Loaded cauliflower bake is super EASY and packed with lots of yummy flavors. It’s the perfect low carb side dish you have been waiting for. You can serve it to go compliment any of your meals, or it’s so tasty you can eat it on its own. Either way, you are going to love every bite.
I don’t always eat a low carb diet, but there are times when I feel like cutting back a little. So, I started experimenting with some low carb recipes to see if I could get them to taste like what I am accustomed to! Guess what, while it’s not perfect; this potato substitute is as close as I could get to the real thing and it’s great.
You will find that even your kids will eat this recipe and won’t even have a clue that it’s full of healthy food! If you have ever struggled to get them to eat cauliflower, that will be a thing of the past. I mean it has bacon and cheese, so how can they not love it?
How To Make Loaded Cauliflower Bake
When you taste this cauliflower side dish, you would think it took forever to make. But the truth is, it’s pretty much the easiest thing you can make. Take a look at these simple instructions on making this low carb side dish:
First Step: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Second Step: Cut cauliflower into florets.
Third Step: Begin boiling cauliflower florets in water that has been salted in a large pot. Boil for at least 3 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Rinsing will stop it from continuing to cook and getting mushy.
Fourth Step: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Fifth Step: Toss in the garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Sixth Step: Cook flour in butter mixture, frequently stirring so it doesn’t burn.
Seventh Step: Whisk in milk slowly. Allow it to cook until it thickens.
Eighth Step: Add in cream cheese and stir until it’s melted entirely.
Ninth Step: Take the pan of the thickened mixture off the stove. Then add shredded cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper.
Tenth Step: Make sure cauliflower is drained all the way then add it to a greased casserole dish.
Eleventh Step: Add cheese sauce all over the top of the cauliflower and toss to coat evenly.
Twelfth Step: Place 3/4 of the crumbled bacon in the mix. Add 1/2 cup of green onions. Stir well.
Thirteenth Step: Add the rest of the cheddar cheese on top of the cauliflower mixture.
Fourteenth Step: Top with crumbled bacon and green onions.
Fifteenth Step: Bake for 30 minutes. The top will be bubbly and a golden brown color.
Potato Substitute Variations
This keto side dish tastes great with all kinds of ingredients and flavors. I wanted to share some of my tried and true ideas:
- Mushrooms – Sautee those with the garlic to make them extra incredible.
- Peppers – I prefer them to be a little bit softer, so sautee them and add them into the cauliflower mixture.
- Onions – Adding some white onions to the baked side dish. It adds another element of flavor that is wonderful.
- Chicken – If you are looking to turn this into an entire meal instead of a side item, add some chopped cooked chicken breast to the casserole. So good!
- Sour Cream – Add in 1/4 – 1/2 cups of sour cream to the cheese mixture. It makes it super creamy and even more flavorful! Yum!
- Ranch Dressing – Drizzle your favorite ranch dressing on top after it has baked. You will find it takes it to the next level and adds a delicious element to the dish.
Is Cauliflower Bake Healthy?
Yes, this baked cauliflower is super healthy! You get so many nutrients, and it keeps you nice and full. Here is a breakdown of the vitamins and minerals you get when you eat this yummy low carb side dish.
- Cauliflower – This low carb veggie is packed with potassium, vitamin C, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and calcium.
- Cheddar Cheese – Many people don’t realize it, but cheese has so much more than just calcium (which your bones need), but it also has vitamin B12, protein, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, and riboflavin.
- Green Onions – You will get lots of yummy vitamin B6, zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, and manganese.
How Do You Know If Cauliflower Has Gone Bad?
If you haven’t cooked the cauliflower yet and you notice that there is black spots, you can cut them off. The texture of fresh cauliflower should be pretty crisp and on the hard side. If you notice it’s mushy, toss it out instead of cooking it. After you have baked this casserole, you will notice that it gets a lot of water in it. That is a sign that it’s aging and going bad.
Cauliflower, either fresh or cooked will get an unappealing smell when it goes bad. There won’t be any mistakes, because you will know it needs to be tossed if it smells bad.
How Do You Store This Cauliflower Side Dish
You should store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I find it lasts better when it’s double wrapped. Put a layer of plastic wrap, or aluminum foil then put it into a storage container. It’s imperative to make sure it’s cooled all the way, so condensation doesn’t build up. It will last 3-4 days if you keep it appropriately covered.
Can I Freeze This Easy Side Dish?
Yes, this potato substitute can freeze for up to 3 months. Keep it in an airtight container. Either put it in single servings or store one large portion. As long as the air can’t get to it, it should be fine.
How To Reheat Cauliflower Casserole?
You can heat this recipe up in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. Check it and if it still needs heated warm it for 30 more seconds until it reaches the desired temperature. You can also heat it in the oven in a baking dish at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until it’s hot all the way through.
Here are more Cauliflower Recipes
- Garlic Butter Chicken with Parmesan Cauliflower Rice
- Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Stuffed Turkey Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice
Loaded cauliflower bake is the perfect side dish to serve up. A potato substitute that is a low carb side dish. Make for holidays or weeknight dinners.
2 Small heads of cauliflower cut into florets
3 tbsp Flour
2 tbsp Butter unsalted
3 Cloves minced garlic
2 c Milk
1 ½ c Shredded cheddar cheese
2 oz Cream cheese softened
6 Slices bacon cooked and crumbled
¼ c Chopped green onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, bring the cauliflower florets in salted water to a boil for 3 minutes. Drain completely, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Sprinkle in the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring often.
Slowly whisk in the milk, and cook to thicken.
Add in the cream cheese, and stir until melted completely.
Remove the thickened mixture from the heat, and add in 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Place the drained cauliflower in a greased casserole dish.
Pour the cheese sauce over top of the cauliflower, and toss to coat.
Add ¾ of the crumbled bacon and chopped green onions, stirring to mix well.
Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese on top of the cauliflower.
Top the mixture with the remaining crumbled bacon and chopped green onions.
Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned on the top.
Keywords: cauliflower bake, loaded cauliflower casserole, potato substitute, low carb side dish