A mashed potato substitute that’s health conscious and free of butter and heavy cream. Mashed Cauliflower with Cream Cheese is creamy, flavourful, and delicious. The addition of fresh green onions adds a crisp, refreshing taste.
It’s the season of cauliflower at the Thomas-Ewing household. Every summer, usually late August, we look forward to the abundance of fresh cauliflower. We all love it in all shapes and forms, and when it’s at its peak, and cost effective, we indulge as much as possible.
If you’ve been a reader of Lord Byron’s Kitchen for long, you’ll no doubt have read a few cauliflower recipes before. I like to pretend that I’m the King of Cauliflower just as Nigella Lawson is the Queen of Green Peas. (Not a great comparison, I know, but a man can dream.)
Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that has sprung to life over the past few years. No longer a simple crudites option, cauliflower has proven it’s resilience to many different cooking techniques and it’s ability to carry extremely delicious flavour profiles.
If you’re new to the world of cauliflower recipes, I encourage you to try a few of these. These recipes have all been prepared by me and approved by my favourite two very picky vegetarians.
- Vegetarian Cashew Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Brown Rice Meatballs
- Crispy Fried Honey Lemon Glazed Cauliflower
- Braised Coconut Cauliflower Curry
- Asian Orange Sesame Cauliflower
- Cauliflower and Kale Curry Soup
- Fried Cauliflower in Garlic and Ginger Sauce
Mashed Cauliflower with Cream Cheese is a delicious addition to my repertoire of cauliflower-based recipes. Since cauliflower naturally holds a lot of moisture, a very creamy, mashed-potato-like consistency is easily achieved without the addition of butter or heavy cream. Even after a good drain, the boiled cauliflower mashes up quite easily with lots of moisture, so no additives are needed – with the exception of the cream cheese with is more for the flavour than the moisture.
Simple is always best, which is why I didn’t want to over complicate the recipe with added seasonings or ingredients. When preparing this particular side dish, I knew I was going to be serving it with a main, another side, and of course, lots of gravy. (I don’t understand mashed potato without gravy, so mashed cauliflower needed the same accompaniment in my opinion.) That is why I lightly seasoned the mashed cauliflower with a little nutmeg, and some salt and pepper.
The addition of the green onions was a last minute decision for me and it turned out so well. So, I’m adding it to the list of ingredients and cooking instructions. The green onions provided a hint of freshness as well as a light onion-y flavour, which was important to elevating the flavour profile slightly. I’m from the school that believes green onions makes everything taste and look better.
My recipe for Mashed Cauliflower with Cream Cheese is freezer-friendly as well. Unlike potatoes, which never seem to retain it’s consistency after being frozen, cauliflower does. You can easily freeze any leftovers of this recipe and reheat it without compromising texture or taste.
To reheat, simple remove the cauliflower from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature until completely thawed. When you remove the lid from the container, you’ll notice that some of the moisture from the cauliflower has settled on the top. Gently lay a paper towel onto the top of the cauliflower to soak up the excess moisture. You’ll want to remove this, because some of it will be the result of freezing and not the water content of the cauliflower itself.
Next, add the cauliflower to a sauce pan and crank the heat up. I like to reheat the cauliflower using a high heat to help evaporate the water and wake up the flavours. While reheating on high, it is important to continuously stir the cauliflower so that it doesn’t burn. When fully reheated, you’ll find you’re left with a mashed cauliflower that shows no signs of being the result of a leftover from a few weeks back. How’s that for a bonus?
There you have it, Dear Reader, Mashed Cauliflower with Cream Cheese is your new mashed potato – try it!
- 2 large heads cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
- 1 cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, optional (save some for garnish)
- In a large pot, cover the florets with cold water and bring to a boil. Boil the cauliflower until fork tender. This will take about 30 minute depending on the size of the cauliflower florets.
- Drain the cauliflower well and transfer back to the pot.
- Add the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the green onions and parsley, if using, and return the pot the the burner. Allow the cauliflower to remain on a very low simmer for 20 minutes so that the ingredients marry together and some of the moisture evaporates.
- Want more onion flavour? Peel and quarter a white onion and add it to the pot when boiling the cauliflower. When you drain the cauliflower, discard the onion.
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