Parmesan Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

It has been a very, very long time since I last made mashed cauliflower. Back in 2003 and 2004, I was a huge fan of the Atkins diet and recall making mashed cauliflower a few times. Don’t ask me why, but I haven’t even thought about making it in over a decade. And then I recently was daydreaming about my mom’s amazing meatloaf, and the beautiful haricots verts I bought at Trader Joe’s, and I thought – mashed potatoes would be the perfect way to complete this classic home-cooked meal. But then I was wandering the grocery store and saw the most gorgeous heads of cauliflower and knew I had to give it another shot. I had really forgotten how amazingly delicious the taste and texture of mashed cauliflower is, and I am kicking myself for not making it again until now. It was so simple, too, with the help of my trusty food processor (I own this one). As I was eating it, I kept thinking to myself – what a guilty pleasure it is to be eating this rich, creamy dish – and then I would remember that it was a vegetable! I will definitely be making mashed cauliflower again in the near future. My friend Janie asked if I’d ever added pesto to mashed cauliflower and I said, no, but I will be trying it out next time with a cube of my frozen pesto!


  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 1 T good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T full-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Wash the cauliflower and cut into small florets. Place the florets in a steamer basket set over a pot with a couple inches of water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the basket.

garlic parmesan mashed cauliflower


cauliflower in steamer basket

Bring the water to a boil and steam the cauliflower florets until fork tender, about 10 minutes.

steamed cauliflower

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small pan. Sauté the garlic, stirring constantly, until fragrant and soft, about a minute.

sauteed garlic

Pour the sautéed garlic & olive oil to the bowl of a food processor and add the cream cheese, parmesan, salt and pepper, and parsley. I happened to have some extra Romano cheese, so I used that instead. Add half of the steamed cauliflower and process until almost smooth.

garlic parmesan ingredients

mashing the cauliflower

Add the rest of the cauliflower and process until smooth.

mashed cauliflower

Serve immediately.

garlic parmesan mashed cauliflower

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