Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Cheesy side dishes are all the rage, yet this one has a twist!
I swapped out potatoes and replaced it with cauliflower.  Plus added bacon.  Of course.

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole...the perfect holiday side dish!  Built like a loaded baked potato, but swapped with steamed cauliflower.  Cheesy, salty, bacon-y...the best side dish of the year! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It's now November and comfort food is walking circles around in my brain.  Everyone and their brother is scanning Pinterest on Sunday afternoons while the husbands are watching football, trying to find that PERFECT side dish to bring to Thanksgiving.

Well, look no more.

It's here.

It's unique.

And might I add, pretty damn tasty?

This Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole should probably be dedicated to my 6 year old daughter.  The poor thing was with me at the grocery store recently and upon browsing the produce section she asked me, "Mom, what is that white stuff that kinda looks like broccoli?"

Crap.

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole...the perfect holiday side dish!  Built like a loaded baked potato, but swapped with steamed cauliflower.  Cheesy, salty, bacon-y...the best side dish of the year! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I've completely ruined her.  I have a daughter of a food blogger who DOESN'T KNOW WHAT CAULIFLOWER IS.

She'll probably need therapy for this later in life.  Heck, I think I need therapy.  This isn't her fault.  It is mine.  I rarely {if ever} buy cauliflower.  It's not that I don't like it.  Okay, I'll admit it's not the first vegetable I'd grab to snack on, but I can easily gobble it down without any complaints.

So like the mature adult I am, I wildly grabbed two heads of cauliflower, threw them in the cart and set out to prove a point.

With my two other Thanksgiving side dishes taking off {this one & this one} on Pinterest from years before, I had long been thinking I need a new updated one.  Why not take this cauliflower and make it pretty darn special?

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole...the perfect holiday side dish!  Built like a loaded baked potato, but swapped with steamed cauliflower.  Cheesy, salty, bacon-y...the best side dish of the year! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Everyone in their right mind has had some version of a loaded potato casserole.  One stocked full of cheese, bacon, green onions and more.

And many of those said people have also had some type of dish where cauliflower has been used as a swap.  Whether that be to make "rice" or "potatoes".  I got to thinking and I figured I could easily swap the potatoes with bite-sized pieces of steamed cauliflower and make it taste just as good.

It worked.

It worked so well that the daughter who could not differentiate cauliflower in the grocery store thought she was eating some version of Mom's cheesy potatoes that this whole "proving my point" plan with her didn't really work.

"Great potato dish Mom!"

I tried so hard to make a point, I over-tried.

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole...the perfect holiday side dish!  Built like a loaded baked potato, but swapped with steamed cauliflower.  Cheesy, salty, bacon-y...the best side dish of the year! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

But here's the moral of the story.

#1.  I need to talk about vegetables more with my kids.
#2.  I need to not play "food blogger" and just cut up the vegetable and make them eat it raw.
#3.  I probably need to stop worrying about what y'all need for Thanksgiving side dishes.

Oh my gosh, make this dish.  It's cheesy, salty, bacon-y and full of flavor.  Bring it to your holiday dinner and see what people say.  See if they notice it's not potatoes.  See if they take a second helping.  And if they do get up from the table and start clapping.  Then sit back down and see if people start laughing at you.

Happy Holidays folks!

Yield: 8-10 servings

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

prep time: 5 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 45 mins
This comoforting side dish is loaded with your typical potato toppings {bacon, cheese, green onion}, yet cauliflower is used and the swap is delicious! Take this to your next gathering and see if people notice.

ingredients:


  • 2 heads cauliflower, chopped small
  • 8 oz. Colby Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c.  Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • salt & pepper, to taste

instructions:


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rinse, dry and chop the cauliflower into small pieces.  Steam over a double boiler with lid or in the microwave until tender.  About 5 minutes.
  3. While the cauliflower is steaming, mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheeses, milk and green onion in a stand mixer or hand-held mixer until blended.
  4. Saute the bacon in a shallow pan until crisp.
  5. Fold in half of the cooked bacon and half of the green onions into the cheese mixture.  Toss in the steamed cauliflower and combine together.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Pour into a 9x13 greased baking dish.  Top with remaining bacon.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake an additional 10 minutes to brown.  Top with remaining green onion before serving.

notes

Feel free to mash the cauliflower if you'd prefer a smoother texture.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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