This Roasted Mashed Cauliflower with ricotta cheese and garlic is one of my favorite creamy, low carb side dishes. Perfect with grilled chicken or seafood as a flavorful accompaniment.
You'll love this recipe because:
- It's super flavorful! Roasting helps boost the nutty flavor of the cauliflower which pairs so well with ricotta and garlic.
- It's perfect as a side dish for holidays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!
- Ingredients are limited to essentials.
- Low carb and gluten free, lots of family members will love this one.
- Cauliflower - A fresh head chopped into florets works, as well as pre-packaged, pre-chopped if you're in a hurry.
- Ricotta Cheese - My favorite ricotta cheese brands are Calabro, Liuzzi and Bel Gioioso as they don't contain additives or thickeners. I also notice that the texture is super light and creamy as opposed to grainy. Although the texture doesn't matter as much for this cauliflower ricotta mash, when it's added to things like my Lazy Lasagna you'll really notice a difference.
- Garlic - This seems like a lot of garlic, but roasting the garlic really brings down the bite of it, leaving a sweeter, deeper flavor.
- Butter - I like to use Kerrygold for this recipe, but if you wanted to use more olive oil, that would work as well.
How to Make Roasted Mashed Cauliflower
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Begin by placing the cauliflower florets and garlic in its skin on a roasting pan, covered with parchment or foil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast for 25 minutes, till lightly browned in spots. You do not need to flip it halfway, but you can if you'd like. Once cooled down a bit, peel the garlic skin off.
- Add cauliflower, garlic cloves, butter, and ricotta cheese to a food processor (or you can use a masher or blender).
- Taste and adjust any seasonings and top with optional fresh chives. That's it!
- Because this recipe is so simple with limited ingredients, I wanted to go with roasting over boiling the cauliflower. Although boiling can save a little bit of time, it doesn't give the deep, rich flavor you get from roasting. Roasting cauliflower gives it sort of a buttery, nutty flavor that pairs well with the garlic.
- The good news is you can roast your garlic cloves in the skin right along with the cauliflower florets. When removed, they should be nice and soft. From there you can just peel them out of the skin and add it to the food processor.
- If you're following a migraine diet, the main ingredients you'd want to stay away from in ricotta are a lot of gums or carrageenan especially. Whey is ok in ricotta, it's just milk. It's whey protein you want to avoid. Ricotta without gums are way better tasting anyway.
- The easiest way to get the roasted mashed cauliflower nice and smooth is to use a larger food processor. If using a blender, you'll need to really work the tamper tool to get it blended and smooth throughout. You still want it to be nice and thick, so try to not be tempted to add liquid. A potato masher will work too, it just won't be as smooth.
Best Way to Mash Cauliflower
The easiest way to get the roasted garlic mashed cauliflower nice and smooth is to use a larger food processor. If using a blender, you'll need to really work the tamper tool to get it blended and smooth throughout. You still want it to be nice and thick, so try to not be tempted to add liquid.
You could also just use a potato masher, but it won't get as smooth and whipped as intended for this recipe.
Main Dish Pairings
I would personally pair this with a simple Air Fryer Flank Steak, seared salmon or Shrimp Stuffed Salmon, or with my Creamy Rosemary Chicken. It would also be awesome for Thanksgiving or Christmas with turkey or a Whole Roast Chicken.
How to Reheat
To reheat garlic mashed cauliflower, simply place in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between. Or you can place in an oven safe baking dish, covered with foil, and reheat till the temperature reaches 350 degrees F.
More Vegetarian Side Dishes
For more vegetarian side dishes like this roasted mashed cauliflower, check out these recipes.
Roasted Mashed Cauliflower
- 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed into florets (about a 3 pound whole cauliflower)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6-7 garlic cloves, skin on
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh chives for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread florets and garlic on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes until nicely browned in spots. Remove the garlic from skin (it should be soft and you can just push the inner clove out).
- In a food processor, combine the cauliflower, roasted garlic, ricotta, and butter. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally to make sure it all gets blended. Taste and adjust any seasonings and serve warm.
- Use a quality ricotta cheese without gums for the best texture and flavor.
- Don't worry about it being too much garlic. The flavor softens during roasting.
This post was original published November 24, 2020 and was updated Oct 2021 to include new step by step photos, recipe tips and serving information.