Making cauliflower mash in your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or any other electric pressure cooker is incredibly quick and easy; however, you will want to use this technique to get thick, "potato-like" consistency to your cauliflower mash!
As long as your pressure cooker has a sear/sauté and a pressure cook function, you are good to go! If you don't have a pressure cooker or simply want to make these stovetop, you absolutely can. See the section on Stovetop Mashed Cauliflower Recipe for details.
This mashed cauliflower will go perfectly with these recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions
It certainly can be modified to be keto-friendly. I include onions and roasted garlic in the recipe because I love the flavor, but many people who follow the keto diet don't consider onions or roasted garlic to be keto. You can certainly omit both, but the flavor will change quite a bit.
What I would do is add a few cloves of minced garlic in with the cauliflower while it pressure cooks. This will infuse some flavor, but not deliver as many carbs as a whole head of roasted garlic. I would also use the white part of the green onion in the mash, just to add that little bit of onion flavor or you can also use onion and garlic powders to season after they are mashed.
Yes, it can be frozen, however, it will be fairly runny when thawed. What I would do is thaw it using the slow cooker on low to help evaporate the liquid that occurs during the thawing process. You could also thaw it and then put it into a flour sack or a nut bag and squeeze out the excess liquid or use the sear/sauté to burn off the liquid.
I would also taste for seasonings before serving because you may have to lightly season again after removing the excess liquid.
Certainly! If double the cauliflower will fit in your pressure cooker above the liquid line, then go for it. The cooking instructions are exactly the same no matter how much cauliflower is in the pot, but it will take longer on sear/sauté to burn off the liquid.
Ingredients & Substitutions
As the main ingredient in cauliflower mash, there really isn't any substitution for this. You can however, use a mixture of cauliflower and potatoes or even cauliflower and broccoli.
Really, you can add any vegetable to your cauliflower mash to use up what you have on hand or create your own version of cauliflower mash.
If you wanted to have a combination of cauliflower and potatoes, simply peel and dice the potatoes into 1-2" chunks and add the potatoes with the cauliflower. You won't need to change the timing, the potatoes will cook in the 5 minute PC time.
Butter, Cream & Sour Cream
You can certainly skip both of these if you want your cauliflower mash to be dairy-free. They are only there for flavor and the consistency of your mash will be perfectly fine without these ingredients.
You can also use more sour cream in place of the butter and/or cream or use cream cheese instead. Basically, use what you love. Just watch the total amount of liquid added, if you add too much, your cauliflower mash will be runny.
I kept the seasonings to simple salt and pepper, but you can use any seasonings you like.
Roasted Garlic & Onion
The roasted garlic is the star of this version of cauliflower mash, it adds the best flavor. Roasted garlic is very mild, so don't be concerned that the recipe calls for an entire bulb! Here is the recipe for roasted garlic in the Ninja Foodi: Roasted Garlic
If you prefer not to use roasted garlic, but want some garlic flavor, I would mince 2 cloves and add it on top of the cauliflower before pressure cooking. Raw garlic can be very bitter, so I would definitely cook it first.
If you aren't a fan of garlic, skip it!
I made several versions of this cauliflower mash, with and without the onion, and the one with the onion tasted better to me. The onion adds another layer of flavor, in my opinion, but you can certainly skip it!
You can use any type of cheese you like, but I don't recommend omitting it unless you can't have or don't like any cheese/dairy. The cheese helps stiffen the mashed cauliflower so it's closer to the consistency of mashed potatoes.
I like using parmesan, asiago, or Pecorino Romano the best, but even Swiss or cheddar would work just fine.
You want to shred your own cheese, especially if using parmesan because the pre-shredded parmesan won't melt as smoothly.
How to Make Cauliflower Mash Stovetop
The ingredients will be the same whether you use the stove or an electric pressure cooker, however the technique will be slightly different.
Fill a large pot with at least 4 cups of water and use either a steamer basket or something else (ideally with holes) that can hold the cauliflower & onions above the water line. Put the cauliflower florets in the container that sits in the pot and cover it with a lid.
Bring the water to a boil and steam the cauliflower for about 15-20 minutes or until it is very soft. You want the texture of the cauliflower to be soft enough to mash easily with a fork.
Once the cauliflower is done, remove the steamer basket and dump the liquid out of the pot. Put the cauliflower directly in the pot and turn the burner to low-medium. Heat the cauliflower, while stirring frequently until most of the moisture has evaporated. This can take up to 15 minutes, but it is important for the best texture in your cauliflower mash.
You can also wait for the cauliflower to cool down and put it in a flour sack or nut bag and squeeze the moisture out. Either way works fine.
You can also use the microwave to cook the cauliflower if you like or any other cooking method that you like. I don't recommend roasting it, unless you want your mash to have texture because I have found that roasted cauliflower does not blend as smoothly even with an immersion blender.
Once the cauliflower is cooked, proceed with the recipe as written.
You only need a few ingredients to make a delicious Cauliflower Mash and you can omit or add anything you like, the most important thing when making this recipe is to watch the amount of liquids added.
Cauliflower has a lot of water in it and adding too much when mashing will leave you with very runny mashed cauliflower. Less is more, so start out with very little (½ Tbsp) of cream, half & half, or milk.
Roast your garlic if you haven't already. This is definitely optional, but adds such a great flavor, I hope you give it a try. Here is the recipe: Roasted Garlic in the Ninja Foodi
Place 1 cup of water into the inner pot and put the basket in the pot. If your pressure cooker didn't come with a basket, then use another accessory that can hold the cauliflower above the liquid. You don't want the cauliflower in the liquid or it will become saturated with liquid and you'll spend a lot longer sautéing it to dry it up.
Rinse and remove the stem and core from the cauliflower. The easiest way I've found to do this is to cut the cauliflower in half and run your knife along the core where the floret stems are attached. Place the florets into the basket.
Dice an onion, if using, into ¼-½" dice and add on top of cauliflower.
Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 5 minutes. When the time is up, immediately release the pressure. The cauliflower should be very soft and fall apart easily when a fork is inserted into a floret.
Remove the basket with the cauliflower and onions. Dump the water from the inner pot. Put the cauliflower and onions into the inner pot and turn on sear/sauté on high. Using a wooden spoon, potato masher, or Mix 'N Masher, break up the cauliflower in the pot and sauté while stirring constantly.
This step will dry up the cauliflower by allowing liquid to evaporate. You will see little steam bubbles along the edge of the cauliflower mash, when those are barely visible, the mash is dry enough. This takes about 5 minutes or so. If your cauliflower is browning, turn the heat down.
If you have a non-stick inner pot, transfer the cauliflower mash to a mixing bowl. If you have a stainless steel pot, you can mix the mash right in the pot.
Freshly grate about 1 cup of parmesan cheese on top of cauliflower, add salt and pepper, butter, sour cream, roasted garlic and mix.
Once you see the consistency of the mash, you can decide how much heavy cream to add. I suggest starting out with ½ Tablespoon and increasing the amount until your cauliflower mash is the consistency you want.
If your cauliflower isn't thick enough, add some more grated cheese.
To blend the cauliflower smooth, use an immersion blender or let the cauliflower mixture cool some and use your blender. Top with green onions, extra cheese, or even add some bacon!
Serve & Enjoy!
Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
- Immersion blender
- 2½-3 lb head of cauliflower
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 cup water
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- ½-1 ounce parmesan cheese freshly grated about ¾-1¼ cups
- 4 Tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- ½-1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Roast a bulb of garlic. Here is the recipe: Roasted GarlicDice an onion into ¼-½" dice.
- Put 1 cup of water into the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi or the Instant Pot. Place the basket or another accessory that will hold the cauliflower into the inner pot.
- Cut the cauliflower in half and remove the stem and core. The florets can be cut up or left in large pieces. Add them to the basket, put the diced onions on top and put the pressure lid on. Turn the valve to seal and set high pressure for 5 minutes. When the time is up, immediately release the pressure.
- Remove the basket with the cauliflower and dump the water out of the inner pot. Put the cauliflower in the inner pot and turn on sear/sauté on high. Use a Mix 'N Masher or a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the cauliflower and sauté it until the liquid evaporates. This takes about 5 minutes or so. Stir constantly so you don't brown the cauliflower.
- When the cauliflower is pretty dry (you don't see little steam bubbles forming at the edges of the cauliflower mash), transfer it to a mixing bowl. If your inner pot is stainless steel, you can leave the mash right in the pot and proceed to the next step.
- Add the bulb of roasted garlic to the cauliflower by squeezing from the bottom and the cloves will pop out. Add salt and pepper, grated parmesan cheese, butter, sour cream and mix to combine. The mixture will be chunky. Add ½ Tablespoon of heavy cream and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture if you want smooth mashed cauliflower. You can also let the mixture cool down and use a blender to puree it. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more cream. If it is too loose, add some more grated cheese or put it in a container, covered and bake it until it's the consistency you like.
- Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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