Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole is like eating cauliflower mac and cheese, only instead of pasta as in the “mac,” it’s packed with only cauliflower! Super easy and impossible to mess up. This low-calorie, Keto-friendly, gluten-free casserole is creamy and delicious, and it makes a wonderful side dish that’s loaded with nutrients!
I mean, how many ways can we make cauliflower …right!?
We buy cauliflower weekly. So when it comes to dreaming up different ways to make it for my family, it’s not easy.
Every so often I make my girl’s favorite cauliflower dishes: my pasta with creamy cauliflower, and my luscious potato-cauliflower soup, just to name a few.
A few months ago while my girls had been home for the past few weeks, they requested some low-carb, gluten-free dishes for dinner.
So when I was craving some comfort food, like mac and cheese (of which, I was voted out), I decided to make this baked cheesy cauliflower casserole instead. It was a hit!
Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole is so simple, super easy, and TOTALLY delicious!
This cauliflower dish turned out better than I had expected and this recipe serves four people.
If you need more servings, you can easily double all the ingredients, and it’s worth it. Leftovers turn out great too simply because it reheats beautifully.
INGREDIENTS…for this recipe, you will need:
- one small head of cauliflower
- shredded cheddar cheese
- some cream
- a few seasonings
- coarse ground Dijon mustard
- 9-inch round baking dish
How To Make Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole? (*full recipe card below)
This recipe couldn’t be easier!
1. First, cut up the cauliflower, cut the florets, and discard the cord. Then give it a good rinse. Next, in a medium-sized pot, toss in the florets and pour water up to one inch.
2. Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer the cauliflower for one to two minutes. Turn off the heat. Drain water and return back to the stove, cover with a lid, and allow the florets to steam for 2 to 4 minutes, until fork-tender.
3. Transfer cauliflower to a baking dish.
4. In the meantime, make the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, pour in the cream, then add in the mustard, seasonings, and cheddar cheese. Simmer until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
5. Pour the cheese sauce directly over the cauliflower.
6. Then BAKE in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the cauliflower is golden on top. If you prefer, you can broil in the oven for a few minutes to brown the top.
FOR THE INSTANT POT…
To make it in the instant pot, you will need to rinse, cord, and cut the cauliflower.
- Add cauliflower with 2 to 4 tablespoons of water.
- Then cook on the “Manual” setting for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Leave on “keep warm” for about 10 minutes.
- Stir and repeat until melted, creamy, and heated through.
- If you prefer, you can transfer everything to a baking dish and broil it for a few minutes to brown the top.
Cook’s Notes and Tips!
- You can adapt this recipe and use a blend of shredded cheeses to your liking.
- You may add additional seasonings to your liking, try a splash of smoked paprika.
- Don’t forget to scoop up some of that delicious cheese sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and drizzle it over each serving. It’s the best!
Can we use frozen cauliflower florets?
I haven’t yet but I’m sure it’s fine.
Can we substitute for heavy cream?
If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use 1 cup of milk or almond milk, and whisk in 2 teaspoons of flour (or GF flour), and simmer until the sauce thickens. Then add in the shredded cheese and stir until the cheese completely melts.
Your family will love this baked cheesy cauliflower casserole as much as we do!
It is comforting and makes a wonderful side dish for dinner, or you can eat it alone. A great way to get your family to eat more healthy veggies like cauliflower.
Best of all, it’s high in protein and only 184 calories per serving!
Try this recipe, and maybe you’ll want to add this baked cheesy cauliflower casserole to your rotation!
…Thanks for Pinning!
Looking for more ways to cook cauliflower? Try these…
- Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin
- Potato Cauliflower Soup
- Italian Cauliflower Salad
- Cauliflower Wings with Buffalo Sauce
- Cauliflower Kale Soup with Crunchy Kale
- Mashed Cauli-Potatoes
- Cauliflower Gratin Casserole Recipe
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Wine & Cheese
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Easy Cauliflower Salad
Yield: 4 servings
Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole is like eating cauliflower mac and cheese, only instead of pasta as in the "mac," it's packed with only cauliflower! This low-carb, Keto-friendly, gluten-free casserole is creamy delicious, and it makes a wonderful side dish that's loaded with nutrients!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
- 1 small head of cauliflower (about 5 cups), cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. coarse ground Dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. onion powder
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup shredded Mild Cheddar cheese, plus extra
- salt and black pepper to taste
- olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Lightly spray with cooking spray the 9-inch round baking pie dish.
- In a medium pot, add about one inch of water, and about 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cover them with a lid.
- Boil the cauliflower for about 1 to 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat, and drain only the water from the pot. Then return the pot to the stove and cover to steam the cauliflower until the florets are tender and softened for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove and drain any remaining water again.
- Transfer the cooked cauliflower to the baking dish. Set it aside.
MAKE THE CHEESE SAUCE:
- Meantime, in a small saucepan, and on medium heat, pour in the heavy cream and warm the cream. Then add the Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Toss in the shredded cheese and stir until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture comes to a low boil. Turn off the heat. Season with salt, and pepper to taste.
- Next, pour the melted cheese mixture directly over the cauliflower that is in the baking dish. Optional: Here is where you can sprinkle with extra shredded cheese on top if you prefer.
- BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes, until it's bubbly in the dish and golden on top. Optional: You can broil in the oven for about 2 minutes to brown the top if desired.
- Remove and serve.
- Serves 4
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9.4gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 4.5gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 1.8gProtein: 8.7g
I usually roast cauliflower but I have to try this cheesy version soon. I know my husband would absolutely love it 🙂
Susan, it’s so good! I bet he will LOVE this version as much as we do! ENJOY 🙂
I remember making Cauliflower Cheese for my children to get them to each vegetables. It worked every time, also with broccoli!
I’m going to try this using a small amount of millet flour (no gluten) and a small amount of ewe’s cheese as I avoid other cheese, except a little aged Parmesan from time to time! Thank you for reminding me of this recipe on my blog! 🙂
You’re welcome Sandra! Thanks so much!
I just love cauliflower with cheese sauce. Probably the first way I ever ate cauliflower!
Thanks so much Abbe! Have a great day! 🙂
This is perfect for my keto meal plan! I love cauliflower and who doesn’t love cheese sauce! Hope you’re doing well and staying safe my friends!
Thanks Roz! Have a great weekend! 🙂
i love cauliflower cheese! so delish. very popular here in australia. always have to have it with a roast dinner. Yum! i have tried frozen cauli, and it is a bit hard and also limp at the same time if that makes sense. an okay substitute if you’re in a tearing hurry to make dinner:-)
So glad to hear it’s a popular dish in Australia. And yes, it’s a delicious side with a roast or a chicken dinner. Thanks so much Sherry!
I have no idea what keto is, all i know is that this bake looks wonderful. I’d rather eat it over Mac n cheese any day!
We feel the same way! Thanks Mimi! Have a great day!