Roasted Cauliflower in Place of Mashed Potatoes – aka ‘Fauxtatoes’


If you want mashed potatoes but you’re eating low carb (which I am, during the week) or if you just don’t have any potatoes handy, you can use cauliflower instead and get a very similar side dish. It’s also great in recipes that include mashed potatoes as an ingredient — like Colcannon or Shepherd’s Pie.

Start by cutting out the leafy part of the stem. Don’t worry too much about getting the whole thing, you’ll have a chance to get the rest later, but this will make it easier.


Place the entire head in a steamer basket or, like I did here, in the pasta strainer in a large pot.


Don’t add water. We’re not steaming it, we’re roasting. I’ve done this via steaming before, and the result is thinner and runnier than mashed potatoes.

Put the lid on and place in a 350° oven for about an hour-and-a-half, until a sharp knife goes all the way into the center without much resistance.


Turn out into a heavy bowl and cut out the rest of the stem. It will be much easier now because it’s nice and soft.

120317-183223_Lg 120317-183330_Lg

Process with an immersion blender. Add enough cream, milk, or butter to get everything moving around.

120317-183527_Lg 120317-183720_Lg

You can do this in an upright blender, but you’ll have to add much more milk and thin it out. With the immersion blender you can get a much thicker consistency, more like mashed potatoes.

Serve with butter or … Oh, I almost forgot! This is going to need salt. Add it before blending.

Where was I? Oh right, serve with butter or gravy, or add to your shepherd’s pie, colcannon or other recipe.

And that’s it.


  1. Do you have to cook this in a steamer-type configuration? Can you just cook it in a roasting pan? Does it leak water while roasting?

    • It does leak a little bit, but not as much as I would have expected. Doing it in a roasting pan would be fine, as long as it’s covered. Do it uncovered and I’m betting it would dry out too much.

  2. Thanks for the tip on roasting! I’d always steamed it before, and it was always too runny. Definitely going to try it like this next time.

  3. Makes sense as to why, when I tried this with steaming, it didn’t work. Great recipe!

  4. Nerd-faced Girl says:

    I’d love to try this. This isn’t really cooking like grandma, though; I doubt she had an immersion blender, and neither do I! Maybe I’ll experiment with my food processor.

  5. Sounds good -can’t wait to try it

  6. Christian Conrad says:

    Drew writes:

    Turn out into a heavy bowl and cut out the rest of the stem. It will be much easier now because it’s nice and soft.

    In that case, why cut it out at all? Cauliflower stem is perfectly edible, so… Four pounds of cheese, and all that.

  7. Thanks so much for the cauliflower tip! I made shepherd’s pie for my hubby tonight and he couldn’t get enough! We have always tried to pretend steamed cauliflower was like mashed potatoes, but the roasting really made it :-)

Tip Jar

Like what you see? Buy me a drink.