This dish is a great stand-in for regular mashed potatoes if you’re kicking those out of your diet for a time. You can make cauliflower quite tasty and it’s all done easily with a roasting pan and food processor. While they won’t be quite as smooth as mashed potatoes the visual texture and mouthfeel is really a welcome change.
This recipe isn’t dairy-free but with the small amount of cheese you’d be eating with a serving of this mash, you’d still be well inside the Phase 1 guidelines for dairy consumption if that’s a concern for you. You could also use butter and leave out the cream cheese (butter is technically dairy but doesn’t need to be avoided unless you have a serious allergy). In place of the cheese use some chicken broth to thin the cauli-mash as it purees. Start with a ¼ C and add more if needed.
You can always make a bit of regular mashed potatoes per our Crock Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe if you prefer (just par down the recipe to feed 2 to 4 or so rather than an army like you might for a Thanksgiving feast!).
This can be made up and then kept warm in an oven proof dish or a bowl with a lid while you make the other parts of your dinner if the need be. If it gets cold just set it back in a warm oven for a few minutes (covered so it doesn’t dry out).
The recipe below is written to serve 2 as this side is part of our Dinner For 2 menu but you can easily double or triple it for more!
P.S. Click HERE if you want to see our post on how to make cauli-rice (just since we’re talking about cauliflower)!
P.P.S. We use avocado oil to roast and sauté veggies quite often. I get it in the big bottle at Costco. It’s a great price!
- 1 small head of cauliflower, stem & leaves removed, broken or sliced into pieces
- About 2 Tbs avocado oil
- ¼ of a package of organic cream cheese (or you can use yogurt cheese
- ¼ C + chicken broth if you do not want to use cream cheese (see notes in post)
- 3 Tbs of butter
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or ¼ – ½ a tsp of dried thyme
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
- Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with a sheet of parchment paper and set it aside.
- Remove the stem from your head of cauliflower and slice half of it into ½ inch or so thick slices or just pull the florets apart with your hands, chopping the larger ones in half. You can’t really mess this up so don’t worry. (View our quick video to see how we prep cauliflower).
- Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet in an even layer.
- Drizzle with about a ¼ C of avocado oil. Give them a rub down and a toss with your hands just to be sure there’s oil on each piece.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven for 25 minutes. Check it by poking it with a fork. If it’s not very soft, put it back in for 2 or 3 minutes and continue checking it like so until it’s done. You want it to be very soft so that it purees more smoothly in your food processor. Brown edges is OK. This means it’s done or close to done.
- In the bowl of your food processor put your roasted cauliflower, butter, cream cheese, & thyme. Add a hefty sprinkle of salt and a bit of pepper. Do this while your cauliflower is hot so the cheese and butter will melt and mix well.
- Puree (you can use the pulse button at first just to manually get it going) your mixture until smooth stopping it to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You may need to let your processor go for several minutes to get it as smooth as you’d like it. If you’re making a larger batch of cauli-mash you may have to do this in batches.
- Taste your mixture and add more salt if needed, pulsing again to combine.
- When your mash is ready just set it aside in the food processor bowl with the lid on until time to serve warm.
- If it cools too much while it’s waiting on the rest of dinner to be ready just put it into a small Pyrex or other oven-proof dish, cover it with foil and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes or so to re-warm.