Recipes/ Sides/ vegetarian recipes

Recipe | Trimmed-Down Cheddar & Chive Duchess Potatoes (made with cauliflower!)

Trimmed-Down Cheddar & Chive Duchess Potatoes (made with cauliflower!)

Trimmed-Down Cheddar & Chive Duchess Potatoes (made with cauliflower!)
Okay, I’m going to say it so you don’t have to: these are ugly duchess potatoes. I am well-aware of this! Most Duchess potatoes look like ethereal little clouds on a baking sheet, while mine are rather inelegant blobs. But see, these aren’t regular duchess potatoes–they’re healthier duchess potatoes. So you have to compromise on looks a little bit, but the good news is that there’s no compromise on flavor. (And that’s really good news, right?!)

Trimmed-Down Cheddar & Chive Duchess Potatoes (Pre-Baking)
I had this idea floating around in my head for a while, but it took me a few tries to perfect it. Typical duchess potato recipes call for egg yolks, butter, and heavy cream. I wanted to make a healthier version that cut down on all those bad things and substituted half of the potatoes with cauliflower. So here’s how my lighter duchess potatoes compare with the real thing (based on one serving of six potatoes):

Trimmed-Down Duchess Potatoes vs. Traditional
How did I shave off over 100 calories and 8 grams of fat? Sorcery!

(Okay fine, it wasn’t sorcery. Ruin my fun!)

In addition to substituting half of the potatoes with cauliflower, I was able to omit the butter altogether by using fat-free plain yogurt in its place. The first time I tried making these, I used a small amount of butter and the result was very dry and bland–the yogurt adds a little bit of moisture and a tangy, sour cream-like flavor. (Yes, I still hate yogurt! But I don’t hate it in things.) With the yogurt already adding some creaminess, I opted to add skim milk instead of heavy cream. And then I added cheddar cheese and chives for a boost of flavor.

Trimmed-Down Cheddar & Chive Duchess Potatoes (made with cauliflower!)
One thing I realized in making these, though, is that cauliflower just does not pipe well. I tried changing proportions, making the mixture wetter and then drier, and no matter what I did, I could not make these healthier duchess potatoes as pretty as the original. So maybe these aren’t holiday party worthy, but they are definitely a great side for a Sunday dinner–they’re not so nice to look at, but they taste really good.


Trimmed-Down Cheddar & Chive Duchess Potatoes

Trimmed-Down Cheddar & Chive Duchess Potatoes Recipe

These duchess potatoes are lower in calories and fat than the traditional version. The secret? Replacing butter with yogurt, heavy cream with skim milk, and half the potatoes with cauliflower. They’re not as pretty, but they taste just as good!

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 36 duchess potatoes


  • oil mister or cooking spray
  • 1 lb. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. skim milk
  • 1/4 c. fat-free plain yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. minced chives


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or oil mister.
  2. Steam potatoes and cauliflower in a steamer basket over a few inches of boiling water for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with fork. Transfer to large bowl and mash thoroughly–if you’re piping these, it’s important to make sure the potato and cauliflower mixture is completely lump-free! It’s best to use a potato ricer if you have one.
  3. Add cheese, egg, milk, yogurt, salt and pepper to potatoes and cauliflower. Use a hand mixer on low speed to combine ingredients; fold in chives.
  4. Transfer mashed potato mixture to piping bag or a large plastic zip-top bag. Since the potatoes will lose their shape anyway, it’s best just to use a large round tip. If you’re using a plastic bag, cut off the corner and pipe the potatoes through that. I piped in a spiral, starting from the outer-edge and working my way towards the center moving clockwise, but again, since these end up flattening out a little, it doesn’t matter too much how you do it.
  5. Spray tops of potatoes with oil mister or cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn on broiler and broil for about 5 minutes or until edges begin to brown.


  • Serving Size: 6

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    shelly (cookies and cups)
    September 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I love this! My kids actually like cauliflower “potatoes” better than regular. Totally trying this!

  • Reply
    Jennifer H
    September 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

    these look fantastic. I’m going to have to try this!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

    This is such a brilliant recipe. Love the flavors you used!

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    September 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I agree with Cassie – brilliant! These look as good – if not better – than the inspiration. Yum!

    • Reply
      September 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you! I was a wee bit self-conscious about how they looked, but I really think they taste better than the real thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    September 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I don’t think they’re ugly, I think they’d look quite nice floatin’ around in mah belly!

    Oh yeah, I prefer to think you used sorcery. It’s more fun that way.

    • Reply
      September 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Sorcery: the secret to successful food blogging.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    September 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Duchess potatoes with cauliflowers…this is inspiring! Why didn’t I think of it??!! A brilliant idea.

    • Reply
      September 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you! I was really excited about it too. Well, except for how they looked. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Those look so good, and very interesting. I love your site!

    • Reply
      September 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    September 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Outstanding! Home run again from you!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm


  • Reply
    Mary Beth Elderton
    September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Wonderful! I think they are beautiful on the plate!

  • Reply
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    September 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I love how cauliflower can be used in such inventive ways to replace potatoes in recipes!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Such a good idea! I’ve honestly never had duchess potatoes but I think I’d like this version better anyway – I love cauliflower! And the taste of food is so much more important than the looks!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

      I love cauliflower too! I feel like it’s one of those veggies that always gets overlooked, but it’s one of my favorites.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I’ve never heard of Duchess potatoes! What a great remake of a great recipe.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    this is such a great idea! they look like small and delicious potato cakes

  • Reply
    Brian @ A Thought For Food
    September 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    How smart to do them with cauliflower! These look marvelous!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I love how you made these healthier and I think they actually look quite elegant!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I remember the first time I ever had duchess potatoes. I was at a wedding reception in a country club and they served beef wellington and duchess potatoes. I thought it was the fanciest meal ever. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tina @ More Please Recipes
    September 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Hey, I would opt for your inelegant blobs any day. These look just delicious!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    This comment is likely to not show up because of all the DROOL in my KEYBOARD!

    I’m bookmarking this page and will be serving these at Thanksgiving. (And, will try them several times before! They look amazing!)

    • Reply
      September 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

      I hope you like them! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Lol, cauliflower can be a beast to work with. What was the texture like?

    • Reply
      September 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

      The texture was really good–closer to potatoes than cauliflower. The first time I tested this, I used more cauliflower than potatoes and they ended up being completely flat, really dry, and tasted like they were made only with cauliflower.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    These look very yummy – I want to try them now!

  • Reply
    Anna @ hiddenponies
    September 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I would call these full of rustic charm ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the look is worth compromising for that calorie difference!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

      That’s it–rustic charm! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    i dont care how they look. i am a sucker for cauli and potato combination in anything! so these are getting made in probably different shape or something!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    September 22, 2012 at 12:22 am

    OH MY…these are beautiful and I love that you made them healthy! I think this is such a great recipe! Thank you for taking the time to do the testing for the rest of us. We can just make your recipes!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

      I’m a little bit OCD about testing my recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t want people to make something and have it turn out bad!

  • Reply
    Shell Fruscione
    September 22, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Maybe it’s because I’d never heard of Duchess Potatoes before but even before I read that you called them ugly I was thinking about how pretty they looked!

  • 1 2

    Leave a Reply

    Oh My Veggies