Vegan Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

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Tray of creamy Garlic Mashed Cauiflower for a vegan Thanksgiving side dish

Oh, cauliflower – what can’t you do?

You roast to perfection.
You make spicy ‘wings‘.
You can be roasted whole.
You’re delicious in Banh Mi.
You make tacos better (somehow).

Seriously, I think I’m in love.

Cutting board with cauliflower, garlic, and other ingredients for making vegan Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

This 6-ingredient, 30-minute recipe is bound to wow your guests this holiday season (and beyond). Cauliflower mocks mashed potatoes beautifully, and it all starts by steaming your cauliflower until tender.

Steaming cauliflower to make homemade Garlic Mashed Cauliflower for a Thanksgiving side

While that’s happening, sauté garlic in some vegan butter (or olive oil – see notes if avoiding oil / butter). Or, keep your garlic raw for a punchier, stronger garlic flavor!

Once steamed, transfer cauliflower in batches to a food processor (or use an immersion blender) to blend until smooth. You’ll add more salt and pepper to taste, and a dash of dairy-free milk to get a velvety, creamy texture.

Food processor with mashed cauliflower, spices, and vegan butter for a delicious vegan Thanksgiving side recipe

Major swoon! We hope you love this dish. It’s:

Easy to make
Hearty and comforting
Simply seasoned
& utterly delicious

This would make a beautiful side dish for the holidays and beyond! Top with more fresh garlic, vegan butter, and your favorite fresh herbs to really dress it up. You could even blend in a little nutritional yeast to add cheesy flavor, or vegan cream cheese for more creaminess.

For more holiday side inspiration, be sure to check out our Roasted Squash Salad with Crispy Shallot and Balsamic Reduction, Easy Vegan Gluten Free Biscuits, French Style Potato Salad, or Abundance Kale Salad with Savory Tahini Dressing.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Tray filled with a batch of our creamy vegan Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Vegan Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Move over mashed potatoes — there's a new side in town! Try our 6-ingredient, 30-minute whipped cauliflower that's creamy, comforting, salty, garlicky, buttery, and SO easy to make! The perfect plant-based, gluten-free side!
Author Minimalist Baker
Using a serving spoon to scoop Garlic Mashed Cauliflower from a tray
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 (3/4-cup servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 4 Tbsp vegan butter* (or olive oil)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic* (minced)
  • ~1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • ¼ – ½ cup unsweetened plain almond milk (to help with pureeing)

FOR GARNISH optional


  • Cut cauliflower into even florets and steam in a large pot with a steamer basket (covered) until very tender – about 15-20 minutes depending on size of pot and cauliflower florets. Remove from heat and set aside uncovered to cool slightly.
  • In the meantime, sauté the garlic in the vegan butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes or until just slightly browned (be careful not to burn). Or, you can keep your garlic raw for a punchier, stronger garlic flavor! Turn off heat and set aside.
  • Transfer half of the cauliflower to a food processor (or use an immersion blender to purée cauliflower in a pot or saucepan) and process until puréed. (The amount of cauliflower you’re able to purée at once will vary based on the size of your food processor). Then add half of the garlic butter as well as half of the salt and pepper and process until well combined.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt and pepper to taste, garlic for intense garlic flavor, vegan butter for buttery flavor, or almond milk to help the cauliflower purée. Note: You could even blend in a little nutritional yeast to add cheesy flavor, or vegan cream cheese for more creaminess (optional).
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl or serving platter and cover to keep warm. Then repeat this blending and seasoning process until all the cauliflower is whipped and seasoned.
  • Garnish with herbs and vegan parmesan cheese (optional), and another sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve hot. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, or 1 month in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a saucepan until hot.



*If avoiding oil / butter, sub roasted garlic in place of sautéed, omit oil / butter, and add more almond milk in step 4 as needed.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with lesser amount of garlic and almond milk and without optional ingredients.
*Recipe (as written) yields ~4 1/2 cups.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 134 Carbohydrates: 14.5 g Protein: 5.5 g Fat: 7.6 g Saturated Fat: 5.7 g Sodium: 330 mg Potassium: 850 mg Fiber: 5.6 g Sugar: 5.4 g

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My Rating:

  1. Brianne says

    I cooked this on Christmas Eve, and it turned out great! “Whipped” is definitely a good descriptor, as they end up being very, very fluffy. I definitely recommend pairing them with a savory gravy. Be warned that pureeing all the cauliflower will take a long time if you have a small blender.

  2. Christin says

    Made this for a Thanksgiving side dish & it didn’t disappoint. My family thought they were actual mashed potatoes. lol. Thank you! Xoxo.

  3. Gillian says

    thank you for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it. I’m using frozen cauliflower instead. Do you have an estimate of how much I would use for this recipe. I bought 4 lbs because I saw that a head of cauliflower is about 2 pounds but wanted to ask you.
    Thank you in advance!

  4. Renée Inéz says

    Hi MB–I first want to say I have been in LOVE with your recipes for a while now.
    First: Thank you so much for this recipe, which is delicious.🤤

    I someday want to create a cookbook and your recipe blog is inspiring! You’re bookmarked on Chrome as one of my top vegan recipe sites.
    🍲I also am a huge advocate for cauliflower. I’ve made and ordered:
    ✔️Cauliflower rice with spices and veggies/black beans, et cetera.
    ✔️Caramelized and stir-fried cauliflower, broccoli, and other veggies in stir-fries🥘
    ✔️Crispy roasted cauliflower with spices/herbs AND proper buffalo cauliflower “wings”.
    ✔️Lime riced cauliflower from
    🌶️Chipotle🌶️ with the vegan lifestyle bowl (unfortunately only a couple of times), which includes fajita vegetables, sofritas, hot sauce, and more.
    ✔️One of my faves: Spanish cauliflower “rice” that tastes perfect and looks great
    ✔️Cauliflower crust 🍕 (I did not make the crust), and I added Italian sauce and vegetables, poof, bake and done.

    Anyhow, I have made mashed cauli so many times, and I just want to let you know it is genius & healthy!
    I love creamy, mashed cauliflower because sometimes heavy carbs/potatoes make me feel heavy/tired.

    ❤️‍🔥This recipe:
    For this recipe, I use unsweetened almond or soy milk. I prefer soy because IMO it tastes better.
    I also pre-cook several heads of garlic so I can use them/squeeze in recipes like this :) Obviously, I only use 1 or 2 bulbs. I admit I am a garlic feign. It tastes sooo delicious in the mashed cauli.

    I’m really satisfied with the taste and how the mashed cauli is I do put more garlic in the recipe, as well as smoked paprika, onion powder, and I make sure the consistency is creamy and not thin, which is simple to fix.

    Thank you for what you do! xo

  5. Katherine says

    It was just me and my husband for Christmas this year, so I decided to break tradition and make these instead of mashed potatoes. What a hit!! If you’re like me and think potatoes are just a delivery system for garlic and butter, this recipe is what you need! Light, wonderful texture with all the flavor!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I usually go for Miyoko’s! Earth balance is a good second choice (but less wholesome ingredients).

  6. Lavonne Williams says

    Fully approved in my household!! I may have doubled the garlic and gotten a bit more liberal with the black pepper though.

  7. Anick Lavoie says

    So good! I have made other mashed cauliflower but this one is my favorite. Slowly introducing a more vegan lifestyle. Thank you for helping!

  8. Anna Maria says

    My husband hates cauliflower and I was trying to find a way to include it in our menu. It turned out amazing and for the first time I had no complaints ?
    Thank you for the recipe, I am excited trying more recipes from your website in the future.

  9. Sissi Caplinger says

    We r trying this tomorrow! Have been looking for a recipe an we choose yours.
    We r going vegan and appreciates the notes for that.
    Do u also put notes in your book? I think I am going to order it as well. The comments have me very interested in your recipes.
    Thank you!!

  10. Maayan says

    Loved it so much!!!!
    I’m addicted to potatos but can’t have them now for medical reason.
    This was a grate alternative!!!
    Doesn’t taste the same at all, but great on it’s on.

  11. Lo says

    Would roasting the cauliflower instead of steaming effect the recipe? Was thinking of trying it this way to add a little flavor

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm good question. We haven’t tried and can’t say for sure, but if you experiment with the recipe, report back on how it goes!

  12. Caitlin says

    Fantastic recipe, have made it twice in the last two weeks. Followed it exactly but used a vitamix, which yielded more of a whipped texture that is lovely. Thank you thank you for this great recipe!

  13. Aneesha Kaushal says

    Waooo tried it last night is was so yummy. Perfect side dish with grilled chicken :)
    I used dairy milk as that’s what I had at hand. Loved the creamy texture and garlic flavour…yummy!! When I posted the pic in my family group my mom called me for the recipe immediately! :)
    With your blog I am tending to become a minimalist. Simple things are the best
    Thanks for the recipe.

  14. JamesTuh says

    Hi. Thank you so much for this recipe. When I made this last night, it was delicious! But it was more liquidy like a Cauliflower Soup?? I followed the directions (including putting cooked cauliflower on a towel to dry before processing it. The only difference I can see is that I used a Vitamix (not a Cuisanart food processor) to chop cauliflower add all ingredients too?? Could that be why it turned out more like soup? Oh by the way I didn t like the idea of wrapping the garlic in aluminum foil. Instead, I prepared the garlic just like you said, but placed garlic on a steel cookie sheet with an oven safe glass bowl over it put in oven for 45-60 minutes. DELICIOUS!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, that was likely the reason your cauliflower resulted in a different texture, James. For better success, I’d recommend using a food processor!

  15. Rebecca says

    Hi! This looks amazing, but my daughter has to cut down on potassium, and I’m wondering if there’s one ingredient I could cut out and still make this? I have a feeling it might be the cauliflower, but not sure. Maybe the vegan butter?? I so want to make this for her! Thanks in advance.
    Btw, thank you so very, very much for these amazing recipes :)

  16. Sarah says

    I used homemade oatmilk instead of almond, and 2 cloves of oven-roasted garlic. We enjoyed this alongside roasted butternut squash and braised kale. Great comfort food!

  17. Laura says

    Just made this and served with a batch of your coconut curried lentils…not sure which recipe I liked more! Both so cozy, filling, and delicious ? tasted amazing together!

  18. Donna High says

    These were SO delicious! Used plain soy milk bc I was out of plain almond. Will use a ton of garlic next time. LOVE!!!

  19. Raquel says

    Made these tonight and they were delicious! I’m hooked and making them part of my winter dinners on the regular. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Dena Rashkover says

    i do this often- skip the whole butter/oil thing….lots of garlic, and parm cheese/nooch (not vegan/vegan) and at times- curry powder and/or saffron…
    also can add any other spices of note…
    super yummy!

  21. Jamie says

    I love all of your amazing recipes. Such a fan! I am wondering if you would be willing to consider some slow cooker meals??? Several days a week, I am busy running to hockey practice, etc…and it would be great to have some dinner cooking at the end of a busy day. Thanks for considering it!

  22. Holly says

    Wow, I have never thought of mashing cauliflower – that is so genius and with the hint of garlic I can’t wait to try this recipe out. Yum!


    • Sandra Jahannia says

      I can’t do nut milks or dairy. Can I just add more olive oil and a little water? What do you think?
      Thanks :)

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We think that would work- just be careful on the oil as you don’t want the flavor of the olive oil to overpower it. Let us know how it goes!

      • Kris says

        I noticed several people said they cannot use nut milks, as a replacement I would recommend using Oatmilk. It is creamy and delicious and healthy.

      • Renée Inéz says

        Hey Sandra, if you can’t use nut milk, I would suggest adding some vegetable broth and add whatever flavor you prefer.
        I don’t recommend overdoing the oil and probably veg butter would be good. I would also suggest sauteed garlic.
        Last, you can easily create your own vegan gravy for the dish which will add flavor. Adding more spices/herbs to the mash plus sauteed veggies on the side is always delicious and will bring some versatility to the meal. :)