Mashed Cauliflower w/ a Butternut Squash Swirl

Here's the Dish

Mashed potatoes are a classic side to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, however, what if I told you that you could whip up a much lighter and healthier version of these spuds without losing any of the rich and creamy taste? It’s possible with the help of 2 special ingredients…Cauliflower and Butternut Squash! I’ve been making mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes for years, and no one ever knows the difference! I decided to add butternut squash to my traditional dish, and it was the perfect blend of 2 classic dishes!


The estimated total time to make this recipe is 20- 60 minutes.


Cook cauliflower and butternut squash until tender. (There are various methods of doing this, I used my crock pot, but you could also boil the cauliflower for about 15 minutes, and bake the squash in the oven at 325 for 45-50 minutes. Or you could microwave the cauliflower in a microwave safe dish with a small amount of water for 10 minutes, and microwave the squash for 10 minutes as well.)


Once tender, peel the butternut squash, and cut in half lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place cauliflower in blender with 2 tbs milk, 2 tbs parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Spoon into serving dish.


Place squash in the blender with 2 tbs milk, 2 tbs parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Pour into serving dish with cauliflower, and mix just until swirled. Serve warm with light butter or additional parmesan cheese if desired.


1/4 cupLow fat milk (or milk alternative of choice, OR chicken broth)
1Large head of cauliflower (about 3-4 cups)
1Medium butternut squash (about 2-3 cups)
1 tspGarlic powder
1/4 cupParmesan cheese
Pinch Salt and pepper (or to taste)
Optional:1 packet of stevia or sweetener of choice to bring out the slight sweetness of the butternut squash

Katie's Tip!

To get the pretty swirl, I scooped each puree in a ziplock bag, trimmed off the tip, and squeezed the mixture in a bowl while swirling upward!

Nutrition Breakdown

6-7 1 Cup Servings
70 Calories per 1 Cup Serving
1 g Fat
16 g Carbohydrate
6 g Fiber
1 g Sugar
6 g Protein
3 WWP+*

*Weight Watchers Points per serving


Allison said:

Katie! I love this! You continue to impress me with each new recipe you create. Thanks for sharing.

November 15th, 2011 — 12:19pm  |  Reply

katie @KatieDid said:

fabulous recipe I’ve been meaning to try the mashed cauliflower for so long now, I think it’s a must make for me for the holidays. I won’t be around for Thanksgiving but Christmas calls for mashed potatoes too! And gorgeous close ups of the dish too!

November 15th, 2011 — 1:32pm  |  Reply

Kelly said:

Yum, that sounds really good!I added it to my list of recipes to make:)

November 15th, 2011 — 5:09pm  |  Reply

Liz @ iheartvegetables said:

Yummm that looks amazing!

November 15th, 2011 — 9:00pm  |  Reply

Rach said:

Oh girl, you always make the most delicious looking food!

November 15th, 2011 — 9:22pm  |  Reply

Katrina said:

This is awesome. That swirl is making me swoon!

November 16th, 2011 — 5:01am  |  Reply

Hope @ With A Side Of Hope said:

I tried mashed cauliflower for the first time last month and I instantly fell in love. This recipe looks amazing! I love the butternut squash swirl. I’m definitely saving this recipe :)

November 16th, 2011 — 5:21am  |  Reply

Anna @ Food Fitness Frolicking said:

This looks delicious! I love cauliflower in place of potatoes! It’s SO good!

November 16th, 2011 — 6:50am  |  Reply

Jen@FoodFamilyFitness said:

Another delicious recipe!!!

November 16th, 2011 — 2:18pm  |  Reply

Editorial Team | Healthy Aperture said:

Looks so delicious!

November 16th, 2011 — 7:39pm  |  Reply

Heidi @ Food Doodles said:

I love this! I love making cauliflower mashed potatoes and adding squash is just genius. I can’t wait to try this, especially with the parmesan cheese – yum!

November 16th, 2011 — 8:25pm  |  Reply

Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese? said:

What an awesome recipe. I love butternut squash and cauliflower on their own, so I can imagine that they’d be great together. And you’re right about mashed cauliflower; it’s soo good!

November 17th, 2011 — 8:53am  |  Reply

Anna @ The Guiltless Life said:

Ooh mashed potatoes are my FAVOURITE comfort food! Never thought of adding the butternut squash swirl though – genius! Thanksgiving has already been and gone for us up here in Canada but I’m having people over for Christmas dinner this year and cooking up a vegetarian feast, so I’ve been looking for recipes to serve! I have to “Pin” this!

November 17th, 2011 — 10:56am  |  Reply

angela@spinachtiger said:

This is a glorious idea. It would be great too with a piece of fish.

November 21st, 2011 — 5:47pm  |  Reply

Diane said:

That looks so good….how do you cook the veggies in the crock pot?

April 18th, 2012 — 8:44am  |  Reply

Jeanne said:

I always mash cauliflower but now I can’t wait to misx it with the butternut squash. Thanks Katie for such a delicious recipe!

April 26th, 2012 — 4:46pm  |  Reply

arlene said:


June 6th, 2012 — 10:47pm  |  Reply

Laurie said:

Am I missing something? It calls for 1 cup of milk and in both the cauliflower blending and the squash blending it calls for 2 Tbs. in each to blend. What do I do with the remaining milk?

September 2nd, 2012 — 7:41pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

oh my! you are right laurie! that was a mistake!

September 2nd, 2012 — 8:45pm  | 

Katy L said:

Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been looking for grain and high glycemic carb substitutes for meals! When you put the squash and cauliflower in the crock pot, what do you set the crock pot to and for how long? Thanks again!

January 5th, 2013 — 2:41pm  |  Reply

Scarlet said:

These turned out really tasty! Very luscious and thick….can’t tell they’re made from cauliflower and not potatoes! :)

November 4th, 2013 — 4:27pm  |  Reply

Kaycee Strickland said:

How do you make just the mashed cauliflower?? I’ve been trying to find a recipe!

January 6th, 2014 — 12:58pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

jen your the sweetest! :)

November 16th, 2011 — 4:39pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks jen! your so sweet! :)

November 17th, 2011 — 12:30pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

thanks ana! :)

November 17th, 2011 — 12:28pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

i agree lauren! too many people are ‘scared’ to try it…but honestly it is sooooo close to mashed potatoes! :)

November 17th, 2011 — 12:29pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

oh yes…heidi…the parm makes it! :)

November 17th, 2011 — 12:30pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

yes! :) that is certainly one way of cooking them! :)

April 18th, 2012 — 10:25am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

oh i see… sorry diane, i misunderstood that! :) you just put the whole cauliflower or squash in the crock pot, and turn it on! :) that simple! Then you skin/cut the squash and it will be cooked inside…and the cauliflower should be soft enough to mash! :)

April 18th, 2012 — 10:28am  |  Reply

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