I may be behind the times, but I discovered cauliflower mash recently and it may be even easier to make than mashed potatoes. This creamy garlic vegan mashed cauliflower will set your heart aflutter!
Aside from being lighter than traditional vegan mashed potatoes, this recipe is dairy-free, paleo friendly, and loaded with amazing garlic flavor. It takes only 3 ingredients to make this dish, no need to hunt down anything special like vegan cream cheese in order to make it.
This vegan cauliflower mash came about because I started playing around with a few keto recipes. We had a house guest following the keto diet, and my love for a good cooking challenge outweighed my personal opinions on that matter.
One of the things that I do appreciate about the keto diet is that vegetables can be a big feature on the plate! Their fiber content means they are low in net carbs.
It turned out after I rung up the nutrition facts that this cauliflower “mashed potatoes” recipe may not qualify as keto after all, but I’m so in love with its deliciousness that I continue to make it anyway!
Although we’re using cauliflower instead of potatoes, this dish is still an incredible vessel for hearty vegan gravy, and maybe a little pat of your favorite dairy-free butter (my favorite brand is Miyoko’s).
Cauliflower mash vs. cauliflower rice
The difference between cauliflower rice and mashed cauliflower is the size of the cauliflower pieces. To make vegan “mashed” cauliflower, the vegetables are blended up until smooth. I think a food processor works best because you can almost grind the cauliflower very finely rather than doing a total puree, which gives it a feel of starchiness and substantiveness that potatoes would normally provide.
On the other hand, cauliflower rice would be bigger pieces, the size of rice grains. You can, however, use frozen cauliflower rice, cook and mash it to fast-track the making of these cauliflower mashed potatoes.
How to make vegan mashed cauliflower
To keep this recipe plant-based, I very simply rely on the buttery qualities of extra-virgin olive oil, infused with plenty of garlic. Raw garlic would be overpowering, and roasted garlic would make cauliflower mash recipe a little fussy… so I like to almost confit the garlic in the olive oil and then add all of it to the cauliflower.
Olive oil, garlic and cauliflower – plus salt. That’s it! You really don’t need anything like almond milk, margarine, thickeners or added seasonings to make an incredible cauliflower mash.
Of course, if you like, a little bit of chopped parsley folded into this recipe is delicious, and a pinch of black pepper (and perhaps an even smaller pinch of ground nutmeg) can be a nice little touch.
3-Ingredient Vegan Cauliflower Mash
- 1 head cauliflower chopped
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the chopped cauliflower and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, add the garlic and olive oil to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is softened and fragrant but not browning; about 5 minutes.
- Drain the cooked cauliflower well and add it to a food processor along with the garlic and oil. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot with vegan gravy.