Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic

Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onion: Skip the spuds and try this mashed cauliflower with luscious caramelized onions + roasted garlic.

Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic

Since first falling in love with the dish in restaurants and recreating it at home, I just about OD-ed on mashed cauliflower.

Determined to keep things fun and exciting, I amped up the flavor with a few new add-ins and found a new veggie buddy for it to hang out with.  A few months ago it was all about the mashed cauliflower and spaghetti squash…. but now I’m really digging the cauli n’ kale combo!

These little tweaks are enough to  keep this veggie on my plate until my next foodie crush comes along.

Though, knowing me, I really like to get around when it comes to my veggies.

Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic

Round it out with some fresh cheddar and some steamed kale, it’s a delicious combo!

Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 a large onion, chopped or sliced [use a little extra if you love onions!]
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp extra virgin olive oil [or your favorite oil!]
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste [I used lots]
  • dried parsley [again... looooots!]
  • chopped green onions + any extra S+P you'd like to toss in to the mix
  • Round off the meal with some grated sharp cheddar and and some steamy delicious kale
  • Vegansaurus Chefs: use almond/coconut milk instead of greek yogurt + skip ze cheese


  1. First grab your gahhhhhlic! You can skip the roasting to save on time but having a some deeelish roasted garlic on hand is worth its weight in gold. You can add it to pretty much anything and everything, and in a pinch it makes some positively magical garlic bread. So snap your oven or toaster oven to 400F, grab a bulb of garlic, peel back a few layers of the skin, and chop off the top so you can see some meaty garlic on top. Drizzle with a little oil and season with S+P if you'd like, then wrap in foil or parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut + separate into large florets. Blanch for approx 15 minutes in shallow, boiling water. (just enough to cover the tops) I'm in the habit of seasoning the water with some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of kosher salt -- feel free to follow suit! Once the cauliflower is tender enough to mash [test a small piece if you'd like!] remove from heat and strain in a colander. For whipped, texture-less cauliflower whip out your food processor, and for thick, smashed-potato-like cauliflower toss directly into a pot [my method. less clean up, great texture!]. I'm big on fork-mashing and then calling it a day.
  3. While your cauli is blanching and your garlic is roasting its face off, caramelize your onions. It's just like sauteing, only you'll turn the heat up a teeny bit more and encourage the golden browning that you'd avoid otherwise. If this is your first time, allrecipes has a great tutorial. Heat your skillet to medium-high with approx 1/2 teaspoon of oil, add chopped onions, and stir frequently. Add a pinch of salt to help those babies give up a little liquid and feel free to add a little water or broth to the pan to help de-glaze the brown bits that stick.
  4. So by now you should toss your cauliflower into a pot, adjust heat to medium, and add a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. If you haven't started mashing yet, go for it! Then add a few cloves of garlic and your gorgeously caramelized onions and stir to incorporate. Next give it a taste! Adjust seasonings as needed. I always add a little extra salt + pepper and a generous sprinkle of parsley. Garnish with chopped chives or dried parsley + paprika and serve steaming hot.

Courses side

 I really really reeeeeallly love it with a little grated cheddar and served a top a bed of silky, fluffy, sauteed kale.  It channels a loaded baked potato minus all the craziness.

Feel free to add a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and extra green onions on top. Glorious!

How do you spice up a dish you’ve made over and over again?

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Bloggy Writer

A Tasty vegetarian recipe, which is rarely seen. Love this recipe.


I am convinced caramelized onion or roasted garlic will turn any dish from just “meh” to absolutely stellar.  I’m filing this dish for later!

Linz @ Itz Linz

I love making mashed cauliflower!! Chili is something I  make ALL.THE.TIME. and my husband and I just find a billion ways to eat it: plain, with spaghetti squash, on top of a potato, with eggs… you name it!!


I love the idea of subbing cauliflower for potatoes! I have seen recipes similar to this all over the place, and have been wanting to try it for awhile, but still haven’t done it! Your recipe sounds great, I can’t wait to try it at home…I’m pinning it to my “Recipes” board on Pintrest right now!

Jade @ Maids

just looking at it makes me feel hungry . thumbs up ya.
i really like this post hhihi perfect healthy 🙂


This looks yummy! I love mash 🙂 x

Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious

I love mashed cauliflower.  Sometimes when I make mine I add 1 small potato , just to thicken and bind it better.  I don’t think my daughter would know what actual mashed potatoes are, all we have a mashed cauliflower!

Kristen @ notsodomesticated

I keep wanting to try mashed cauliflower, and I just haven’t yet.  I definitely think this is one veggie dish I would really like!  Perhaps I just won’t tell my husband what it is until after he tries some?? 😉

Emily @ Life on Food

This looks great with the kale. I didn’t grow up with cauliflower so I am kind of scared of using it plus I have really no idea if I would like it. I have debating for a while to try it out and this was the way – all mashed up.  You sold me with the garlic and onions though. Delish!


I am SOOOOO making this!!  This look amazing!  I’ve got some asiago and chipotle cheeses on hand so I might use those.


I am just entering a love affair with cauliflower.  Roasted has been my first method, but this is on track to be next!  I love the caramelized onions in it.  Yum!


This is Fantastic! As are all of your recipes, seriously 🙂 I love how much healthier this is than regular mashed potatoes (which is what I would compare it to!) Thanks for the idea pretty lady 

Meredith @ DareYouTo

Caramelized?  Garlic?  Cauliflower?  Three words I loooove.  Count me in! 

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

Anything with caramelized onions is a keeper. I’ve never done straight up mashed cauliflower, I’ve always combined it with potatoes but I need to give this a shot. Over some kale with cheese on top, it’s practically a meal 🙂


I’m loving these veggies!  I’ve never gone for straight mashed cauliflower, but this is surely a winner.  

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Ohmygosh Thanks Abby! =)

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

You had me at caramelized onion.  Yes, please.  

Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud!

YUM! I have only had mashed cauliflower a couple tmies at a friends and at a restaurant but loved it both times! I need to attemp to make it 🙂


YUMMMMMM!!! I’ve only made mashed cauliflower once. I should try again!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Yeah you should! =) hehe dooo it dooo it!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

coming right up!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

TOTALLY a meal! Go make it! <3

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

It was one of those last minute additions that I was SO GLAD I made! =) Thanks Kiri!!!

Ashley Palmer

All I had to do was read the title of this post and the recipe was bookmarked immediatly! Looks amazing!!!


MMMM, I just did a take on this last week – mashed the cauliflower with onion dip. YUM. I’m going to try your version.

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Sahweet Thanks! =)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

*Happy Dance!* Thanks Ashley!!


mmm this looks heavenly. I keep trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet while at college…and this looks like a winner for sure 😀

Robyn :)

I do not like cauliflower, but I am now buying a basket of produce every 2 weeks where you do not know ahead of time what you are getting so I figure if I get a cauliflower head I should probably try to find something to make with it I might like!!  LOL.  This looks pretty good 🙂

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

OoOh gotta love those mystery boxes!!!! I want to sign up for one!

If you get cauli def try this with the cheddar and kale add-on to amp up the flavor — this way the focus isnt entirely on the cauli and you can fall in looove with it =) xoxo

sara @ real fun food

I don’t think I’ve commented before, but I just want to say this looks perfect!! Exactly what I’m craving at the moment. I love recipes like this that are so simple, quick and good! Thanks!


Your pictures are gorgeous! I’ve never had mashed cauliflower looks good!


YUM. making this.

Ladies Holiday

Ooohhh… I like this as a baked potato replacement.

Andrea @ Vegvacious

Oh, I LOVE this! Anything with caramelized onions is a hit with me and then you add some cheese – girl, you make me weak in the knees 🙂


This looks amazing! Perhaps a silly question, but how many servings would you say this makes?

Kiri W.

Beautiful! I love the use of Greek yogurt in this. 🙂 Very nice!


That sounds delicious!!

Anna @ On Anna's Plate

Mmmm…that melted cheddar sends it over the edge.  LOVE it.  🙂 

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Ohmygosh not a silly question at all — I can’t believe I left the serving info out! It makes 4 standard sized servings. Thanks so much for reminding me! =) xoxo


 Thank you so much!


yes yes yes!  because of you, i am in love with mashed cauliflower forever.  my dog loves it, too.  i shall absolutely be trying this version.  thank you! 🙂

Ann Mc

Oh, perfect!  I love mashed cauliflower and was planning on making it when something else hit me…I think I’m gonna have to make THIS one!   BRAVO!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Yayy!!!! Just make the vegan swaps I posted and you’re good to go! =) I’m glad it’s been such a huge hit! xxoo

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Thank you Thank you!


Yuumy!  I have actually never had mashed cauliflower on it’s own but it looks delicious.


Fake baked potatoes!  Cheese on top and I’m sold!


Awesome ! I like cauliflower and am sure this must have tasted great. Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

Baker Street

This looks insanely delicious. Truly spectacular pictures. 


Yes, and beautiful pictures, too!  Buzzed!


Wow! This looks delicious! I have some leeks I got from the farmers market and have been meaning to use…I think I’ll add them to this and see how it works! 


This looks great! I need a way to get me fiance to like Mashed Cauliflower. This may be it.  

Koko @ Koko Likes

YUM this looks amaze. 


I absolutely adore mashed cauliflower!  Your version looks amazing =)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Thanks Sloane!! I can get mine to eat it when it’s piled high on other veggies so def try it over kale or another fav veggie of his! =)

Lacy @ NYCityEats

Mashed cauliflower sounds spectacular! I’ve never thought to try it before but really it is a great substitute for potatoes. This sounds soooo delicious with the roasted garlic & onions mmm. Looks amazing!


Drool Worthy. Oh my.

Diane Darcy-Schmidt

Jenn, this looks great.  I’m not a big veggie person, but this might just change my mind!

Also wanted to drop by and let you know I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. I love following your posts! If you want to check out the details, they’re on my blog:


Yum!!!! This looks delicious!!!!! I love your blog, I’m your newest follower! :o)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

ahhh thank you!!!!!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

awww thanks Sara!!!! <3 Hope you had a great weekend!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Thanks Jessica!!! Its one of my favorites — cannot stop making it! =)

Jonnique Bell

 This looks so good and healthy! Stumbled upon your blog and your newest follower. Can you please add your recipe to my Taste This Thursday party!?


Sounds absolutely fab. I love roasted cauliflower ans recently saw Martha slice and sauted cauliflower steaks. time for me to get busy with the cauliflower.

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Yes!!!! Cauliflower deserves some love! =)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Thanks Maria!!! Do you blog too? =)

limefish studio

You’ve been featured in our limefish studio National Garlic Day Guide!


This looks amazing! I’m Pinning this to try!

Maddie Shen

This looks delicious, and the photographs are gorgeous!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Thanks Maddie!!!!


I did this for thanksgiving and it was awesome!