Protein-Packed Cauliflower ‘Mashed Potatoes’

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Looking for a healthy, tasty alternative to mashed potatoes? Red lentils are the secret to sneaking even more nutrients into this mashed cauliflower side dish.

I’ve seen this idea in a lot of places, and I love it because I’m not a big fan of potatoes but my husband Phil is. They just make me sleepy and don’t digest too well. This recipe has the texture and flavor of mashed potatoes, but so much more vitamins, minerals and protein.

How can that be? Well, there aren’t actually any potatoes in here… it’s cauliflower and red lentils. Cauliflower, even though it’s white, has a ton of vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting antioxidants. It’s a cruciferous veggie, in the same power-family as broccoli, kale and cabbage.

Red lentils are a great source of protein, especially the amino acid lysine which tends to be low in plant-based foods other than beans and legumes.

If you want some help putting this recipe together, check out my video of the whole process here, from start to finish.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 20 minutes; Total Time: 30 minutes; Makes 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup split red lentils
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, roasted or pressed
  • 1 Tbsp nut/seed butter (almond, sunflower, etc)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 green onion (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Put the lentils in a small pot with about 3/4 cup water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered with a lid. Don’t add any salt yet!
  2. After the lentils have cooked about 5 minutes, add the cauliflower, chopping it roughly.
  3. Once the cauliflower is slightly softened, transfer the contents of the pot (water included) to a food processor. Add the garlic (roasted for a softer flavor, or pressed raw for a nice garlic kick), nut/seed butter, salt and any other seasonings you like in your mashed potatoes, and puree until it’s smooth. Top it off with some mushroom gravy if you like!

Image credit: Heather Nauta of Healthy Vegan Recipes

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