This simple cauliflower puree is the perfect base for your favorite pasta, soup, sauce, pizza, risotto, and more!
- 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (we love Diamond Crystal)
- Add cauliflower florets, stock, and salt to a medium saucepan. Cover and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook for ten minutes.
- After ten minutes, give cauliflower a stir. Re – cover and cook for ten minutes more or until cauliflower is very easily pierced with a fork.
- Turn off the heat and leave the covered pot on the stove for an additional ten minutes.
- Use a large spoon or ladle to carefully transfer cauliflower and any remaining stock to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend for at least thirty full seconds until cauliflower has formed a smooth, thick cream.
- Use cauliflower cream immediately or let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
FYI: Most of the notes for this recipe are in the post itself – make sure you read through everything above to get all of our best tips and advice!
Choosing your cauliflower: Cauliflower heads vary in size. For best results, look for a cauliflower head that weighs roughly 1.5 to 2 pounds. After cutting your cauliflower, you should have about 5 cups of 1-inch cauliflower pieces (weighing in at 1 to 1.5 pounds). The good news, though? We developed this recipe to be ultra-forgiving, so don’t worry too much about the weight and measurements of the cauliflower!
Substitutions: You can use chicken or turkey stock instead of vegetable stock with no real difference in flavor. You can also use water instead of stock in a pinch, but we like the extra bit of flavor you get from stock. Use 1 pound frozen cauliflower florets in place of fresh cauliflower if you like. Add two minutes to the cooking time for best results when using frozen cauliflower!
Additions: We kept the flavor of this cauliflower cream purposefully mellow so that you can work it into all kinds of dishes! To amp up the flavor of this cauliflower sauce on its own, you can add roasted garlic, sautéed garlic and onions, herbs, lemon juice, or your favorite spices when you blend everything together.
Equipment: We tested this recipe with a variety of blenders, immersion blenders, and food processors. For best results, use a strong blender (we love our older KitchenAid blender – similar model here, Cuisinart Food Processors, and Cuisinart hand blenders) If you know that your blender doesn’t always like to get things ultra-smooth, plan to scrape down the sides and blend for an additional 30 seconds to get this sauce ultra creamy (when we tested with an especially old store-brand blender, it was helpful to scrape the sides down or shake the blender to redistribute cauliflower and blend an extra minute or so). If you use an immersion blender, know that you’ll have to move the hand blender around quite a bit to move the liquid around and help the cauliflower turn into a smooth sauce! You can also make this cauli cream with an Instant Pot if you prefer.
Adjusting the consistency: If you’d like a thinner cauliflower cream, add a splash of vegetable stock or water and blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency. To thicken, bring cauliflower cream to a low simmer in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened. We generally don’t need to adjust the consistency, though.
Storage and Freezing: This cauliflower cream freezes SO well! Store in an airtight container in the freezer for 3-4 months (you can store it longer, but I find the flavor is sharpest and cleanest within just a few months). Give it a zap in the blender or with an immersion blender once defrosted to bring it back to a smooth consistency if need be.
Uses: Use cauliflower cream in place of milk-based sauces in Macaroni and Cheese or Fettuccine Alfredo (just don’t skimp on the cheese!). Use to thicken sauces and soups in lieu of a roux or cornstarch slurry (like our favorite one-pot chicken!), in place of butter or cream in mashed potatoes, or as a substitute for canned soup or cream sauces in creamed corn, creamed spinach, or your favorite casserole.
Adapting recipes to use cauliflower cream: We like to substitute 3/4 cup of cauliflower cream for every 1 cup of milk or cream called for in a recipe (while also omitting any roux, cornstarch slurry, or other thickening agents).
Keywords: easy, blender, vegan