Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower Bake

Hearty, creamy, cheesy, and guilt-free this cheesy mashed cauliflower bake recipe is a keto approved comfort dish that the whole family will love!

During the holidays, we’re all guilty of over-indulging on carb heavy dishes like mashed sweet potatoes, easy pumpkin pie, and non-alcoholic eggnog. This year, let’s balance our diet by swapping out high-carb ingredients with low-carb ingredients -such as cauliflower!

cauliflower cheese casserole

Cauliflower is an amazing ingredient to use in place of high carbohydrate ingredients such as potatoes or rice.

Zucchini is also another ingredient that is great to replace noodles or rice with too!

This mashed cauliflower bake is inspired by our Christmas cheesy potatoes casserole recipe our family loves.

How many carbs are in cauliflower?

There are a total of 5 carbs in a cup of cauliflower. Compare that to the 23 carbs in a cup of potatoes and we now know that cauliflower is the wiser choice for a healthier casserole dish!

1 cup of raw or cooked cauliflower contains about 5 grams of carbohydrates. Cauliflower is rich in fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate. Of the 5 grams of carbs present in 1 cup of cauliflower, 2 of those grams of carbs are from fiber. This is good news when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight and controlling your blood cholesterol levels.

(source)

How Many Carbs Are In Cauliflower Mash?

Each recipe for cauliflower mash will have a different carb count that’s unique to the ingredients used in that particular recipe. For this cheesy cauliflower mash recipe, the carbs are a low 8 grams per serving.

What does cauliflower mashed potatoes taste like?

Cauliflower mashed potatoes tastes like a healthier mashed potatoes. The texture is a bit silkier due to the high water content in cauliflower.

Cauliflower thankfully is like a blank canvas, just like potatoes! Cauliflower mashed potatoes will take on the flavor profile of the other ingredients such as garlic powder, cheese, cream, etc. Taste and season as you go when making mashed cauliflower to ensure the perfect recipe for you.

How To Make Mashed Cauliflower Bake

For this cheesy mashed cauliflower bake, we will be using two heads of fresh cauliflower that has been rinsed and dried.

  1. Cut the cauliflower away from the core and discard the core. Roughly chop the cauliflower florets into bite size chunks.
A close up of cauliflower on cutting board

2. Cook the cauliflower until it is fork tender!

  • Instant Pot Directions: Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot along with the chopped cauliflower. Close the lid and set the valve to sealing. Set to pressure cook for 3 minutes. When the 3-minute cook time is finished, turn the valve to quick release. Once all of the pressure is released, open the Instant Pot and pour the cauliflower into a colander to drain off any excess water.
  • Stove Top Directions: Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Pour the cauliflower into a colander to drain.

You can also use a steaming basket if you have one.

cauliflower in a bowl

3. Pour the hot cauliflower into a large bowl and add the butter, heavy cream, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

bowl of cooked cauliflower

4. Use an immersion blender to puree the cauliflower until smooth, or transfer to a food processor to puree.

pouring milk over butter and cauliflower

How To Thicken Mashed Cauliflower

If by chance your mashed cauliflower is runny when you blend it, you can either try to drain out the excess liquid by using a very fine mesh colander or a new panty hose to manually release excess liquid.

Or you can add a thickening agent such as softened cream cheese, sour cream, or extra shredded cheese (our choice), to your runny mashed cauliflower.

The best way to keep your mashed cauliflower from becoming too runny is by slowly adding in your heavy cream as you pulse or blend your cooked cauliflower. Remember, every head of cauliflower is different, so measurements may have to be customized!

blending cauliflower with immersion blender

5. Pour half of the cauliflower into a 9×12 glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining cauliflower, then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

mixing mashed cauliflower

What type of cheese to use for mashed cauliflower?

We used cheddar jack cheese, but you can use any cheddar cheese blend you desire. (Adding pepper jack cheese to your mashed cauliflower bake adds a nice kick!)

mashed cauliflower in a casserole

**Pro Tip: For a nice presentation, when you add the top layer of cheese, sprinkle with some black pepper or dried oregano. When the cheese bakes and melts, the black pepper or oregano (or dried parsley too) will combine with the cheese for a nice Italian like cheese topping.**

How Long to Bake Cauliflower Mash

Because this cauliflower is already cooked, you’ll just bake the mashed cauliflower to heat it through and melt the cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the cauliflower is bubbling around the edges.

mashed cauliflower with cheese

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Love loaded mashed potatoes? Transform this mashed cauliflower bake into the ultimate cheesy loaded mashed cauliflower bake by adding in:

  • crumbled bacon
  • green chopped chives
  • chopped jalapeno
  • ranch seasoning
mashed cauliflower with cheese in a bowl

Can you freeze cauliflower mash?

Cauliflower mash is best stored in the refrigerator in a container with a tight fitting lid for up to 3-4 days.

I would not recommend freezing cauliflower mash.

How To Reheat Mashed Cauliflower Bake

To reheat mashed cauliflower bake in the microwave you can either serve the desired portion onto a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for about 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.

To reheat mashed cauliflower casserole in the oven you can either serve the desired portion into an oven safe pan or bowl and bake at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, or until mashed cauliflower bake is warmed through and the cheese is bubbly.

Remember to always top your leftover mashed cauliflower bake with extra cheese before reheating! (Completely optional, but why not?)

What to serve with mashed cauliflower bake?

Mashed cauliflower bake is the ultimate side dish recipe to go along with juicy proteins and crispy veggies. Here are some of our favorite recipes to pair with our mashed cauliflower bake:

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower casserole
Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower casserole

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower Bake

5 from 2 votes
Hearty, creamy, cheesy, and guilt-free this cheesy mashed cauliflower bake recipe is a keto approved comfort dish that the whole family will love!
Servings 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 2 heads of fresh cauliflower
  • Water for cooking
  • ½ cup butter (cubed)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese (or cheddar cheese blend of choice)
  • fresh chives for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the cauliflower away from the core and discard the core. Roughly chop the cauliflower florets into bite size chunks.
  • If using an Instant Pot: Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot along with the chopped cauliflower. Close the lid and set the valve to sealing. Set to pressure cook for 3 minutes. When the 3-minute cook time is finished, turn the valve to quick release. Once all of the pressure is released, open the Instant Pot and pour the cauliflower into a colander to drain off any excess water.
  • If using the stove top to cook the cauliflower: Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Pour the cauliflower into a colander to drain.
  • Pour the hot cauliflower into a large bowl and add the butter, heavy cream, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Use an immersion blender to puree the cauliflower until smooth, or transfer to a food processor to puree.
  • Pour half of the cauliflower into a 9×12 glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining cauliflower, then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  • Bake the mashed cauliflower for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the cauliflower is bubbling around the edges.
  • Serve hot with fresh chives if desired.

Notes

I tested this recipe cooking the cauliflower both on the stove and in the Instant Pot. We liked the IP method best. It cooked the cauliflower faster from start to finish (including the heat up time, the actual 3-minute cooking time and the fast pressure release time) and it was softer after cooking. But the stove top method is still great if you don’t have an IP.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 715IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 247
Keyword keto side dish, low carb recipe, mashed cauliflower
A close up of mashed cauliflower with fork

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

Get 5 Classic Recipes with a Deliciously Secret Twist

You might also like

Join the Discussion

Subscribe
Notify of

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments