Lemon Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

Lemon Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower mashed up with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese. They’re sometimes called “mock” or “faux” mashed potatoes and make a tasty low-carb replacement for them, if you’re into that kind of thing. I’m a big fan of both…but I’m late to the mashed cauliflower party. It won’t happen again.

I roasted the cauliflower first with olive oil and garlic to add an extra layer of flavor. Adding flavor wasn’t the only reason why I took that extra step in roasting them rather than steaming. Knowing how much water cauliflower has in it I didn’t want a “soggy” mash. Roasting helps draw out a lot of the water leaving you with a dense, creamy mash instead of a watered down version.

To mash them they’re pulsed in a food processor with a little bit of butter and heavy cream in addition to the Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice. I said they were low-carb not low-cal.

I bet you’re wondering if they taste like mashed potatoes? Eh. Kind of. Sort of. You could introduce a tater into the mix to make it taste more tater-like. It would help trick your picky family a little easier, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Bright and tart with a lemony pop balanced by the salty Parmesan and the richness of the butter and heavy cream with the nutty, earthy flavor of the cauliflower in the background of every bite. I’m sorry I didn’t give mashed cauliflower a chance sooner. I can think of a million different ways to season it.

I can’t wait to try them all.

Parmesan Lemon Mashed Cauliflower

Lemon Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: serves 3 - 4 as a side

Lemon Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower mashed up with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese. They're sometimes called "mock" or "faux" mashed potatoes and make a tasty low-carb replacement for them


2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
1 big head cauliflower (about 8 - 9 cups florets)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
coarse salt and fresh pepper
the zest of one lemon (just the yellow, not the pith)
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 - 4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet generously with olive oil.
  2. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet and drizzle the oil and minced garlic over top. Use your hands to massage the oil all over the cauliflower and spread out in one layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook until fork tender 25 - 35 minutes - being careful not to overcook because your mash won't be as creamy.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a food processor or blender with the lemon zest, juice, butter and 2 tablespoons heavy cream to start. Pulse until smooth and creamy adding more heavy cream as needed. Continue processing until fluffy.
  4. Remove to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper and add more lemon juice if desired.


Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


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  1. says

    Wish I’d known about your recipe when I made mashed cauliflower last week! Oh, it was so not delicious. Really took me by surprise, because I like cauliflower. Let me tell you: frozen cauliflower (steamed not nearly long enough in the microwave) bludgeoned to death with accidentally too much butter, plain Greek yogurt (which added a weird flavor), and what turned out to be WAY TOO MUCH garlic powder (it was less than a quarter teaspoon!) does not make for a tasty delight. I choked it down the first night, and the leftovers for lunch the next day were awful, my mouth was burning from the garlic and I love garlic. What the heck?! If I screw up the courage to try again, I’ll use your recipe!

  2. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for this recipe! I fixed it last night and it was delicious! After tasting it, I decided not to add the Parmesan, even though I’m sure it would have made for a tasty addition! We loved it without…next time I’ll try it with! The lemony taste was terrific!

  3. says

    I have happily been making mashed cauliflower for years. So glad you joined the party! Mine are usually rather standard and plain. With the roasting, lemon, and parmesan these look delicious! (If you ever have leftovers, add an egg or two and turn faux mashed potatoes into faux potato pancakes!)

  4. says

    I’ve never had mashed cauliflower before but I do love cauliflower. I’m wondering if you could use frozen cauliflower because I have a bag of that in my freezer

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