Kirbie's Cravings

Creamy Mashed Parmesan Cauliflower

If you want a healthier substitute for mashed potatoes, you will love this mashed cauliflower recipe. It’s a low-carb side dish that is creamy and rich just like regular mashed potatoes but lighter and you only need three ingredients to make it.

overhead photo of mashed cauliflower


Yes, I’m back to playing with cauliflower and this creamy mashed cauliflower is the perfect faux potato dish. It’s so flavorful and creamy that you won’t miss the potato at all.

This mashed cauliflower has a similar texture to mashed potatoes and it actually tastes a lot like it, too, despite being made with only cauliflower. To me, it tastes like lightened-up mashed potatoes because it’s not weighed down by all the starch. It’s delicious with my garlic and herb chicken!

Mashed Cauliflower is the Perfect Substitute for Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of my biggest Thanksgiving side dish weaknesses. I honestly think I could eat it endlessly if I didn’t have some sort of self-restraint. Of course, I’d feel horrible after if I did do that because they’re not very healthy.

This is why cauliflower is the perfect substitution. It tastes so much like mashed potatoes that I didn’t mind that it was made with cauliflower. And you’ll feel so much better too without all that starch.

The best news is that it’s super easy to make, too. You only need three ingredients and the whole dish is ready in less than 30 minutes.


  • Cauliflower florets
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Reduced-fat cream cheese

How to Make It

Boil the cauliflower until it’s tender and then thoroughly drain it. Make sure it’s mostly dry otherwise your mash will be watery.

Place the cooked florets in a food processor and blend until they are almost smooth. Add the Parmesan and cream cheese and blend until the mixture is creamy and completely mashed. Season it with salt and pepper.

It’s delicious just as it is, but I like to add crumbled bacon and melted butter. This is optional!

photo of spoonful of cauliflower mash

I don’t have a food processor can I mash it by hand?

You can mash it by hand in a bowl with a potato masher, it will just take more work to get it smooth. You could also mash it to break down the florets and then use a hand mixer to mix everything together. That will help make the mixture smooth.

Is there a substitute for low-fat cream cheese?

I like to use low-fat cream cheese to keep the dish lower in calories, but you can use regular cream cheese if that’s what you have on hand. You can also substitute sour cream for the cream cheese. Either low-fat or regular sour cream will work well.

Can I make mashed cauliflower in advance?

Yes, yes you can make it up to a day in advance. Just keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm it slowly in a saucepan on the stove before you serve it.

Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days after you make it.

close-up photo of the final dish

This is a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners. In fact, I will probably skip the mashed potatoes this year now that I have this cauliflower mash recipe. I don’t think anyone will even know the potatoes are missing.

More Recipes

overhead photo of mashed cauliflower

Creamy Mashed Parmesan Cauliflower

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
This creamy mashed cauliflower is the perfect faux potato dish. It's so flavorful and creamy that you won't miss the potato at all.


  • 1 medium head of white cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese you can also substitute with low fat sour cream

Optional Garnishes

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp crunchy bacon bits


  • Cook cauliflower in boiling water until soft. Drain and remove cauliflower (make sure cauliflower is mostly dry or your mash will be watery) and place into a food processor and process until almost smooth. Add in Parmesan cheese and cream cheese and blend until texture becomes creamy and completely mashed. If needed, season with salt and pepper.
  • Scoop out cauliflower mash. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley and bacon.


  • Nutrition estimates includes a 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and do not include the optional garnishes.


Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 8.8g, Protein: 7.7g, Fat: 5.3g, Saturated Fat: 3.2g, Sodium: 264.6mg, Fiber: 2.9g, Sugar: 3.7g, NET CARBS: 6g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


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Recipe Rating

4 comments on “Creamy Mashed Parmesan Cauliflower”

  1. I love this recipe and have used it in the past. I’ve added gruyere cheese for some reason and it makes the mash even gooier ! My issue is when to take the cauliflower out of the water/broth. I guess when it’s fork tender? I wonder if you can over cook the cauliflower and ruin the dish 🙁 I just noticed all your other cauliflower bites recipes too! Thanks for the low carb options for the Holidays!

    • i cook it until soft, then drain from water and sort of pat them dry so you dont have too much water when you put it through the food processor.

  2. This looks like a great Thanksgiving dish.