Mock Mashed Potatoes

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Mashed potatoes are one of my all-time favorite savory foods. They epitomize comfort food to me, and I love to try different variations of herbs and substitutions (like vegetable broth in place of dairy) to help lighten them up. However, there is such a thing as too much mashed potatoes.

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For whatever reason, my family never seems to have them around Thanksgiving or Christmas, so this year, I decided to change that. I made roasted garlic and sage mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, and recently, Emily’s caramelized onion mashed potatoes for Christmas.

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I made A LOT. Like, a full stock pot’s worth both times, just to make sure there were plenty to go around. And then I proceeded to eat leftovers for a solid week after each holiday. I think it’s safe to say I made up for not having them for the last 25 years.

And yet, yesterday I found myself craving mashed potatoes again. I mean, technically I haven’t had any this year…

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I figured I needed to cool it on the potatoes for fear I’d turn into one, and decided to create a mock version using cauliflower and cannellini beans instead. I’ve tried using all cauliflower in the past, but it tends to be a little watery on its own, and the texture isn’t quite right. The cannellini beans definitely help to make it thicker and creamier, and they also pack an awesome protein punch.

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But most importantly? These taste good. Really, really good.

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Mock Mashed Potatoes (Mashed Cauliflower & Cannellini Beans)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 1 Head Cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 3 C. Cooked Cannellini Beans
  • ½ C. Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Tbs. Fresh Parsley, sliced (chives would also work well)
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  1. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add sliced garlic, and cook until slightly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, place 1-2 inches of water in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  3. Place cauliflower in a steam basket and place in pot. Cover and steam until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, combine garlic-infused oil, cauliflower, cannellini beans, vegetable broth, and parsley, and puree until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

When it comes to the holidays, are you a big mashed potato fan? Or would you rather save room for another carb, like freshly-baked bread? Or maybe pie? It’s a tough call for me when pie enters the mix.

If you answered bread, I have a great bread-baking post coming your way later in the week. It’s a little time-intensive, but the ingredients are simple (flour, water, yeast) and the end result is so very worth it.

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  1. says

    I like that idea! For Thanksgiving, I faked out the family by serving half potatoes and half cauliflower, but I never though of opting for beans.

  2. says

    OMG I love this. Hopefully Wegmans will not be out of pre-chopped cauliflower next week and I can get it cheap and enjoy this! THANKS!.

  3. says

    I am actually NOT a mashed potato fan! I would rather have bread or a sweet potato any day! On Thanksgiving, my mom always bakes a plain sweet tater for me. :)
    But- I do love mashed cauliflower! I have never added beans- that is a great idea, and would make it more of a “meal.”
    I like to puree pretty much any type of root vegetable- your idea of adding beans kind of opens up a whole new set of doors though…

    • says

      I also LOVE sweet potatoes. My favorite way to make them is to slice them really thick and roast them at 400 for 20 mins,and then 350 for another 30 mins. Amazing, and so sweet!

  4. says

    Mashed potatoes don’t do much for me (except on occasion at a restaurant when it’s probably full of butter… I don’t want to know that 😉 ) but this recipe is definitely intriguing. I’ve tried the 100% cauliflower too and wasn’t impressed and cannelini beans are always so fantastic!

  5. sals says

    Made this for dinner tonight and made my husband try to guess the ingredients (he was convinced it was mashed potatoes) – we both agreed it was delicious! Love that it packs a lot of protein, too. I didn’t have any veg broth, so I subbed soymilk and it worked fine. Great recipe!

    • says

      That’s great! I’m so happy to hear that it turned out well (and that your husband thought it was the real deal :)). Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Brittnee says

    Just found your site from Tasty Kitchen. These mock mashed potatoes look awesome. Even though I almost hate cauliflower, I think with a little butter they might make perfect “mashed potatoes”.

  7. says

    Hi Amanda:

    This is a very creative spin on mashed potatoes- a food that I absolutely adore! Will give your recipe a try if I can find the cauliflower.

  8. Shahila says

    This recipe looks amazing. Definitely going to make it this weekend for my parents, who I’m proud to say have jumped on the health-conscious wagon. Is this something I could refrigerate and then microwave the next couple of days?

  9. Kerry says

    Just made this …added a sprinkle of grated cheese. Sooooo good…and I didn’t feel guilty for having a second bowl! Thanks!!!

  10. Elizabeth says

    Hi Amanda,
    I was trying new recipes for a healthy way of eating for my family, and I thought this recipe sounded wonderful. I always change recipe’s a little, just my way I guess. I added onion to the garlic oil, I also used homemade turkey stock. Also, when I finished blending, I sprinkled top with low fat cheddar and baked for 15 minutes on 400 degrees. My family decided they liked it, so thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth! I do the same thing when I’m making recipes – I can’t help changing one or two things. It’s fun to put your own spin on it and make it your own. :) I’m glad your family enjoyed the mock mashed potatoes!

    • says

      I hope you enjoy the mock mashed potatoes, Rob! I’m not sure about calorie count, but you can probably plug the ingredients into an online tool to get an idea.

  11. says

    I made these last night to bring into work today to celebrate St. Paddies day with a potato bar and those who were adventurous to try them all thought they were great and asked for the recipe. I must admit they’re not quite the same as a big ole bowl of mashed potatoes but they are a great option for us low carbers! The addition of the beans gives it the substance that just cauliflower lacks, brilliant!

    • says

      Oh, I’m so happy you made the mock mashed potatoes, Nadine! The beans definitely give them a bit more heft than cauliflower alone, and also an extra protein boost!


  1. […] substitute that’s a little lower in carbs and much higher in protein (and antioxidants). This “mock cauliflower” mix of mashed cannellini beans and cauliflower has the same texture as classic mashed potatoes, […]

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