* 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.
For an extra creamy version: Add 2 tablespoons of regular or herb cream cheese.
Healthier, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly: Leave out the butter, milk, sour cream, and cream cheese. Instead, use 1/4-1/3 cup of olive oil or ghee to mash the potatoes and cauliflower. Kick up the flavor with fresh herbs like rosemary or chives.
Low Carb or Keto: Swap in another head of cauliflower (4-6 cups of cauliflower florets) for the potatoes. Cook them in the chicken or vegetable broth to add extra flavor. Then make sure to drain them really well. The more moisture you can remove from the cooked cauliflower, the fluffier the mash. Mix in the butter, sour cream, and milk. For the best results, lightly blend in a food processor.
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