This quick and easy Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower is made by steaming garlic and cauliflower inside a pressure cooker, and then preparing them to mimic mashed potatoes.
Guys– I finally did it.
It was an impulse buy– an Amazon Prime Day deal that was too good to pass up– and I’ve been pressure cooking all the things.
Well, actually, I’ve been pressure cooking cauliflower.
When you’ve spent most of your life being terrified of pressure cookers, you have to start small.
And for me, starting small meant steaming cauliflower.
This Instant Pot mashed cauliflower is a pressure cooker version of my Garlic Cauliflower Mash— a flavor-packed mashed potato substitute.
Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? Make this Garlic Cauliflower Mash on the stovetop!
Learning to Use an Instant Pot
I started my Instant Pot journey by texting my friend Ann– the Instant Pot expert.
Ann tests Instant Pot recipes for work– she knows her stuff!
She walked me through each step, and in just a few minutes, I was digging into a delicious spoonful of mashed cauliflower.
Did you just buy your Instant Pot? Check out this Instant Pot Beginner’s Guide from Kristine’s Kitchen
How to Steam Cauliflower in an Instant Pot
Start by putting a steamer basket inside your Instant Pot.
Add cauliflower florets, about six cloves of garlic, and water.
Shut the lid, turn the machine on, switch the steam valve to sealing, and press pressure cook/manual.
Some model Instant Pots have a pressure cook button, and others have a manual button. They do exactly the same thing.
Next, set the pressure level to high, and the timer for two minutes.
It will take about ten minutes for the pressure to build, and then a count-down timer will start.
When the Instant Pot finishes counting down, use a long-handled spoon to quick release the pressure by moving the valve switch from sealing to venting.
Hot steam will shoot out, and when it’s finished, the pressure indicator pin on the lid will drop down.
And then– it’s safe to open the Instant Pot.
How to Make Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower
Next, you’ve got two options.
To make mashed cauliflower, you can use a blender with a basin, or you can use an immersion blender.
In my opinion, using a blender with a basin will give you the best, most potato-like texture.
That said, using an immersion blender is a little quicker and involves less clean-up. And the mashed cauliflower will still taste delicious.
Use whichever blender you prefer (or whichever you own).
Can I Use Pre-Minced Garlic in this Mashed Cauliflower?
Yes, but use less than the recipe calls for.
Steaming garlic mellows the bitter flavor, so if you add minced garlic or garlic paste, do it after cooking, and add it to taste.
Dig into this mashed cauliflower, and then go ahead and have seconds (and thirds!) of this veggie-packed side dish!
Want more Instant Pot ideas? Check out all of my Instant Pot recipes!
Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower
- 1 cauliflower head (medium sized)
- 1/2 head of garlic (~6 cloves), peeled
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
- 1/4 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (or use a mixture of both)
- 2 TB butter, plus more to serve
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, to taste
- diced chives or green onion, to garnish (optional)
- Add a steamer basket to the Instant Pot. Add the garlic and cauliflower.
- Seal the lid and turn the steam valve to the sealing position.
- Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manual, high pressure. Set the cook time for 2 minutes.
- The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, and then will start counting down the cook time. As soon as it beeps to let you know the cook time has finished, carefully quick release the pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting.Tip: Quick release can be messy– the vent will shoot some liquids out with the steam. Lay a kitchen towel over the top to keep your kitchen clean.
- Wait for the steam to escape and the pin to drop down. Then, carefully remove the lid.
- Carefully remove the steam basket (it will be hot!), and drain any leftover liquid out of the Instant Pot.
- Immersion Blender Method:Add the milk and cheese to the Instant Pot basin with the cauliflower and garlic. Use an immersion blender to blend the cauliflower to your desired consistency. Add more milk if desired. Season with salt and pepper.Blender-Basin or Food Processor Method:Add the cauliflower, garlic, milk, and cheese to the basin of a large food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until it's as creamy as you prefer. If desired (or needed for the blender), add extra milk gradually until the cauliflower reaches the desired consistency. (Smaller cauliflower heads will need less milk, and larger ones will need more.) Add salt and pepper to taste, blend again.
- Serve the mash with a pat of butter, and garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
- Leftovers / Make Ahead: To make the mash up to 2 days ahead, store in an air-tight container in the fridge. This mash reheats well in the microwave, or add to casserole dish, cover, and place in a warm oven (350ºF) for 20-30 minutes.