This Mashed Cauliflower Recipe Might Replace Your Thanksgiving Potatoes

2 min read
This vegan-friendly mashed potatoes alternative is as nutritious as it is tasty.
This vegan-friendly mashed potatoes alternative is as nutritious as it is tasty.

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The only Thanksgiving food more quintessential than mashed potatoes might be the turkey itself. But for those of us looking to make some nutritious swaps this holiday, cauliflower might just be worthy of some prime real estate—and with this deadringer recipe, you might just fool some of the traditionalists at the table.

In addition to making for a less starchy alternative than white potatoes, cauliflower is also rich in nutrients like vitamin C—just one serving of cauliflower (that’s one cup of raw florets) contains roughly 52% of your daily recommended value, along with a good source of vitamin K and folate. (1)

That's not to mention the presence of dietary fiber, which supports digestion, regularity, and satiety—helpful, considering that upwards of 90% of Americans are not getting enough in their diet. All in all, not a bad addition to your Thanksgiving plate, right?* (2)

According to integrative chef Blaine Arin Tacker, the secret to nailing this vegan-friendly recipe is the garlic-infused oil. “It really makes this taste like mashed potatoes,” she says. “Don’t skip this step!”

Catch the easy recipe below.

Mashed potato

Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower

Serves 5


  • 2 heads (~4 lb) cauliflower
  • 5 tablespoons oil or unsalted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Chop cauliflower into small pieces. (Don’t worry about it cutting into perfect florets—the smaller the better, because they will steam faster and more evenly.)
  2. Place in a steamer basket in a large pot with 2” water. Set over high heat to bring to a boil. Put a lid on, reduce heat to medium, and steam until the cauliflower pierces easily with a knife, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool with the lid off for a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the garlic oil: Set a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and garlic. Let it gently simmer until the garlic just starts to turn golden—watch very closely so it doesn’t burn! Take off the heat and set aside.
  4. Add half of the slightly cooled cauliflower to a food processor, along with the garlicky oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Blend until smooth, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides. Add the rest of the cauliflower and blend until completely smooth and whipped. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

Notes: Make sure you pot doesn’t run out of water or it will scorch your pan! If necessary, add more water as the cauliflower cooks and quickly put the lid back on. Best within 3 days of making. Can be reheated gently on the stovetop.


  1. FoodData Central, USDA.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Interactive Nutrition Facts Label. Dietary Fiber Fact Sheet. March 2020.


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