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The Best Microwave Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

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Preview: Microwave mashed cauliflower if you don’t want it to be soggy. This post includes seven tips for making your mashed cauliflower taste even better.

No SOGGY cauliflower is allowed in my house. My secret starts with a microwave but does NOT involve the grueling task of squeezing out moisture.

If you have been looking for a better way that’s faster and tastier, check out this Mashed Cauliflower recipe.

Mashed cauliflower made in the microwave.

Are you a cauliflower lover?

When I first started making and eating mashed cauliflower, I wondered how Khloé Kardashian could eat what she calls “Magic Mash-up” every day. But after experimenting with a Keto diet some time back, I came to enjoy it when I figured out the best way to make it.

Why is mashed cauliflower usually soggy?

In my search for thicker mashed cauliflower, I’ve tried several methods and many recipes including my Instant Pot, steaming on the stove, and cooking in the microwave with a cover.

All these methods have one thing in common. They cause the cauliflower to retain too much moisture. The cauliflower is water-logged even when I try to press out excess water.

Some recipes call for adding additional liquid when mashing. This only makes matters worse.

How to make mashed cauliflower thicker:

Cook the cauliflower in a microwave WITHOUT a cover or any liquid added to the bowl. No cover means the moisture can evaporate as the cauliflower cooks. No need for an extra step to squeeze out excess water.

Conveniently, cauliflower cooked this way does not need to be “riced” or finely chopped. Large 1-inch chunks will suffice.

Non-Soggy Mashed Cauliflower in a serving dish with lots of butter and pepper

7 ways to make your mashed cauliflower more delicious:

#1

Don’t overcook your cauliflower.

Poke a knife into the cauliflower. If it pulls out easily, you should be good. Overcooking can cause mushiness and intensify the “cabbage family” flavor.

#2

Use a food processor to mash the cauliflower.

A food processor works fastest and leaves no lumps when mashing cauliflower. I’ve tried a blender and was utterly frustrated. Same with an immersion blender. A stand mixer will work but it’s hard to eliminate all lumps.

#3

Use good butter or other fat you enjoy.

Adding fat helps the flavor. I like Kerrygold, but any good butter will work. Bacon grease is fabulous, but my conscience won’t allow it too often.

#4

Try adding cheese instead of butter.

An intensely flavored cheese such as aged Cheddar, Parmesan, or smoked Gouda will help cover the strong-ish cauliflower flavor. I’ve tried adding sour cream, but it thins the cauliflower a bit too much for my taste. I want my cauliflower to be thick!!

This next one is important for people who aren’t crazy about the taste of cauliflower.

#5

 Serve it with gravy.

Caramelized-Onion-Gravy-Gluten-free-Grain-free-and-Sugar-free

If the gravy or sauce has enough flavor, you won’t taste the cauliflower. In case you’re thinking gravy would defeat the whole purpose of trying to eat more healthfully, check out this grain-free gravy and this “instant” gravy.

#6

Use mashed cauliflower instead of rice in spicy soups.

When eating spicy soups, especially those with a thick consistency (e.g., gumbo and chili) I will often place a big scoop of mashed cauliflower into the bowl. Then, I pour the soup on top in the same way I used to do with rice.

Here is a favorite soup where mashed cauliflower is part of the recipe: Cheesy Cauliflower Vegetable Chowder

I promise you won’t taste the cauliflower but you will fill up faster and get your veggies at the same time.

This last idea is just my opinion.

#7

Don’t try to trick adults or kids into eating mashed cauliflower.

I label the mashed cauliflower on a buffet or somehow let everybody know that what looks like mashed potatoes is, indeed, mashed cauliflower. Giving a heads-up is generally appreciated by all.

Can I make this mashed cauliflower ahead of time?

Yes. The mashed cauliflower will keep covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

I have tried freezing this recipe. Unfortunately, the texture changed slightly and the cauliflower flavor intensified so I’m not a fan.

How to make thick mashed cauliflower in the microwave:

washed cauliflower
Wash and trim whole cauliflower.
cauliflower cut in chunks
Cut out the core and cut cauliflower into large chunks.
cauliflower in microwave (uncovered)
Place cauliflower into a microwave-safe pyrex dish UNCOVERED. Cook for 12 minutes on HIGH. Stir and continue cooking until tender. Time will vary according to your microwave and how big your cauliflower is. 5-8 additional minutes is a good guess.
cauliflower in food processor
Pour cooked cauliflower into the bowl of a food processor. Don’t worry about a few brown pieces. They will disappear when you are processing.
Adding salt to cauliflower
After pureeing cauliflower, add seasonings.
Adding butter and freshly ground pepper
Add pepper and butter.
finished cauliflower in food processor
Look how thick it is! More like mashed potatoes.

More low-carb recipes

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and myself by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the recipe below. No comments required.

Hope to see you again soon!
Paula

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Yield: 4 servings

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Make your mashed cauliflower more appealing and non-soggy by cooking in the microwave--uncovered.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or strongly-flavored cheese, unflavored Greek yogurt or cream cheese)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove cauliflower florets from tough core. Place in microwave-safe glass dish. I always use my two-qt Pyrex glass measuring bowl. Do not add water. Do not cover.
  2. Microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes. Stir and continue on HIGH for 8-10 more minutes until cauliflower is soft throughout. Microwave ovens and cauliflower size vary hugely and will affect cooking times. If you have an older oven it may take several minutes more. A larger than average cauliflower will also take longer. Check often if you are new to this method. A few scorched spots on the cauliflower is not a big deal.
  3. Pour steaming cauliflower pieces into a food processor and allow it to sit until the steaming stops. Puree until smooth. Add butter, salt and lots of pepper.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 510mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g

Did you make this recipe?

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Donna L

Sunday 28th of March 2021

Made mashed cauliflower just now. I used 2 10oz packages of fresh riced cauliflower from the store to save time. I did as you suggested and did not use water and left off the cling wrap I’d planned on. 12 minutes in microwave and then used the food pro. I added ~ 4t of butter and 4oz of onion & chive cream cheese (no almond milk which I’d also planned as milk was always a go-to for mashed potatoes) s&p and when I tasted it I said OMG (several times!) I could eat this whole bowl! This is a keeper! Thanks for the inspiration and the tips for non-watery keto “mashed potatoes”

Paula

Sunday 28th of March 2021

I'm so glad it worked for you, Donna. Thanks for coming back to say so.

Winnie

Tuesday 28th of January 2020

Best cauli mash ever.

Paula

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Thank you, Winnie.

Not soggy and has a smooth-as-silk texture. Glad you liked it.

Ellie Brandon

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

I just tried your recipe. I've been cooking for almost 55 years but always like to find better ways to make foods I enjoy. I had to microwave the cauliflower closer to 15+ mins and did find after processing the cauliflower that it was still more crumbly than I would have liked. I added butter as you stated and about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese plus about 1/4 cup of some homemade chicken broth I had on hand. The broth smoothed it out but it still had a thick consistency which I like. I will use this idea again as I too do not like runny mashed cauliflower. Thank you for sharing. This will taste great with the stuffed peppers I have in the oven.

Paula

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

Glad you liked it, Ellie. Regarding the time it took to cook the cauliflower, microwave ovens with lower wattage will take several minutes longer. Another huge variable is the size of your cauliflower. Also, how much of the core did you include? And one more variable, how good is your food processor? I find that I don't have to cook my cauliflower quite as much as I used to because my food processor does such a good job of mixing it into a completely smooth pureé.

By the way, your additions sound delicious. Thanks for writing.

Tere

Friday 25th of August 2017

Love your site! You turnned me onto sauercraut and yogurt years ago and I've been hooked ever since. And now these genuis ideas for cauliflower! I looked for the gravey recipe you mentioned in #5 above but couldn't find it. Can you point me in the right direction? TIA (my new buzz phrase--in case you didn't know it means thanks in advance...lol)

Paula

Friday 25th of August 2017

Thanks Tere, I fixed the link for the gravy. But here it is again.

RobLL

Sunday 15th of January 2017

To moderate the cauliflower taste I slightly overcook it. From experimenting just a few minutes past normal cooking lightens the taste.

Paula

Monday 16th of January 2017

Interesting observation Rob. Maybe that's why I prefer mashed cauliflower over cauliflower rice.--a LOT! The mashed cauliflower needs to be well cooked while the cauliflower rice is a better texture if not cooked to death.

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