The Scoop on Low-Calorie Mashed Potatoes

Hungry Girl's Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Courtesy of

I love mashed potatoes as much as the next person. But you know what else I love? Big portions with small calorie counts. Believe it or not, there's a way to enjoy generous portions of creamy mashed potatoes without consuming Thanksgiving-level calories. 

The secret ingredient: These mashed potatoes aren't entirely made from potatoes. Sure, they’re made partly from potatoes, but there's also cauliflower mashed in.

Why? Cauliflower is an insanely good swap for all kinds of starchy foods. It blends in seamlessly, doubling your portion size for very few calories. An entire cup of cauliflower has only about 30 calories, plus 2.5g fiber. So if you love mashed potatoes, keep cauliflower in your refrigerator at all times.

Spud love. Potatoes are satisfying and super nutritious. (Neat fact: Potatoes have more potassium than bananas.) The fun part here is experimenting with different potato types — russets, baby reds, white potatoes. They all bring a different taste and texture to the table. Play around and find your favorite. And for extra texture (and fiber), leave the skin on.

Another essential? A potato masher. If you don't have one, add it to your list of must-have kitchen tools. Seeing the cute little potato masher in your utensil drawer will inspire you to mash up cauliflower whenever you have a hankering for some creamy comfort food.

Bonus? Vigorously mashing spuds and cauliflower is a great way to burn a few extra calories.

Flavorful add-ins. This is where a lot of recipes go downhill. High-fat mix-ins like cream, butter, and full-fat cheese are all too common. Instead, grab some light spreadable cheese wedges, like The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss, reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese (or any flavor), and light whipped butter or light buttery spread.

You’ll also want to throw in some garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

Basic How-to

Is it dinnertime? Did you make healthy meatloaf that’s begging for an equally delicious side dish? Is it 3 o’clock in the afternoon or 10:30 in the morning and you simply can’t continue your day without a satisfying snack? Either way, reach for your tater-flower masher, and let’s get cookin'.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add 7 cups of cauliflower florets (about 1 medium head) and 12 ounces of peeled, cubed potato. Return water to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. 

2. Cook until cauliflower and potato are tender, 20 minutes or so. Drain water.

3. Mash away.  

4. Add your add-ins. 

Tip: For extra-creamy mashies, pop the mashed mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Continue Reading