Recipe: Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

by Cate on March 25, 2013

Holy Grail of Garlicness!

My first tip regarding this recipe is to not use the five large cloves of garlic it calls for.

Because, man, I do love me some garlic, but it was way.too.much.

For realz.

Like Nick, who doesn’t like “mashed potatoes” and who I finally convinced to try a bite, was gasping for water because it was “so spicy.”

Spicy wasn’t the right word, but potent certainly is.

My second tip with this recipe? Make it.

Remember when fake-out mashed potatoes via cauliflower were all the rage some years back during the low carb diet craze? My Mom was definitely making them back then, but I never got around to, but luckily they’re baaaack!

To save a little bit of time, and since I don’t have a steamer basket, I skipped the whole first step and just used a Ziploc steamer bag to steam the whole head of cauliflower. I only had one bag left, and had to be a bit strategic to get it all to fit, but it worked beautifully.

Then, once the cauliflower had been steamed, I just pulverized the heck out of everything in my mini food processor. And it was done.

Now for serving? I think these are most perfect with a pulled pork or brisket or roast chicken. And with a bite of the meat and the “mashed potatoes” together on each fork-full. This recipe or this one or this one or this one would be awesome to go with it.

Paleo. Vegetarian. Clean eating. This recipe fits all those groups. And more. Super easy. And pretty guilt-free. Creamy. Flavorful. Delicious.

Go get ’em.

Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
Recipe from Nom Nom Paleo


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 5 large cloves garlic (use less)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons grassfed butter
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (I skipped)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Fill up a large (6-quart) stock pot with an inch or two of water. Place a steamer insert in the pot, cover with a lid, and put the pot on a burner set on high.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, wash and trim the cauliflower. Cut up the florets and stem. Slice up all the garlic cloves. (Don’t worry about how everything looks — it’ll all get pulverized later in the food processor.)
  3. Once the water in the pot is boiling, throw in the stems, half of the florets, and all of the garlic. Salt everything liberally.
  4. Then, put in the rest of the cauliflower, season with more salt, replace the lid, and steam everything until soft (~10 minutes).
  5. Drain everything into a colander, and then dump it all into food processor fitted with the steel knife attachment. Season with some fresh cracked pepper and microplaned nutmeg. Add the butter.
  6. Process everything until smooth. Season to taste. These faux “mashed potatoes” reheat beautifully in the microwave.

(serves 6 – 8)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne March 26, 2013 at 6:47 am

I’ve never tasted garlic as spicy before but all of a sudden I can barely eat pesto! It’s crazy. But I do love the idea of cauliflower as mashed potatoes!
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Pizza Rustica Pasta


patsy March 26, 2013 at 9:11 am

I have been hearing about this dish for a long time now… I think some people started talking about it when the Atkins diet was all the rage. I’m going to have to give it a try since I’m trying to find more ways to serve veggies at dinner.
patsy recently posted..Thatcher McGhee’s in Denville, NJ (Restaurant Review)


kristine March 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Just tried this when we got a massive head of cauliflower in our CSA box. Huge hit with EVERYONE, including the picky eaters. Love it!


Miriam Calleja April 5, 2013 at 7:53 am

hahahaha this made me laugh because the exact same thing happened to me with the garlic.. except that I used a local (Maltese) garlic that is massive and used only one clove, thinking it can’t be all that potent if it grew so much. Famous last words. One spoonful and I could not get rid of the taste of garlic!

I also made this: with my leftovers. Yum!


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