This Mashed Cauliflower is a healthy vegan alternative to mashed potatoes and filled with flavorful garlic, leeks, chives, and thyme. It’s so easy to whip up in just 20 minutes!
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
This recipe for Vegan Mashed Cauliflower is so good for SO many reasons. It’s:
- easy-to-make- You only need 20 minutes to make this simple recipe and a few simple ingredients (many you may already have on hand).
- so healthy– If you are here, you are probably looking for a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes (or maybe you have some extra cauliflower lying around). And it IS healthier, with nearly a quarter of the calories of potatoes. It’s also just as satisfying. And, it’s also vegan AND gluten-free.
- versatile– We love this mashed cauliflower because it’s so versatile and you can use a variety of ingredients you have on hand. Add fresh rosemary instead of thyme, shallots instead of leeks, or even add a little vegan sour cream or cream cheese.
- the perfect side dish– Top it with this homemade Mushroom Gravy for the full “mashed cauliflower and gravy” experience, or try it alongside these Instant Pot Collard Greens for out-of-this-world flavor.
- creamy and cheesy– with the addition of vegan butter, almond milk, and nutritional yeast, it’s the perfect recipe for a creamy mashed cauliflower with a cheesy flavor.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Unsalted Vegetable Broth/Olive Oil- As noted in the recipe, you can easily substitute the vegetable broth with olive oil.
- Thyme– Swap out fresh rosemary for the thyme.
- Leeks– don’t have leeks on hand? Try shallots instead. These are small onions with a more delicate, mild flavor perfect for this recipe. Or you can also sub with green onions.
Boil the Cauliflower:
First, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and boil for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Drain and leave sitting in a colander in the sink to let any steam escape (note: this helps the puree to be smoother and not mushy).
Cook the Garlic and Leeks:
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the unsalted vegetable broth (or olive oil, if desired) over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and finely chopped leeks, and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the leeks are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Add ingredients to food processor and blend:
To a food processor, add the cooked leeks/garlic, nutritional yeast, vegan butter, almond milk, chives, thyme, salt, and pepper (STEP 1 below).
Next add the boiled cauliflower once all steam is released (STEP 2). Cover and blend, starting on low speed and increasing the speed, until creamy (STEP 3). You may need to stop the processor and stir in case some of the cauliflower florets get stuck at the top.
Taste and add salt, pepper, or additional nutritional yeast as desired.
This recipe makes about 4 cups mashed cauliflower (serving size may vary a little depending on the size of the cauliflower head).
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Freezing Instructions: Cool the mashed cauliflower first and add to a freezer bag or airtight container, for up to 3 months. Add to the fridge overnight to thaw or reheat in a saucepan over low heat until thawed.
EXPERT TIPS & FAQ’S:
Mashed cauliflower has a slightly different texture than potatoes so no, it’s not exactly the same. But we think it’s pretty darn close in taste and texture. If you’re looking for a lower carb, lower calorie option to mashed potatoes, this recipe is it!
Do you love cauliflower? Try one of these recipes:
- Cauliflower Puree with Sautéed Mushrooms
- Coconut Curry Cauliflower Soup
- Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry Bowl
- Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Sauce
And if you try this Vegan Mashed Cauliflower recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. We just love to our recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!
Mashed Cauliflower (Vegan)Pin Rate
- Food Processor
- Large Pot
- Medium skillet
- 1 medium head white cauliflower (about 575 grams) - discard core and leaves and break into florets
- 1/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth - can substitute with 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 leek - trimmed and chopped fine
- 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter - optional
- 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- To begin, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and boil for 10-15 minutes or until soft. *Drain and leave the cooked cauliflower sitting in a colander in the sink to let any steam escape (note: this helps the puree to be smoother and not mushy).
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the unsalted vegetable broth (or olive oil, if desired) over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and finely chopped leeks, and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the leeks are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- To a food processor, add the leeks/garlic, nutritional yeast, vegan butter, almond milk, chives, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Lastly (once the cauliflower has let out all the steam) add to the food processor.
- Starting on low speed, start blending and increase speed until creamy. You may need to stop the processor and stir in case some of the florets get stuck at the top. Taste and add the remaining 1/4 cup almond milk if needed.
- This recipe makes about 4 cups mashed cauliflower, or roughly 1 cup per serving. Add additional salt, black pepper, or nutritional yeast as desired. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- To freeze, cool the mashed cauliflower first and add to a freezer bag or airtight container, for up to 3 months. Add to the fridge overnight to thaw or reheat in a saucepan over low heat until thawed.
- The nutritional information below does not include the olive oil.
- The serving size will vary a little depending on the size of your cauliflower head.
- To get a smooth puree, I recommend using a food processor (as noted in this recipe). Or, you can also try a high powered blender, although it won’t have as much room to spin around so you may have to stop, stir and blend a few times until it’s smooth. Or you can also use an immersion blender.
- Use this Mashed Cauliflower as a side dish to this One-Pot Lentil Curry w/ Peas (+ Instant Pot Option). Feel free to make it a fuller meal by adding Mushroom Gravy on top of the mashed cauliflower (and sweet corn!).
- You can swap out fresh rosemary for the thyme. Or add more vegan butter or even vegan sour cream or cream cheese to make it extra creamy.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in May 2015, but was republished with new photos, tips and FAQs in September 2019.