This pureed pumpkin and cauliflower mash is a delightful twist from the typical Thanksgiving and fall favorites during pumpkin season.
Pumpkin Keto Cauliflower Mash Recipe
My favorite holiday during the fall season is coming soon, Thanksgiving.
The entire family gathering together with many who haven't been able to see each other since last Thanksgiving due to distance, makes for a comforting time to just catch up and enjoy a delicious meal, all my favorite things.
Being from an Italian family, it's never just a meal, it's an all day event of eating. We have the traditional main course of turkey, side dish of mashed potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potato dish, applesauce, broccoli rabe, and salad because we always end every meal with salad.
But I'm always the one to try to change things up a bit and make something a little more, shall we say, unique? Sometimes it works and sometimes it flops, but I always try to make a healthier option to bring even if it is just me, myself, and I eating it.
Oh they all usually try my different, nontraditional recipes, because of course they are polite and all.
But rarely does my family ask for me to make them again. SO you can see the kind of Italian family I am dealing with here right?
STUBBORN is the only word for the typical Italian personality. And because I too am Italian and Stubborn myself, I do not give up in hopes they will all come around to healthier eating habits one day.
Carbs in Pumpkin versus mashed Potato
According to the Cronometer app I love and use, 1 cup of pumpkin puree has 49 calories and 12 grams carbs so it is keto friendly and is a great substitute for potato.
1 cup mashed potato prepared from fresh potatoes has 264 calories, and 44 grams carbs.
Pumpkin Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin has some great health benefits.
Again using my favorite Cronometer app I looked up 1 cup of canned pumpkin. Cronometer offers a complete nutrient summary for every food and that's the best part of this app in my opinion as opposed to other macro keto apps.
It offers nutrient scores for vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, immune support and bone health.
In just one cup of canned pumpkin there are 7 grams of fiber, with a great source of beta carotene, which is an antioxidant. It also has a high amount of Vitamin A and contains a good amount of iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K as well as potassium.
It's a healthy food that can be included on a ketogenic diet in small amounts.
This pumpkin and cauliflower mashed recipe is my idea of boycotting the higher carb count of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes for a low carb recipe that I can enjoy as a keto dieter.
I plan to bring it on Thanksgiving but I have no idea if anyone will try it. I guess if I don't tell them it contains cauliflower, there might be a better change they will eat it.
Regardless if they do or not the hubby and I enjoyed this easy recipe immensely! Thankfully my hubby who is quite picky said it was delicious! As far as the kiddies go, they unfortunately SAW the cauliflower on the counter. If they hadn't I'm sure they would have had some.
My best work is when I don't share with the kids what's in a recipe, they will at least try it. But in this case, they spied the secret ingredient and I was caught red handed.
Honestly though with the pumpkin flavor you really don't taste much of the cauliflower puree at all. My kids are tough and stubborn just like their full blooded Italian momma. They may have won this round, but in the end I will always win the battle!
How to Cook Fresh Pumpkin
Making your own pumpkin puree at home is quite simple but often i just use canned pumpkin because it's not always easy to find fresh pumpkins in my local grocery store.
The kind of pumpkin does make a difference as well. My husband is French and his grandmother, would make a stuffed pumpkin each fall.
For the best tasting pumpkin you don't want the kind you carve with the kids for Halloween, you want what's called a sugar pumpkin.
Carefully slice the stem of the pumpkin off. If the base of the pumpkin is wobbly, slice a little bit off the bottom to level it on your cutting board. Carefully slice the pumpkin in half.
Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts of the inside of the pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Drizzle olive oil and rub the flesh of the inside of the pumpkin. Place flesh side down onto a baking sheet pan.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until you can insert a fork into the flesh and it easily pierces through. Scoop out all the fresh pumpkin and place into your food processor to puree.
Once cooked pumpkin is cooled, store the puree pumpkin in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
I follow the same method for cooking pumpkin seeds as I do for cooking pumpkin.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. After you've scooped out all the seeds, do your best to clean the stringy parts from the seeds and sinse and dry seeds.
Place onto a baking sheet pan and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Bake for 15 minutes, stir and toss again, add more olive oil if needed.
Bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Store in an airtight container on the shelf, no need for refrigeration.
Cauliflower Cooking Method Options
Prep time will vary with the following method options to cook your cauliflower, but for the best result and flavor I love to roast the cauliflower when I have the most time.
Boil -Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add cauliflower, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
Steam- Place cauliflower florets in the steamer basket, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes until fork tender.
Microwave- Place cauliflower florets in a glass bowl with ½ cup of water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for about 10 minutes. Check if tender if not continue for another 5 minutes.
Roast- Preheat over to 400 degree F. Place cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet pan. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, turn florets over, bake another 10 minutes until golden brown and fork tender.
Can I use Frozen Cauliflower?
Frozen cauliflower is fine to use instead of fresh for this recipe, but it holds a lot of water which will result in a watery consistency.
First step is to defrost and heat the frozen cauliflower. Then I would recommend squeezing out or draining as much water from it as possible.
You could also process it in your food processor and then drain again in a colander to release more water from it. If it seems a bit too liquidy, you could add small amounts of almond flour or coconut flour to absorb the liquid.
Then proceed with the pumpkin cauliflower mash recipe.
How to Make Dairy Free Pumpkin Mash
You could certainly make this pumpkin cauliflower recipe dairy free if needed. I would replace the heavy cream for unsweetened almond milk for dairy free and also eliminate the butter if needed with a vegan butter for dairy free.
Pumpkin Cauliflower Mash Recipe with full instructions and nutritional information is in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Turn this into a Pumpkin Casserole
To turn this pumpkin cauliflower mash into a casserole, follow the recipe for the mash than add it to a 9 by 13 casserole baking dish.
Sprinkle brown sugar substitute over the mash then top with some crushed pecans if desired or even chopped walnuts.
More Delicious Keto Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Custard (Pumpkin Pie filling without a crust)
Keto Low Carb Pumpkin Mash
Low Carb Pumpkin Cauliflower Mash
- 1 head cauliflower about 6 cups (see notes above for using frozen cauliflower)
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (we used canned but see above for fresh pumpkin)
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream or cream cheese or sour cream if you prefer
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves roasted with cauliflower
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil or olive oil
- black pepper to taste
- Steam or roast cauliflower until tender, about 25-30 minutes or see other methods above.
- Place cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until small crumbles.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and process and pulse until desired creamy texture and consistency.
- Taste and adjust salt and seasonings as needed.
- Storage; Once cooked pumpkin is cooled, store the puree pumpkin in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
- If you want even more pumpkin flavor I would suggest adding an additional cup of pureed pumpkin to the mix.
- This recipe was first published in October 2014 and updated with video in November 2019.