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Cauliflower mashed potatoes with fresh parsley.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Easy mashed potatoes made with cauliflower puree - vegan and dairy-free!



To boil the potatoes:

  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes (also called Butter or Yukon Gold potatoes)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

To mash the potatoes:

Garnishes (Optional):

  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley or chives
  • Pinch of fresh cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt (we love Maldon Salt or Jacobsen Sea Salt here)


Prep the Potatoes (10 Minutes)

  1. Peel the potatoes (optional) and cut into evenly-sized 2-3 inch pieces. We generally like to cut larger potatoes into quarters and small potatoes in half.
  2. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water.

Cook the Potatoes (30 Minutes)

  1. Add kosher salt to pot with potatoes and water.
  2. Cover potatoes and place the pot on a burner over medium heat. (If you’re using a glass or electric stove, you may want to bump the heat up to medium-high).
  3. Cook potatoes until water reaches a low boil, about 25-30 minutes. Pierce a potato with a fork to check for doneness; if the fork slides easily through the potato, they’re done. If potatoes aren’t yet soft, cook 3-4 minutes more or until potatoes are cooked through and easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Drain cooked potatoes and return them to the pot.

Mash the Potatoes (5 Minutes)

  1. Return drained potatoes to pot. Add cauliflower cream, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mash potatoes (we used a handheld potato masher - see our full breakdown of potato mashing methods in our Perfect Mashed Potatoes Tutorial). When potatoes are just mashed, use a spoon or spatula to gently fold everything together. The less you work the potatoes, the better - see why here.
  3. Taste mashed potatoes and add salt or pepper as necessary.

Garnish (optional, but fun!)

  1. Transfer mashed potatoes to a serving bowl. Top with fresh chopped parsley, a few twists of fresh ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Serve immediately.


What is Magic Cauliflower Cream? Cauliflower Cream is our favorite lightened-up substitution for a traditional béchamel sauce (a milk or cream sauce thickened with a flour-and-butter roux). In a nutshell, cook 1 pound of chopped cauliflower with 1 and 1/2 cups of vegetable stock until cauliflower is ultra-soft, then blend well to make a smooth “cream”.

Healthy swap: Amp up the cauliflower (and the health factor!) even more by swapping 1 pound of potatoes for 1 pound of cauliflower florets.

Make-ahead tip. If you’d like to peel and chop the potatoes ahead of time, you can cover the potatoes with cold water and set the pot aside for a few hours until you’re ready to cook. This is a great make-ahead trick – on Thanksgiving, I always cut my potatoes first thing in the morning, then cover them with water and set them aside until I’m ready to cook them. The cold water keeps the potatoes from browning so they’re ready to go whenever you are.

Additions and Substitutions. This is a great base recipe, and it’s very forgiving! Add your favorite herbs, roasted garlic, or (if you’re not vegan/dairy-free) add a splash of cream, butter, or your favorite shredded cheese!

Equipment. We used our favorite Anolon nonstick pot and an OXO potato masher for this recipe. For a full run-down of the best mashed potato equipment, check out Mashed Potatoes 101!

Leftover mashed potatoes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 or 6 days. If reheated mashed potatoes are dry, gently stir in a scoop of cauliflower cream or a splash of veggie stock to loosen them up again (if you aren’t vegan or dairy-free, you can also use milk, cream, or butter to bring reheated potatoes back to life).

Questions about how to make the BEST mashed potatoes? We cover EVERYTHING you need to know - from potato types to equipment to mashing methods and more - in Mashed Potatoes 101.

Keywords: easy, healthy, lightened-up