Binish's Creamy Cauliflower Rice

Binish Khan

Interactive Lead, Manager

I can't believe it's not mashed potatoes

As a kid, I hated cauliflower along with a long list of other ingredients. As I got older, I realized I hated how it was prepared and not the actual vegetable. The very first cauliflower recipe I fell in love with was roasted cauliflower with garlic aioli during Chicago Restaurant Week. Since then, I have been on the hunt for cauliflower recipes or recipes that allow me to substitute it for potatoes. Cauliflower adds a lot of nutritional value to your meal, but since it can handle heavy seasoning, you can prepare it in different ways and not get bored of it.

This recipe, “I can’t believe it’s not mashed potatoes,” got its name from being able to trick people into thinking it was mashed potatoes. My first victim was my husband, who considered cauliflower a smelly, flavorless vegetable and refused to try it. Our go-to weeknight dinner is salmon with a starch and a vegetable. Since this recipe looked so close to mashed potatoes, I decided to use it as my “starch.” I knew he wouldn’t try it if I told him what it was, so I served it saying it’s a new mashed potato recipe I am trying out. He finished up the entire plate and asked for seconds. I was still afraid that it might have been a fluke, so didn’t tell him what it was. This went on for more than a month until one day, he asked me to make the salmon with my new “mashed potatoes.” I then finally decided to tell him that for this past month he had been eating the vegetable that he abhorred. His exact reaction was “I can’t believe it’s not mashed potatoes,” and since then I have been serving it to anyone who comes over for dinner and not telling them it’s cauliflower. So far, no one has been able to guess that it’s cauliflower on their own. I love that I was able to find a recipe that makes comfort food healthy without sacrificing flavor.

Eating and cooking food together is something that’s really close to my heart. As a kid, my mom would let me stir the pot while she was cooking and then tell everyone that I cooked the entire meal. Even though my dad knew I didn’t cook the meal, he would joke with my mom and tell her to ask me for the recipe. That is one of my favorite childhood memories and encouraged me to include others while I am cooking. Cooking with other people makes them feel like a part of the meal, and you always walk away learning something new even if you are a seasoned home chef. Now that the jig is up, my husband and I love cooking this recipe together and seeing people’s reactions when we tell them it’s cauliflower. We hope you enjoy cooking it and sharing it with others. I will leave it up to you whether or not you want to tell people it’s cauliflower before they eat it 😉

I Can't Believe It's Not Mashed Potatoes

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


1 pound cauliflower rice
3 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup milk
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


  • In a pot, boil cauliflower rice until soft and drain for five minutes to remove excess water.
    Mash the cauliflower by using a masher or running it through a sieve. Add melted butter gradually while the cauliflower is hot.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the milk, herbs and garlic. Bring to a simmer over low heat, let simmer for five to ten minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Gradually add the cream mixture to the potatoes, a little at a time, stirring until fully incorporated.
  • Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chives.

Download the recipe

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