Welcome! I am so happy you chose to gather around my table. My name is Mia Swinehart and I am a registered dietitian with a passion for simple healthy recipes, women's hormonal health, and overall wellness!
I put a fun twist on basic cauliflower mash inspired by my favorite pasta dish ever, and I am never looking back! A super creamy, perfectly savory side dish of my dreams!
Plus, it’s a great non-starch addition to the holiday table. I’m all about those carbs, but it doesn’t hurt to have another option while we’re enjoying all the potatoes, stuffing, and desserts 🙂 Key word: enjoying!!
What is cacio e pepe?
In Italian, it translates to cheese and pepper. And it is exactly that! Cacio e pepe pasta is a really straightforward pasta dish, which is why I love it. Such an explosion of flavor for something so simple.
The ingredients for this cacio e pepe cauliflower mash are incredibly simple. This is all you need:
How easy!? I am hooked. I will 100% be making this frequently, even beyond the holidays. This one is coming with me to my family’s thanksgiving, along with my pumpkin cornbread. I can’t wait to share both of these delicious recipes with my loved ones. This is the first year I’ve been in charge of a dish for our family party- feeling #adult.
Tips for making this dish:
You’ll need a large pot for the cauliflower. If you’re cauliflower doesn’t all fit in one pot, you can totally cook it in 2 separate pots! You just want the cauliflower to have enough space to boil in the water and get tender.
Don’t skip the step of allowing the cauliflower to drain for 2 minutes. You want that excess water to drip off to avoid watery mashed cauliflower!
Next, to get this cauliflower mash to its creamiest potential, I love to use an immersion blender. The one I have is linked here; it’s such a kitchen staple for me! Alternatively, you can use a food processor, though you will likely have to do it in batches. Still super simple, either way!
Lastly, how much black pepper you use will depend on how much of a peppery kick you want. Start with 1/2 tbsp, then slowly work up from there. It’s just as delicious if you want to stop at 1/2 tbsp!
I just love a side dish that’s this easy to make, but still such a crowd pleaser. It gives you the extra energy you may need to put into other dishes you’re making.
I know I’m all about the holiday gatherings right now, but I can totally see this being a go-to weeknight side dish for us too. It’s satisfying, cozy, and a yummy way to pack in an extra veggie!
I always recommend that, when you can, opt for organic dairy. It’s much healthier for us and our environment. I do this even when I’m feeding a crowd; luckily there are a lot more organic options in the stores now!
I can’t wait to see if you guys add this to your holiday menus. Be sure to tag me on Instagram or comment below if you do 🙂 Enjoy! xx
Super simple, extra creamy cacio e pepe cauliflower mash!
1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan
1/2–1 tbsp black pepper
Sea salt, to taste
In a large stockpot, cover the cauliflower florets with water. Bring water to a boil and allow to boil until cauliflower is fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain cauliflower and let drain for 2 minutes.
Return the same pot the cauliflower was cooked in and heat on medium-low. Add butter. Once melted, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in cream and cauliflower, then stir in parmesan, 1/2 tbsp black pepper, and sea salt.
Use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients until very smooth (alternatively you can blend in batches in a food processor).
Taste, adjust sea salt and add more black pepper if you want more of a peppery kick (up to 1/2 tbsp more).