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Goat Cheese Mashed Cauliflower w/ Sautéed Leeks

Vegetarian

This easy goat cheese mashed cauliflower is creamy, garlicky, and topped with oniony sautéed leeks. It’s a wonderful low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes and a perfect side dish to share with a crowd. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.

Top down shot of mashed cauliflower topped with sautéed leeks and a spoon of cauliflower mash sitting top it.

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So I know cauliflower isn’t in season right now, but for whatever reason I tend to crave it more in the fall. Anyone else?

Since it’s mild in flavor and when cooked has a nice smooth texture it’s a perfect substitution for potatoes in comforting fall dishes. Not that potatoes are bad or don’t have their place; they’re just SOOO heavy.

Cauliflower works great in everything from soups to salads to casseroles. Or as the star of its own dish, like this mashed cauliflower.

If you’ve never had mashed cauliflower you’re missing out. While it has it’s own distinct flavor it’s quite similar to mashed potatoes. It’s light, creamy, and a great vehicle for whatever fatty additions you choose to include.

In the case of this dish, I added some cream, goat cheese, and butter. Give me all the fat!!!

So aside from all the aforementioned features, this cauli mash is loaded with fresh garlic for a bit of a zing and of course, salt and pepper to boost the flavor, then topped off with some slightly sweet and oniony sautéed leeks.

This dish is great for those who are carb or calorie counting, following a gluten-free diet, and anyone who simply wants to explore veggies in another form. With the holidays fast approaching I know there are going to plenty of meals being served that would pair wonderfully with this cauliflower mash. It’s ideal for serving alongside a protein main like turkey or ham.

Grey bowl full of mashed cauliflower topped with leeks and a spoon of mashed cauliflower atop a white towel.

So what do you need to make this dish? ( + substitutions)

Top down shot of ingredients for goat cheese mashed cauliflower with sautéed leeks on a wood surface.
  • Cauliflower: One large head, about three cups, cut into florets.
  • Butter: For the cauliflower and to sauté the leeks.
  • Leeks: To prepare the leeks for slicing you will need to remove any outer layers that are damaged, then cut off both the root end and the dark green portion at the top. After that, you can proceed with slicing the leeks.
  • Goat cheese: I’m assuming if you clicked on this recipe that you’re familiar with goat cheese. In case you’re not, I’ll tell you a little bit about it. It is a soft cheese that is tangy, sharp, and earthy. It is, as you may have guessed, produced from the milk of goats. It’s best to bring it too room temperature prior to use so that the cauliflower retains it’s heat.
  • Half and half or heavy whipping cream: If you don’t have either, you can mix 1/8 cup melted butter with 3/8 cup of full-fat milk. Once again, it’s best if brought to room temp prior to use.
  • Garlic: One to two cloves OR more if you if your heart desires. Forewarning, since the garlic is raw and the other flavors in this dish are rather muted the garlic taste is rather prominent.
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

How do you make goat cheese mashed cauliflower w/ sautéed leeks? ( + tips)

Begin by adding the cauliflower florets to a large saucepan or a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and continue boiling for 10 minutes or until fork-tender.

Top down shot of boiled cauliflower.

Transfer the cauliflower to a strainer to allow the liquid to drain.

Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of butter and once melted the sliced leeks and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until soft and slightly browned. Set aside.

Sautéed leeks in a sauté pan.

Now it’s time to mash the cauliflower. There are a variety of tools you can use to get the job done. The first is a potato masher. If you go this route keep in mind that the consistency will be a bit grittier and less mashed potato-like. For a smoother creamier mash, I recommended using either an immersion blender or a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Using whichever method you prefer, “mash” the cauliflower to the consistency you desire.

Processed cauliflower in a food processor bowl.

Lastly, stir or blend in the goat cheese and two tablespoons butter until fully combined and melted. Then stir in the half and half, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper until fully combined. Top with the sautéed leeks and serve warm.

Goat cheese mashed cauliflower in a food processor bowl.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. Due to the use of cream in this dish, it is not recommended it be frozen.

Bowl of mashed cauliflower with sautéed leeks with a spoon set across the top.
Close-up shot of spoonful of mashed cauliflower with bowl full in background.
Close-up top down shot of spoon of mashed cauliflower with a bowl of mashed cauli with leeks in background.

If you make this goat cheese mashed cauliflower w/ sautéed leeks I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Top down shot of mashed cauliflower topped with sautéed leeks and a spoon of cauliflower mash sitting top it.

Goat Cheese Mashed Cauliflower w/ Sautéed Leeks

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This easy goat cheese mashed cauliflower is creamy, garlicky, and topped with oniony sautéed leeks. It's a wonderful low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes and a perfect side dish to share with a crowd. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, about three pounds, cut into florets 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, divided
  • 2 leeks, rinsed, green tops and outer layers removed, and thinly sliced 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided 
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, room temp
  • 3/8 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream, room temp 
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add cauliflower florets to a large saucepan or a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and boil for 10 minutes or until fork-tender.
  2. Transfer the cauliflower to a strainer/colander to allow liquid to drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat.
  4. Once heated, melt one tablespoon of butter then add the sliced leeks and 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until leeks are soft and slightly browned. Set aside.
  5. Using a potato masher, immersion blender, or food processor "mash" cauliflower to desired consistency.
  6. Stir in the goat cheese and two tablespoons butter until fully combined and melted, then mix in the half and half, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Top with sautéed leeks and serve warm.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. Due to the use of cream in this dish, it is not recommended it be frozen.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 388mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 7g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

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randy

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Have now made this on several occasions to rave reviews !!

Jessica Halverstadt

Thursday 1st of April 2021

Yay! I'm so happy to hear that. Thanks so much for the kind words and for tyring the recipe!

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