Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes in Instant Pot

May 12, 2018 (Updated: October 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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This creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes recipe is where indulgence meets healthy. Creamy potatoes and cauliflower get a flavor boost with garlic, heavy cream, parmesan and goat cheese, and the end result is simply delicious. 

Smooth garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes served in a grey bowl

Half the Carbs – Healthier Mashed Potatoes

The flavors in this dish are like like mashed potatoes met cheese fondue!  It’s a healthy version of my family’s favorite mashed potatoes recipe.

I substitute half the potatoes with cauliflower florets. Then I steam the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic together in the Instant Pot, or microwave, or on the stove.

Then, I add the warmed up heavy cream, or half-and-half, with butter, tangy goat cheese, salt and pepper, and whisk it till I gets silky smooth! 

I blend in some freshly grated parmesan cheese to give it the ultimate creamy finish. It is the combination of goat cheese and parmesan cheese that makes this recipe the star. 

Goat cheese adds a tanginess which cuts through the richness, and balances this mash perfectly.  Parmesan cheese adds a nutty creaminess which makes these Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes absolutely delicious.

A bowl of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes served with a lime green napkin

Garlic Mashed Potatoes get a Makeover!

Years ago, at a middle eastern restaurant, I had a garlic sauce that was served with grilled chicken and lamb kebab.

It was hands down, one of THE most delicious sauces I have ever had!   It tasted like a saucy version of the garlic mashed potatoes I make.

Since then, I’ve been trying to imagine a mash-up between that garlic sauce and my garlic mashed potatoes.  I also wanted to make this sauce lighter and healthier, so I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about going for seconds:)   

So, I decided to substitute half of the potatoes with cauliflower.  After a few ‘almost there’ attempts, I finally nailed it.  Sharing this recipe, hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

A spoonful of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes, garnished with thyme

Customize your Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

This garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe is very easy to customize. You can adjust the flavors to your liking by reducing or increasing the quantity of garlic, goat cheese and/or parmesan cheese in this sauce.

You can increase the quantity of whipping cream, or half & half, to get a thinner sauce, and serve it as a dip for bread sticks, sliced baguette or assorted veggies.

It’s almost like a cheese fondue, only lighter and much healthier.  Sometimes, I add sautéed mushrooms and chives to this sauce and serve it with steak or lamb chops.

How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes using this Recipe

Using the same recipe, you can skip the cauliflower and double up the potatoes and make a creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes.  The cook time and instructions stay the same.

Low Carb/Keto Variation: How to Make Mashed Cauliflower Using this Recipe

To make a low carb variation of this sauce, simply skip the potatoes and double up on the cauliflower.

Follow the recipe and adjust the flavors to your liking. With all the flavorful mix-ins going in this sauce, you won’t even miss the potatoes for a second. Plus, you can happily go for seconds, or thirds, like in my case:-)

A bowl of garlic mashed potatoes garnished with thyme leaves

How to Make Instant Pot Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

There are two ways you can make Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot:

#1: Main Pot:

Whenever I am making a large quantity of this dish, I add everything to the inner of the Instant Pot, add about 1 cup of stock or water (varies depending on quantity), seasoning and pressure cook for 8 mins.  I add the seasoning ingredients right in the pot and mix everything together.

#2 Pot-in-Pot:

When I am making a smaller quantity, I prefer cooking them in a steamer basket, using the pot-in-pot method.  The reason is that the Instant Pot takes a minimum amount of liquid to come to pressure.  So, if I were to cook it in the main pot, the water to puree ratio will be off and that will affect the taste.  When I cook it pot-in-pot, I control the liquid that goes into the potatoes and cauliflower mix.

Pouring water in Instant Pot to make mashed Potatoes

Water in main pot
Placing the steamer basket in the Instant Pot

Cauli, potato, garlic in steamer basket, Pressure cook
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Heat cream in microwave
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Add butter
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Add goat cheese
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Black pepper
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Salt to taste ( I add 1/2 tsp)
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Whisk well
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Transfer Cauliflower, potato, garlic to a bowl
Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Add seasoned warm cream, parmesan and mixture

Make a Meal: What to Serve with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

In addition to the usual suspects like steak, chicken and turkey, I love to serve these Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Mediterranean or Indian spiced meats and veggies. 

The creaminess of this dish really compliments the complex, nutty and toasted spices, that are used in both those cuisines. Sometimes, I add more half and half, or stock in this recipe, and make a sauce-like consistency. 

My husband loves to have this with Grilled Lamb Chops.   Other favorites in my home include Mediterranean spiced chicken, and Indian spiced chicken skewers, and Chicken Shawarma, Tandoori Chicken.

Grilled Lamb Chops with cauliflower Potato garlic sauce, #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Paired with Grilled Lamb Chops

Tips for the Perfect Mashed Potatoes or Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

  1. Never use a blender or a food processor to blend the potatoes and cauliflower.  The end texture turns very starchy and glue-like when you use a blender.  For fluffy and airy potatoes, use a fork or a potato masher, and gently mix everything together.
  2. I prefer using Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes for this recipe.  To me, Yukon gold potatoes have the right amount of starch that makes the creamiest potatoes ever!
  3. For flavor variations, use butter milk instead of half & half/Cream; you can use sour cream instead of the goat cheese, you can skip the garlic if you like.
  4. Choosing your garnish.  I always choose my garnish based on my entrée.  For example, if I am using thyme to season the entrée, I dress-up my cauliflower mashed potatoes with fresh thyme leaves.  They compliment the entrée this way.

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Smooth garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes served in a grey bowl

Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

This garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe is simply magical.  It’s like mashed potatoes met cheese fondue!  The addition of goat cheese adds a tanginess, which cuts through the richness, and balances this sauce perfectly.  Pairs perfectly with lamb chops and chicken.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 141kcal


Steam together

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower florets only (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes quartered (about 1.5 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic adjust to taste

Add after mashing potatoes, cauliflower and garlic mix gently

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or half-n-half (adjust for desired consistency of sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1.5 tablespoon goat cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste

Gently mix in

  • 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


  • Steam cauliflower, potatoes and garlic: If using the Instant Pot, turn it on. Pour 1 cup water in the main pot.  Place rinsed and drained cauliflower florets, peeled and quartered potatoes and peeled garlic cloves in a Steamer basket or an oven safe bowl.  Close lid.  Vent set to sealing.  Pressure cook on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ for 8 minutes, high pressure.  If using the microwave, Add everything in a microwave safe bowl, add 1/4 cup water and steam on Potato setting.
  • Transfer to a bowl: Turn off Instant Pot, manually release pressure by gently turning the pressure knob from ‘Sealing’ to ‘Venting’ position (QR).  Open lid after the pin drops.  Remove the basket and transfer cauliflower, potatoes and garlic to a large mixing bowl.
  • Put it together: In a microwave safe cup, heat heavy cream for 1 minute or so.  Add butter, goat cheese, salt and pepper and whisk it well, till you see no lumps.  Pour over the cauliflower, potatoes and garlic.  Using a fork or a wooden spoon, mash till you get a creamy consistency.  Add grated parmesan cheese and mix till incorporated.

Notes & Recipe Tips

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 11.7mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: instant pot mashed cauliflower, instant pot mashed potatoes, Mashed potatoes
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!


Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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