Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme

Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme

Few recipes are as easy to make – not to mention as low in calories – as this cauliflower purée.

Gently boiled in milk with a bundle of fresh thyme, the cauliflower acquires a delicate flavor and silky texture. With just over 100 calories per serving, this recipe is as delicious and light as it gets.

The touch of crème fraîche at the end makes the purée more luxurious for sure, but if you want an even lower-calorie side dish, you can certainly omit it.

Even better, you can prepare the purée ahead of time and reheat it for a few minutes before you serve it. In my book, that makes it an ideal recipe when cooking a large meal… like a Thanksgiving feast!

Cauliflower with thyme bundle

Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme

serves 4
active time: 15 min

  1. 2 cups milk
  2. 3/4 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  3. 1 medium cauliflower (2 1/4 lbs) (1kg) – florets torn in 2″ pieces
  4. 1 small bunch fresh thyme – tied in a bundle with kitchen string
  5. freshly ground white pepper to taste
  6. 1/4 cup freshly grated Reggiano parmesan
  7. 1 tablespoon crème fraîche

  1. Step 1: Bring milk to a boil in a large pot. Add half the salt, cauliflower and thyme bundle. Reduce heat to medium and partially cover the pan so that the milk doesn’t boil over. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until cauliflower is very tender. Strain in a colander, reserve the milk and let stand for 10 minutes until well drained. Discard thyme bundle.
  2. Step 2: Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor and process with a steel blade until coarsely chopped. Add the balance of the salt, pepper, parmesan and 2 tablespoons of the reserved milk. Process for another 30 seconds until very smooth. Add a bit more reserved milk to the desired consistency, if needed.
  3. Cook’s note: The purée can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead. Transfer the purée to a bowl, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Step 3: When ready to serve, place the purée in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until very warm, stirring frequently. Add the crème fraîche and stir until well incorporated. Transfer the purée to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme

side vegetable, cauliflower, puree


  1. Delicious Viviana! Thank you!
    Perfect for our keto diet!

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  3. Hi Kristen! I’m a huge cauliflower fan too. Thank you for your greetings and for your comment. Sending warm greetings right back at you from New York!

  4. What a delightful side dish. I am a big cauliflower fan and will take this recipe to try.
    Greetings from Colorado.

  5. I love dishes like this! Thanks for the idea. For a while I was making “mashed potatoes” with cauliflower and my husband loved it. Then I got busted and he won’t eat it again. Maybe I can get this one to past.

  6. Pingback: Cauliflower Purée with Parmesan and Thyme « Pâte à Chew

  7. This is such a beautiful dish! Great alternative to mashed potatoes, and it looks so refined with the thyme. I’m passing this along to a friend who just asked me the other day what she could do with cauliflower. Thanks!

  8. Viviane, dear Stylish and elegant touches as always, making each dish a culinary adventure!

  9. Karen Fisher

    I love how you take an ordinary recipe and make it extraordinary, Viviane. I puree cauliflower often but the addition of the thyme and creme fraiche add that extra zing. This is why I love your recipes.

  10. I love pureed cauliflower – your version sounds quite tasty =)

  11. Viviane, This Caulifower puree looks beautiful. I can’t wait to taste it. Thank you!

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  13. Hi Viviane – I like that it isn’t loaded with cream. The recipe sounds perfect. Congrats on the T-9!

  14. This is such a great carb-free sub for mashed potatoes, and a welcome lightness as the holidays approach. Congrats on Top 9!!

  15. Wow, I didn’t know that cauliflower can be cooked in a variety of ways. I’m always too use with my stir fried cauliflower. Gotta try this new recipe!

  16. I love to puree cauliflower. You’re right; easy and healthy. A great potato sub.

  17. Congrats dear.. lovely dish:)

  18. This is such a great consistency and beautiful color. This would be great with so many things.

  19. I’d rather have this than mashed potatoes…it sounds fabulous…mmmmmmm.

  20. I agree that cauliflower is a very versatile veggie! It is one of my favorite things to eat. It is amazing how it can absorb flavor and render it nicely.

  21. Wow, this is a beautiful dish! I just love thyme in everything, what a nice combination with the cauliflower!

  22. What a beautiful recipe – perfect in its simplicity and aromatic choices.

  23. This is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. This also reminds me that I should use thyme more often.

  24. This would be a perfect Thanksgiving side dish–and you’re right, so easy!

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