Mashed potatoes are always a must-have on the dinner table for Thanksgiving. You can swap out the candied yams for squash, challah stuffing for cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole for brussels sprouts but you can’t skimp on the mashed potatoes – there’s just no suitable substitute! The bestmashed potatoes are loaded with butter and heavy cream to make it creamy and fluffy. Given my attempt to be healthier this year, I decided to make a lighter version of this side dish without skimping on the flavor. There’s the faux mashed potatoes using cauliflower, but it just doesn’t taste the same. I decided to do a half-and-half approach, mixing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. Half the calories without sacrificing all the taste. Make it even better by adding caramelized onion puree!

mashed potatoes
mashed potatoes

Serves 6


Mashed potatoes with cauliflower

45 minTotal Time

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  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan


  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and saute 10 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, stirring often. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan if it gets too dry. Remove from heat. Puree the onion and set aside.
  2. Place the cut potatoes in a medium pot. Cover with water, season with 1 tsp salt and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes easily falls apart when poked with a fork.
  3. Heat whole milk with butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cut cauliflower and cook for 6 minutes or until tender. Drain well and pat dry cauliflower. Puree cauliflower in a food processor until almost smooth.
  5. Mash potatoes. Add the milk and butter, stirring to combine. Fold in the pureed cauliflower and onion puree. Add the parmesan and stir until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

Making this version of lightened mashed potatoes requires one extra step, but trust me it’s not difficult.

Prepare the mashed potatoes as you normally would, boil and mash. Add the heavy cream and butter and stir until combined.mashed potatoes (1)

Meanwhile, boil the cauliflower and process until smooth. If using a blender, be careful not to over-blend. I recommend blending batches at a time to avoid having the florets on top stay whole while the bottom is pureed. Over-blending the cauliflower tends to make it gummy, not the texture you want. 

mashed potatoes (2)

Fold the cauliflower with the potatoes and season. Add cheese and the caramelized onion puree to make it extra delicious! Okay, so this still doesn’t taste exactly like original mashed potatoes, but it’s still pretty darn tasty. You’re still able to enjoy the mashed potatoes without feeling like it’s not entirely mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes with cauliflower, a great compromise between faux potatoes and the real thing!

mashed potatoes



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles




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