Cheesy and packed with yummy bacon, Loaded Cauliflower Casserole is so delicious it won’t even seem like a low-carb dish!
Growing up I wouldn’t touch cauliflower if my life depended on it. Now as an adult, I’m finding myself making it ALL the time! Whether it’s in a cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower rice, or this amazing cauliflower casserole.
Cauliflower is a real MVP when it comes to cutting back on carbs and serving as a substitute in your favorite recipes! This loaded cauliflower bake is keto-friendly but packed with flavor – a true family favorite recipe!
LOADED CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE
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I am a HUGE potato fan. If I could get away with serving potatoes in some form as a side dish every single night, I probably would. However, it’s simply not a smart choice – mentally or physically.
So, I often find myself searching for “cheat” recipes that incorporate healthier choices into my favorite potato-based dishes. You know like swapping spaghetti squash instead of pasta or zucchini “zoodle” noodles. All those sneaky ways to cut back on carbs but not sacrifice flavor.
A while back I was having a dinner party with a few girlfriends and we had an amazing loaded baked potato bar. I’m talking ALL the fixings – bacon, crispy fried onions, sour cream – you name it, we had it. It was so delicious and so much fun. But man, oh, man, it was carbo-loading at it’s finest.
I was recently thinking back to that night and got a very real craving for a loaded baked potato. But, as we’re heading into the food-heavy holidays, I’m trying to cut back on my carb intake. So, instead of baked potatoes, I decided to make this tasty loaded cauliflower casserole to go with my family’s dinner.
I kid you not, my boys (husband included) were licking the casserole dish clean. They could not get enough of the stuff. This keto cauliflower casserole was one of the biggest hits of the year in our house.
Is it the healthiest thing I’ve ever made? No. It still has copious amounts of cheese and delicious bacon. But, thanks to skipping those potatoes, cauliflower casserole is low on carbs and HIGH on flavor!
Whether you’re looking to cut back on some carbs in preparation for the upcoming holidays, or you’re just looking for a way to use up some extra cauliflower you have lying around, try out this loaded cauliflower bake. You won’t be disappointed!
Cauliflower Casserole Ingredients
- Cauliflower florets – you can use pre-cut or get whole heads of cauliflower and breakfast them down yourself
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Monterey Jack cheese
- Cream cheese
- Heavy cream
- Green onions
- Salt & pepper
Like I said before, I did not claim that this was a HEALTHY dish. That’s hard to do that when the recipe involves lots of gooey, melted cheese, cream cheese, bacon, and heavy cream, right? But, cauliflower is such a powerhouse veggie that it cancels all of that out in my mind! By munching on loaded cauliflower you’re stocking up on so many nutrients like fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants.
How Do You Make Cauliflower Casserole
You’ll want to give yourself about 35-40 minutes from prep work to finished product for this delicious cauliflower casserole. Not too shabby for a dish that my kids actually beg for!
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
- While the oven is preheating, steam the cauliflower florets until fork tender (about 5 minutes). I recommend using a steaming basket (my favorite is linked below!) in a small saucepan. You can also steam your cauliflower in the microwave.
- While the cauliflower steams, cream together 6 oz of the shredded cheddar, 6 oz of the Monterey Jack, cream cheese, and heavy cream with a stand mixer or hand mixer in a large bowl.
- Next, stir in the sliced green onions, chopped bacon, and garlic to your shredded cheese mixture. Set this amazingness aside (no one will judge you if you take a taste test at this point….).
- Now, back to the cauliflower – drain any liquid from the steamed cauliflower and add it to your cheese mixture.
- Time to mix! Stir the cauliflower and cheese mixture together, making sure to get all that cauliflower coated in delicious bacon and cheese.
- Now, grab yourself a fork and taste-test for seasoning. Add seasoning as necessary. I typically find that the bacon and cheese give plenty of saltiness but to each his or her own!
- At this point in the prep, you have a decision to make. If you like a chunkier casserole, let it be! If you want a finer texture, give your cauliflower mixture a few mashes with a potato masher.
- Next, pour it all into a 2 to 3-quart casserole baking dish and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Don’t worry about making it a super thick layer of cheese – it’ll all melt together. Plus there’s already tons of cheese inside the casserole!
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake until cheese is brown and bubbly. (And making your mouth water so much that you can’t bear to let it cook any longer!) It will take about 30 minutes total to bake.
- Last, but certainly not least, enjoy!
What to Serve with Cauliflower Casserole?
I love this dish so much that I could totally eat it as a main dish all on its own. However, it works perfectly as a side dish, too!
Whenever I serve it, I think of the main dishes that I would typically serve mashed or baked potatoes with.
Instead of the carb-loaded potatoes, I make a loaded cauliflower casserole and we’re good to go! Here are a few of my favorite meals to pair cauliflower casserole with:
- Crock Pot Pork Chops – comfort food to the MAX. These pork chops are tender and delicious!
- Salisbury Steak – quick and easy, and a family favorite recipe.
- Classic Meatloaf – one of those “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” kind of recipes. Simple, classic, and pairs perfectly with a cheesy cauliflower casserole!
Can I Freeze Cauliflower Casserole?
My boys will rarely leave leftovers of loaded cauliflower casserole. They love it so much! BUT, if you do find yourself with extras, go ahead and freeze it!
I’ve also made double batches before simply so I could have some to freeze to pull out in a pinch. Here are a few tips and tricks for freezing:
- Make sure your casserole is completely cooled before freezing. Put it into a freezer-safe bag and seal tightly (push out any extra air).
- You can re-heat the cauliflower casserole straight from frozen in the microwave. Or you can let it thaw and pop it in the oven. Then the casserole 20-25 minutes to crisp it back up to its original cheesy splendor!
Looking for some more delicious side dish inspiration?
- Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower
- Simple Broccoli Casserole
- BBQ Cauliflower Bites
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
- Yellow Squash Casserole
- more SIDE DISH recipes…
Tools used to make this Loaded Cauliflower Casserole recipe
Steaming basket: this handy dandy device makes steaming veggies SO easy!
Hand mixer: I don’t always feel like breaking out my stand mixer, so this works wonderfully!
Casserole Dish: This simple and elegant serving dish goes from oven to table! It’s a staple at our dinner table and I know it will be at your table too!
*This post originally posted on 11/11/2013.
- 2 pounds cauliflower florets
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded, divided
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups green onions sliced (2 bunches)
- 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 clove garlic grated
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Steam cauliflower florets in a large pot filled with 1-inch of water until tender, about 5 minutes.
- While cauliflower steams, cream together 3/4 of the cheddar cheese, 3/4 of the Monterey Jack, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Stir in sliced green onions, chopped bacon, and garlic. Set aside.
- Drain any liquid from steamed cauliflower and add the cauliflower to the cheese mixture. Stir cauliflower and cheese mixture together until completely combined.
- Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as necessary.
- Pour cauliflower into a 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle on remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
- Cover dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and serve warm.