This potato cauliflower mash is a creamy, smooth and healthy side dish that goes perfectly with so many main dishes. A slightly lower carb mash, it definitely isn't lacking in taste with delicious hints of sage and garlic. Perfect comfort food and definitely on our table as a holiday and Thanksgiving recipe!
Mash is such a family favourite in our home, and has been one of my most-requested dishes since I was a kid. Yet I get to make it now! Is it just me, or is there something so satisfying in mashing potatoes?! Maybe it's because I know there is the most cosy side dish at the end of it!
If your family is a lover of mash too then you may like to see my cheesy cauliflower mash as another fun idea.
These cauliflower mashed potatoes are so easy to make, and such a cosy comfort food side. Flavoured with onion, garlic and sage, they feel quite decadent with the creaminess from butter and milk. Perfect with a Sunday roast!
Why this recipe is so good
The ultimate comfort food. Creamy and smooth, mash is always loved by kids and adults alike I find!
A little lighter. Combining potatoes and cauliflower means this mash is a little lighter and lower carb than an all potato mash.
Easy to make. While you can roast the cauliflower, this recipe keeps it quite simple but no less flavourful by boiling the potatoes and cauliflower together. All made on the stove top so the oven has space for other dishes!
Sometimes you just *know* that a dish will taste good when you look at the ingredients, and this homemade mash was no exception. How can you go wrong with potato, butter, garlic and herbs?! A few notes on some of the ingredients (see the recipe card below for the full list and their quantities).
- Cauliflower - pick a small one that looks fresh and without too many (or any!) brown spots as this can indicate it has been stored for a while.
- Potatoes - there are many varieties that work well for mash such as Yukon Gold, Maris Piper, King Edward and Russets.
- Sage - this is quite a pungent herb and adds so much flavour. Use fresh if you can, and increase quantities if you like a particularly herby mash.
- Milk - personally I use non-dairy milk but regular works well and is more traditional in mash if it suits you.
- Garlic - increase quantities if you are a garlic lover!
Variations to the recipe
For vegan cauliflower potato mash. Use non-dairy milk and swap out the butter for more olive oil. This will change the flavour a little, but still be delicious.
Roast the cauliflower. There's no doubt that roasted cauliflower tastes delicious in mash, but it does add another step and mean turning the oven on! So I choose to keep this recipe simple and not do so. However, if you have more time, then roasting the cauliflower instead of boiling is always an option.
Peel the potatoes. Personally we like the potatoes with skin on, and it adds a bit of texture to the mash. If you aren't a fan, peel them before boiling.
Swap sage for rosemary or thyme. Not a fan of sage? Both rosemary and thyme will be lovely for this mash. Be sure to only use the green leaves and discard the woody stems for the rosemary.
For even more flavour. Increase quantities of garlic and sage for an even bigger flavour profile. This recipe is on the milder side and more suited for families, but if you love garlic add another clove or two.
Step by step instructions
This is a simple mash recipe, where we boil the potatoes and cauliflower together and don't have to use up any valuable oven space if you're making other dishes! Make sure to see the recipe card for the full instructions, but here's an overview of the steps to make this tasty side with images to help guide you:
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Tip in the potatoes and cauliflower and bring the water back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer. Check to see if the cauliflower is fork tender after 15 minutes and remove if so (cook for a further few minutes if required). Continue to cook the potatoes for another 12-15 minutes or until fork tender.
Place the cauliflower in a colander over a bowl to allow any excess liquid to drain off.
Recipe tip: don't cut the cauliflower florets too small as they will more easily break up in the pot and make them more difficult to remove.
Fry onion and garlic in a pan until softened. Keep the heat fairly low to help prevent the garlic from burning!
Add the cauliflower, onion, garlic, sage, butter, olive oil, non-dairy milk, salt and pepper (if using) to a food processor. Blend to a thick puree.
Recipe tip: dice the sage a little to help it blend more easily.
Use a potato masher to mash the cooked potatoes so they are at least partly broken down. This helps them combine more easily with the cauliflower puree in the food processor.
Add the potato to the food processor and use a wooden spoon to stir them through the cauliflower mix. Then blend to a smooth mash. Adjust with more milk if required.
Spoon into your serving dish and serve immediately!
Recipe tip: if the mash has cooled, add back to the pot and warm through on a gentle heat, stirring often. Or, if you have the oven on for other dishes, spoon the mash into your serving dish and heat in the oven.
Frequently asked questions
This creamy mash goes perfectly as a side with chicken, meat, fish or other vegetable dishes. It's particularly nice for a Sunday roast lunch, holiday celebrations and as a side for a Thanksgiving meal.
Potato cauliflower mash is lower carb than mash made with potatoes alone, but will still have carbs from the potatoes.
Yes, adding a spoonful or two of cream cheese will give a lovely cheesy and creamy taste and texture.
Yes, simply use a potato masher instead. It won't have the creamy 'whipped' texture but will still be delicious.
Food processor - to blend or whip the mash.
Frying pan - to fry off the onion and garlic.
Large pot - to boil the potatoes and cauliflower.
Potato masher - to mash the potatoes before adding to the food processor.
Colander - to drain the cauliflower of excess liquid.
More mash and potato recipes
You can't beat a potato side dish in my opinion! Perhaps you may like to see my roasted zucchini and potatoes which work perfectly with so many main dishes, and my pistachio topped sweet potato casserole is delicious as a side for Thanksgiving meals.
And for another mash, then my cheesy cauliflower mash is creamy, lower carb and so tasty!
More sides to enjoy
There are lots of tasty vegetable, potato and sauce recipes to enjoy and you can find them on my sides page. My vegan fried cabbage is super tasty, and my honey roasted vegetables are such a favourite! Some more recent recipes to try out:
Potato cauliflower mash
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Salt the water and then tip in the potatoes and cauliflower (tip, add the potatoes first so they are at the bottom). Bring the water back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer. Check to see if the cauliflower is fork tender after 15 minutes and remove with tongs if so (cook for a further few minutes if required). Continue to cook the potatoes for another 12-15 minutes or until fork tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking place the removed cauliflower in a colander over a bowl and allow for any excess liquid to drain off for a few minutes.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until the onion has softened.
- Add the cauliflower, onion, garlic, sage, butter, olive oil, non-dairy milk, salt and pepper (if using) to a food processor. Blend to a thick puree.
- Mash the cooked potatoes so they are at least partly broken down.
- Add the potatoes to the food processor and use a spoon to mix them in slightly with the cauliflower. Then blend for 10-20 seconds so they are all combined and you have a thick puree. Adjust with more milk if too dry, or more butter to taste preference.
- Spoon into your serving bowl, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle over more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- If you want a very 'light' mash, then you may wish to peel the potatoes. Personally I don't, but do or don't to preference!
- Adjust the amount of sage and garlic to taste preference.
- For a thicker mash, you can change up the ratios of potatoes and cauliflower so there is more potato. If doing so, you may need to add a little of the starchy water the potatoes were cooked in to the food processor so the mash isn't too dry.
- If the mash has cooled transfer to your pot to gently heat, or place the serving dish with the mash into the oven if you are using it for other dishes.
- non-dairy milk has various scores.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- black pepper, which scores 2.