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From above, a bowl of garlic mashed cauliflower garnished with chopped herbs next to a small wooden bowl of thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Garlic mashed cauliflower is a healthier Thanksgiving side dish than mashed potatoes, but still delicious and easier to make!
From above, a bowl of garlic mashed cauliflower garnished with chopped herbs next to a small wooden bowl of thyme, rosemary, and sage.

If you’re going to make one Paleo-friendly swap at your Thanksgiving table this year, this Garlic Mashed Cauliflower should be it! Creamy pureed cauliflower tastes just like mashed potatoes, but is so much healthier.

Best of all, this recipe is really easy. In fact, it’s even faster than mashed potatoes—the cauliflower boils in a snap, and you only need five other ingredients to bring it all together.

Start by setting cauliflower florets in a pot of water with garlic and black pepper. Don’t worry about mincing the garlic here—we’re just using enough to infuse the garlicky taste into the cauliflower as we cook them.

Next, drain the pot and transfer the cauliflower to a food processor or blender. Add coconut milk, olive oil, and your favorite fresh herbs (we used thyme, rosemary, and sage), and blend until smooth. You could add a bit of sodium-free broth here if you need to thin out the consistency a bit.

To serve, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and garnish with more fresh herbs. Enjoy as a side dish any time of year!


  • You can swap the cauliflower florets for frozen riced cauliflower to help save on time. Just watch the amount of liquid you add so it doesn’t come out too watery.
  • Be sure to use full fat coconut milk here for the creamiest cauliflower mash.
  • Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) omissions and substitutions are listed in the recipe ingredients.

Want more Thanksgiving-ready side dishes? Try this butternut squash stuffing or sausage-stuffed acorn squash.

For hundreds of pure Paleo recipes be sure to check out The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook  and  The Real Paleo Diet Fast and Easy.


  • Recipe by:
  • Serves: 6
  • Meal: Anytime
  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
Print this Recipe


  • 1 cauliflower, broken into florets

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • black pepper, to taste (AIP - omit or substitute with ground ginger)

  • 1/4 cups full fat canned coconut milk

  • chopped thyme, rosemary, and sage


  1. Place cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with water. Add pressed garlic and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins, or until the cauliflower is fork tender.

  2. Drain cauliflower and place into a food processor. Add coconut milk, olive oil, and herbs. Process until smoothly pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

  3. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and top with more freshly chopped herbs.

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