Here is a healthy, flavorful, and creamy Instant Pot mashed cauliflower recipe loaded with garlic, cream cheese, and parmesan for you to make next!
Craving more tasty pressure cooker recipes? Then try our Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs, Ninja foodi Spaghetti Bolognese, Instant Pot Lamb Stew in Red Wine, and Instant Pot Chicken Wings Three Ways next!
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instant pot mashed cauliflower
There are so many reasons to love this creamy instant pot faux cauliflower mashed potatoes!
- This is an easy recipe to make; you need no instant pot steaming basket, which means less cleaning later!
- Flavorful: loaded with garlic, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, and parmesan, this mash is creamy and delicious, plus, cauliflower is good for you!
- Diet-friendly: this recipe is low-carb and keto-friendly and can even be modified to be vegan and paleo-compliant.
This is a summary of the ingredients you will need to make instant pot mashed cauliflower, as well as possible substitutions, if any. You will find the detailed measurements, as well as the step-by-step instructions in the recipe card below.
- a whole head of cauliflower.
- unsalted butter - I like to use unsalted butter so I can control the salt level but you can also use salted butter. In this case, just make sure to use slightly less salt when seasoning to avoid ending up with some over-salted mashed cauliflower.
- full-fat Greek yogurt, and some cream cheese (this has a creamy and slightly sour flavor, which works wonders in this dish). You will also need some cheddar and parmesan cheese.
- garlic, salt, black pepper to taste, and some vegetable stock or water.
how to make keto Instant Pot cauliflower mash
This is a summary of how to make keto Instant Pot cauliflower mash as well as possible substitutions, if any. You will find the full instructions in the recipe card provided below.
- Wash the cauliflower, remove the leaves, and cut off the thicker part of the stem. Set the Instant Pot to saute. Using half of the butter, fry the garlic until fragrant then add the water or stock.
- Next, place the whole cauliflower head (no need to slice or chop) inside the Instant Pot and close the lid. Turn the valve to SEAL and program it to pressure cook under high pressure.
- Once the cooking time is over, do a quick pressure release. The cauliflower should be fork tender, if not then simply pressure cook for a further 2 minutes. Carefully lift the trivet and transfer the cauliflower to a bowl (you can reserve any leftover broth for use in making other dishes, such as soups and stews).
- Let the cauliflower rest and cool slightly before blending.
- Process until smooth and creamy (you can drain any excess water at this point as well). Stir in the Greek yogurt, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, and the remaining butter.
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately, while still hot.
- Grilled Chicken or Steak: I always find that the light, creamy texture of cauliflower mash pairs beautifully with a well-seasoned piece of grilled chicken or steak.
- Roasted Vegetables: we love serving ours with some asparagus, air fryer green beans, or brussels sprouts. These add a delightful crunch next to the smoothness of the mash that is absolutely awesome!.
- Salmon: oh, how we adore this pairing! A flaky salmon fillet encrusted with fresh herbs is simply dreamy alongside cauliflower mash. And let's not forget our air fryer salmon bites with garlic cream sauce; they're a match made in heaven with the cauliflower mash.
- Sausage and Peppers: Serve it with some rougaille saucisse! Spicy or mild, sausages browned with some colorful bell peppers and onions are a fantastic combo with cauliflower mash. It's a warm and cozy dish that will remind you of Sunday dinners.
- Or simply pair it up with some Instant Pot Goulash (Hungarian), Herby Braised Short Ribs, Kenyan beef stew, or some keto gravy!
Customize this recipe to suit your taste!
- Loaded mashed cauliflower - This recipe uses cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, and parmesan cheese. You can, however, also use other types of dairy such as sour cream, blue cheese, gouda, or goat cheese. Add some crispy fried bacon for a nice crunch!
- Seasoning - use a variety of seasonings such as cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, curry powder, or ground nutmeg (be careful with nutmeg as it can sometimes be overbearing, and only use just a pinch)!
- Herbs - add herby flavors by using herbs such as thyme, parsley, or chives. You can use the herbs individually or together.
- Vegan mashed cauliflower - use vegan variants of cheddar cheese, butter, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and Greek yogurt to make this recipe vegan or dairy-free.
refrigeration and freezing
Make this instant pot cauliflower mash and store it in the fridge or freezer as follows:-
- In the refrigerator - allow the mash to cool completely then transfer it to a suitable airtight container or a Ziploc bag. It will keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
- In the freezer - to freeze your cauliflower mash, simply spoon it into a freezer-suitable container or Ziploc bag. I prefer to freeze it in small serving portions as opposed to freezing it all together. That way, it is easier to simply get one or two portions when I need to. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. To use, allow the frozen cauliflower mash to thaw in the fridge overnight, or for about 12 hours. Once thawed, simply reheat it in the microwave for a few minutes making sure it is heated through and there are no icy or cold bits. I always like to heat my low-carb cauliflower mash for about 2 minutes, stir then heat it again for a further 1-2 minutes, adjusting the time depending on the temperature. Stir in some cheddar cheese and cream cheese to the re-heated cauliflower mash before serving to revive the flavors.
frequently asked questions
To make paleo-friendly mashed cauliflower in your Instant Pot, cook and blend as per instructions in this recipe, omit the dairy and flavor with ghee, olive or coconut oil, and a pinch of nutmeg instead.
The answer is yes. Simply reduce the amount of liquid by half and increase the pressure cooking time by 5 minutes. Once cooked, do a quick release, transfer the cooked cauliflower to a bowl or food processor, then blend until smooth.
Can you make mashed cauliflower in the Instant Pot without a steamer basket? Ok, this question comes up a lot and the answer is an absolute YES, as we have done in this recipe! Here is a summary of how to go about it:-
1. Clean the cauliflower, peel off the outer green leaves from the cauliflower head and slice off the thicker part of the stem. The leaves are edible so feel free to use them if you like.
2. Fill the inner pot with water or broth. Place the head of the cauliflower on the trivet (stem-side down is recommended but not a must) then lower it into the Instant Pot.
3. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on how big your cauliflower is. When done, do a quick pressure release, carefully remove the trivet bearing the cauliflower and use a potato masher or an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Season with some salt, pepper, and your favorite toppings then serve.
Traditional instant mashed potatoes, while convenient and quick to prepare, are not considered keto-friendly. The primary ingredient in instant mashed potatoes is dehydrated potatoes, which are high in carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet emphasizes a low-carb intake, typically aiming for 20-50 grams of net carbs per day, depending on individual needs. Consuming instant mashed potatoes can easily surpass this daily carb limit in just a single serving. Additionally, many instant mashed potato brands contain added ingredients like preservatives, flavorings, and sometimes sugars, which are also not ideal for a keto lifestyle. If you're following a ketogenic diet, it's advisable to opt for lower-carb alternatives like this cauliflower mash to enjoy a similar texture and flavor without the high carb content.
make these other tasty low carb recipes!
Now that you have made it this far and made this recipe, don't forget to check out our other keto and low-carb recipes!
- Make some low-carb Wirsing (German Savoy Cabbage Recipe) for a tasty side dish.
- Load up on your protein with these Keto Meatloaf Recipes
- Our Parsley Cilantro Chimichurri is an easy and tasty condiment that you will love!
Great news, you have made it this far which means you probably made or are making this Keto Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower! It would go a long way if you could leave a ⭐rating on the recipe card or comment in the comments section below.
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The recipe was modified in August 2023 to a more reader-friendly version with recipe step photos.
Keto Instant Pot Cauliflower Mash with Cream Cheese
- 1 head cauliflower whole
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (to saute)
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (to finish)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or water)
- ¼ cup Greek yoghurt
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
- ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper respectively (or more to taste)
- Wash the cauliflower, remove the leaves, and cut off the thicker part of the stem. Set the Instant Pot to saute for 2 minutes. Add half of the butter and saute the garlic until fragrant. It should only be slightly brown (take care not to burn), then add the water or stock.2 tablespoon unsalted butter, 4 cloves garlic, 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- Next, place the whole cauliflower head (no need to slice or chop) on the trivet, place it inside the Instant Pot and close the lid. The Instant Pot should make a beeping sound, to indicate it is properly closed or sealed). Turn the valve to SEAL and program it to pressure cook for 5 minutes, under high pressure.1 head cauliflower
- Once the cooking time is over, turn the valve to QUICK RELEASE and open the lid once all the pressure has been released. The cauliflower should be fork tender, if not then simply increase the pressure cooking time by a further 2 minutes. Carefully lift the trivet from the Instant Pot and transfer the cauliflower to a bowl. Reserve any leftover broth for use in making other dishes, such as soups and stews.
- Let the cauliflower rest and cool slightly (about 5-10 minutes), before processing. This will allow it to release excess moisture. Also, ensure that you properly drain any excess liquid before blending or processing.
- Next, use an immersion blender to process until smooth and creamy (you can further drain any excess water at this point as well, remember, we want to avoid having soggy cauliflower mash)! Add the Greek yogurt, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese. Slowly combine, making sure everything is properly incorporated. Add the remaining butter, season with salt and pepper then combine.¼ cup Greek yoghurt, ¼ cup cream cheese, ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper respectively, 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Serve immediately while hot. This Keto Instant Pot mashed cauliflower pairs up well with chicken dishes, beef and vegetable stews, grilled recipes, just to mention a few!
- Allow the cauliflower to rest and cool slightly, before mashing. This will allow it to release excess moisture, hence preventing it from getting soggy. Ensure that you properly drain the cauliflower before mashing.
- I recommend mashing the cauliflower before adding Greek yogurt, cream cheese and butter. That way, you can always drain out excess liquid before adding in the other ingredients. Also, season with salt and pepper at this point.
- Retain the water used in steaming the cauliflower to use in soups and stews, or to blend in smoothies.
- While I made this keto-friendly Instant Pot mashed cauliflower using an immersion blender, feel free to use a potato masher for a more rustic mash.