Instant Pot Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with garlic and cheese is low carb and simple to make. With just 4 ingredients, you can make this smashed cauliflower recipe anytime you’re looking for a quick and healthy side dish.
First Published: August 30, 2018… Last Updated: January 20, 2020
Instant Pot Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a wonderful change of pace, has great flavor, and ridiculously easy to make. And guess what? I don’t use any milk… not even almond milk. And I don’t use any butter but it tastes rich and creamy and I love it. However, if you want a bit of buttery flavor, try GHEE. It’s organic and this is the brand I use for cooking and baking. What I particularly love about this brand are all of the flavors. Including garlic.
I also call this recipe smashed cauliflower because it was a smash at my last party. I kid you not — I love making this as much as I do traditional mashed potatoes. I also have to say, they don’t taste exactly like mashed potatoes… so if you want mashed potatoes, make them.
I love this because it’s a healthy alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. And, as my mother, Bernice would say: “try it… if you don’t like it, you don’t have to make it again.”
How to make this recipe Whole 30 or Paleo:
For those doing Whole30 or Paleo, just eliminate the cheese and you have gorgeous garlicky mashed cauliflower potatoes side that’s also perfect to use as a bed for Instant Pot Salmon, baked chicken, or smothered pork chops with crispy bacon.
The many benefits of cauliflower include:
- Low calories: with only 25 calories per cup, you can eat a good amount of cauliflower without gaining weight
- High in dietary fiber: there are 3 grams of fiber in one cup of cauliflower, which is 10% of your daily needs
- A great source of minerals
- A great source of vitamins B and C. It also contains high concentrations antioxidants
- Cauliflower is considered a superfood because of its nutrient-rich content
Which is healthier potato or cauliflower?
Cauliflower is healthier than potatoes because:
- Potatoes can raise your blood sugar much faster than cauliflower because they have a higher glycemic index.
- Cauliflower has a low Glycemic index.
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It’s so simple it almost doesn’t call for a recipe, but here goes:
Remove the leaves and stem.
Cut the cauliflower into florets.
- Add 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock to the Instant Pot — INSTEAD of WATER. Do NOT use water. (As Bernice would say: “Water doesn’t taste good. Use stock!”)
- Drop a couple of fresh or roasted cloves of garlic into the pot. (I use Dorot when I don’t have fresh — I keep them in the freezer at all times.)
- Place a steamer basket in the insert or I also use this Silicone Steamer Pagoda: it’s two baskets in one and I love it. It comes in handy for when I use both Instant Pots and I also use it in the microwave. When using it on the Instant Pot, use one of the baskets as it fits nicely in the 6-quart (or 8-quart) Instant Pot.
- Close the lid to the Instant Pot, make sure steamer valve is sealed and set the IP to STEAM for 3 MINUTES — then do a Quick Release.
- Remove the silicone basket and transfer the florets to a food processor… which works great for my needs. If you don’t want to use a blender or food processor, it’s easy to do it by hand. I have this commercial-grade masher:
- Next: SAVE THE LIQUID! This is key — and do this only if you used the chicken or vegetable stock with the garlic clove.
- Pulse the florets in the processor, add a half cup of the vegetable or chicken stock, another clove of garlic, and a half a cup of cheese of your choice. I used Wisconsin Cheddar as I happened to have been in Wisconsin a few days ago and got some at a wonderful local shop. I’ve also used Parmesan — or whatever I have on hand. Sometimes I mix and match… I happen to love French Feta and creamy goat cheese. Basically, you can’t go wrong with any cheese, so go for it. (For WW Smart Points, see notes in recipe.)
- Pulse the ingredients until creamy and the texture is smooth. Top with paprika. You can also add butter or ghee or drizzle some olive oil. (The recipe as pictured doesn’t have any butter or olive oil.) And if you want to make it bubbly and cheesier… top with some added cheese and pop it in the oven or broiler for a minute or so.
How to serve cauliflower mashed potatoes
Serve them in our mini Dutch ovens… this oven-to-table bakeware is lightweight unlike those other brands made of cast iron and weigh a ton — and cost a fortune. These restaurant-grade porcelain mini’s are oven-safe to 500 degrees, come in two sizes: 7 oz and 16 oz, and are perfect for serving up your side dishes. They also work great for Pot-in-Pot cooking in the Instant Pot.
Our Instant PotHolder is a great 3-in-1 accessory… it’s a Pot Holder, a Jar Opener, and a Trivet. I love these as it’s easy to remove the Instant Pot insert as I hate the clunky silicone mitts. And I make `em in the USA.Print
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes – Instant Pot Recipe
An Instant Pot recipe for mashed cauliflower! This recipe is low carb and so easy to make.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes
- Total Time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 4 side servings 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
- 1 head of cauliflower, leaves and stems removed, chopped
- 1–2 garlic cloves. Or Dorot frozen garlic cubes
- 1.5 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock, divided
- 1/2 cup of cheese (for WW recipe, see notes)
- Set up your Instant Pot Steam with a steamer insert; pour in a cup of chicken stock and 1-2 garlic cloves or Dorot garlic cubes
- Using the “steam” setting, cook the cauliflower in an Instant Pot for 3 minutes and do a quick release
- Save the liquid!
- Transfer the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse the cauliflower a little to loosen it up. Then add a 1/2 cup of your choice of cheese – Parmesan or Cheddar both work great here – and pulse to combine.
- Serve with a little more cheese on top.
- Optional: add butter or GHEE or a dash of almond milk or cream and pop under the broiler for 3 minutes to get a browned topping.
1 Weight Watchers Points when calculated with 1/2 cup of Natural fat free shredded cheese
Keywords: Smashed cauliflower, mashed cauliflower, instant pot cauliflower, garlic and cheese cauliflower recipe
Other Cauliflower Recipes:
If you want other easy cauliflower recipes, check out my 3-cheese artichoke & cauliflower dip… great for parties and something new when you don’t want to make the same `ole artichoke and spinach thingy and a one-pot carrot and cauliflower soup that’s fabulous .
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