Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower is a delicious and versatile side dish that's ready to serve in just 20 minutes. This creamy mashed cauliflower recipe is made with simple ingredients and is a great lower carb alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. With a few easy swaps, make it dairy-free and vegan, too!
This Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower recipe is so simple to make and tastes very close to traditional mashed potatoes. It uses only milk, butter, salt and pepper to give it rich and creamy flavor but there are lots of easy variations. Add roasted garlic or parmesan cheese, and even make it vegan with a few ingredient swaps.
There is virtually no prep when making pressure cooked mashed cauliflower, aside from cleaning and preparing the cauliflower for cooking. Yay! My favorite kind of recipes.
This recipe works in any size Instant Pot and it can be prepped ahead so it's a great side dish for meal prepping or busy weeknights. Mashed cauliflower also freezes great for use later on.
Instant Pot mashed cauliflower is made with:
- Cauliflower: a fresh, raw head of cauliflower.
- Milk: any type of dairy milk works, even heavy cream for extra rich mashed cauliflower. Oat milk is a great dairy-free milk if you'd prefer to go plant-based.
- Butter: unsalted or salted, whichever is your preference works! For a full plant-based recipe, use this vegan butter or olive oil.
- Salt and pepper: freshly ground salt and pepper is my favorite.
- Chives: optional but recommended.
Aside from you pressure cooker it's helpful to have a steamer basket, trivet or silicone sling to put the cauliflower on. A blender, food processor or immersion blender is needed to turn the cooked cauliflower into a puree. If you don't have one of these, a potato masher can be used.
You can make mashed cauliflower in a pressure cooker without a steamer basket too. Place it directly in water and make sure to drain the water before running the cauliflower through the blender.
- Make it vegan/dairy-free: use vegan butter or olive oil and plant-based milk, like oat milk or cashew milk.
- Make garlic mashed cauliflower: add a few cloves of garlic or a teaspoon or two of garlic powder. To use fresh garlic cloves, you'll need to saute them in olive oil in the pressure cooker first. You can also use roasted garlic cloves by adding them at the end once the cauliflower has been pressure cooked.
- Add fresh herbs: chives and parsley are great additions. Add them at the end, once the cauliflower has been mashed and seasoned otherwise.
- Make it cheesy: add grated parmesan cheese at the very end, right before serving.
- Replace the milk: use plain Greek yogurt or sour cream instead of milk to achieve a creamy texture.
STEP 1: Prepare the cauliflower by washing it thoroughly and roughly cutting into chunks. Place in the steamer basket or on a silicone sling/trivet.
STEP 2: Pour 1 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot and put the basket of cauliflower inside. Close and seal the lid. Set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
STEP 3: Quickly release the pressure when done. Remove lid and transfer cauliflower to a blender or food processor. Add the milk, butter, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Or use an immersion blender to mash it right inside the inner pot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Make it creamier here by adding equal parts butter and milk 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.
Serve immediately, garnished with chopped chives and additional pepper and butter if desired. Enjoy!
What To Serve With Mashed Cauliflower
Serve Instant Pot mashed cauliflower with these delicious main dishes:
- Barbecue Cheddar Meatloaf Recipe
- Instant Pot French Onion Chicken
- Air Fryer Frozen Salmon
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders
- Muffin Tin Meatloaf
- Sous Vide Corned Beef
It also pairs well with more vegetable side dishes like:
How To Store
Mashed cauliflower should be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days in a covered container. It can be frozen for up to 6 months.
FAQs About This Recipe
As delicious as mashed cauliflower is, it does take slightly different than mashed potatoes. In this recipe the cauliflower is mixed with the same ingredients as mashed potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper, so the taste is very similar.
The texture of mashed cauliflower differs based on the ingredients used and how long you puree or mash it. In a blender or food processor you control how smooth the texture is. Let it blend for a shorter time for a chunkier version and longer for a smoother version. This recipe uses milk and butter so the consistency is smooth and creamy when blended for long enough.
Cauliflower takes 2 minutes to pressure cook, but since we are mashing it here you should cook it for slightly long- 4 minutes.
Yes, frozen cauliflower is fine to use but you should pressure cook it for a few more minutes.
I chop the cauliflower to keep the pressure cooking time minimal. You can keep the head of cauliflower whole and pressure cook it for 10 minutes instead if you'd prefer.
Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower
- ¼ cup milk
- 6 tablespoon butter
- ¾ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
- chives to garnish (optional)
- Prepare the cauliflower by washing it thoroughly and roughly cutting into chunks. Place in the steamer basket or on a silicone sling/trivet.
- Pour 1 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot and put the basket of cauliflower inside. Close and seal the lid. Set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
- Quickly release the pressure when done. Remove lid and transfer cauliflower to a blender or food processor. Add the milk, butter, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve immediately, garnished with chopped chives if desired.