Creamy Mashed Cauliflower and Leeks

Mashed cauliflower and leeks in a bowl.
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
130 Calories
10g Fat
9g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 130
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 64mg 320%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 248mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This creamy mashed cauliflower gets extra flavor from the soft sautéed leeks. It's a super easy side dish to prepare and the dish is relatively low in carbs when compared to mashed potatoes. 

Leeks are not as common in the U.S. as they are in Europe, so they can be hard to find. And when you do find them, they tend to be pricey. Three or four chopped green onions may be used as a substitute. Heavy cream gives the dish rich and creamy texture, but go ahead and use light cream or half-and-half for a lighter mash.

This is a delicious dish to serve along with any main dish meat, fish, or poultry. It will remind you of the Irish colcannon potatoes but without the cabbage. 

The basic dish is tasty, but boiled cabbage, kale, or spinach would add some nice color and texture. And the extra green would make it an excellent dish for a St. Patrick's Day meal. Or add some grated Parmesan or shredded cheddar or Gruyère cheese for a richer mash. 


  • 1 large head cauliflower

  • 1 large leek, or 2 small leeks

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Remove the outer leaves and core from the head of cauliflower and discard. Chop the cauliflower coarsely and put it in a medium saucepan. Cover with water 1 teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until it is very tender. Drain in a mesh sieve and set aside.​

  2. Meanwhile, clean the leeks. Cut the root end and dark green tops off the leeks and discard. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse under cold running water to loosen and remove any bits of sand within the leaves. Slice the rinsed leeks thinly.

  3. Place the butter in a large skillet and place it over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the leeks. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the leeks for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the are very soft but not browned. Stir them frequently. You might have to lower the heat more, depending on your burner. 

  4. Add the minced garlic or garlic powder to the leeks and continue cooking for 2 minutes longer. 

  5. Put the drained cauliflower and leek mixture in a food processor and add the heavy cream. Process until smooth. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Alternatively, process the mixture using an immersion blender or an electric mixer.

  6. Spoon the mashed cauliflower into a serving bowl and enjoy.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Recipe Variations

  • Add about 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach to the leeks along with the garlic. Continue cooking for 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
  • Add 1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese to the cauliflower and leeks, or about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Replace the leeks with 3 green onions, trimmed and chopped.