Opt-in for this low-carb but full of flavor cauliflower mash recipe, made with cauliflower, herbs, and lots of garlic right in the slow cooker or instant pot. A great low carb side dish that also happens to be naturally keto and gluten-free without the need for any special ingredients.
Garlic and Herb Cauliflower Mash
I came up with this slow cooker garlicky herbed cauliflower mash whilst meal planning for a Thanksgiving feast one year.
If you are anything like me, you might get over-excited about cooking food for a big Holiday and go overboard with the dishes you plan on making.
This means stove-top space comes at a premium.
That's why I love making my cauliflower mash in the slow cooker or the instant pot, it still tastes amazing, but it can be made somewhere other than the stove and becomes a set-and-forget side, rather than something that requires babysitting.
What Is Needed To Make Low Carb Mash?
For this low-carb cauliflower mash recipe, we are going to skip out on the potatoes and replace them with a whole head of cauliflower.
You will need:
- a head of cauliflower
- lots of garlic
- chopped herbs ( I used oregano, thyme, and parsley)
- vegetable broth
- grated parmesan
- butter or ghee
- salt and pepper
I used a mixture of oregano, thyme and parsley as I always have lots growing in the garden, but use whatever you have on hand.
Rosemary or chives would work really well here also.
If you are following a keto diet and would like to keep this cauliflower mash recipe keto-friendly then be sure to check the ingredients on the vegetable broth that you are using, just to be sure.
How To Make Cauliflower Mash In The Slow Cooker
This is my prefered method as it really is just a dump and forget way to cook cauliflower mash.
There is no need for pre-frying the garlic or steaming the cauliflower.
Simply add the cauliflower, vegetable broth, and garlic to the slow cooker with enough water to just cover the cauliflower and set on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
Once it is cooked be sure to completely drain.
If you do not drain properly you will end up with a runny mash rather than a creamy mash, and that is definitely not the desired outcome.
Once drained, you can add in the butter and parmesan and mash with either a traditional potato masher or with a handheld immersion blender.
Note: the device you use to mash the cauliflower will determine the texture.
Using a handheld blender will result in a smoother cauliflower mash, almost a cauliflower puree in texture.
Using a potato masher will leave the cauliflower mash with more texture and it will be less smooth.
How To Make Cauliflower Mash In The Instant Pot
If you prefer to make instant pot cauliflower mash then the steps do change a bit.
First, you will want to sauté the garlic in some olive oil.
Then you can add in the vegetable broth.
You will need to pop the cauliflower florets into a steaming basket and pop that into the instant pot for cooking.
High pressure for 3 minutes, quick release, drain and then all all of the other ingredients and mash as above.
The beauty of making cauliflower mash in the instant pot is that it comes together so much quicker so is perfect if you need a last-minute side, or you suddenly realise you haven't made enough food.
How To Serve Keto Mashed Cauliflower
Mashed cauliflower makes the perfect side anywhere you would traditionally serve mashed potatoes.
Try it with some of these:
- Homemade Rotisserie Chicken in the Oven
- With some Super Moist Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken (Instant Pot)
- Spoon over some slow cooker ratatouille
- With some lamb shanks or a nice piece of steak
- With Turkey for a Holiday like Thanksgiving
- With some sausages (like these Chicken and Chive Sausages) for a twist on bangers and mash
- With some meatballs like these Herbed Turkey Air Fryer Meatballs
- With some slow cooker cube steak from Glenda Embree.
Why not pair it with this meatloaf recipe and make a meal of it?
P.S If you have any time-saving/space-saving tips for hosting be sure to leave a comment and let me know.
Slow Cooker (or Instant Pot) Garlicky Herbed Cauliflower Mash
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tablespoons chopped herbs ( I used oregano thyme, and parsley)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 3 tablespoons butter or ghee
- Salt to taste
- Peel the leaves from the cauliflower and cut into medium florets.
Cooking In the Slow Cooker
- Place the florets into the slow cooker with the whole garlic cloves, vegetable broth, and enough water to just cover the cauliflower.
- Cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours.
- Once finished, drain really well so that the cauliflower is almost dry. Add in the parmesan and butter and mash/blend to desired consistency (see notes below on different methods of mashing). Season to taste and add in the fresh herbs.
- Place the cauliflower mash back into the slow cooker, and set to ‘keep warm’ until ready to serve.
Cooking In The Instant Pot
- Set the instant pot to sauté, once hot add in some olive oil and sauté the garlic for about a minute. Turn off sauté mode.
- Add in the vegetable broth and stir to combine.
- Add in a steaming basket and pop the cauliflower florets into the basket, spacing them out as much as possible.
- Set the pot to high pressure and cook for 3 minutes. Once cooking is complete, quick release and remove the lid from the pot. Allow the cauliflower to sit for a moment for the excess liquid to drain off.
- Add the cooked cauliflower and the drained garlic to a pot or a food processor (see notes below for mashing options).
- Add in the butter and parmesan cheese and either mash or blend until the desired consistency is reached.
- Add in the fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste, stir and serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post has been updated from the original November 2015 post to include more tips on cooking, and instructions for cooking in the instant pot.