This Keto Cheddar Leek Cauliflower Mash is the low carb side dish of your dreams. It’s cheesy, and leek-y (yup, it’s a thing now) and so very luscious and buttery – it’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a low carb cauliflower puree!
We spent some time in Europe this summer, and while I wasn’t eating Keto during the vacation, I was on the lookout (as always) for inspiration for new recipes to make keto and post here on the blog. I found a lot of great food inspo on that trip, and many of the recipes coming up are based on dishes we ate and loved in London, Spain, Italy, and Greece – so stay tuned!
This Keto Cheddar Leek Cauliflower Mash is based on a cheddar leek potato mash that topped an amazing shepherd’s pie that I had in London at The Windmill in Mayfair, which was right around the corner from our rental. I snapped a photo, but it was in the evening and the lighting wasn’t great…
Now while this photo of the dish doesn’t look super appetizing, it was so incredibly delicious that I knew I had to make a keto version using cauliflower. And so this keto cheddar leek cauliflower mash was born, and if I do say so it’s almost as good as the original made with potatoes.
The meat layer was also amazing, and I’ve got a new keto meatball recipe coming up later this week based on those flavors. I served it on top of this keto cauliflower mash and the result was comfort food level – EXTREME. So if you can stand to wait a few days to make this, you can make the two together and you will NOT be disappointed!
Before I get to the recipe, there are just a couple of things you need to know in order to execute this keto cheddar leek cauliflower mash correctly. It’s not that it’s complicated, but to get the most out of it we need to address two of the most important components of the dish – the leeks and the cheddar.
What is a Leek anyway???
Leeks are a member of the same family of plants as onions and garlic. When cooked they have a mildly sweet and mellow onion flavor – but with a subtle delicacy that you just can’t get out of regular onions. Leeks are usually 1 – 2 inches in diameter with a lower white half that transitions into darker green stems. The dark green part is very fibrous and pretty much inedible – it’s the white and light green parts that we’re after for this recipe.
How do I clean leeks?
Because of the way leeks push through the soil when grown, they often have dirt trapped between the layers. It’s important to clean them properly so that grit doesn’t end up in your recipe – which I can promise you is not tasty.
To clean your leeks, simply cut the dark green tops off and then slice the white and light green stalk into 1/4-inch slices. Place the sliced leeks in a large bowl of water and use your fingers to break up the rings. The dirt will sink to the bottom, and the cleaned leeks will remain floating on the top to be scooped out and used.
Ok, now that you know what a leek is and how to clean it – you’re good to go on that front.
The second important component of this keto cheddar leek cauliflower mash is the cheddar. Now British cheddar cheese is not like the typical cheddar you’re getting stateside. It’s rich and pungent and loaded with flavor, which is what makes it soooooo good in this and other recipes.
So while it’s not critical that you purchase imported British cheddar (though if you do pony up, you won’t regret it if you’re a cheese lover) you really must use a decent extra sharp cheddar to get an authentic flavor here. Those plasticky orange blocks or shreds of no-name cheddar are NOT going to cut it in this recipe. Or at least it won’t be anywhere near as good as it could and should be – and that would be a shame! So spring for the good stuff if you can.
Some options that are pretty readily available in most grocery stores would be:
- Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp
- Cabot Vermont Sharp
- Dubliner Irish Cheddar
- Old Croc Sharp Cheddar
- Any artisan cheddar local to your area – Wisconsin or Vermont style preferred
Finally, this keto cheddar leek cauliflower mash has a little more texture than my classic Better Than Potatoes Cauliflower Puree. I like the texture of the bits of cooked leeks stirred in, so while this will be silky and soft with no clumps of cauliflower, it won’t have a completely smooth mouthfeel because of the leeks.
If you want to blend it in completely then you can absolutely do that, I just like the rustic comfort food nature of it with a little texture.
Either way, I’m confident that you are going to love this keto cheddar leek cauliflower mash so much that you’ll be wanting to make it allll the time once you try it! Oh and be sure to check back in a few days for the Shepherd’s Pie Meatballs so you can try them together!Print
If your love of cauliflower can’t be confined to just one recipe, check out this awesome collection of the 75 BEST Keto Cauliflower Casseroles that will keep you in cauliflower all year long!