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Dairy Free Cauliflower Mash

This dairy-free cauliflower mash recipe is an easy side dish and a great alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. All you need are just three simple ingredients.

Every time I make this creamy cauliflower mash, I’m in disbelief at how similar the creamy texture is to regular potatoes. Although you can roast the cauliflower, it has the smoothest texture and the least cauliflower taste when using boiled (or steamed) cauliflower.

In only a few simple steps, you’ll have a delicious side dish to serve with steak, braised beefcoconut lime chickenhoney garlic lemon pepper chicken thighs, or roasted turkey during the holiday season.

Ingredients

  • Large head of cauliflower – provides the perfect creamy base once cooked.
  • Vegan butter – adds flavor and richness.
  • Milk of choice – this adds creaminess and helps with the texture. You can use any milk you like: oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc. I suggest staying away from coconut milk so it doesn’t have a lingering coconut flavor.
  • Kosher salt & black pepper – season to taste.

How to Make Cauliflower Mash

Step 1. Cut the whole head of cauliflower into small florets. Only discard the leaves and the tough stem. Wash under cold running water and set aside.

Step 2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets, and cook until they’re fork-tender, then drain the water. It’ll take around 10-12 minutes.

Step 3. Add the cooked cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor.

Step 4. Pulse the cauliflower a few times to break it down until you have a cauliflower rice texture. Add the vegan butter, milk of choice, salt, and black pepper. Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides as needed. Taste & adjust the seasoning as needed.

Step 5. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this dairy free creamy mashed cauliflower using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No fresh cauliflower? – you can use frozen instead. You’ll need about 8 cups.
  • No milk? – either sub cashew cream or use vegetable broth.
  • Add-ins – roasted garlic cloves or garlic powder, swirl in arugula pesto, chopped fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs, nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, vegan cream cheese or sour cream, etc.
  • No dairy-free? – use whole milk and regular unsalted butter.

Check out what goes well with cauliflower for more ideas.

Helpful Tips

Don’t substitute the vegan butter with olive oil. It helps with the texture and flavor, so it doesn’t taste like you’re eating a bowl of mashed cauliflower (the irony).

For the best results, use a food processor or immersion blender/hand blender, not a potato masher. The machine is what gives it its smooth texture. You can also use a blender, just put the liquid in first (this will help to get things moving), but you may need to add a little more milk depending on the power of your machine.

How to Serve

Cauliflower mash is the perfect side dish to serve alongside proteins such as gluten free chicken parmesancoconut lime chickenfish en papillotecoconut chickpea currylemon butter fishbraised beef, or with a holiday dinner.

More Dairy Free Side Dishes

Dairy Free Cauliflower Mash

5 from 2 votes
A bowl of dairy free cauliflower mash with fresh parsley.
This dairy-free cauliflower mash recipe is an easy side dish and a great alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. All you need are just three simple ingredients.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large head cauliflower see notes
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, for garnish optional

Instructions

  • Cut the whole head of cauliflower into small florets. Only discard the leaves and the tough stem. Wash under cold running water and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets, and cook until they're fork-tender, then drain the water. It'll take around 10-12 minutes.
  • Add the cooked cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse the cauliflower a few times to break it down until you have a cauliflower rice texture. Add the vegan butter, milk of choice, salt, and black pepper. Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides as needed. Taste & adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or another herb if desired. Serve warm.

Notes

1 large head of cauliflower is about 8 cups of florets. If yours has less, you may need to adjust the amount of vegan butter and milk.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
See the blog post for more helpful tips.
Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations
No fresh cauliflower? – you can use frozen instead. You’ll need about 8 cups.
No milk? – either sub cashew cream or use vegetable broth.
Add-ins – roasted garlic cloves or garlic powder, swirl in arugula pesto, chopped fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs, nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, vegan cream cheese or sour cream, etc.
No dairy-free? – use whole milk and regular unsalted butter.

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    We prepared the cauliflower mash tonight as well as the sweet potatoes. The mash is just delicious too. I did use nutritional yeast as well as quite a lot of salt and pepper. Really tasty!

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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