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.
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.
Thank you 🙂
This looks great! I never would have thought to make it in the slow cooker.
I have yet to try something like this but it looks so incredibly yummy!
laura londergan says
I will have to give this a try as I was just talking with my mom the other day how I wanted to start giving cauliflower a try more in recipes as I WANT to like it! 😉
Haha I like that you want to like it 🙂 It's such a versatile veggie, you should definitely give it a try again!
Omg now this sounds all sorts of deliciousness!! I'm cauliflower obsessed so in definitely going to have to give this a try! Yum!
Thanks CourtneyLynne! I am totally cauliflower obsessed as well 🙂
That's some incredible smooth cauliflower mash! We used to do mashed cauliflower a lot, but it's too high in FODMAPs for me to handle it--it's one of the foods I miss the most.
Oh no, thats annoying! I am sure there are still plenty of delicious foods you can enjoy 🙂
This sounds amazing! I love cauliflower mash!
Nikka Shae says
Great recipe! I want to try this!! For Thanksgiving I cut up all my vegetables for my dressing the night before. That saves me time in preparation.
Good idea Nikka! I need to start being a bit more organised and doing that too!
Eva/ Kid Minds says
Cauliflower is one of my most favorite things to eat. In fact, I can eat a whole head of cauliflower in one evening.
Oh definitely Eva!! I love roasting whole trays of cauliflower, and then just eating it straight from the pan 🙂
Kelly Hutchinson says
I am looking for new low or no carb dishes. This would be just heavenly!
I hope you enjoy Kelly!
This looks so good. I love how silky it looks. Will definitely try this soon!
I hope you enjoy Amy!
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
I have been wanting to try this and now I'm convinced I should! Thanks for that! I love garlic in everything!
Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours says
That looks so silky smooth and delicious - and so easy to make it as it largely hands off.
Whitney @ That Square Plate says
I haven't tried mashing cauliflower yet, but this looks so amazing and smooth. I always tend to commit to a bunch of dishes and way overcook for events I'm hosting too! I need to try this soon though!
Oh it's ridiculous hey!! I really need to learn to scale back 🙂
Such a great healthy alternative! I have never used my slow cooker for something like this! I will need to try it out.
Hope you enjoy if you give it a go Stacey. I have been using my slow cooker for everything these days!
That's so sweet that you give the extra food to the needy! A perfect ending to a Thanksgiving day!
Thanks Mar 🙂
Yum!!!! This sounds like such a tasty alternative to mashed potatoes!!! <3
Logan Can says
Mmm this looks heavenly! I love healthy comfort food this time of year!
Trish @Almost Sexy Mommy says
I love cauliflower mash and this looks delicious! I'm definitely going to have to try this!
Hope you enjoy Trish 🙂
This recipe looks easy to make, I love cooking in my slow cooker 🙂 Yummy!
Slow cooker dishes are the best! I love having something cooking away without having to watch it 🙂