Eating healthy can help us feel better and improve our overall medical condition. But, even though many of us work hard to improve our food choices, sometimes a comfort food craving kicks in. Something like a gooey, cheesy casserole just hits the spot some nights.
Fortunately, you don’t have to give up dishes like that. There’s a loaded cauliflower casserole recipe out there that will give you a better alternative to high-carb potato or pasta casseroles.
Delish writer Lindsay Funston shared her recipe for a loaded cauliflower bake that looks so satisfying and yummy. It takes the best of classic mac and cheese or potato au gratin dishes and gives it a little twist.
Think of your favorite loaded baked potato and you’ll get an idea of what to expect from this loaded cauliflower casserole.
You’ll recognize most of the ingredients for this recipe from other favorite creamy side dishes. The cauliflower is the only major adjustment and it’s a fabulous way to get in more veggies for picky eaters.
To make this loaded cauliflower casserole, you’ll need a couple of small heads of cauliflower, minced garlic, green onions, cooked bacon, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, whole milk and a few other ingredients you probably already have on hand.
The secret to nailing this dish is getting the right texture for the cauliflower. To achieve this, you’ll need to blanch it (boil it in salt water) for just under 5 minutes. This cuts down on cooking time in the oven, according to Funston.
If you’re also interested in a lower-fat version of this loaded cauliflower casserole, you can opt for lower-fat milk or cheese. However, this will affect the creamy texture a little bit, so you’ll need to decide if it’s worth it or if you just want to plan for a little splurge with the full-fat varieties.
Ready to make it? Read the full recipe for loaded cauliflower bake from Delish here.
As written, the recipe comes in at 293 calories per serving and 11 grams of protein. For anyone watching their calories or going for a protein goal, this side dish doesn’t have to derail your healthy eating goals, even if it tastes like you’re having a cheat day!