If you’re looking for a low carb side dish recipe, this loaded cauliflower casserole is a great recipe to try. It’s so easy to make, yet it tastes so good that everyone is guaranteed to love it, whether they’re on a low carb diet or not.
Loaded with cheesy goodness, and made extra tasty with mustard and garlic powder, this loaded cauliflower casserole will remind you of your favorite mac and cheese.
But since you can’t eat carb-heavy macaroni on keto, the cauliflower can make for a healthier, low carb alternative. This recipe from Megha of Keto Connect makes 8 portions amounting to about 5 net carbs each.
It’s a very versatile dish as you can experiment with different ingredients in the dish and simply cover them with the cheese sauce. You can use different herbs and spices too if you prefer.
Cauliflower is used a lot in keto dishes as it can be prepared in so many tasty ways. Being a cruciferous vegetable it’s a very healthy low carb vegetable too.
Indole and fatty liver
Indole, a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables can help to reduce a fatty liver. Researchers have discovered that people with a higher body mass index have lower levels of indole in their blood.
Also, indole levels in obese people were significantly lower than slimmer people. And, there was also a higher amount of fat in the livers of those with lower indole levels.
Glucoraphanin and sulforaphane
Cauliflower also contains a substance known as glucoraphanin. It gets converted to sulforaphane in your body which has anti-cancer activity. It is also an antioxidant so can mop up free radicals which damage cells.
Sulforaphane calms inflammation in your body and neutralizes toxins. So you see cauliflower is a great vegetable to include frequently in your diet, especially if it’s organic. Did you know it was so healthy?
Organic is best if you can get it although cauliflower is listed 12th on EWG’s Clean 15. This means that it has fewer pesticides that the Dirty Dozen. In fact only 8% of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.
Some other tasty low carb and keto recipes using caulifower that you might like to try are:
You can use different cheeses in the recipe if you prefer but the ones that Megha suggests don’t overpower the tangy tastes of cream cheese and sour cream.
Megha suggests microwaving the cauliflower to cook it but I don’t recommend this. I’ve read some research (I can’t lay my hands on it right now but this site seems to back me up) where it was found that microwaving broccoli detroyed the antioxidants in it.
I assume the same happens to cauliflower so I think it’s best to simply steam the cauliflower. Cauliflower contains a lot of valuable nutrients which you want to conserve as much as possible.
Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
- 1 large cauliflower head, cut into small florets (organic if possible)
- 8 bacon slices cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 2 tsp brown mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped
- ½ tsp Redmond Real Salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 large green onions, chopped and divided, reserving some for garnishing
1. Preheat oven to 375℉ (190C)
2. Spray a 9×13 overnproof casserole dish with some good quality cooking spray or simply grease with coconut oil.
3. Steam the cauliflower florets until just fork tender.
4. Mix half the Monterey Jack cheese and half the cheddar cheese together. Add half of the chopped bacon slices and mix. Then add the green onions, cream cheese, sour cream, and mustard, along with the herbs and spices. Add a couple of tablespoons filtered water to thin a little. Mix all ingredients well then combine with the steamed cauliflower florets. Mix gently until all florets are well coated.
5. Spoon the mixture into the casserole dish and top with the remaining cheeses, bacon slices, and green onions.
6. Cover the dish with foil before baking it for up to 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take off the foil and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and is starting to turn brown. If you want a crispier cheese topping put under a hot broiler for a couple of minutes.
7. Garnish with green onions or more parsley or chives and serve.
8. Store any leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to five days.
Here’s Megha’s video demo of how this loaded cauliflower casserole is prepared.