Super silky with a subtle roasted garlic punch, this Cauliflower Puree is a wonderfully versatile and simple to prepare side dish. Whether paired with roast chicken, beef, pork chops, grilled meats, pot roast, or meatloaf, you’ll be shocked at how something so basic can be the perfect compliment to so many meals.
I eat it just because it is delicious but it *does* happen to be low carb. Whatever reason you eat it, you’ll love it!
Any time you attempt to replace a potato (Food of God) with a “tastes just like it!” cauliflower version, I’m going to squawk. The problem with this is that my objection is based entirely on false expectations. This is what can turn anyone into a cauliflower hater.
I know it’s not going to taste EXACTLY like a potato. You know it’s not going to taste exactly like a potato. So why do we keep doing this little dance? If you want to serve me pureed cauliflower, please just tell me it’s cauliflower puree and it’s good.
Because today I have a Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Puree and it is magnificent. What it ISN’T is skinny mashed potatoes, cauliflower mashed potatoes, or some other such nonsense.
Our Cauliflower Purée doesn’t need any selling point other than the fact that it is absolutely divine. And it is truly wonderful in its own right.
What to Look for When Buying Cauliflower
Whether you’re looking to buy a whole head of cauliflower or pre-cut cauliflower florets you want to keep a couple of things in mind. If you are buying a head of cauliflower, try to find one that is tight and compact with fresh looking green leaves.
Fresh cauliflower has clean, bright white, tightly closed buds. Discoloured, dirty looking, or open/loose buds can indicate old cauliflower that is past its prime.
How to Store Cauliflower
Do not wash cauliflower before you storage as moisture can cause it to decay more rapidly than it would have otherwise. If you purchased a shrink wrapped head of cauliflower, loosen the plastic so it is not sealed.
If you have an unwrapped head of cauliflower, place it in a cloth or perforated plastic bag. Store the loosely wrapped cauliflower (stem-side up if it is a full head) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cauliflower Puree Recipe
What makes it so good? Every single thing about it makes it killer from its super silkiness to its subtle roasted garlic punch to its light texture to its versatility as a side dish. We ate this with meatloaf and enjoyed it like MAD. It would be a wonderful addition to any meal you serve with mashed potatoes.
If you think I’m going to tell you to replace your mashed potatoes with this, though, you’re wrong. It is true that this is a low carb alternative to potatoes.
But there’s always enough room for more than one creamy side dish at the table in my world! Especially if we’re talking about a holiday meal!
So how do we make this magical cauliflower puree? It’s so easy, but there are just a couple of things to keep in mind to get great results.
You don’t have to fuss too much in terms of breaking down the cauliflower for this. Just use a paring knife to remove the core and the green leaves.
Everything else can be used for the puree. Use a chef’s knife to break down the cauliflower, trying to keep the pieces roughly the same size so they cook at the same rate.
So let’s talk cooking liquids for a moment. I prefer to use a mixture of water and milk in which to cook the cauliflower. Depending on what you have on hand and any dietary concerns, you can swap out both for chicken stock or vegetable stock, omit the milk and replace it with water, or any combination of those things. The goal is that you have 8 cups of cooking liquid.
Don’t skip draining the cooking liquid or shorten the process or you will end up with super liquidy purée. That might be nice if you’re going strictly for sauce, but if you want a creamy puree that can stand in a mound on your plate and be eaten with a spoon, you have to drain it!
As for the roasted garlic portion of the program, I like it strong. I go with 8 cloves of roasted garlic.
If you like your garlic little more subtle or mild, drop it down to as few as 2 cloves of roasted garlic. Any way you do it, it’ll be delicious.
For an ultra smooth puree, use a blender! My first choice is using my Blendtec blender that comfortably fits the whole batch in it in one shot.
If you have a smaller blender or a smaller food processor, you may need to puree your stuff in two batches. Alternately, you can return the drained cauliflower to the pan and use a stick blender to whizzy whir it into submission.
If you prefer a little more rustic texture or are the analog type, you can certainly do this with an old school potato masher or hand mixer. It will still be delicious if not quite as smooth.
When it comes to the creamy part of your puree, you have a multitude of options. I love our cauliflower puree made with plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt, but sour cream is another great option.
If you’re feeling like you want a little added richness, you can also substitute all or part of the Greek yogurt with goat cheese, cream cheese, or heavy cream. Or you can make it as described in the recipe card and add a little bit of butter at the end. A tablespoon or two will do it!
You’ll have slightly different results from a nutritional information standpoint, but it will be ever so tasty.
This is wonderful as a stand alone side dish, but doubles beautifully as a creamy sauce over other vegetables like green beans or mushrooms. To do this, thin with a little water or chicken broth, adding just a little at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
Recipes with Cauliflower Puree
As you can probably tell, this is one seriously versatile and forgiving side dish, but there are a great variations on the recipes with Cauliflower puree! For variety and extra flavour you can simmer a sprig of thyme with the cauliflower while you simmer it.
But the versatility doesn’t end with potential add-ins. You can swap our cauliflower puree in for white sauce on a pizza or thin it with a little stock, broth, water, or milk and use it as a pasta sauce.
When chilled, it makes a killer dip for raw vegetables or pretzels. I’ve even happily spread some on toast and topped it with a fried egg. Get creative!
Add the cut up fresh cauliflower, milk, and water to a stock pot or deep medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, drop the burner to low heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork tender or easily pierced with sharp knife.
Pour the cooked cauliflower into a colander and let it drain for 10 minutes. Draining the full 10 minutes is important. You do not want any remaining liquid in the cauliflower when you start to puree it.
When the 10 minutes are up, puree the cauliflower, roasted garlic, Greek yogurt, black pepper, and nutmeg in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade until silky smooth. You can also return the drained cauliflower to the pan and mash it into a puree with a hand blender, potato masher, or -for very rustic texture- a sturdy spoon. Taste and adjust with salt if needed.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, divide into labeled single serving size containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
Cauliflower PureeRate Recipe
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 blender or stick blender, food processor, potato masher, or hand mixer
- 1 head cauliflower leaves and core removed, cut up into evenly sized florets
- 2 cups milk or water or broth
- 8 cups water or chicken or vegetable stock or broth
- 2 to 8 cloves roasted garlic
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- minced green onions for garnish
- Add the cut up fresh cauliflower, milk, and water to a stock pot or deep medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork tender or easily pierced with sharp knife.
- Pour the cauliflower into a colander and let it drain for 10 minutes. Draining the full 10 minutes is important. You do not want any remaining liquid in the cauliflower when you start to puree it.
- When the 10 minutes are up, puree the cauliflower, roasted garlic, Greek yogurt, black pepper, and nutmeg in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade until silky smooth. You can also return the drained cauliflower to the pan and mash it into a puree with a hand blender, potato masher, or -for very rustic texture- a sturdy spoon. Taste and adjust with salt if needed.
- If desired, serve with minced green onions on top.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, divide into labeled single serving size containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.