This cauliflower pumpkin mash is made with creamy mascarpone and topped with vanilla granola and pecans. A healthier alternative to sweet potato casserole!

We never really did those weird (to me) sweet potato casseroles with the mini marshmallows on top in my family.

My great-grandmother, then grandmother and now mom religiously make “torta” (sweet potato pie) every Christmas.

But the traditional Thanksgiving casserole has never made an appearance on our holiday table.

This cauliflower pumpkin mash is made with creamy marscapone and topped with vanilla granola and pecans. A healthier alternative to sweet potato casserole!
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I used to think I was missing out big time by this, kinda like how my mom refused to buy the fun snacks for us as kids (looking at you, Pop Tarts), being deprived of a side dish studded with marshmallows just seemed cruel.

I don’t actually know when I first tasted the classic dish, it might’ve been in college at our epic Thanksgiving dinner in the cafeteria, but the let down was one of the most disappointing situations of my life.

It was weirdly (overly) sweet and instead of the marshmallows complementing the sweet potato, it just made the whole situation worse.

All those years of built up anticipation, gone with the first forkful.

This creamy cauliflower pumpkin mash needs to be a side dish on your Thanksgiving table!
Gluten free vanilla granola tops this creamy cauliflower pumpkin mash for an added touch of sweetness and crunch.

This creamy cauliflower pumpkin mash is my best attempt at remedying that whole sweet potato casserole situation.

With mascarpone mixed in and the strong squash flavor mellowed out by the cauliflower, the savory elements of this mash are way more palatable.

The sweetness comes in the form of just a little maple sugar (<–love that stuff), vanilla bean paste and then of course, the granola topping which not only adds to the sweet and savory flavor balance, but also gives a much needed crunch to the otherwise creamy, smooth dish (another thing sweet potato casserole is missing!).

The combination of cauliflower with pumpkin is also a nice way to make a mashed side dish lighter in nature.

It’s lower-carb than its traditional cousin so you can leave more room for dessert at a holiday!

Check out this mashed rutabaga or this carrot parsnip puree for two other side dishes like this. They both deliver on flavor and comfort without the heaviness of a traditional mash or casserole.

This cauliflower pumpkin mash is a gluten free side dish perfect for the holidays!

If this casserole/mash/bake/whatever you want to call it isn’t on your holiday table, you’re missing out. Trust me!

Love this creamy cauliflower pumpkin mash recipe?

Try butternut squash and cranberry gratin or this maple and roasted garlic squash puree.

5 from 4 votes

Creamy Cauliflower Pumpkin Mash

Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
This cauliflower pumpkin mash is made with creamy mascarpone and topped with vanilla granola and pecans. A healthier alternative to sweet potato casserole!


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, stems discarded, broken into small florets
  • 1 cup packed roasted pumpkin, or other squash like butternut, kabocha, buttercup, etc.
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar, or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoon almond/coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Udi’s vanilla granola
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Steam cauliflower florets until fork tender.
  • Combine cauliflower, pumpkin, mascarpone, maple sugar, vanilla bean paste, milk, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish or smaller ramekins. Smooth the top of the mixture and top with the granola and pecans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve warm.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 127mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. I love the combination of cauliflower and pumpkin in your mash!! Sounds so tasty and a great alternative to potato. The addition of mascarpone is making my mouth water!