Loaded Cauliflower Bake
Oh man, this Loaded Cauliflower Bake is good. Decadent, creamy, cheesy…all my favorite buzzwords. I don’t even usually love cauliflower, but I sure do love it here. This tasty side dish takes all the things you love about loaded mashed potatoes (the gooey cheese, the smoky bacon, the fresh scallions and the creamy sour cream) and gives them a healthier, low carb base. I actually really enjoyed the texture of using cauliflower, and the result tasted sinful but for only 9 carbs per serving!
This bake would be a great way to get picky eaters to get their veggies in and it’d be equally at home on your holiday dinner table to impress company or on a picnic table for a backyard barbecue. How versatile is that? No one would ever guess it’s a lightened dish and I can almost guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe.
I want to give a shout out to De’Anna Groves who contacted me via my Facebook page to request I find a way to lighten up this recipe – love it!
Loaded Cauliflower Bake
- 4 slices center cut bacon, I use Wegmans brand
- 2 lbs cauliflower florets, I bought one large head of cauliflower and it had almost exactly 2 lbs of florets once cut up
- 6 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
- 4 oz shredded 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided (I used Cabot brand)
- 4 oz shredded 50% reduced fat pepper jack cheese, divided (I used Cabot brand)
- 3 scallions, chopped – greens only
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a 2 QT baking dish (I used a 7x11) with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook the bacon slices until crisp according to package directions and allow them to cool/dry on paper towels. Crumble them into bite sized pieces and set aside.
- Steam cauliflower florets until tender. If you’ve never steamed cauliflower before, this link has three different steaming methods based on what equipment you have available/your preference. I used the first method, but choose your own adventure!
- While the cauliflower steams, combine the softened cream cheese and sour cream with a hand mixer. Add 3 oz of the shredded cheddar and 3 oz of the shredded pepper jack, the bacon pieces from step 2, the chopped scallions, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined.
- When the cauliflower is finished steaming, drain if necessary and add the hot cauliflower to the cream cheese mixture. Stir until well coated. If you’d like at this step you can partially mash some of the cauliflower (I did a little bit, but kept many florets whole for texture).
- Transfer the cauliflower mixture to your reserved baking dish and top with the remaining 1 oz each of shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Bake for 30 minutes. If your cheese on top isn’t golden, turn on your broiler for 1-2 minutes until golden and bubbly.
4 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com) Nutrition Information: 164 calories, 9 g carbs, 5 g sugars, 9 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 13 g protein, 3 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com) Adapted from Louanne’s Kitchen