‘Cheesy’ Cauliflower Bake
If you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food side dish, look no further than this dairy-free ‘Cheesy’ Cauliflower Bake. This hearty cauliflower casserole tastes rich and savory with a delicious, dairy-free “cheese” sauce and bacon crumbles to keep your gut and your tastebuds happy.
So next time you’re craving a cheesy, gooey casserole, make this AIP cauliflower bake and enjoy a delicious, warming meal!
Healthy cauliflower casserole
This cauliflower casserole is made with a whole head of cauliflower – about 3 lbs! Casseroles made with vegetables, such as my Keto Green Bean Casserole, are a great way to get more vegetables in your diet while still enjoying your comfort food.
Cauliflower is one of the healthiest foods you can eat! It is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories and high in vitamins and nutrients. This vegetable is rich in Vitamins C and K, which are important for a robust immune system, strong bones, and healthy blood clotting. It contains a lot of fiber, which helps us feel full and feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut.
Cauliflower is also a great source of antioxidants, such as glucosinolates, which protect cells from damage and have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, and may help prevent cancer.
Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables because it is so healthy and delicious! To make this cauliflower side dish, start by roasting cauliflower florets in the oven until they are fork-tender. Roasting cauliflower is one of my favorite ways to cook cauliflower because the oven brings out its rich flavor.
How to make dairy-free cheese sauce
This AIP-friendly “cheese” sauce comes together in just a few minutes and can be made while the cauliflower is roasting.
Start with cooking a few slices of bacon and setting them aside on a paper towel. Then sauté fresh garlic in the bacon drippings, and add fresh rosemary and thyme. This combination gives the dairy-free cheese sauce a lot of flavor.
Then, add coconut milk and Chicken Bone Broth Collagen. The coconut milk adds a creamy richness to the sauce. The Chicken Bone Broth Collagen adds nourishing protein to this casserole in the form of collagen peptides.
The sauce is thickened with tapioca starch, which is a great gluten-free thickener for sauces. To give the sauce a traditional yellow cheesy color, I add a bit of turmeric powder. Turmeric is loaded with antioxidants, which help protect the body against free radicals, and has a strong anti-inflammatory effect in the body.
Bake and serve
To finish the casserole, you combine the roasted cauliflower, crumbled cooked bacon, and the cheese sauce, and then bake it in the oven for 15 minutes until it is bubbling slightly. This casserole can be served on its own for a light, lower-carb meal, since it is hearty and full of fiber and protein to keep you full and satisfied. Or you can serve it with roasted chicken and a side of mashed parsnips, spooning the cheesy sauce over the parsnips.
How to reheat leftovers
This casserole makes about 6 side-dish servings or 4 larger main course servings. If you have leftovers, it is best to reheat them in the oven. Bake at 350˚F until warmed through and the casserole is bubbling slightly.
Other cauliflower recipes you will love:
- Cauliflower rice with kale pesto
- Chimichurri cauliflower steaks
- Cauliflower curry with chicken and asparagus
'Cheesy' Cauliflower Bake
- 1 large cauliflower (about 3 lbs)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (from about 1 small sprig)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (from 5-8 sprigs)
- 1 14-oz can coconut milk
- 1 cup prepared Chicken Bone Broth Collagen
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
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