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Keto-Friendly Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

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This smooth and cheesy Keto-Friendly Loaded Cauliflower Casserole is stuffed with bacon, sour cream, garlic, and three different kinds of cheese. Perfect for a side dish, a cook-out, or a no-fuss dinner. A dish to challenge all the cauliflower naysayers!

Cauliflower bake

I always struggle to find a veggie dish that the entire family will love. Something with all the flavor of a loaded baked potato with fewer calories is what I would make in an ideal world – and I think I’ve cracked it with this cauliflower bake. Cauliflower and cheese? The perfect combo.

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

What do I need to get started?

  • Cauliflower – you can cut up a head of cauliflower, or grab a couple of bags of the precut for a quicker version.
  • Butter.
  • Garlic – preminced, or fresh. Garlic powder is not a proper replacement for this dish.
  • All purpose flour. (almond flour for keto)
  • Whole milk.
  • Cream cheese – this adds a wonderful tanginess to the cheese sauce, and makes it just a bit creamier.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
  • Monterey Jack or Pepperjack Cheese.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Bacon. I always prefer thick-cut bacon freshly fried on the pan, but you can use pre-cooked if that is your preference.
  • Sour cream.
  • Chives or green onions. 
  • Large pan with steamer
  • Casserole dish
Cauliflower Bake Ingredients

Can I use Frozen Cauliflower?

Yes, just be sure to thoroughly drain if using frozen cauliflower. The cauliflower should be steamed for this recipe – not roasted cauliflower.

Cauliflower Casserole in Dish

Can you freeze loaded cauliflower casserole?

I would not freeze this recipe. There is a lot of dairy and fat, and it will separate when reheated after freezing. This dish only takes about 30 minutes, so freezing is not really necessary – you can even cut your time down by steaming in the microwave.

How many calories are in a loaded cauliflower casserole?

Please see the recipe notes for the nutritional breakdown!

How do I make Loaded Cauliflower Casserole?

  • You want to start by steaming the cauliflower. Either steam it in the microwave in a large bowl, or in a pan and then drain and pat with a paper towel. You do not want any extra moisture in this dish, so it’s important to be thorough with the drying.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the garlic. Cook until the garlic is aromatic – about 1 minute. 
  • Add in your flour to make a very quick roux, and then add in the milk and whisk. Adding in the flour first and letting it all come together is important – flour can clump easily and ruin the presentation of your dish.
  • Then you add in your cream cheese and let it melt, stirring all the time. Do not leave this unattended, as the cream cheese can burn rather quickly if it is not being stirred.
  • Turn off the heat, then add in some of the cheese and mix it all together until the cheeses are completely melted and incorporated into the cheese sauce.
  • Take your dried cauliflower and place it into the prepared casserole dish (it should be generously sprayed with non-stick spray), pour over the cheese mixture, and then add dollops of sour cream. Sprinkle on the bacon and top with remaining cheese.
  • This will only need to cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. When it’s out of the oven, top with the chives or green onions, and serve immediately. This dish is best eaten warm.
close up view of cauliflower loaded

Tips:

  • You can cook the cauliflower florets in the microwave if you want.  Place in a microwave safe bowl and add ¼ cup water.  Cover with a plate and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain all the water and pat dry.
  • When making the cheese sauce, don’t over cook.  Turn off the burner when you add the cheese and stir until melted.  Use immediately for best results.
  • If you like some spice to your dishes, add some diced chilis.
  • This can be a great side dish, or it is filling enough to be its own meal.
  • Generously season this dish with salt and pepper. Extra black pepper is always a plus!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Reheat to serve.  

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Loaded Cauliflower Bake
Cauliflower bake

Keto-Friendly Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This smooth and cheesy Loaded Cauliflower Casserole is stuffed with bacon, sour cream, garlic and three different kinds of cheese. Perfect for a side dish, a cook-out, or a no-fuss dinner. A dish to challenge all the cauliflower naysayers!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces, approx. 6 cups
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced, approx. 3-4 cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese or colby jack
  • 1 ½ cups shredded monterey jack cheese or pepperjack cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and diced
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon chives or green onions, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° and spray the casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large saucepan, add 1 ½ to 2 inches of water and turn on high.
  3. Place cauliflower pieces in the steamer basket and add to the pan.  Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.  
  4. Lift the steamer from the pan and drain well. Set aside.
  5. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  
  6. Whisk in the flour and make a paste, then whisk in the milk.  Cook till it begins to thicken. 
  7. Add the cream cheese and melt, stirring to combine.  Turn off the stove.
  8. Stir in the salt and pepper and add one cup of cheddar and Monterey jack cheese.  Stir till melted.
  9. Place the steamed cauliflower in the casserole dish and pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower.
  10. Add dollops of sour cream over the cauliflower.  Sprinkle it with bacon and remaining cheese.
  11. Place in the oven and bake till bubbly and lightly browned for about 10 minutes.
  12. Remove and sprinkle with the chives.  Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 543Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 869mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 26g

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