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How to Make Mashed Cauliflower {with Frozen Cauliflower, AIP Paleo}

in Recipes, Sides

A simple tutorial on how to make mashed cauliflower using frozen cauliflower.  This comforting side dish is completely vegan, gluten-free, nightshade-free, Paleo, and AIP-friendly!

Mashed_Cauliflower 9 graphicCauliflower is one of those crazy versatile foods that I actually severely dislike on its own.  The taste of it just plain does nothing for me.  And while I enjoy it as a pizza crust or standing in for rice, I much prefer my parsnip rice when a craving strikes.

Mashed_Cauliflower 6Now even though I just spent the last three sentences basically bashing on cauliflower, I promise that my heart has a rather large area of love for it, too.  Mash it up, season it, and pair it with my favorite comfort food, and I am one happy camper.  That’s right.  I am here to attest to the fact that mashed cauliflower truly is delicious.  You may be skeptical like I was in the past, but I encourage you to try ‘er out.  It tastes nothing like cauliflower.  Can I get a whoo-hoo?!

Mashed_Cauliflower 5When I set out to try mashed cauliflower for the first time a few weeks back, I did tons of Google searching.  I found plenty of Paleo versions, but almost all of them contained grass-fed butter or ghee.  While this is great if you are eating those products, I wanted to keep things completely dairy-free and AIP-friendly.  After comparing recipe after recipe, I found that avocado oil might be a good substitute, that roasted garlic was a must, and that plenty of yummy seasonings and herbs would do the trick to make boring cauliflower taste good.

Mashed_Cauliflower 12I also changed up my recipe a bit from others by using frozen cauliflower.  Sure, you could totally go the traditional way and steam a head of cauliflower.  But to be honest, I was feeling downright lazy when I decided to make this.  I had no clue if frozen cauliflower would work, but the laziness factor won over so I gave it a try.  Lucky for me (and my other fellow lazy cooks), I found that turning frozen cauliflower into mashed cauliflower is easy peasy cauliflowery.

Mashed_Cauliflower 7My holiday food loving soul is pretty darn happy that my body decided to crave this during the month of November.  Could the timing have been any more perfect?

Mashed_Cauliflower 13And while mashed cauliflower is an amazing accompaniment to any holiday table, chances are you will love it so much that you will want to add it to just about every meal.  I happen to think it goes perfectly with homemade beef stew!

Mashed_Cauliflower 10How to Make Mashed Cauliflower
AIP, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Nightshade-Free

Serves 3 to 4


1 head of garlic (I used 4-6 cloves total)
2 10-ounce bags of frozen cauliflower
1/8 cup + 1 TB avocado oil (extra virgin olive oil also works)
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 heaping TB of chopped chives


1. Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.  Peel and discard the outer layers surrounding the garlic cloves.  Cut 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from the top of the cloves so that they are exposed.  Wrap the garlic bulb in foil and roast for approximately 30 minutes.  Allow the garlic to cool enough to remove the remaining peel from the cloves.  Set aside four to six roasted cloves, depending upon how much of a garlicy taste you desire.  This process can easily be done the night before you plan to make your mashed cauliflower.

2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring six cups of water to a boil.  Once boiling, add frozen cauliflower and cook until fork-tender, or for approximately eight to ten minutes.  You can also add a pinch of salt to the boiling cauliflower, if desired.  Drain using a colander and pat dry with a towel to remove excess water.  Return the cauliflower to the pan.

3. Add garlic cloves, avocado oil, and seasonings to the cauliflower.  Use an immersion blender to “mash” the cauliflower to the desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings to your liking.  If you do not have an immersion blender, you can also “mash” the cauliflower in a food processor, but be careful not to over process it.

4. Stir in chopped chives.

Mashed_Cauliflower 14It looks like potatoes…

Mashed_Cauliflower 15…and it tastes like them too!

How to Make Mashed Cauliflower #AIP #Paleo #Thanksgiving Click To Tweet

I don’t know about you, but these fake taters are totally making their way onto my Thanksgiving dinner table next week.  Oh cauli, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I am really starting to become a fan of yours.

Have you ever made mashed cauliflower?
What is your favorite “fake-out” cauliflower creation?

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{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Martha Auge November 19, 2015, 3:29 am
    Gorgeous photos, Hannah!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 19, 2015, 10:33 am
      Thank you, Auntie Martha!
  • Joanna November 19, 2015, 8:05 am
    I agree - cauliflower is NOT on my list of favorite veggies. I'm SO happy you're finding (and creating) recipes that work for you! Where was this for Friendsgiving?! ;) Joanna recently posted...a book a day decemberMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 19, 2015, 10:42 am
      Haha, I know right?! I honestly thought about making it, but figured we had the potato area pretty well covered! ;)
  • Kate November 19, 2015, 8:34 am
    I am so glad to know that I can make this with frozen cauliflower!! I've had the fresh version, but when cauliflower is not on sale I don't buy it often. Kate recently posted...Our Greatest FearMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 19, 2015, 10:43 am
      I hear you. Frozen can be SO much cheaper!!
  • Rachel @LittleChefBigAppetite November 19, 2015, 11:03 am
    YES! I am the same way! I am not a cauliflower person at all, but I trust you and I'm down to try this! Rachel @LittleChefBigAppetite recently posted...Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and RaisinsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 19, 2015, 11:51 am
      You are in luck since these do not remind me of cauliflower at all. They completely satisfied my mashed potato craving!
  • Liz @ The Clean Eating Couple November 19, 2015, 2:32 pm
    These sound yummy!! I've never made mashed cauliflower! Love that you added chives. Liz @ The Clean Eating Couple recently posted...There Are No ShortcutsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 19, 2015, 3:58 pm
      The chives really give it that extra oomph! ;) I hope you try it out!
  • Sarah Grace November 19, 2015, 5:17 pm
    love this because I literally bought fresh cauliflower to make a pizza crust, and ended up not having time so I froze it! Now I got something to make :) xo, Sarah Grace http://freshfitnhealthy.com Sarah Grace recently posted...Overcoming the Odds: The Power of the Mind & Tips to Become Mentally StrongMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 19, 2015, 8:08 pm
      Yes! This will be perfect!! Enjoy :)
  • rachel @ Athletic avocado November 22, 2015, 1:19 pm
    you had me fooled at these pictures! they look like mashed potatoes! so creamy! pinned :) rachel @ Athletic avocado recently posted...14 Healthy Sweet Potato Side Dish RecipesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 23, 2015, 7:23 am
      It's pretty crazy, right? I hope you give them a try and love them as much as I do!
  • Angel Pricer May 19, 2016, 5:54 pm
    Fabulous! Last time I hand mashed my florets, but this time used the food processer and am so happy I did! I added littlw lemon juice too. Better than mashed potatoes and I do t feel heavy and bloated!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl May 19, 2016, 8:16 pm
      Aren't they SO good? I, too, think I might like them more than the "real deal!"
  • Milissa August 30, 2016, 1:01 pm
    When this recipe came out at first I tried to make it taste just like mashed potato, and it did taste that way! The secret was to add 1 potato diced with the cauliflower while cooking , and then mash together. 1 potato to 1 bag of cauliflower. The cauliflower will take on the taste of the potato and voila! mock mashed potatos.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 30, 2016, 1:29 pm
      I haven't tried adding regular potatoes, though I am sure the addition would taste great! I have done half cauliflower, half parsnips before and that was stellar!
      • MerryChristmas Claus June 7, 2017, 4:21 pm
        I love cauliflower and I love parsnips so I will have to try that next time. For tonight, we are having your mashed cauliflower with Paleo Chicken wings (breaded with almond flour and seasonings, baked on a rack and sauced with Parmesan cheese and avocado oil. For a veggie I have broccoli with Parmesan and EVOO. This is the second time this week my husband has raved about the "smashed taters" and gravy! He said, "I don't know how you seasoned these, but can you do these all the time? I know you want to eat healthier but I just don't like mashed cauliflower". What he doesn't know, won't hurt him at all. Thanks for the share.
        • ClnEatingVegGrl June 8, 2017, 8:47 am
          Haha, too funny! Cauliflower is so sneaky ;)
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