Brown Butter Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions

Hi guys! I’m off to the airport today for 2 weeks in northern Italy, visiting family (who we don’t speak the same language as), drinking lots of wine, eating my fair share of gelato and just enjoying not working. 

Katie is guest posting today with this amazing recipe for caramelized onion mashed cauliflower. I hope you enjoy!

Brown butter and caramelized onion mashed cauliflower is a delicious paleo recipe that will have you forgetting about the potatoes.

Brown butter and caramelized onion mashed cauliflower

Hello all, I’m Katie and I’ll be sharing a paleo mashed cauliflower recipe in place of Gina today.

I’d first like to thank Gina for having me guest post while she’s off scaling the leaning tower of Pisa and diving into a pool of gelato….. or something like that.

But really, her well thought out, beautifully photographed, and mouth watering posts and recipes always keep me coming back for the next one.

So, I’m truly honored to be posting today on a favorite blog of mine.

cauliflower to make brown butter mashed cauliflower with caramelized onions.

While Gina is twirling in plates of spaghetti, I’m bringing you a grain free recipe. The irony.

I’ve adopted a paleo style diet over the past year or so.

It was a long, slow process but excluding grains, sugar, some starches, soy, most dairy, and corn from my diet has been one of the best decisions I have made for myself.

And in doing so, I’ve tried out lots of substitutions for those things.

Some work well, others…well, not so much.

Cauliflower, however, is one I come back to time and time again for it’s uncanny ability to mimic mashed potatoes.

With some good quality butter (that we’ll brown) and caramelized onions, mashed cauliflower really becomes one delicious side dish that doesn’t even allow you to realize it’s playing a substitute role!

Organic salted butter used to make paleo mashed cauliflower.

Now growing up, and to this day, mashed potatoes have really not been my thing.

I know, gasp, who am I?

Was I deprived as a child? Nope, in fact my three brothers liked them enough for all of us so I deemed them not worth fighting over and chose other dishes instead.

Like cranberry sauce shaped like a can, mmmmmmmm……

Gina here interjecting – canned cranberry sauce with the can lines imprinted on it was totally my jam too up until an age I’m embarrassed to admit. So good!

caramelized onions for brown butter mashed cauliflower recipe.

But something about not being allowed (I use that term lightly) to eat something (aka potatoes on a paleo diet) makes me sometimes crave a buttery, creamy side dish like mashed potatoes.

Go figure.

Enter cauliflower.

Cauliflower is the caveman’s potato, rice, pizza crust, and probably 50 other things that creative paleo eating people have come up with.

50 other things indeed – here are a few of my favorites: Buffalo Cauliflower SteaksCreamy Cauliflower Pumpkin MashSalt and Vinegar Popcorn Cauliflower and Cauliflower Couscous.

You might have seen this mashed cauliflower recipe before.

I’m not reinventing the wheel here, just sharing my own spin on this rich, comforting, creamy side dish.

And by rich I do mean several tablespoons of browned butter kind of rich.

Just roll with it. One forkful and you’ll understand why.

brown butter mashed cauliflower topped with caramelized onions

HOW TO MAKE BROWN BUTTER MASHED CAULIFLOWER

With just 5 simple ingredients of:

  • head of cauliflower
  • salted butter
  • garlic
  • coconut milk
  • onion

This mashed cauliflower side dish comes together easily.

FIRST, CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS:

Slice the onion and place it in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat.

Stir the onions occasionally while cooking for about 15-20 minutes until nice and deep golden brown.

If the pan gets too dry, just add a tablespoon of water to get things moving again. Set aside.

NEXT, COOK THE CAULIFLOWER:

Cut the head of cauliflower into florets. Place them in a casserole or baking dish and fill with a bit of water so that about 1/4 of the florets are submerged.

Microwave for 5-7 minutes until softened.

MAKE THE BROWN BUTTER:

Place 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until it starts to brown, about 3-4 minutes.

MASH THE CAULIFLOWER:

Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a food processor and add the garlic cloves. Process until finely diced. It will look like riced cauliflower at this point.

Add the brown butter, half of the caramelized onions and the coconut milk to the food processor. 

Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the remaining caramelized onions on top of the mashed cauliflower.

paleo mashed cauliflower with brown butter and caramelized onions

Yeah, paleo isn’t so bad when recipes like this exist. Betcha won’t even remember what potatoes are after taking a bite of this brown butter mashed cauliflower!

MORE CAULIFLOWER RECIPES TO ENJOY:

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin
Cheddar Cauliflower Burgers
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Bison Cheddar Cauliflower Steaks

Brown Butter Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions

Brown Butter Mashed Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Brown butter mashed cauliflower topped with caramelized onions is a delicious paleo recipe that will have you forgetting about the potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice onion and caramelize in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Once completely caramelized remove from the pan and set aside. I also threw in the three cloves of garlic towards the end to release some of their flavor.
  2. Meanwhile, cut off the cauliflower stem and break into florets. Place in a casserole dish and fill with water until about 1/4 of the florets are covered. Microwave for 5-7 minutes, until they are soft.
  3. Place cauliflower and 3 garlic cloves into a food processor (may need to do this in batches if your processor is not large enough) and process for a few minutes.
  4. Over medium heat add 2-3 tablespoons of butter and stir constantly until just beginning to brown, about 3-4 minutes, don't let it burn!
  5. Add 1/2 of the caramelized onions, browned butter, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper to the cauliflower in the processor. Process and start adding in coconut milk until fully incorporated and a smooth, creamy mash has been formed. This may take several minutes depending on your food processor. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 174Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

29 Comments

  1. Pingback: Caramelized Onion and Browned Butter Mashed Cauliflower

  2. Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    Have a wonderful trip Gina!
    Katie this looks amazing. As a self-proclaimed mashed potato junkie, I actually really love mashed cauliflower, it has a very similar texture and a great rustic and earthy flavor. I love your addition of the browned butter and caramelized onions, two things that can really do no wrong :) Thanks for sharing, I cannot wait to try!

    Reply
  3. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    Gina – I can’t WAIT for your Italy stories. Have a blast.
    Katie – you’re like a grown up version of my 5 year old. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, especially since I don’t know you ;) She refuses to eat mashed potatoes but loves canned cranberry sauce. Go figure!
    I still can’t figure out how either of you can do the no sugar, no dairy thing. I’d die.

    Reply
  4. Katie

    Gina! Have a lovely trip! I’ll miss your posts!

    Katie — nobody presents simple meals in the same way that you do. You’ve got such a knack for recipes with short ingredient lists but big flavour! And I can say that with full authority, because I made this meal tonight about .34 seconds after reading the post. So perfect!

    Reply
  5. Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate

    Cauliflower is one of my favorite fiber-licous veggies! What a great way to incorporate it into a meal. I love it!!

    Reply
  6. Pam

    Saw this the other day and finallybought the ingredients this evening.

    Makes me wish I had a food processor. Mashed by hand. Probably not as smooth as by the processor.

    Really liked it. Very glad I tried it. Now to prepare for my SAD CW friends.

    Thank you

    Reply
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  11. Reni Churchill

    I made this but substituted organic heavy cream for the coconut milk. It was delicious.
    Reni Churchill

    Reply

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