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Low Carb Lemon Butter Mashed Cauliflower

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It’s well established that cauliflower is the most versatile vegetable on the planet. With a little creativity, you can transform cauliflower into just about anything your tummy desires. When I first started eating a ketogenic diet, mashed cauliflower saved me from potato withdrawals. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to getting the creamiest and smoothest keto mashed cauliflower and I’ll share them with you in this recipe for keto lemon butter mashed cauliflower.



Before I started eating a low carb diet, I was all about the potatoes. Mashed, fried, French, scalloped, homestyle…you name it, I ate it.

I’d be remiss to say I don’t still miss potatoes. However, I have really come to love cauliflower as a replacement!

With low carb diets become so much more prevalent, restaurants seem to be catching on and adding cauliflower based dishes to their menus too! Woo hoo!

One thing I hear from people often is that they “just hate cauliflower”. To them I say, you just haven’t had it prepared well!


An easy step-by-step recipe for the creamiest keto mashed cauliflower with lemon, garlic, and butter. A bright keto side dish for your summer grilling.



Cauliflower can certainly be a stinky vegetable but when you add enough flavorful ingredients, it’s easy to mask cauliflower’s natural aroma.

I remember buying a frozen mashed cauliflower at the grocery store before I ever tried my hand at making mashed cauliflower and y’all, it was SO bad. Watery, bland, and only about one step away from being baby food. Bleh!

This recipe for keto mashed cauliflower is none of those things!



The key to a keto mashed cauliflower that makes you forget you’re eating cauliflower is seasoning!

Zest! Salt! Butter! Spices!

You need to show the cauliflower some love and season it liberally! I opted to use the bright and fragrant profiles of lemon in this keto side dish because it’s summer and I love the freshness that lemon brings.


One trick I’ve found that makes a huge difference in cauliflower dishes is what type of cauliflower you’re using. 

Are you buying frozen cauliflower florets, frozen riced cauliflower, a fresh head of cauliflower?



Each one produces a slightly different texture when you’re making your keto mashed cauliflower.

I have found that a fresh head of cauliflower produces the softest and creamiest puree that is most reminiscent of a true mashed potato. So, that is what this recipe will call for. 

As for steaming your cauliflower, there’s no magical formula. The stove works as well as the Instant Pot. I always use my Instant Pot to steam my veggies because it’s a hands off technique that takes literally less than 5 minutes!

have you pre-ordered my new keto cookbook yet? click here to learn more!

The second trick to a creamy and smooth cauliflower mash is a good food processor. I’ve linked the one I use in the recipe card! 



I have used many different types of food processors over the years and this one is fantastic. I’ve never had a grainy or gritty cauliflower mash because of it. 


This lemon butter cauliflower mash will pair wonderfully with all of your summer grilling. I especially love it with my lemon dill grilled chicken!

Shave a little extra lemon zest for garnish when you’re preparing the dish and use it to garnish the finished bowl. Top it with a drizzle of melted butter and lemon slice for the pièce de résistance! 

Lemon Butter Mashed Cauliflower

Anna Hunley | Keto In Pearls
An easy step-by-step recipe for the creamiest keto mashed cauliflower with lemon, garlic, and butter. A bright keto side dish for your summer grilling.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sides
Servings 4 servings
Calories 154 kcal


  • 1 medium head cauliflower about 2 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove
  • zest of 1/2 lemon plus more for garnish, if desired
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Prepare the cauliflower by cutting off the stem and core. If you're steaming in an Instant Pot, you can leave the head in tact. If you're steaming in a pot on the stove, cut off the florets and stems into pieces that will fit your pot.
  • Place the cauliflower inside the steamer basket with the water. Close the lid and seal the vent. Cook on low pressure for 4 minutes. Manually release the steam and press cancel.
  • Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor.
  • Add the 3 tablespoons of butter and the sour cream. Pulse for 30 seconds times until the cauliflowe becomes smooth.
  • Add the lemon zest, garlic clove, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and pulse again until combined. If the mixture is not smooth enough, pulse until a creamy consistency is acheived.
  • Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl. Use a spoon to swirl the top of the dish.
  • Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and drizzle on top of the swirled space in the dish. Garnish with a lemon slice and remaining zest, if using.


This recipe for lemon butter mashed cauliflower uses the Instant Pot for efficiency and even steaming but stove-top preparation will work as well. If using the stove, steam covered for at least 10 minutes or until the florets can be easily pierced with a fork.


Serving: 1gCalories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 3gFat: 13.2gFiber: 3.3g
Keyword keto cauliflower mash, keto cauliflower recipe, keto mashed cauliflower, keto side dish, low carb cauliflower recipe, low carb side dish, vegetarian keto recipes, vegetarian keto side dishes
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An easy step-by-step recipe for the creamiest keto mashed cauliflower with lemon, garlic, and butter. A bright keto side dish for your summer grilling.

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