The Perfect Healthy Holiday Side Dish: Mashed Cauliflower

Roasted garlic mashed cauliflower
Photo Credit: Erin Kunkel © 2016

Updated Dec 7, 2017 @ 2:14 pm

If you’re used to spending all day in the kitchen slaving over your holiday sides, get ready to meet your new best friend: A healthy, luscious, crowd-pleasing dish that tastes amazing, makes your kitchen smell incredible and is ready in—wait for it—30 minutes.

This wonder-dish is simple enough to make for a random Tuesday, but delicious enough for your holiday table. And you can feel good about serving it because its main ingredients are the world’s most versatile crucifer, cauliflower, and inflammation-fighting, heart-health-boosting garlic. Add some ghee for great flavor and healthy fats, and watch everyone ask for seconds and thirds.

We found this gem in blogger Danielle Walker‘s Against All Grain Celebrations cookbook, which is chock-full of Paleo, gluten-free dishes to help you enjoy the holidays year round (we’re already eyeing the recipe for Champagne Chocolate Strawberries for Valentine’s Day…).


Reprinted with permission from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion by Danielle Walker, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
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  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 5 tablespoons melted ghee
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • Chopped fresh thyme, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Put the garlic in a small, heatproof dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Cover and roast for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. While the garlic is roasting, put the cauliflower in a saucepan with 1/2 inch of water. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and transfer the cauliflower to a food processor.
  4. Squeeze the papery garlic skins to release the cloves. Add the garlic to the food processor along with the stock, ghee, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth and fluffy. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the pepper and thyme, and serve warm.

Make It Ahead: Make this dish up to 4 days in advance. Reheat in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes, or in a covered
dish in a 350°F oven.

Tidbits: If cauliflower isn’t for you, triple the recipe for the parsnip-turnip puree and serve it instead.

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