Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)

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photo of instant pot with bowl of mashed cauliflower alongside

“Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly.”
~ Anthony Bourdain

4 Reasons I Love This Recipe

  1. Rich & Mellow Garlic Flavor. Have you ever roasted garlic whole? It’s a completely different flavor – mellow and rich. It turns out that pressure cooking creates that same flavor in much less time, and it pairs beautifully with cauliflower.
  2. A Great Substitute for Mashed Potatoes. When you have autoimmune disease, it’s common to react negatively to the nightshade vegetable family, which includes potatoes. If you’re missing mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower can fill that comfort food craving and texture.
  3. Nutrient-Density. There’s a reason vegetables are the foundation of the AIP Food Pyramid. Just 1 cup of cauliflower provides 73% of your daily vitamin C. It’s sulfur-rich, which supports your body’s ability to detoxify. It contains beneficial fiber that feeds good bacteria in our guts, as well as a compound called glucobrassicin which reduces inflammation. Last but not least, it’s full of antioxidants. As for garlic, Dr. Terry Wahls is so impressed with its nutrition that she considers 2 garlic cloves equal to a cup of any other vegetable. Garlic is potently anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant.
  4. It Uses My Beloved Instant Pot. This is my favorite kitchen appliance, and I’m not alone! It makes cooking easy and fast. If you’re new to the Instant Pot, listen to Episode 55 of the Phoenix Helix podcast for tips from the experts.

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Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)

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  • Author: Eileen Laird
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 small head garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided


  1. Pour the water into the Instant Pot and place the steaming rack inside.
  2. Cut the head of cauliflower into large florets, and cut the stem into small chunks. Add both to the Instant Pot.
  3. Use a bread knife to slice the top off the head of garlic, exposing the tops of each clove. Place it on top of the cauliflower.
  4. Quick instructions for the Instant Pot veterans: Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Then, quick release the pressure, and skip to step 7.
  5. If you're new to the Instant Pot, here are step-by-step pressure cooking instructions: Close and lock the lid. Turn the pressure knob to the “sealing” position. Press the “manual” button once. You'll see the display light up to indicate high pressure 30 minutes. Press the – button until it reaches 10. Wait 5 seconds, and the pot will beep and the display will say ON. This means it's heating up and building up pressure, which takes 5-10 minutes. Once full pressure is reached, the display will switch and start counting down the cooking time (10 minutes). Update: If you bought your Instant Pot in 2018 or later, they updated their display panel. The “manual” button is now called “pressure cook”.
  6. When it's done cooking, the Instant Pot will beep. Click the “cancel” button to turn off the pot. Then carefully turn the pressure knob to the “venting” position. Be careful – when you do this, hot steam is going to come out of that knob. Just be sure to keep your hands and body clear, and turn the knob just slightly at first. As more pressure is released, you can turn it completely into the venting position, and you’ll feel the knob lift up. Once all the steam is released, you can open the pot. A safety measure on the pot is that the lid is pretty much impossible to turn, when it’s still under pressure.
  7. Remove cooked head of garlic to a cutting board and lay it on its side. Use a spoon to squeeze the garlic puree out of the paper shell.
  8. You’ll be making the mash in two batches. Transfer 1/2 the cooked cauliflower (but none of the water) to a food processor, along with 1/2 the garlic puree, 1 tablespoon avocado oil, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Pulse to blend, using a spatula to scrape down the sides a few times. Then puree at high speed for a smooth mash. If it's too thick, you can add some of the cauliflower water from the Instant Pot, one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you like.
  9. Transfer to serving bowl, and repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Instant Pot

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Credit: recipe photograph taken by Kate Jay

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2 comments on “Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)”

  1. Excellent recipe! I’ve made it twice now and it is so smooth and creamy and reminds me of mashed potatoes. Most cauliflower mash that I’ve had taste so grainy, but this is just wonderful.

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