I've been making this Ranch Mashed Cauliflower recipe for years, and every time I whip it up, I wonder why I haven't shared it yet! You might be wondering why you should trust my mashed cauliflower recipe when you've tried 111 times so many previously and they've all turned out a soupy mess…
Well, I have a husband with a fierce love of mashed potatoes, the kind of love for a food that rivals his love for our unborn child. Yep, it's intense. Being that he specifically requests this Ranch Mashed Cauliflower recipe over the real thing means this recipe is well worth your time in making.
And if that still isn't enough to convince you, just take my Mashed Cauliflower Breakfast Bowls (featuring this delicious dish), which happens to be one of the most popular recipes on my website! This recipe is legit.
About the ingredients in this Ranch Mashed Cauliflower
It’s like mashed potatoes, duh.
Okay, okay. If you’re thinking mashed cauliflower isn’t like mashed potatoes, I feel you. Trust me, I use to feel the same way. As I alluded to above, most of the mashed cauliflower recipes I tried had a different texture, a different flavor, and even a different consistency than mashed potatoes.
Then a couple of years ago, by the grace of god, I figured out the recipe that allows mashed cauliflower to be a true contender with mashed potatoes. If you’re a mashed cauliflower naysayer, do me a solid. Try the recipe and report back.
In this recipe, the gelatin acts as a replacement for the starch that mashed potatoes have to give them a thick texture. Gelatin acts as a glue to give the Ranch Mashed Cauliflower a bit of stability. And if you're wondering if you have to include the gelatin… well no… but then this Ranch Mashed Cauliflower will likely turn out the same as all the others you've tried. The gelatin is the secret ingredient.
The benefits, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals of gelatin are almost identical to collagen peptides, but the differences lie in the application. Hydrolyzed collagen is easier to mix into cold liquids and won’t gel up, while gelatin does just that, specifically when blended with something hot.
But don't worry, this won't turn into Ranch Mashed Cauliflower jello. Just a perfectly thick and creamy side dish.
While I have listed this as an optional ingredient, I do recommend including it if you have it on hand. Nutritional yeast is full of energy-boosting b-vitamins and protein, and lends this dish a ‘cheesy' flavor. Side note: this is not an active yeast, so you don't need to worry about the affects it might have on you if you're sensitive to yeast.
It's a great ingredient to have on hand to use as a seasoning for so many different applications. I love it sprinkled on my salad, Be sure to purchase a non-fortified nutritional yeast like this one, especially if you're following a healing protocol like the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
While this is an optional ingredient for the finishing touch of adding a ‘pad of butter' to the top while keeping this dish completely dairy free, it also has the ability to completely uplevel the flavor of the dish. If you're looking to add a richness to your Ranch Mashed Cauliflower, I recommend replacing 1/2 the coconut milk in the blended portion of this recipe with beef tallow.
If you're not familiar with beef tallow, it's high in incredibly healing and inflammation mitigating omega-3 fatty acids, so it's a healthy contribution to this recipe.
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 2 Tbsp grass fed gelatin
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, if following AIP, make sure you’re using a nutritional yeast derived from molasses like this one)
- 1–2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup dairy-free milk, I prefer coconut milk (you’ll add this 1 Tbsp at a time, and may not use it all)
- 2 Tbsp beef tallow (optional, to add a dairy free butter flavor – use grass fed butter if you tolerate dairy)
Ranch Seasonings (optional):
- 2 tsp dried chives
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Start by removing the leafy part of the stem, and roughly chop the heads of cauliflower. It’s okay to include the rest of the stem since the cauliflower will be steamed and blended.
- Steam chopped cauliflower using your method of choice. I recommend a stovetop method.
- Add steamed cauliflower to a blender or food processor. You can also do this with an immersion blender or by hand, but I find the blender and food processor to be the simplest and tends to yield the best consistency.
- For a standard mashed cauliflower version, add nutritional yeast (optional for a cheesy flavor), gelatin ( adds a thicker texture), and about 1-2 tsp sea salt. For the ranch version, add the ranch seasonings.
- Start by adding just 1 Tbsp dairy-free milk (like coconut milk) and blending all the ingredients together in your food processor. You’ll likely need more depending on how much moisture is retained in your cauliflower. I typically need about 2 tablespoons total.
- Blend until smooth. Increase dairy-free milk by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached. Be sure to test cauliflower to make sure it’s salted to your liking.
Optional ‘pad of butter' If you tolerate dairy and are interested in topping this with butter, have at it! But if you're dairy free like my family, here's what I do instead. I line a small jar with parchment paper, and fill about 1/4″ the way up with beef tallow and freeze. When it's completely solidified, I remove the parchment from the jar, and cut a couple “pads of butter” out of it. Easy peasy! The small jars I use are intended for baby food, but I find them so useful for non-baby food storage.