Smooth and Silky Cauliflower Purée Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Lightly browning the onion and garlic in butter enhances their sweetness and complexity.
  • Your choice of liquid means you can go sweet and full-bodied with heavy cream, or more savory and rich with chicken stock (or use a combination of the two).

This clean and simple cauliflower purée is made by simmering and then puréeing cauliflower and aromatics in a liquid, like cream or chicken stock. It delivers a pure cauliflower flavor with a satiny texture, and it's the perfect choice when you want a flavorful purée that's still restrained enough to let the other parts of your dinner do the talking—say, a beautiful roast chicken with a crackling brown skin and savory jus.

Recipe Facts



Active: 45 mins
Total: 45 mins
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter

  • 1 large (8-ounce; 225g) yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 (2-pound; 925g) head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

  • 2 cups (475ml) heavy cream or homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock (or a combination of the two; see note)

  • 1 sprig thyme

  • Kosher salt


  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes; lower heat as necessary to prevent browning.

  2. Add cauliflower, cream and/or stock, and thyme. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook, adjusting heat to maintain simmer, until cauliflower is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by about three-quarters, about 20 minutes. Discard thyme sprig.

  3. Using a blender or immersion blender, blend cauliflower and liquid to form a very smooth purée. Season with salt. (You can adjust purée consistency as needed: Thicken by cooking down further while stirring often over low heat in a wide nonstick skillet, or thin by whisking in liquid, such as stock, cream, or water.) Serve warm.

Special equipment

Blender or immersion blender


Cream makes the most luxurious purée, while chicken stock adds a rich depth of flavor. You can use either or combine the two to get the best of both worlds. In a pinch, you can also use water or vegetable stock, and use oil instead of butter to easily make this vegan.

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