This Loaded Cauliflower Bake is a low carb version of my Loaded Mashed Potatoes! This cauliflower bake is super creamy, cheesy and loaded with veggies! After it’s baked it gets sprinkled with crispy bacon and chives. The perfect side dish when you are craving comfort food!
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Loaded Cauliflower Bake
If you need to feed many people at once and want a delicious, veggie packed option, then this recipe is for you! I am telling you, this loaded cauliflower bake is full of flavor despite being low carb. I have always liked using cauliflower as a substitute for rice or potatoes due to its flavor and texture, but it can get boring sometimes! Trust me when I tell you cauliflower haters will love this dish! It’s creamy, cheesy and topped with bacon. What’s not to love?!
For this bake, I don’t mash the cauliflower like I would potatoes. I keep the roasted cauliflower whole and add a creamy, cheesy sauce on top. Then top it with more cheese, bacon and chives and voila! You have a lovely side for a variety of different meals.
Ingredients for Loaded Cauliflower Bake
- Cauliflower: Cauliflower is the star of the show here. I used one head of cauliflower and cut it into florets. You can use frozen cauliflower florets just make sure to throw and drain out any excess moisture.
- Olive Oil: I like using olive oil in this recipe but you can use a neutral oil as well.
- Bacon: It wouldn’t be called “loaded” without bacon! You can omit it to make this a vegetarian casserole.
- Unsalted Butter: If you use salted butter to make your sauce, just use less salt when seasoning.
- Cornstarch: Is used to thicken up the sauce.
- Milk: Is used to make our creamy homemade cheese sauce.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: We use extra sharp cheddar cheese to make the cheese sauce. Monetary jack or pepper jack would also be good in this.
- Mustard Powder: Adds the perfect amount of flavor. I always add it to any macaroni and cheese sauce I make.
- Cream Cheese: Adds even more cheese flavor and thickens up the sauce wonderfully.
- Chives: If you have some chives, sprinkle them on top for added flavor!
How to Make Loaded Cauliflower Bake
- Cook the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
- Cook the bacon: Place bacon on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nice and crispy. Allow bacon to cool and then place on a plate lined with paper towels. Crumble or chop your bacon into smaller pieces.
- Make the cheese sauce: In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the cornstarch. Whisk for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Allow this mixture to thicken for about 3-4 minutes. Make sure to keep the milk moving to avoid burning. Stir in the shredded cheese and the cream cheese until smooth.
- Assemble: Spray a 9×9 baking pan with nonstick spray. Pour the roasted cauliflower in an even layer. Pour the homemade cheese sauce on top. Switch the oven to broil and cook for about 5 minutes to get some color on top. Make sure to keep an eye on it!
- Place toppings and enjoy: Sprinkle the crispy bacon on top and some chopped chives. Serve warm and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- If you have frozen cauliflower, you can use it. It might not come out as crispy due to the added moisture, but it will still be delicious!
- You can make this loaded cauliflower bake in advance. Just put your baking pan with the cauliflower and cheese sauce in the fridge and when you are ready, heat it up in the oven and top with your topping like usual!
- I recommend using the combination of cream cheese and cheddar cheese to make your sauce have lots of flavor. If you prefer to cut back on the cheese, omit the cream cheese.
What to Eat With Loaded Casserole Bake
Honestly, you can eat this meal on its own and it would be filling and delicious. But, if you want some added protein, I recommend eating it with my Lemon Chicken, Grilled Chicken, or my Crispy Oven Fried Chicken. And try some Roasted Brussel Sprouts on the side!
More Side Recipes to Try
- Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- Focaccia Bread
- Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
- Colcannon Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Cheese Biscuits
Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Add cauliflower florets to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat the cauliflower in the oil and seasonings.Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
- Place bacon on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy!Allow the bacon to cool then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Crumble the bacon or chop it up. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in cornstarch and whisk constantly for 2 minutes.Slowly whisk in milk, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat whisking continuously until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Make sure to keep the milk moving to avoid burning.Stir in the shredded cheese and cream cheese and whisk until smooth.
- Spray a 9 x 9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour roasted cauliflower in the pan and top with the homemade cheese sauce. Switch the oven to broil and cook for 5 minutes or until it gets some color on top. Make sure to keep an eye on it!
- Sprinkle with the crumbled bacon and chives. Serve immediately and enjoy!