Creamiest Mashed Cauliflower

You may notice that there is no actual cream in a recipe titled “creamiest mashed cauliflower.” While we tried testing this recipe with both whole milk and cream, these muted the cauliflower’s nuttiness and didn’t improve the texture of the puréed cauliflower. Instead, a bit of the cauliflower’s cooking liquid is used to create a creamy emulsion with the aid of an immersion blender. This makes the dish lighter in texture without the heaviness of cream.

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets, about 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning, or any other dried seasonings that you prefer
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. IF ROASTING THE CAULIFLOWER: Preheat oven to 450˚F. Toss the cauliflower florets with a tablespoon of olive oil; spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  2. IF BOILING THE CAULIFLOWER: Fill a large frying pan with 1/4 inch water; add 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower florets; cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender and soft. DRAIN WELL and set aside for 3 minutes to steam-dry.
  3. In a large frying pan (use the same pan that you used for the cauliflower, just wipe it down) melt 1/2 tablespoon butter.
  4. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir steamed (or roasted) cauliflower florets to the pan with the garlic.
  6. Add remaining butter and buttermilk.
  7. Grab the immersion blender and blend to a desired consistency.
  8. Stir in parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Add more butter or buttermilk to make it creamier.
  9. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley.
  10. Serve.


  • Let the steamed cauliflower florets cool down for 3 minutes after you’ve drained them. This way the cauliflower will steam-dry as it cools and it will absorb some of that water.
  • If using a traditional blender, you will need to blend the cauliflower in batches.