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Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower (Easy Recipe)

This mashed potatoes and cauliflower recipe is an excellent alternative to classic mashed potatoes, cutting the carbs without compromising the creaminess or the comfort.

It’s easy to make, bringing the perfect balance of indulgent and wholesome to the dinner table.

Mashed potatoes and cauliflower in awhite bowl standing on a napkin. The mash is garnished with olive oil and fresh thyme leaves.

Mashed potatoes are universally loved, but mashed cauliflower? Not always a crowd-pleaser.

But fear not – this potato and cauliflower mash recipe strikes the perfect compromise, blending traditional mashed potatoes’ comforting creaminess and silky texture with cauliflower’s subtle, earthy flavor.

It’s a win for everyone!

By opting for a 50/50 cauliflower potato mash, you lighten up the dish and significantly slash the carb load.

It’s worth noting the cauliflower in this recipe is practically undercover.

With the flawless blend of flavors and texture, no one will ever know the difference. It’s a sneaky yet delicious way to make your comfort food slightly more carb-conscious.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here are the top three reasons this cauliflower potato mash is destined to become a staple in your healthy side dish routine:

  • Cuts the carbs but keeps the creaminess: This mash combines the best of both worlds, offering a lower-carb alternative to regular mashed potatoes.
  • Deceptively nutritious: The cauliflower adds a boost of vitamins and antioxidants. However, its presence is practically undetectable.
  • Quick and easy: This dish is super simple, requiring minimal ingredients and effort.

Ingredient Notes

Besides the veggies, this cauliflower potato mash recipe calls for just a few more ingredients you likely already have.

Here’s everything you’ll need:

Ingredients for potato and cauliflower mash displayed on marble background. The ingredients are labeled as follows: potatoes, olive oil, cauliflower, thyme, nutmeg, garlic powder, salt, milk.

Here is a brief overview of the ingredients:

  • Potatoes – Chefs swear by potatoes with a high starch content, like russet potatoes, as they absorb the liquid ingredients well, creating a light and fluffy consistency. Yukon Gold potatoes aren’t quite as starchy, but their naturally creamy texture results in a smooth, buttery mash.
  • Cauliflower – Choosing fresh, high-quality cauliflower ensures a flavorful, creamy mash. It’s typically more economical to buy a head of cauliflower and cut off the florets yourself. But if you’d rather grab a convenient bag of pre-cut cauliflower florets, go for it!
  • Thyme sprigs – Thyme infuses a gentle, aromatic flavor as the vegetables boil. You can use rosemary, sage, or bay leaves if you don’t have thyme sprigs.
  • Olive oil (butter or ghee) – Extra virgin olive oil contributes to the dish’s creaminess by adding a smooth and velvety texture. Use butter or ghee here for enhanced flavor, richness, and creaminess.
  • Garlic powder – I used garlic powder for convenience. Fresh garlic also works but is too intense raw, so you must cook it first. You can roast whole bulbs under the broiler or mince a few cloves and quickly sauté them with oil in a small pan.
  • Nutmeg – The warm, aromatic flavor adds a subtle but distinctive depth to the mash. Try a dash of smoked paprika or cayenne if you need a substitute.
  • Milk – Whole milk, 5% cream, or half and half is your ticket to next-level creaminess.
  • Salt – To season the mash to taste at the end. You can also add black pepper.

How to Make Cauliflower and Potato Mash

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this mashed potatoes and cauliflower recipe:

Step 1. Prep the vegetables.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into medium-sized chunks. Cut off the cauliflower florets by cutting around the stem and removing individual florets.

Overhead shot of two bowls side-by-side on marble background. The bowl on the left is with potato chuncks, the bowl on the right is with cauliflower florets.
Step 2. Boil the vegetables.

Place the potatoes and cauliflower florets in a large pot. Add enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Add salt and thyme sprigs, and bring the water to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes until fork tender.

Potato chunks, cauliflower florets, and thyme sprig in a pot standing on marble background.
Step 3. Drain the vegetables.

Remove the thyme sprigs and drain the potatoes and cauliflower, then immediately return the vegetables to the pot and let it stand on the warm burner for a few minutes.

Cooked potato chuncks and cauliflower florets in a collander standing on marble background.
Step 4. Heat the milk.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm.

Overhead shot of a saucepan with milk standing on marble background.

Step 5. Season and mash.

Add the olive oil (or butter or ghee), garlic powder, and nutmeg to the potatoes and cauliflower, then mash everything with an immersion blender or a potato masher until light and fluffy.

You can also use a hand mixer with a mashed potato attachment.

Overhead shot of the potatoes and cauliflower being mashed with an immersion blender.

Step 6. Incorporate the milk and serve.

Gradually stir in the warm milk until your preferred level of creaminess is reached. Season with salt to taste, and serve!

Mashed potates and cauliflower in a pot with a wooden spoon in it. The pot is standing on a marble background.

Recipe Tips

Implement these expert tips to ensure your next batch of mashed potatoes and cauliflower is the best it can be:

  • Uniform chopping: Cut the potatoes and the cauliflower into uniform-sized chunks/florets so they cook evenly, creating a consistent texture.
  • Dry out the excess moisture: After draining the potatoes and cauliflower, placing them back on the burner allows any remaining extra moisture to evaporate. This step helps create a light and fluffy mash.
  • Don’t let the milk reach a boil: Milk is prone to scalding and curdling when heated to a boil, making it more challenging to incorporate smoothly into the mash. Be sure to gently warm the milk on medium-low heat and remove it from the burner before it boils.
  • Control the creaminess: Achieve your desired creaminess by gradually adding the oil, softened butter, or ghee while mashing. Slowly stir in the milk as well.
  • For the vegan version: Substitute vegan butter (or just use olive oil) and plant-based milk to make a dairy-free and vegan-friendly mash.

Potato and cauliflower mash in a pot with a wooden spoon in it. Thyme sprigs on the left side of the mash.

Optional Add-ins

Experiment with these creative additions and transform your mash into a masterpiece:

  • Shredded cheese – Stir in cheddar, Parmesan, or Gruyère cheese shredded directly from the block.
  • Bacon – Crisp up some bacon and crumble it into the mash for a savory, smoky crunch.
  • Extra creamy add-ins – Sour cream or Greek yogurt can add a rich, tangy flavor and extra creaminess. Whisk in cream cheese or mascarpone cheese to enhance the luxurious, velvety texture.
  • Herbs – Stir in fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or green onions for a burst of freshness and color.
  • Caramelized onions – Stir in caramelized onions for a rich and delicious contrast.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: To store the leftovers, transfer the mash to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Freezing: You can freeze this mash in airtight containers, leaving some room for expansion, for up to 2-3 months. Just know that it may have a different texture when thawed due to the cauliflower’s higher water content.

Potato and cauliflower mash in a bowl with a silver spoon to the left. The bowl is standing on a linen napkin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few related questions about making cauliflower potato mash:

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Absolutely! Prepare the cauliflower potato mash a day in advance, refrigerate, and reheat before serving.

Can I use frozen cauliflower for convenience?

Yes, frozen cauliflower can be used. However, you must allow it to thaw completely in the fridge and drain and dry the florets well before incorporating them into the recipe.

Do I have to peel the potatoes?

Peeling the potatoes is optional and depends on personal preference. While leaving the skins on adds texture and nutrients, peeling results in a smoother mash. Choose based on your desired final texture and flavor.

Can I use this recipe to make mashed sweet potatoes and cauliflower?

I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why not! I think this recipe will work well with sweet potatoes.

What entrees does cauliflower potato mash pair well with?

This mash pairs well with a variety of entrees. It complements dishes like roasted chicken, roasted fish, turkey meatballs, beef stew, or vegetarian options like vegan mushroom goulash.

More Must-Try Healthy Sides

If you love this mashed potato and cauliflower recipe, don’t miss:

Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower (Easy Recipe)

Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower (Easy Recipe)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This delicious side dish is the ultimate comfort food and will help you hide cauliflower from picky eaters. It's perfect for busy weeknight dinners as well as for the holiday table. This mashed cauliflower and potatoes recipe is very easy to make.


  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, butter or ghee
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, 5% cream or half and half
  • salt to taste


  1. To prep the vegetables, peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Place everything into a large pot and add enough water to cover the vegetables by at least 2 inches. Add salt and the thyme sprigs. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Remove the thyme sprigs and drain the vegetables. Return them to the hot cooking pot. Let the pot stand on the warm burner for one or two minutes to remove excess moisture.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the milk until very warm but not boiling.
  4. Add the olive oil, garlic powder, and nutmeg to the vegetables and mash with an immersion blender or a potato masher until light and fluffy. Stir in the warm milk to reach the desired consistency. Taste for salt and season with salt if needed.


If desired, you can leave the skin on the potatoes.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 302Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 1.5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6.5gCholesterol 2mgSodium 189mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 8gSugar 6gProtein 7g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

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