Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pureed Cauliflower Recipe with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese (Plus 10 More Yummy Cauliflower Ideas!)

Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese
Delicious Pureed Cauliflower that's a healthy dish with no desired to act like potatoes!

(Updated with new photos and better instructions, November 2012. While we're spotlighting Thanksgiving Recipes I thought I'd mention this lovely mashed cauliflower, which would taste great with a spoonful of turkey gravy over it if you're avoiding potatoes because they're so high on the glycemic index.)  

Before I ever thought seriously about going on the South Beach Diet, I heard about their now-famous recipe for "Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes" and the idea of cauliflower masquerading as mashed potatoes struck me as a little strange. I've since seen many recipes comparing pureed cauliflower to potatoes, but this pureed cauliflower is perfectly happy about being cauliflower, and thrilled to be flavored with garlic, goat cheese, and Parmesan.  If you like cauliflower, this is good stuff.  If I was seriously dieting at the time, I'd be happy to have this cauliflower on my plate at Thanksgiving Dinner, next to some Whole Wheat Stuffing or Stuffing Muffins topped with gravy. 

Cut a large head of cauliflower into small, same size pieces.

Simmer the cauliflower and garlic about 20 minutes on low heat, until it's quite soft.

Let drain very well.  (Don't rush this or the finished dish will be watery.)

Puree the cauliflower with an immersion blender, food processor, or small hand mixer until it's as soft as you'd like it.

This recipe uses the type of creamy goat cheese that comes in a log, although I think it would be tasty with other types of cheese as well.

I used about 3 tablespoons of goat cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.

Stir in the cheeses so they melt into the hot cauliflower, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve.

And for historical purposes, here's the previous photo of this dish, which was certainly not bad!

Pureed (or Mashed) Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese
(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on the size of your cauliflower; recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from South Beach Diet Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes".)

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small same-size flowerets
1 tsp. minced garlic or 2-3 garlic cloves
1 T half and half or cream (if needed)
2-3 T grated Parmesan cheese (depending on size of cauliflower)
2-3 T goat cheese (depending on size of cauliflower)
salt/pepper to taste

Put cauliflower in a pan with enough water to cover, and add garlic and a small amount of salt. Let cauliflower come to a boil, then lower heat and cook 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is very soft. Remove from heat and drain very well. (I let it drain nearly 5 minutes in a colander. Don't skip this step or the finished dish will be a bit watery.)

When cauliflower is well drained, put into food processor and puree, adding the half and half if needed. (Most of the time there will be enough water left on the cauliflower so you won't need it.) You could also use a small hand beater to "whip" the cauliflower as you would potatoes. I also think this would taste great mashed with a hand masher for a more coarse consistency.

Put cauliflower back into the pan you cooked it in and turn heat on very low. Add Parmesan, goat cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly so it does not stick to the bottom. Serve hot, with a little freshly grated Parmesan on top if desired.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
This would be a good side dish for any phase of The South Beach Diet.  It does have two types of cheese, so I'd serve it with something that's low in fat.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Special Occasion Cauliflower Ideas You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Cheesy Cauliflower "Tater Tots" from I Breathe, I'm Hungry
Twice-Baked Cauliflower from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin from The Shiksa in the Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower with Red Bell Pepper, Green Olives, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon from Simply Recipes
Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pan-Fried Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce from eCurry
Roasted Cauliflower Slices with Kalamata Olive and Garlic from Kalyn's Kitchen
Paleo Dirty "Rice" from Elana's Pantry
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen     
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

This recipe was originally an entry for ARF/5-A-Day at Sweetnicks. Cauliflower is one of The World's Healthiest Foods, it's one of The Healthiest Foods You Can Eat, and it's listed as a sidekick to broccoli (slightly less nutritious but still very high in nutrients) in Superfoods RX.
counter customizable free hit
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Oh--that looks fabulous Kalyn. The parmesan and goat cheese would make it so good. I love cauliflower anyway--so adding them just makes it better.


  2. i love, love, LOVE the cauliflower "mock potatoes". :) i made them for a potluck my first thanksgiving after i had my WLS and no one knew they were cauliflower!

  3. This is great! I've been looking for a recipe like this. Thanks!


  4. great-i made this 2 nights ago but without goat cheese-which sounds good. i slipped it to my kids and they liked it even after i told them it was cauliflower-ha

  5. This is a brilliant idea - now why didn't I ever think of it?

  6. This looks fantastic. I'm big on cauliflower! Once I tried making mashed carrots instead of mashedpotatoes. It was more difficult than I expected and tasted weird.

  7. Kalyn, this looks really good! I had pureed cauliflower at Ruby Tuesday's (in Park City) once, but it was flavorless and soupy. Your version really does look like mashed potatoes.

  8. Kalyn - I've made mashed cauliflower before, but I love how you've dressed it up. I'll definitely be trying your version.

  9. This takes the cake (er...) for me as one of the greatest ways to eat cauliflower ever! Plus, I really enjoy the World's Healthiest Food website :D

  10. I've been debating for a while now whether or not to try making mashed cauliflower "potatoes" but you've convinced me now. I'm trying to eat more balanced meals and I think your recipe is a good start.

  11. Kalyn
    This looks amazing - I'm absolutely going to try this soon (as soon as I get a chance to get to the grocery store)!!


  12. I love it. You've succeeded in making my favorite SBD dish even better.

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. I'll chime in with a thanks, too, since I love cauliflower but haven't had it "mashed" yet.

  14. Oh this is perfect! I have all of these ingredients sitting in my fridge and could use a change of pace!

  15. Kalyn,
    Cucina Bella told me about this recipe and your page, Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Kalyn,
    Cucina Bella told me about this recipe and your page, Thanks for the recipe!


  17. Comments to this point were from April 2006 when the recipe was first posted. Kind of fun to get a history lesson when you leave a comment isn't it?

  18. I guess I am the first 2007 commenter on the recipe. I love your introduction: cauliflower is delicious and does not need to try and taste like something else. I have a big head in my fridge that was meant for the oven, but now you made me want to try your recipe.

  19. Simona, that's just how I feel too. Those recipes that say "you won't be able to tell it's cauliflower" make me smile.

  20. Aaw, yeah. I can see me loving this.

    Cauliflower is one of those great underrated Vegetables.

  21. heh heh,

    This reminds me that there is a nineteenth century Jewish cookbook (Aunt Babette's Cookbook) with a recipe for imitation cauliflower! I can't remember how you make it but I have a link to the facsimile. The Quintessence restaurant uses cauliflower bits to make a persuasive imitation tabouli. My own imitation tabouli is made with hemp seeds. I won't link here, because I seem to remember there is a problem with that, but the motivated reader will find it easily enough.

    I don't see what's not to like with cauliflower and cheese!

  22. I made it last night for dinner and we loved it! I actually followed your suggestion and used the potato masher (and a bit of elbow grease) to mash the cauliflower. I like the resulting chunky texture and the delicate flavor of cauliflower with goat cheese accents (I used only grated aged goat cheese). Thanks Kalyn!

  23. I like the sound of mashed cauliflower.

  24. Kalyn, this is the first recipe of yours I tried about a year ago, and I bookmarked your website immediately afterwards. Thanks for making my food delicious! This recipe is still my favorite :)

  25. Lauren, how fun hearing that. I do love this recipe too, glad you like it!

  26. I can't wait to try this one!

  27. I played with this recipe using what I had on hand. No goat cheese in the fridge, but I had some whipped cream cheese. Rather than mincing the garlic, I peeled a couple of cloves and tossed them into the pan to boil with the cauliflower.
    After draining, I put it all back in the (now dry) pot and whipped it with a little splash of low-fat buttermilk and some freshly grated parmesan.
    It turned out to be so good that leftovers were a treat, after reheating in the microwave!
    I hope this helps inspire more people to "play with their food" in recipes... Jan

  28. I forgot to mention that I used whipped cream cheese instead of goat cheese.
    Last night, I made "whipped cauliflower" and used some cream cheese augmented with crumbled feta (thank you Costco!) and added fresh-grated parmesan when it was almost done.
    I used the hand-mixer for this to puree it more.

  29. Thanks for this recipe, it really worked well and made loads so thought I could use the rest as a topping for Shepherd's pie ! Yum....

  30. Kalyn, this dish was YUMO! Thanks for posting. My hubby and I are both on SBD. I was dreading the strict limitations of phase 1. Your site is helping us eat more delicious and healthful than ever before. Thanks!!

  31. I simply can not believe how silly easy this is and then how amazingly fabulously good it is to eat! Well, I do believe because we have it all the time now.

  32. I was a bit worried when all I had on hand was a bag of frozen cauliflower - I steamed it, and hand mashed then used my hand mixer on it - worked great! I used fat free half and half, grated parmesan from my fridge (I know, sacrilege), and I used 2 cloves of garlic in my garlic press - worked great!

    It was delicious, amazing, and I will totally make it more often! I made it with your recipe for baked fish with sour cream and dill topping - beautiful pairing and the flavors worked well. Thank you so much I love your recipes!

  33. Ariadne, glad to hear you liked it and good to know it will work with frozen cauliflower too.

  34. Second time I've made it, and let it puree a lot longer in the food processor to get more smooth. Could DEFINITELY pass for mashed potatoes. The first time, the texture was a bit grainy and funky, but the smoother, the better, in my opinion. I doubt anyone would know if you tried to pass it off as potatoes. We have taken to calling them: Faux-tatoes :)

  35. since you CAN'T make mashed potatoes in the food processor w/o making wallpaper paste, this is GOOD!

  36. Glad you guys are enjoying this!

  37. I made this today and added fresh rosemary from our herb garden. Amazing recipe ... I'll be enjoying it all this week, satisfying my craving before bringing real mashed potatoes (a pioneer woman recipe nonetheless) to Thanksgiving. Also really enjoy your ham/cauliflower/cheese casserole and make it all the time for my family.

  38. I love the idea of adding rosemary!


I'm so happy you're taking the time to comment on Kalyn's Kitchen! I love hearing from people who stop by, especially if you're sharing feedback or asking questions about a recipe I've posted here.

I've recently changed my comment settings so people can comment without signing in, but you will need to check the box to show you're a live person, and comments on older posts won't show up until I publish them. Thanks for understanding!

And if you really like the recipe, Pins, Shares, Tweets, and Yums are always appreciated!

Blogging tips