Cauliflower Mash 3

Dirty confession time! I know you love dirty confession time, it’s like a tabloid, only the juicy gossip isn’t Britney Spears surviving 2007, it’s me surviving Paleo cooking! Before making this recipe I had never tried the whole mashed cauliflower nonsense. I was like “That is NOT going to taste like mashed potatoes so go sell crazy somewhere else.” I know! Can you believe it? So finally I broke down and tried it, I had to! I really miss my loaded mashed potatoes that I used to make Pre-Paleo. They were so good! Lots of butter, bacon, French’s Fried Onions, garlic…mmmm I could go on and on. But now I don’t have to, because I transformed my old Loaded Mashed Potato recipe and traded it in for this Loaded Cauliflower one with ALL the same fixings! Except instead of the French’s I made some onion rings out of coconut flour. This recipe came out AMAZING you guys! AMAZING! Except for one little unforeseen hiccup… More dirty confessions?! Today is your lucky day.

So apparently when you pair raw garlic with mashed cauliflower some sort of reaction occurs and it’s UNEATABLE! Is that even a word, or is it inedible? The point is you can’t eat it! The garlic flavor becomes so insanely intense that it burns your throat, stomach, and nose hairs. Good times. The first time I thought I just added too much garlic since the cauliflower isn’t as dense as potatoes, so the second time I added only 1/2 of a small clove. It was still the garlic ring of fire! In fact I’m still burping up garlic. Serious. Finally I had to Google. So after researching I was super happy to know I’m not the only person that this has happened to, but I can’t seem to find an explanation for it. Did you guys know this?! Why didn’t anyone tell me?! I made Brad try it too just make sure I wasn’t losing my mind and he had the same reaction. Hmmm interesting. So it turns out if you want to add garlic flavor to this recipe you can either use garlic salt (which I did because no way am I going through that again!) or you can cook your garlic first by roasting or what have you and you shouldn’t have the same reaction. Okay that’s all the dirty confessions I have…for now.

Cauliflower Mash 4 7.04.22 PM


I double dog dare you to try to add raw garlic and see if you can handle it! You can’t handle the garlic! (Jack Nicholson voice from A Few Good Men) Anyway now you know why my catch phrase is Culinary Adventures in Paleo Cooking. This was an adventure for sure. Aren’t you glad you read my blog?! So you can learn vital information like this! Seriously did you already know though? I’ve been cooking for only a few years now, and I feel like I’m still constantly learning and growing and figuring stuff out as I go. All I can do is laugh about it though because how funny is that?! Is it sad that I want to serve it to people as a joke when they come over just so I can watch their reaction?! It’s like that Cement Mixer gag shot you give to your buddy on their 21st birthday with Bailey’s Irish Cream and lemon juice and the lemon juice makes it curdle and they have to spit it out! Oh you don’t do that to your friends? Yours must be nicer than mine. Until next time my fellow Paleans, if you need to ward off a vampire between now and my next post, you know what to do. Here kitty kitty…

Cauliflower Mash 1

Loaded Cauliflower Mash
Serves 2
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 5 slices bacon
  2. 1 large head cauliflower
  3. 4 tablespoons (2 ounces/56 g) butter or ¼ cup (55 g) ghee
  4. ⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  5. ⅛ teaspoon black ground pepper
  6. ⅛ teaspoon garlic salt
  7. 1 large egg
  8. ¼ cup (40 g) coconut flour
  9. 4 large yellow onion slices, about 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick
  10. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions, for garnish
  1. Cut the cauliflower florets off of the head and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender and translucent. Another method is to steam them by bringing ⅓ cup (80 ml) of water to a boil in a large skillet. Add the cauliflower florets, cover, and steam until tender and translucent.
  2. Place the steamed cauliflower florets and butter in a food processor. Puree until a smooth mashed potato–like consistency is reached, scrapping down the sides as needed. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic salt, then puree again. Taste to check for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or garlic salt if desired.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When done remove from the bacon from pan and set aside to let cool. Leave the bacon drippings in the pan and turn the heat down to low.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg using a fork; set aside. Put the coconut flour in a separate small bowl. Dip each onion slice into the egg first and then the flour until coated. Place them in the pan with the remaining bacon drippings. Turn the heat up to medium-high and fry each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. To assemble, divide the cauliflower mash between two serving bowls. Cut the cooled bacon with kitchen sheers and crumble over the top of each serving. Then sprinkle on the chopped green onions and garnish with onion rings.
  1. When it comes to seasoning always start with less and add more. You can always add but you can never subtract! Once something is too salty it’s going to stay that way.
  2. If your cauliflower mixture seems too thick and won't blend down, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of canned coconut milk, it will help to thin it out.
Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

27 Comments on Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

  1. This Sydney Life
    May 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm (11 years ago)

    A million years ago, when I was a young backpacker living in London, my boyfriend (at the time) and I used to go to TGI Fridays on special occasions (!!!) and I fell in love with their loaded skins. Sinfully good. You have brought back a memory and I will DEFINITELY be trying this one! Cheers!

    Oh – and BTW, I have experienced the raw garlic issue with cauli’ mash, too. You are not alone!

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      May 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm (11 years ago)

      What would I do without you Sydney Life?! You make me feel like being human and making mistakes is totally acceptable! 🙂

  2. Shannon G.
    May 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm (11 years ago)

    I just steam a clove of garlic with the cauliflower, then purée them together. A lot easier and no raw garlic nastiness! I’m gagging just thinking about that raw, burning garlic flavor. I can’t wait to make this recipe!

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      May 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm (11 years ago)

      That’s a smart idea. it was the worst! This recipe was worth it though or will be as soon as everything stops tasting like garlic! 😉

  3. Meg
    May 3, 2013 at 5:34 am (11 years ago)

    Mmm this looks great. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Greta
    May 4, 2013 at 7:38 am (11 years ago)

    I cannot wait to make this. It’s like what you know what I’m thinking and craving everyday!! Thank you for sharing your blog is awesome :).

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      May 4, 2013 at 10:32 am (11 years ago)

      You’re so welcome! I’m happy you are enjoying the blog! Maybe we are on the same craving schedule 🙂

  5. oiyoufood
    May 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm (11 years ago)

    Looks very tasty! I’d try it with garlic too. Why not? However I agree with Shannon G: I usually boil garlic before mincing it.

  6. Johnson Neilder
    June 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm (10 years ago)

    hey. you have a pretty good post there mate.

  7. Kristi
    June 21, 2013 at 6:01 am (10 years ago)

    Hi! I did the same thing!! I added a couple cloves of fresh garlic AND some cayenne pepper. It was umm a tad hot!! This sounds awesome cant wait to try it 🙂

    • cleaneatingwithadirtymind
      June 21, 2013 at 7:16 am (10 years ago)

      Yikes! Glad I wasn’t the only one! Hee hee. Needless to say I think we’ve both learned our cauliflower lesson. 🙂 thanks for reading!

  8. Lindsey
    November 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m sorry that everyone else went through the same garlic agony, but I’m so happy to know this wasn’t just my mistake. Whoopsie!

  9. Diana
    February 26, 2016 at 9:03 am (8 years ago)

    I’ve tried making mashed cauliflower a number of times now and it never comes out with that mashed potato consistency…any idea what I’m doin wrong??

    • Vanessa Barajas
      February 26, 2016 at 10:02 am (8 years ago)

      Hmm it could be a few things. 1. Your cauliflower isn’t cooked all the way through. It should be steaming and translucent when you put it into the food processor. This is nice too because it helps melt the butter when you puree it. 2. You aren’t processing it long enough to make it smooth. Sometimes you need to keep scraping the sides down. Kind of like when you make nut butter, eventually it will smooth out. 3. Your food processor isn’t that powerful, maybe it’s time to upgrade?! 4. You are using too much cauliflower and the liquid ratio of the butter isn’t enough to smooth it out. If this happens try adding 1-2 tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk and that will help smooth it out. Good luck and happy eating! 🙂

  10. Lacy O
    March 2, 2017 at 9:15 am (7 years ago)

    This was the best best!!!!! My husband and I are on AIp for lent so I added palm shortening and I omitted the black pepper. I also modified the onions, just dipped them in water then arrowroot powder and fried them!
    I wanted to share Igor any other AIP followers out there.

    Will definitely make again! And someday mke those crispy crunchy onion rings the suggested way. Yum!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      March 2, 2017 at 9:18 am (7 years ago)

      Yay! So happy to hear you liked this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing your AIP version! I think that will help people out a lot and I’m so happy to hear that the palm shortening worked as a good sub! 🙂

  11. Brooke Ann Beal
    November 15, 2017 at 5:15 am (6 years ago)

    What are the nutritional values? Calories, Carbs (net), Protein& Fat? I’m a T1D and need that info to incorporate a new recipe into my meal plan. Yes I️ can figure those things,but often when that’s not I️ included in the information I’ll skip over the recipe because I️ don’t want to take the time to figure it up. Thanks

    • Vanessa Barajas
      November 30, 2017 at 10:21 am (6 years ago)

      Hi Brooke, sorry I don’t have that information. I know there are sites online where you can enter the ingredients and it will give you the macros.


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