Can I tell you a secret?
I don’t like cauliflower.
And I never have.
I love mashed potatoes, however. I’m just not too keen on anything masquerading as mashed potatoes — let alone something like cauliflower!
It was a stretch for me to attempt blended cauliflower, a.k.a. “cauli-tatoes”.
Since I am always looking for new ways to add healthy vegetables to our diet, I am usually willing to give a creative preparation a try.
Can you believe that caulitatoes are not only one of my favorite vegetables of all time, they’ve become a family favorite as well?! That’s right — even my children lick their plates clean.
If you’re watching your carbs, following the Auto-Immune Protocol or the GAPS Diet, or if you’re sensitive to nightshades or potatoes, you’re going to love caulitatoes too!
I’m not watching my carbs or following a special diet, and I still love them. 😉
Perfect, No-Fail Caulitatoes
Need a low-carb, keto, or THM:S substitution for mashed potatoes? Learn how to make No-Fail Caulitatoes -- the best stand-in for real mashed potatoes! Makes approximately 3 cups.
- 1 large head cauliflower fresh, stems trimmed and florets roughly chopped
- pure water
- 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter or other fat of choice, such as ghee, tallow or lard
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper omit for AIP
- herbs fresh of your choice, such as parsley or chives
Begin by cutting up the head of cauliflower. Remove as much of the stems from the florets as possible. Too much stem in your cauli-tatoes can give them a funky taste.
Then rough-chop the florets to be pea-size or smaller. You could also pulse them a few times in a food processor, but chopping them does the trick and gives you fewer dishes to wash later.
Next, steam the cauliflower. I don’t have a steamer basket, so I use a stock pot with a lid and a stainless steel colander. I put an inch of water in the bottom of my stock pot, place the colander inside the pot, add the cauliflower to the colander, then cover with the lid.
On medium-high heat, steam the cauliflower for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring twice during steaming. The cauliflower pieces should be just fork tender, but not mushy at all.
Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a high-speed blender.
Quickly add butter or ghee, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
Pulse a couple of times to get the blender going, then blend on low speed for 20 to 30 seconds, until smooth. Don’t over-blend or the cauli-tatoes will be too runny.
If desired, sprinkle with your favorite chopped herbs.
- If you're watching your carbs, following the Auto-Immune Protocol or the GAPS Diet, or if you're sensitive to nightshades or potatoes, you're going to love caulitatoes!
- ALWAYS use fresh cauliflower — not frozen!
- Don’t be tempted to boil the cauliflower directly in the water. This adds too much moisture and will leave you with runny cauliflower sauce, not caulitatoes. Trust me. 😉
- Have a hankering for super healthy mashed potatoes and gravy? Substitute these caulitatoes for potatoes and whip up a batch of my Garlic-Tarragon Gravy to smother on top. YUM!
- Use up any leftovers within a day or two. After that, the flavor isn’t as appealing.
- Reheat leftovers in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you don’t have a high-speed blender, try a food processor or regular blender. I can’t promise the same silky-smoothness, but it will still taste amazing. Just don’t use a hand mixer.
- Feel bad about all those cauliflower stems going to waste? Compost them or feed them to your dogs. Cauliflower is a healthy food for dogs!
Caulitatoes are the new mashed potatoes! We have them at least once a week during the fall and winter when cauliflower is in season.
Pssst! If you have picky eaters, don’t tell them you’re making cauliflower, unless they ask. 😉 I bet you have some caulitato lovers on your hands soon!
Have you ever made caulitatoes? Do you think these are a good alternative to mashed potatoes?
Check out these other amazing cauliflower recipes!
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the farnz says
I started a blend of Yukon Golds & cauliflower just recently, and now that the only I like ‘tatoes’.
I use a ricer and get smooth results…yumm
Just made these for supper, Lindsey. Outstanding! They were a little grainy so I don’t know if I didn’t steam them long enough or blend them long enough (I have a Vitamix) but the taste was wonderful nonetheless. I’m not usually crazy about cauliflower either so I’m tickled to have an alternative to starchy mashed potatoes, which I love.
Only use that much garlic if you are trying to stave off the vampires
I made these tonight, with roasted garlic cloves instead of the garlic powder since that’s how my family was used to me making mashed potatoes. My 21 year old son, ate them, and never even noticed (he does a lot of his own cooking at collage since he is diabetic). The only complaint was that there wasn’t enough! I was amazed at how close in taste and texture they are to mashed potatoes. Thanks for the new recipe.
I loved this recipe but I have to say this called for way too much garlic powder. I ended up throwing it away because the amount of garlic left my mouth burning for a while after only taking one small bite. I do want to do try this recipe again but use a pinch of garlic instead of a teaspoon.
Kellie Hanson says
I agree, way too much garlic. My mouth burned with each bite. We tried mixing it with coconut milk and yogurt to neutralize it but it still burned too much.
I agree with the other users — way too much garlic powder. I will cut it in half next time, but over all this is a good recipe. We added some bacon and cheese to try and lessen the garlic taste for the first batch.
I don’t have a steamer… can I just microwave them ?
Lindsey Dietz says
Vandi, we don’t use a microwave, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin to give you instructions for that. I don’t have an actual steamer basket, either. I simply put a metal colander inside a larger pot w/ about an inch of water boiling in it and cover it with the pot’s lid to steam.
Katie Short says
Tanks for the great post! I’ll be making caulitaters for the first time tonight. I was in search of helpful tips, beyond the basic recipe, and you brought them. They’ll be served with seared pork chops and onion-fig compote alongside a green salad. Pretty excited for dinner, TBH!
Why should you not use a hand mixer? That was going to be my plan.
Lindsey Dietz says
A hand mixer won’t allow you to reach a smooth consistency. Also, over-blending of cauliflower creates an unpleasant texture, in my opinion.
Ok! Thank you for replying. I appreciate it.
Alexandra Blond says
Wondering if a handheld or “Bat” mixer might work…easy to clean! Has a cutting edge similar to a blender.
Lindsey Dietz says
I use my BlendTec and get perfectly smooth results every time. You could certainly try with that type of mixer, but I can’t guarantee anything as I have not tried it myself. Hope that helps!
Why not frozen?
Lindsey Dietz says
I found that the texture was way too mushy with frozen.
I just made these, trying to keep my expectations at bay. I mean, come on, cauliflower mashed potatoes??
I’m so happy with the results. These honestly hit the spot for my starchy craving. (I made a minor adjustment, swapping half the butter for EVOO to make it healthier…..and I should’ve stuck with the recipe 😉 The flavor of the oil came through a little too strong.)
I’m so glad this happened to be the recipe I used for my first attempt.
Trying to make this tonight, chopped my stems off, and then pulsed a bit in my mini ninja processor. Seems more like cauli-rice than “pea sized” not sure it’s gonna stay in my steamer (holes may be too big). I don’t have a mesh collander. Thoughts?
Patty Bishop says
Maybe line your colander with cheesecloth to keep cauliflower from falling through holes?
BY H says
But I don’t have a metal colander! What do I do?
I sauté my ‘riced’ cauliflower to make cauliflower rice and it gets nice and tender. You could probably do the same and add a little water and a lid to steam it in a frying pan or wok. Then blend and voila! ?
Mary Gorzelnik says
Made these tonight they were awesome! I didn’t use a lot of garlic but I did use my vitamix and they were perfect! Thank you!
Anjelica C. says
Had cauliflower sitting in the fridge and made these for dinner. They were delicious and definitely make them again. Hubby thought they were potatoes ~ mums the word! Will make again. Thank you!
Cheryl Dunkin says
My first time using your method and it worked beautifully! Thank you, the steaming was the perfect way to cook them!
Just made this. Tastes amazing! So smooth and creamy.
Could i put them in an electric mixer? I dont have a blender.
Jean Styles says
Lindsey: Made the recipe tonight with my PC steamer and Dash high speed blender. I did not tell my husband they were not potatoes and he loved them and was shocked this was made by fresh cauliflower! Went by all your suggestions and the recipe was perfect, Will be making this recipe again for sure! Thanks so much! My first time making them and served with Salisbury Steak, onion gravy, and green beans!
Steve Adkins says
Made these yesterday….substituted garlic for garlic powder and doubled the cauliflower, processed in food processor. Fantastic!!
Krista Erickson says
Lindsey: You are right – this is the best substitute for mashed potatoes.
I even find myself licking my plate, unseen by my daughter who believes that liking plates is not appropriate! Thanks for sharing this savory dish which finds itself on our menu over and over again.
Other than used in traditional ways, I either put it on top of soup or pile it in the bowl and put some soup on top. Oh, so delicious!
Best ever! Now will not go back to regular potatoes! Thank you! Fantastic!
Angela Smith says
WOWZERS!! This was a perfect recipe, I have to say. My herb I chose was rosemary and it was absolutely fantastic! I added a little shredded cheese on top and ??! SO GOOD!! Thank you!
This worked great. I made some a month ago that I boiled and they were waterlogged. This method was so much better.
Delicious! I added some sour cream and chilli flakes on top and only sprinkled the other condiments. I’ve been longing for mashed potatoes since going on my keto diet and it was a chilly comfort food day here in Australia, so this totally hit the spot. I will be making it again, and also serving unsuspecting dinner guests.
Dog wasn’t impressed with the stalks though 😉
Hey from a native Minnesotan, I just started eating cauliflower again after years of frozen veggies. I’ll try your delicious recipe and let you know.
I’m sure you already got snow up there! Happy autumn.i am in east central mn.colors are fantastic!