These Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are studded with savory roasted peppers and caramelized onions. Serve them with a holiday meal or at a regular weeknight dinner. Instructions for a vegan version are included.
Cauliflower mashed potatoes is a versatile take on traditional mashed potatoes. The addition of savory roasted peppers and caramelized onions adds layers of flavor. (Caramelized onions truly make everything better!) The lighter texture balances out all of your favorite decadent traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, but tastes just as good as always when ladled with turkey gravy.
The straightforward preparation, coupled with the option to choose between a regular or vegan (dairy-free) version, makes this dish a practical addition to your holiday menu, ensuring everyone at the table can enjoy a comforting side that doesn't compromise on taste.
Tips for making cauliflower mashed potatoes
- Cook the veggies: Boil the cubed potatoes and cauliflower florets until tender, just like you would with regular mashed potatoes.
- Perfect Texture: Use a food mill, potato ricer, or potato masher, mash the potatoes and cauliflower with the milk to remove the large lumps. Once the cream cheese is added, continue to mash until the mixture is smooth.
- Draining Vegetables: To avoid a watery mixture, drain the vegetables well, then return them to saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring the potatoes and cauliflower until dry, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Taste Testing: Taste the mixture before finalizing. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper until it reaches the desired flavor. For a smoother texture without onions and peppers, consider adding minced fresh herbs or roasted garlic.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
Make them vegan
It’s easy to make vegan mashed potatoes, with or without cauliflower, by substituting the dairy (often milk and butter) with vegan alternatives.
To make this recipe plant-based, I sub in almond milk for cow’s milk and use a good vegan cream cheese alternative for creaminess rather than butter or dairy cream cheese.
If you’re not sure which vegan cream cheese you should use, I suggest asking the dairy manager at a healthy food store, such as Whole Foods. Alternatively, ask your guest which vegan cream cheese alternative is his or her favorite. Chances are, they’ve tried a few and know which ones do the trick.
KEEP IN TOUCH
and receive recipes straight to your inbox!
Meal Prep and Storage
Make-Ahead: Prepare these mashed potatoes and cauliflower in advance by completing the boiling and mashing steps. Refrigerate the mixture and reheat before serving, adding a bit of milk if the mixture is a little dry.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What to serve with them
These cauliflower mashed potatoes complement a variety of main dishes. Serve them throughout the year or serve them with a holiday feast. Here are a few favorite pairings:
- Roast Turkey or Chicken: At Thanksgiving or Christmas, serve with a whole Roast Turkey with Herb Butter or a Roasted Turkey Breast. For an easy dinner throughout the year, serve with Oven Baked Chicken Breast.
- Grilled Vegetables: For a vegetarian option, serve with a medley of grilled vegetables, enhancing the meal's overall richness.
- Holiday Ham: The sweet and smoky notes of the dish complement a holiday ham very well. Or go big with a Roast Leg of Lamb.
- Pork Tenderloin or Chops: Try this mash with Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin for a special weekend meal or with Herbed Pork Chops with Garlic Butter for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Frequently Asked Questions:
No, that’s optional. If you want a smoother texture, leave out the caramelized onions and peppers. I suggest adding in some minced fresh herbs or roasted garlic for another layer of flavor. See How to Roast Garlic for my tips and tricks (so simple!)
And be sure to season properly! Taste the mixture, and add salt and pepper until it tastes just right.
Yes, feel free to experiment with non-dairy milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk or oat milk. Choose a milk that complements the flavors of the dish.
Thoroughly drain the boiled vegetables and return them to the saucepan over medium heat to remove excess moisture. Stirring for 1 to 2 minutes helps achieve the desired consistency.
Other Potato Recipes You'll Love
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and comment underneath the recipe card below. Thank you!
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions chopped
- 2 ½ pound russet potatoes peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 ¼ pound cauliflower cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 4 ounces light cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese)
- ⅔ cup low-fat (1%) milk or a plant-based milk (such as soy or almond)
- 1 roasted red pepper chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown.
- Place cubed potatoes and cauliflower in a large saucepan and cover the vegetables with cold water.
- Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes and cauliflower are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
- Drain the vegetables, return to saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring the potatoes and cauliflower until dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm over low heat.
- Using a food mill, potato ricer or potato masher, mash the potatoes with the milk (or plant-based milk) to remove the large lumps.
- Add the cream cheese to the potatoes and continue to mash until the potatoes are smooth and the cream cheese is incorporated.
- Stir the caramelized onions and roasted peppers into the mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.