Mashed Potato Makeover…with Cauliflower

Cauliflower puree in bowl for a mashed potato makeover - Learn more at

Who doesn’t love some creamy mashed potatoes to go with their fresh Blackened Salmon or Garlic Lime Chicken? But with 1 cup packing over 230 cals, 660 mg of sodium, and 35 grams of carbs, this family fave isn’t for everyday consumption around our home. And for those carb cycling, this clearly isn’t an option on your low carb days.

Enter, “Recipe Rehab!” Time to give mashed potatoes a little makeover using one of my favorite tricks – cauliflower!  Might sound a little “iffy”, but don’t  knock it till you try it. These delectable “faux-tatoes”, as many call them, are so darn good, they may just earn a prominent place on your Thanksgiving table ;).

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
Serves 4

What you’ll need:

8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Snipped fresh chives for garnish

How to make it:

Combine cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (In a hurry? You can make it in the microwave. Simply place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)

Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.

No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

What’s in it:
Each serving has 170 calories, 5g protein, 10g carbs, 7g fat, 4g fiber and 288mg sodium


  1. Laura - August 4, 2015

    I’m confused why Heidi says this is clearly not an option for low carb days. The book didn’t specify how many grams are considered too much for a meal, but I would’ve assumed from looking at this recipe that it would be allowed on a no carb day. Which part makes it too high in carbs?

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2015

      Hi Laura: Heidi was talking about mashed potatoes when she said they’re not an option for a low carb day: “Who doesn’t love some creamy mashed potatoes to go with their fresh Blackened Salmon or Garlic Lime Chicken? But with 1 cup packing over 230 cals, 660 mg of sodium, and 35 grams of carbs, this family fave isn’t for everyday consumption around our home. And for those carb cycling, this clearly isn’t an option on your low carb days.” So sorry for the confusion! These cauliflower mashed potatoes would definitely work for a low carb meal.

  2. Myriah - June 14, 2015

    I’m a litte bit confused. I just read the post about how good white potatoes are if they are not fried and this post just said that they’re not very good for you and to replace mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. Maybe I’m missing something, that happens a lot. There is a lot to understand on this health journey :/

    • Team Powell - June 14, 2015

      Sorry for the confusion! Potatoes are listed on Chris and Heidi’s approved foods list as carbs, but for a low carb meal (where potatoes are a no-no), this recipe offers a healthy sub for those potatoes, or if you simply want a different take on regular mashed potatoes. For more info on potatoes, check out this post: Hope this helps!

  3. Donna Amato - December 12, 2014

    I would love to have the oppurtunity to win the kids package to give to my daughter for my granddaughter she is 3 years old. The baby is only 9 months and still nursing. I know that she is on some type of vitimans but does not like taking them. She is a good little eater and enjoys her yogurts. This would be a great gift for Miranda from Nana..

  4. Suzie Fluss - December 11, 2014

    I make the mash with just a little butter and salt and pepper and I just mash them with an old fashion hand masher… Yummy!!! 🙂 Keep it simple!

  5. Crystal - November 26, 2014

    Can you use a blender instead of a food processer?

    • Team Powell - November 26, 2014

      Some blenders might not be powerful enough, but give it a try!

  6. Donna Amato - November 22, 2014

    If you do not have a processor can you use a mixer?

  7. Michele - November 20, 2014

    I like to add a few tablespoons of plain greek yogurt. Delish!

  8. Jordyn Arismendez - November 4, 2013

    Would this be ok for our Low Carb days?

  9. Eric - October 16, 2013

    Hi Heidi, Cabbage is probably the most popular food in the Netherlands! Love the recipe, try adding some nutmeg next time, gives an extraordinary flavor to it.Have you tried this with Broccoli?

  10. Crystal - October 8, 2013

    I love this, we do this sometimes when we are trying to eat better. One of my tricks is to use the yellow cauliflower so that it looks like there’s a little extra butter. My kids love extra butter in theirs so the illusion of the yellow cauliflower makes them happy 🙂

  11. Stacey - October 7, 2013

    Can’t wait to try! Hope the family loves it

  12. Gary Dekker - October 7, 2013

    Wow I just made these and they are amazing…actually like it better then mashed potatos

  13. Donna - October 7, 2013

    I love it I made it and it is so so good wow thanks Heidi and chris

  14. Teresa Johnston - October 7, 2013

    Tried this last week, Yummy, I used Almond milk,and it was still yummy!!

  15. faith - October 7, 2013

    gotta make this for thanksgiving

  16. Sue B - October 7, 2013

    Love all of your recipes ! This one sounds like another great one I have to try ! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Michelle Reynolds - October 7, 2013

    I add a little bit of parmesan cheese to mine! A little extra fat, but no carbs and delicious!

  18. candace - October 7, 2013

    nummy!! my husband loves mashed potatoes AND Cauliflower!! this is a perfect solution! 🙂 Thanks!

  19. Lindsay - October 7, 2013

    Can the Buttermilk be substituted with Almond Milk?

    • Admin1 - October 8, 2013

      I have not tried it but one person commented that they substituted the almond milk and it worked. We’d love to hear how it works for you! 🙂

  20. Christy - October 7, 2013

    This is how my family eats mashed potatoes too and we all love it! We don’t even like real mashed potatoes anymore.

  21. Danielle - October 7, 2013

    This is one of my favorite tricks! I found this last year and I love it. It’s great for my dad who is diabetic.

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