This Keto Mashed Cauliflower with Sour Cream and Chives makes a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes that your family will love. This cauliflower mash is creamy and flavorful. This side dish is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough for a holiday meal or special occasion. This recipe is gluten-free. 


Serving the mashed cauliflower.


How to make mashed cauliflower


Making mashed cauliflower is easy! The only prep is to wash the cauliflower and cut it into florets. If you are using fresh herbs (like the chives in this recipe), you’ll need to chop them and set them aside.

Next, you need to steam the cauliflower. It’s important to cook it long enough to make it tender enough that a food processor can easily puree it into silky smooth goodness. To test the doneness, just poke a floret with a fork. It should slip right in. Pick one of the larger florets to test as they will take longer to cook. When the large ones are done, the small ones will be done for sure!


When the cauliflower is done, remove it from the steam and transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add the tasty add-ins to the food processor. In this recipe, I simply add sour cream, dried minced onion, salt and pepper. Other options might include butter, cheese, dried herbs (don’t add fresh herbs at this point or your mash will turn green), or garlic. Next, pulse the processor to puree the  cauliflower and blend everything together.  Once the puree is silky smooth, you can use a spoon or spatula to stir in chopped fresh herbs or any other ingredients you want to stay chunky. Bacon bits or blue cheese crumbles are in this category. In this recipe, I stir in the chives at this stage.


Sour cream and chive mashed cauliflower on a plate.


Equipment needed to make mashed cauliflower

Of course, if you want to make mashed cauliflower, it’s easier if you have the right equipment. I use a steamer and a food processor in this recipe. 


The Steamer

I use a steamer to cook the cauliflower. This steamer has a lower pot for the water and a top piece for the vegetables. This piece has holes to allow the steam to come up and surround the vegetables (or whatever you are steaming). A tight-fitting lid holds in the steam so the veggies can cook to tender perfection. The lid on the one I use has a glass top so I can keep an eye on the steaming veggies. I use my steamer three to four times a week, so I have found it to be a great investment.


You don’t need to have a special pot to steam vegetables. You can buy a steamer basket that expands to fit almost any pot you might want to use. These are very inexpensive and can be found anywhere cooking equipment is sold. I’ve even seen them in the grocery store! Just be sure to use them in a pot with a tightly fitting lid as you need to hold the steam in for the cooking process.


If you don’t have a special pot, or a steamer basket, you can still make this recipe. Just use one of the many alternatives. My favorite steamer hack is to put an inch or so of water in a large pot, the put a footed colander inside. After you bring the water to a simmer, just put the cauliflower inside the colander and cover the pot. This works perfectly as a steamer. If you don’t have a small colander, you might want to check out these steamer hacks from Food52.


The Food Processor

In this recipe, I use a food processor to mash up the steamed cauliflower. It makes short business of this job, and uses sharp blades to create a smooth, creamy cauliflower mash. If you don’t have a food processor, you might want to makes a different recipe. My Keto Cauliflower Risotto, for example, would serve a similar purpose but doesn’t require a food processor to make it smooth. 

While a blender can sometimes be used to replace a food processor, many of them require extra liquid to make a smooth product. This works just fine with smoothies, like my low-carb strawberry smoothie, but nobody wants their mashed cauliflower to have a smoothie-like texture. Of course, some blenders are better than others at mashing vegetables with very little liquid. If your blender can mash cauliflower without adding liquid, you can use it if you don’t have a food processor.


Taking a bite of the mashed cauliflower.


Does keto mashed cauliflower taste like mashed potatoes?

Many people who follow a low-carb or a keto diet use cauliflower as a nutritionally dense low-carb replacement for high carb, low nutrition foods. I like to call cauliflower the great imposter because it can stand in for so many high carb foods. This nutritions vegetable can replace rice, pasta, pizza crust, and, as in this recipe, potatoes.  


While mashed cauliflower may not taste exactly like mashed potatoes, you might find it more similar than you expect. Cooked cauliflower has a very mild flavor. When combined with other flavorful ingredients such as sour cream and chives in this recipe, or flavorful cheese like in my recipe for Mashed Cauliflower with Smoked Gouda, it takes on these flavors and you would hardly know it is cauliflower.


What to serve with keto mashed cauliflower

This version of mashed cauliflower is extremely versatile. While it is a flavorful side, the flavors aren’t so strong that they overtake a mild main course. This dish would work well with my roast chicken, my recipe for pork chops and green beans,  or even a keto-friendly ham like this on from This Mom’s Menu.It would also work well to accompaniment to flavorful stews such as my beef bourguingnon or my recipe for Low-Carb Mexican Beef Stew.

Mashed Cauliflower with Sour Cream and Chives recipe

Looking for a keto-friendly replacement for mashed potatoes? Try this recipe for mashed cauliflower! We add sour cream and chives to make it special. 🍴😋

Keto Mashed Cauliflower with Recipe for Sour Cream and Chives
5 from 3 votes

Keto Mashed Cauliflower with Sour Cream and Chives

This Keto Mashed Cauliflower with Sour Cream and Chives makes a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes that your family will love. This cauliflower mash is creamy and flavorful. This side dish is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough for a holiday meal or special occasion. This recipe is gluten-free. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword diabetic potatoes, keto mashed potatoes, keto potato substitute, keto side dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 81 kcal
Author Annissa Slusher


  • 1 head cauliflower about 12 ounces, cut into small florets.
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon dried minced onion
  • sea salt to taste (I used ¼ teaspoon)
  • black pepper to taste (I used ¼ teaspoon)


  1. Prepare the steamer by adding an inch of water to the bottom of the steamer pot. Bring water to a simmer. Place cauliflower in the steamer basket. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover the basket and place ofer the simmering water. Steam until VERY tender-10-15 minutes.

    Steaming the cauliflower.
  2. Remove the steamer basket from the water and allow any excess water to drip off of the cauliflower. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Add the sour cream, dried minced onion, sea salt, and pepper. Process cauliflower until creamy and smooth. I used the pulse setting for this. You may need to open the processor once or twice to push down the cauliflower on the sides. Stir in 1½ tablespoon of the chives. (Don't process them or the mashed cauliflower will turn green.) Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.

    Processing the mashed cauliflower.
  3. Transfer the mashed cauliflower to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining half tablespoon of chives on top to garnish.

    The final keto-friendly cauliflower mash.
Nutrition Facts
Keto Mashed Cauliflower with Sour Cream and Chives
Amount Per Serving (3 ounces)
Calories 81 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Sodium 202mg9%
Potassium 301mg9%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 0%0%
Iron 0%0%
Net Carbs 4g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.