Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Hey guys! I know there are folks who are looking for Thanksgiving menu ideas, so I’m coming at you with a bunch of Thanksgiving recipes this week and next, culminating in a round-up of the best recipes to make with Thanksgiving leftovers. First up: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash. Hope you enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

It really just isn’t Thanksgiving without some mashed potatoes, don’t you think? They’re one of the ultimate comfort foods- and you can dress them up however you like. I’m generally a traditionalist- for example, that photo above is basically crying for some savory turkey gravy.

That’s why I made you this beautiful bowlful of rich, creamy potato goodn-

OK, I can’t keep up this charade any longer. That’s not potato up above- it’s the most under-sung, under-valued, and under-estimated member of the vegetable family: Cauliflower!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

If you’re looking for a satisfying way to lighten up the Thanksgiving table next week without sacrificing any taste, then look no further.

Simply steaming up and pureeing the lowly cauliflower transforms this seemingly-unremarkable vegetable into a creamy concoction that pairs perfectly with the main event: Thanksgiving Turkey! Add some gorgeous roasted garlic, salty Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs into the mix, and we got a real party going on.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Yup, there’s a WHOLE HEAD of garlic in this B. Feel free to use less if this terrifies you, but I honestly think it was the perfect amount. The cauliflower does need a bit of flavor added to it to really shine. Roasting the garlic takes out the bitterness, and really adds a beautiful flavor to the finished dish.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt, pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • thinly sliced chives, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Chop off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves. Rub with olive oil, place in a ramekin or other small baking dish, and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Cover the ramekin or dish with aluminum foil, then bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until garlic is very fragrant and caramelized on top. Set aside.
  2. Set up a vegetable steamer over a pan of with an inch of water in it. Boil over high heat. While water is coming to a boil, chop up your cauliflower into florets, and rinse using a colander. Place half the cauliflower (including stems!) into the steamer, season liberally with kosher salt, and then place the remaining cauliflower on top and again season with salt. Cover the steamer and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Prep a food processor with the steel blade. When cauliflower is done steaming, drain well in a colander. Place in the food processor along with the cheese, thyme, and butter. Carefully squeeze or scoop out the roasted garlic cloves from their skins (almost like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube). Puree until smooth- this may mean occasionally pausing to stir around the stubborn florets that just won’t blend with the others.
  4. Taste and season with salt as desired. Garnish with chives, serve and enjoy!

Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

TIP: If you know you’ll be going crazy on Thanksgiving, you can make this now, and freeze this for later! Just store in an airtight container, then bring out to thaw the morning you’d like to serve and either microwave or heat up in a pan to get it warmed up.

Honestly, I bet you’ll be surprised just how similar this tastes to normal mashed potatoes made from spuds! It’s a new favorite around here, and will be making appearance on our table next Thursday!

Happy Eating 🙂

9 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Side Dish: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash”

  1. Mallory….this looks amazing. And I want to believe that I’d like it buuuut…I tried making cauliflower in place of potatoes before and it didn’t sit well with my taste buds. But these are still making me think that maybe these are different!

    1. Thanks Kayle 🙂 Well I hope if you do try this recipe it brings you lots of success! I can’t wait to hear what you have this Thanksgiving!

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