Casseroles, Challenges, Comfort Food, Keto Friendly, Recipes

Low Carb Loaded Mashed “Potatoes”

More like “fauxtatoes” as we call them here. This is the 2nd post created for the Ketofy My Favs challenge. This challenge was unexpectedly super quick and easy, especially with the sheer amount of store-bought options available these days.

What’s in Low Carb Loaded Mashed “Potatoes”? Bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream, some chives, other misc toppings, and – cauliflower, of course.

Jump to:
Cauliflower Mash Recipe | Low Carb Loaded Mashed Potatoes Recipe | Potato Substitutes

While cauliflower is far and away our least favorite substitution, it’s taken the low carb world by storm *grumble grumble not rice grumble!* which means that there are lots of ready-made products available across the US. That includes cauliflower mash.

On the bright side, cauliflower mash is one of the few cauliflower substitutes that actually tastes great and with the right seasoning/garnishes, tastes a lot like the real deal. If you’re not able to find any premade cauliflower mash (usually frozen) in a store near you, it’s also pretty easy to make. We’ll cover everything you’ll need below.

If you have access to ready-made cauliflower mash, I still recommend reading the cauli mash recipe because hey, sometimes you don’t want a pureed or creamy potato substitute for your loaded fauxtatoes. Sometimes you want something with a bit more substance or bite and to achieve that, you could follow these steps but skip the blender and simply hand mash. OR – you could follow the same ingredients and directions for cauli mash but swap out the cauliflower – like jicama or radishes.

Cauliflower Mash Recipe

Brief Summary: Cook the cauliflower. Blend the cauliflower with spices & creamy stuff. Done.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Cauliflower – chopped, florets, or riced
    If using frozen cauliflower, lightly thaw in microwave and pat dry
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, divided and softened
  • 1/8 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 tsp Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Sour Cream (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. You can use stovetop or the oven – for this recipe we’ll be using stovetop because it’s the quickest and easiest for us, but oven roasted cauliflower (with spices) has better flavor imo, likely due to the caramelization that takes place.

2. Add 1 tbsp of butter to the hot pan and let it melt/coat the bottom of the pan. Add the cauliflower to the pan, try to arrange the pieces in a single layer. Sprinkle salt over cauliflower and stir pan to evenly coat the cauliflower in butter and salt.

3. Once the cauliflower softens and/or starts to brown on the outside, turn off the heat. Allow cauliflower to cool slightly.

4. Add to a blender or food processor all of the cooked cauliflower, remaining butter, heavy whipping cream, sour cream, garlic powder, pepper, and any other desired seasoning (paprika is nice). If you prefer more texture, you can use a potato masher or handheld immersion blender, but when it comes to cauliflower, we prefer a creamier puree.

Tip: If you feel like the mixture is too dry, blend in more heavy whipping cream or milk alternative by the tablespoons until you reach your desired consistency. We’ve never had to add more, and sometimes even omit the heavy whipping cream altogether if our cauliflower is more watery than anticipated – which is also rare.

5. Blend until the puree reaches your desired texture and consistency. This is also a good time to taste test and add more salt/seasonings if needed.

6. You’re actually done at this point! If you feel like the puree isn’t hot enough or needs to reduce more, add the mixture to a pot on low heat until ready to serve. You can also add it to a microwave safe serving dish and heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds when you’re ready to serve.

Makes 4 Servings | Serving: 1/2 – 2/3 cup | Net Carbs: 2.6g | Calories: 99
Disclaimer: Info provided here by entering the ingredients used into Carb Manager. These numbers can change based on the ingredients/brands/etc. you choose to use.

Substitutions

Cauliflower: It’s bland. So are potatoes. That’s probably the number one reason cauliflower is used in recipes like this. If cauliflower is an absolute no-go then (some) lower carb root vegetables such as jicama, rutabaga (sweet), radishes/daikon radishes, and turnips work well as potato replacements – but they each have their own unique flavors that will cast undertones in your dishes along with their various nutritional profiles.

Heavy Whipping Cream: This can be replaced with any milk alternative or broth. It’s all about the moisture content and having enough liquid to actually blend or puree the mix. If you’ve cooked a good amount of water out of the cauliflower, you’ll need to replace that liquid.

Low Carb Loaded Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Cauliflower Mash
  • 1/2 cup Natural Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, sliced
  • 4 oz Cooked Bacon (crumbled) or Bacon Bits (reserve 2 oz)
    Try to use bacon that’s has no added sugar
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Any desired extra spices: Paprika, Garlic, Parsley, etc.

Directions

1. Cook your cauliflower mash. If you’re using premade cauli mash rather than making from scratch, look for a plain option. We like the taste of Birds Eye microwavable mashed cauliflower which is what we’ve used for the nutrition info below. For this recipe, we opt for the Original (plain) version so we can add our own spices/extras.

2. Pour or scoop the piping hot cauliflower mash into a small casserole dish (if baking) or serving dish. We like a few, small 8 to 10 oz sized oven safe ramekins.

3. Stir in sour cream, half of the shredded cheese, 3-4 oz of the crumbled bacon, and any desired spices. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

4. Optional: If baking, place the casserole dish(es) in the oven on broil for a few minutes or until the cheese bubbles on top – keep an eye on it, this will happen quickly. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute.

5. Add butter slices on top and let melt a bit. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top.

6. Eat.

Note: As always, feel free to tweak the ingredients to your tastes – more bacon, less cheese, axe the butter, etc. You can also add any extra toppings you’d like such as chives, broccoli, salsa, extra sour cream or cheese or serve separately and have a Loaded Fauxtato Bar. Just keep in mind that the nutritional info below will change with whatever updates you make to the recipe.

Makes 4 Servings | Serving: 2/3 to 3/4 cup | Net Carbs: 3.7g | Calories: 307
Disclaimer: Info provided here by entering the ingredients used into Carb Manager. These numbers can change based on the ingredients/brands/etc. you choose to use.

Low Carb Potato Substitutes

This section is a relevant excerpt from an earlier post on Easy Low Carb Substitutions:

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes: Jicama, Rutabaga, Cauliflower, Coconut & Almond Flour, Daikon Radishes, Turnips

Different, lower carb vegetables can be used in exchange for different potato-applications. For example, jicama is great at mimicking the texture of more solid potato dishes like au gratin, scalloped potatoes, and perhaps even french fries. Cauliflower mash is a surprisingly awesome low carb mashed potato alternative (same goes for hash) and cauliflower in general is becoming more prevalent in ready-made dishes. Rutabagas, while slightly higher on the carb scale than most of our alternatives – have a natural sweetness that makes them an ideal sweet potato substitute. Coconut & Almond Flours can also easily turn into fries with a little kitchen magic. Last but not least, radishes and turnips make for tasty roasted “fauxtatoes”.

Note: If you eat a lot of potato through the week and are looking to cut back or replace them completely, then that’s great! BUT you must also replace the high amount of potassium and bit of magnesium your body is used to getting from potatoes. There are many low carb foods rich in potassium such as Beef, Spinach (leafy greens), Avocado, Salmon, Almonds, Edamame, Mushrooms, Low Sugar Yogurt, and more.

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