There’s mash, and then there’s THIS potato and cauliflower mash. With slightly nutty and sweet roasted cauliflower, potato and cheese in them (and a bit of yummy thyme), they could well be your new go-to mash recipe – especially as they’re really easy to make ahead!
The BEST cauliflower mashed potatoes!
There aren’t too many recipes that I would call my ‘go-to recipes’. There’s THIS amazing Greek chicken and potatoes that I literally could eat every day of my life, for instance. There’s this easy moussaka which I like to make for guests. And there’s this nothing-short-of-incredible 6-ingredient Swedish chocolate cake, which I have dreams about!
But when it comes to mashed potatoes, THIS potato cauliflower mash recipe is always the one I turn to.
What’s so great about it? Well, here goes…
- It’s a mixture of pureed cauliflower AND potato AND cheese. Mashed cauliflower alone can be a bit too runny. Adding a little potato too makes the cheesy mash just right.
- The cauliflower is roasted. It’s an easy step, but it gives the mash a delicious, slightly nutty and sweet flavour. Yum. If you have an air fryer, check out this air fryer cauliflower recipe to speed up this step!
- You can make it ahead. I sometimes make it the day before. I pour it into some kind of small serving dish with a lid. When I’m ready to serve up dinner, I simply reheat on medium power in the microwave.
- It looks fancy! Save some of the delicious roasted cauliflower florets to sprinkle over the top, and drizzle over a bit of olive oil.
What ingredients do you need?
- Roasted cauliflower: You’ll need a whole head of cauliflower and a little olive oil.
- Boiled potato: Russets are Yukon Gold are great for mashing, but to be honest any type of potatoes are fine.
- Warm milk infused with fresh or dried thyme.
- Cheese and butter (swap for a big drizzle of olive oil if you prefer or for vegan cheese and olive oil if you want to make your mash vegan). I usually use a sharp tasty cheddar, but any favorite grated cheese will work.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
How do you make it?
All you do is roast cauliflower while boiling a bit of choppped potato (photos 1 and 2). If you have an air fryer, you can make this step a little easier by air frying the cauliflower in just 12 minutes.
Then you pulse the cauliflower, potato, cheese and a bit of warm herb-infused milk and butter in the food processor (photos 5 to 8). Done!
I usually warm the milk in a small saucepan and add some thyme to infuse with the wonderful flavour. If I’m feeling a bit short on time though I sometimes mix the thyme into the milk and microwave it instead (photo 3)!
Just like this…
You will end up with a mash that is somewhere between classic mashed potatoes and a potato puree. If you’d prefer your mash to be a bit thicker, simply add a bit more potato.
Save some of the smallest, crispiest bits of cauliflower for garnishing the top!
Pro tips: 1. Don’t over process. If you blend for too long, the mash can become a little too smooth and ‘gloopy’ – at least for my liking! 2. Once you’ve made it, you can pop a lid or cover on it and keep it warm in the oven until you’re ready to eat.
What can I serve with it?
- With a roast. Any kind of roasted meat or baked fish, or even a vegetarian alternative like this delicious baked eggplant goes well. I usually serve more roasted vegetables with this meal, too, such as these honey-glazed carrots and parsnips and maybe some delicious lemon & butter sauce! If you have an air fryer, please do try my 1-hour air fryer rotisserie chicken!
- With these incredible (and super easy) spinach and feta stuffed chicken breasts. Add cranberry sauce and fancy vegetables and you’ve got a very delicious alternative to roast turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
- Good quality sausages. This meal is delicious comfort food either as it is or with a green vegetable on the side.
- With a casserole such as this Mediterranean stove top chicken casserole or this baked chicken and chorizo with cherry tomatoes.
- Believe it or not, the taste and texture of this mash reminds me a little of hummus! So if you are feeling brave, why not serve it as a dip with raw vegetables, bread sticks or tortilla chips?
More things to know (FAQ)
Don’t worry if you don’t have a food processor. Mashing and stirring works well too. Just use your potato masher, or even a fork. Your mash might not be quite as smooth, but that’s OK.
A hand-held blender can work well too.
Well… there’s only a little bit of butter and cheese in each portion of mash. But if you prefer you can add a big drizzle of olive oil instead of butter. You could even skip the cheese altogether if you like, or use less of a stronger tasting cheese. Something like parmesan or even feta would work really well.
Skipping the butter and cheese will make this a vegan cauliflower mash, of course. 😉
The beauty of this recipe (other than the fact it’s incredibly delicious) is that it’s very easy to make it up to 3 days ahead. Just cover and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Then microwave on reduced power for a few minutes until piping hot.
The answer to this is… again… YES! Perhaps surprisingly, the added butter and cheese will help the mash to keep well in the freezer.
Simply pour into a freezer container, put an airtight lid on and freeze for up to a month. If you like, you can roast just a little extra fresh cauliflower for the top just before serving, but this step is not essential by any means.
Need some greens on your plate too? These 10-minute sautéed frozen green beans are surprisingly tasty, and perfect for both special occasions and busy weeknights.
More easy potato side dishes
- If you try one more potato recipe from Scrummy Lane, let it be these amazing Greek potatoes!
- These crispy smashed potatoes are also Greek style, but ready a little quicker than the potatoes above. You can even make them in your air fryer!
- Looking for a show stopping potato side? Try this potato bake with bacon, or these creamier garlic parmesan potatoes (aka dauphinoise potatoes).
- If you’re looking for something a little different, try these mini garlic and parmesan hasselback potatoes!
Or see all my side dish recipes here.
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Potato And Cauliflower Mash (Make Ahead)
Equipment (affiliate links)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for roasting)
- 1 medium potato peeled and chopped into small chunks.
- 4 tablespoons grated cheese (or 1 handful – any strong cheese e.g. strong cheddar)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 thyme sprigs (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- salt & black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220C/420F.
- Spread the cauliflower out on a baking tray in one layer and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is golden and almost caramelised.1 medium cauliflower, 2 tablespoons olive oil
- At the same time, boil the potato chunks until they are soft (about 15 minutes). Also warm the milk in a small saucepan with one of the thyme sprigs or the dried thyme.1 medium potato, ⅓ cup milk, 2 thyme sprigs
- Put aside a small handful of the roasted cauliflower florets. Then put the rest into the bowl of a food processor and blend with a bit of the warm milk (thyme sprig removed!).
- Add the potato, butter, cheese and as much of the rest of the milk as you need to blend to a smooth puree.2 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons grated cheese
- Finally, grind in plenty of salt and pepper and blend for a couple more seconds.salt & black pepper
- Scrape the mash into a nice serving dish. Top with the reserved cauliflower florets, a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves (if using fresh) and a drizzle of olive oil.
Laurie Baker says
I finally found this perfect potato and cauliflower mash recipe, and it’s so easy to make.
Thank you, Laurie – so happy you liked it!
This couldn’t have dropped into my inbox at a better time! I ‘ll be making this to accompany roast chicken today.
I’m so excited to hear this, Janice! I really hope you enjoyed it! 🙂
the hungry mum says
What a fab idea! I reckon this would taste ten types of amazing. Cheese is my religion 😉
Thanks, Hungry Mum! Hope you give it a go!
Do you know how many cups of milk and tablespoons of butter that is? Would love to make this!
Hello Heather! You need about a quarter to a third of a cup of milk (just add it slowly until it’s nice and creamy) and about 2 tablespoons of butter. I’ve made this twice in the past two weeks and it was still as delicious as ever. Hope you enjoy it too!
Phoebe @Feed Me Phoebe says
Love this cauliflower mash – looks delicious!! Perfect way to sneak in some added nutrition for the whole family 🙂
Hi, Phoebe! Really happy you like this … it feels like you’re eating something naughty, but it’s actually quite nutritious, as you say. Thanks so much for passing by!
Sarah@ Whole and Heavenly Oven says
I’ve tried mashed cauliflower before and loved it, but roasted?? And with potatoes and ALL THE CHEESE thrown into the mix too?! I am obsessed and pretty much drooling all over the place. This is going on the menu and I may or may not be inclined to share. 😉
Oh no, definitely don’t share, Sarah! 🙂
Mary Frances says
Pass me the whole bowl! Helen, this looks so so good, even at 10 in the morning! 🙂 I never ever would’ve guessed that wasn’t potatoes. I have got to try this on my family asap – adding cauliflower to the grocery list!
I was amazed at how lovely and smooth this mash was, too! The trick is definitely to still include a bit of potato. Please do try it out on your family … they’ll love it!
Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says
I LOVE the looks of your cauliflower mash, Helen! It looks so creamy and deliciious, there’s no way I’d miss the potatoes!
Thanks, Denise! Do have a go at this mash … you’ll never look back 😉
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
YES to sneaking in some wonderfully roasted cauliflower into this potata mash! And I am loving the thyme in there too – Lightened up and veggie packed goodness – who needs a plate – eh? 🙂
Oh no, you certainly don’t need a plate. Just grab a spoon and dive in!
Cheesy and healthy…I like the sound of these way better than plain jane mashed taters!
So happy to hear that, Joanne! 🙂
[email protected] Eats says
Helen, did I send you an email about this and totally forget to leave a comment? Am I losing it?
Lol … yup, I guess you must be! 😉
At first I thought it’s a moist and creamy bowl of mashed potato, with a closer look, I found it’s even better! What a great idea to use roasted cauliflowers. So healthy and delicious 🙂
Thanks, Maggie! Really glad you like the look of the mash. I’m still dreaming about it!
I’ve only tried to make cauliflower mash once and it was a complete disaster but yours looks so creamy and delicious!! Roasted vegetables are the best and that is a great idea to roast the cauliflower before mashing it! I am totally going to try that next time 🙂
The key is definitely to mix in a bit of mashed potato as well as the cauliflower, Izzy. Give that a try next time and let me know how it goes!