Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Our 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. 

 

Cauliflower loaded with melted cheese on top on a white serving plate.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole…

So when I was craving some comfort food, like “mac and cheese” I decided to make this Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole instead.  And…it was a hit! 😉 This low-calorie, keto-friendly, gluten-free casserole is creamy and delicious, and it makes a wonderful side dish that’s loaded with nutrients! For more delicious cauliflower recipes, try pasta with creamy cauliflower, potato-cauliflower soup, and Italian cauliflower salad.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Reasons to LOVE this Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole:

  • is so simple, super easy to make!
  • and TOTALLY delicious! 
  • besides, 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 they reheat beautifully.

Ingredients Needed for this recipe:

  • Cauliflower: you will need one small head of cauliflower.
  • Cheese: some shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Dairy: some heavy cream, and about 1/2 cup is needed.
  • Seasonings: you will need some onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Mustard: we prefer to use some coarse ground Dijon mustard.
  • Baking Dish: This is a small casserole, and 9-inch round baking dish is suffice.

How To Make Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole? (*Step-by-Step Directions!)

This recipe couldn’t be easier! 

1.  First, cut up the cauliflower! Begin by cutting off the outer leaves, then cut the florets from the center cord, then discard the cord.  Give them a good rinse.  Next, in a medium-sized pot, toss in the florets and pour water up to 1-inch. 

 photos of cutting the head of the cauliflower on the counter.

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 the 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. 

Cheese sauce and cauliflower in a dish.

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. 

QUICK TIP! If you prefer, you can broil in the oven for a few minutes to brown the top.

a white baking dish with boiled cauliflower covered with melted cheese sauce.

FOR THE INSTANT POT…

To make it in the instant pot, you will need to rinse, cord, and cut the cauliflower.  Then follow these easy instructions:

  1. Add cauliflower with 2 to 4 tablespoons of water.
  2. Then cook on the “Manual” setting for 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Leave on “keep warm” for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Stir and repeat until melted, creamy, and heated through. 
  5. 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! 

Options to serve it with…

There are many options to serve this comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole as a side dish with dinner, and here are a few favorites:

Q & A…

  1. Can we use “frozen” cauliflower florets? I haven’t yet but I’m sure it’s fine.
  2. What can we substitute for heavy cream? If you don’t have heavy cream, you can use 1 cup of milk or almond milk, 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.
  3. How to store leftovers? Transfer any leftovers into a sealed container and place in your fridge. Keep it chilled, it will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
  4. Can we “freeze” this casserole? Yes, you can freeze this casserole, and for up to 1 month.
Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole by 2sistersrecipes.com

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.  This is 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! 

ENJOY!!

More Recipes for Cauliflower You’ll Love!

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole by 2sistersrecipes.com

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Lightly spray with cooking spray the 9-inch round baking pie dish.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove and drain any remaining water again.
  5. Transfer the cooked cauliflower to the baking dish. Set it aside.

MAKE THE CHEESE SAUCE:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove and serve.
  6. Serves 4

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4 servings

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9.4gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 4.5gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 1.8gProtein: 8.7g

Did you make this recipe?

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HAPPY Cooking and Baking! 🙂

xo anna and liz

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13 Comments

  1. I usually roast cauliflower but I have to try this cheesy version soon. I know my husband would absolutely love it 🙂

    1. Susan, it’s so good! I bet he will LOVE this version as much as we do! ENJOY 🙂

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. 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:-)

    1. 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!

  4. 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!