“Make Believe” Mashed Potatoes made with Cauliflower

picstitch (2)photo (13)I have wanted to make this since I heard about “mock” mashed potatatoes. I was inspired by other recipes to come up with this variation. My friend Karyn adds egg whites and I may try that next time. I did one version with chopped garlic and one without and preferred it without. Be very careful with the garlic, somehow it added too much flavor and I only used 1/2 tsp. of chopped garlic, I would omit it the next time completely. I couldn’t stop eating it and I think I ate almost the whole cauliflower by myself, I got Joel to taste it but he couldn’t get past the fact that it was cauliflower. I highly recommend this as a side dish without all the carbs that are in mashed potatoes.  Nothing beats a good mashed potato but sometimes you just don’t want all the starch. The calories here are pretty low even with the little cream cheese and parmesan, I only added 1 tablespoon of butter.  App. 149 calories per serving and there are 4 servings as is. (even though I personally ate 3 servings) easy to do . I really enjoyed this variation, so give it a try. Please let me know your versions of “make believe” mashed potatoes.

*calories were for recipe as is from The Food Network


1 medium head cauliflower ( just a normal head of cauliflower) clean and cut into small pieces

1 softened tablespoon cream cheese, softened. I used “light”

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 1- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, I used about a tablespoon. Completely up to you.

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic* totally optional , see note at bottom

*you’ll need an immersion blender or food processor

Shopping List:

1 head cauliflower, cream cheese, and grated parmesan cheese. ( or grate it yourself)

Staples should include unsalted butter , kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.


Set a stockpot of boiling salted water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for between 6 and 10 minutes till cauliflower is cooked thoroughly, you’ll want it tender .  Drain well, do not let cool down too much. I patted cauliflower dry with some kitchen towels, or dry between several layers of paper towels. However you prefer, just get excess water out and don’t let cauliflower cool down too much.

In a bowl with an immersion blender stick or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper until almost smooth. I added 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter while it was being pureed.

I would go very easy with the garlic or omit all together, as I have already said I liked it better with no garlic. Just giving you the option. If you love garlic add in 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic and taste before adding more.  While you’re pureeing it you can taste it before you add more salt or garlic.  You can try roasting garlic which might be a nice addition.

You can garnish with some cut up fresh chives if you’d like .

Super Easy!

3 responses to ““Make Believe” Mashed Potatoes made with Cauliflower

  1. I always wanted to try this 2…thanks for the reminder and will make 2night

  2. Hi Candi, it’s Kerri’s roommate from Semester at Sea – Sharon! Question for you – can you tell me the exact tool you used to blend the cauliflower? I have an emulsifier and a hand blender, but in a recent recipe both failed me. Thanks!

    • it’s an immersion blender stick, Cuisinart makes one and so do other companies. I use it for soups all the time. It worked well with this recipe but you can also use a food processor.
      So good hearing from you and so happy you’re cooking so much! Hope all is well with you. xoxoox

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