This Loaded Cauliflower Casserole is a lightened up take on a loaded baked potato, but made in a casserole dish, twice baked and delicious with all of the classic toppings! Something the whole family will love!
Who else is getting ready for the holiday season? I am making a huge list of healthy thanksgiving sides I want to make for our family dinners this year.
The list in the past has most certainly included my healthy sweet potato vegan casserole, my favorite maple roasted brussels sprouts and squash, and lightened up cheesy potato casserole, to name a few.
And now moving to the top of the list is this loaded cauliflower casserole!
A Spin on Loaded Baked Potatoes
I love a good baked potato but if you’re looking for a way to add more cruciferous veggies into your diet, or you’re just looking for a new way to enjoy a cauliflower recipe, I think you’re going to love this loaded cauliflower bake.
It’s easy to make, comes together in a few simple steps and everyone loves it! It’s a great way to serve cauliflower to selective eaters.
I mean what’s not to love? It’s basically creamy cheesy cauliflower with bacon bits on top! Trust me, this will be one of your new favorite ways to enjoy cauliflower.
- cauliflower, cut into about 1.5″ florets – You’ll need about 2 medium heads of fresh cauliflower.
- olive oil – for baking the cauliflower.
- minced garlic – or you can use a half teaspoon garlic powder. This just gets roasted in with the cauliflower so feel free to use what you have on hand.
- salt & pepper – just a little for flavor.
- bacon – if you’re looking to lighten this up you could use turkey bacon if you’d like. Or simply omit if you need a vegetarian option. The bacon is just for the topping.
- cream cheese – Let the cream cheese come to room temperature so it mixes easier.
- Greek yogurt – or sub in Skyr or sour cream, plus more for topping.
- sharp cheddar cheese – for lots of cheesy flavor that gets mixed into the casserole and added on top for garnish
- freshly grated parmesan cheese – the perfect extra finish for this casserole.
- scallions – top off with scallions for a traditional loaded baked potato feel. You can use the white parts only or all of the scallion.
Make it in a Few Simple Steps
This loaded cauliflower casserole recipe comes together really easily! You just cook the cauliflower florets and bacon, mix together cream cheese with yogurt, then combine it all together and add toppings.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this cheesy cauliflower casserole, with the full recipe card at the bottom of the post.
First you’ll get the cauliflower going and roast on a baking sheet for about 25-30 minutes. Make sure to stir halfway through so the florets evenly.
While the cauliflower is cooking, cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. I definitely recommend cooking the bacon crispy, as you’ll be chopping it up into small bits for the topping.
Prepare Cream Cheese Mixture
For the cream cheese mixture, beat together the cream cheese and the yogurt, add in some of the shredded cheese as well. Then set aside until the cauliflower is done.
Combine & Bake
To make the casserole, cooked tender cauliflower to your prepared baking dish, then use about half of the cream cheese mixture to add dollops to the cauliflower. Sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, add the rest of the cauliflower and spoon on dollops of the remaining cream cheese mixture. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melty.
Once the cauliflower casserole is done baking and the cream cheese mixture has melted, finish off with parmesan cheese, the remaining cheddar cheese and top with fresh green onions and chopped crispy bacon.
If you’d like, you can also add more dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream to add to the presentation.
And that’s it! Flavors of a loaded baked potato all baked into one cheesy, creamy cauliflower bake.
Ways to Lighten Up
If you’re looking for ways to lighten up this cheesy cauliflower bake, here are some ideas:
- Use turkey bacon.
- Use low fat cream cheese.
- Reduce the amount of cheddar cheese.
- Use 2% Greek yogurt or Skyr.
Need some Vegan Subs?
This recipe is fairly easy to make dairy-free or vegan friendly. While I haven’t tested this myself, you could make a few simple swaps using vegan and plant based alternatives of cheese, yogurt and bacon.
Use a vegan cream cheese (Kite Hill brand makes one, as does Miyokos), vegan shredded cheese (Follow Your Heart brand, Miyokos, So Delicious, etc. there are lots of options these days.) and vegan parmesan (Follow Your Heart makes grated and shredded varieties).
For the yogurt, So Delicious makes a dairy-free coconut based yogurt I’ve used in other casserole dishes.
For the bacon simply omit, or there are plant based store-bought options for that too.
More Healthy Side Dishes
- Best Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet & Spicy Roasted Squash
- Farro & Kale Butternut Squash Salad
- Cheesy Potato Casserole
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx AshleyPrint
Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
If you loved baked potatoes with all the toppings, you’ll love this Loaded Cauliflower Casserole. It’s cheesy, creamy and just like a loaded baked potato, but lightened up thanks to cauliflower! An easy recipe that is the perfect side dish for any occasion.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: side
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into about 1.5” florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 slices bacon
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt, Skyr or sour cream, plus more for topping (or 2%)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (for easier clean up, or go without). Place cauliflower florets on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on spices and add minced garlic. Toss around to evenly coat then bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring at the halfway point. Keep oven on.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy. Add bacon to towel lined plate to soak up excess grease. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl beat together cream cheese, yogurt and sharp cheddar cheese; set aside.
- Once the cauliflower is done, add half of the cauliflower to a 2.5 or 3 quart casseroled dish. Place dollops of cream cheese mixture on top of cauliflower, reserving some, then add remaining cauliflower and remaining cream cheese mixture and pressing gently in between cauliflower. Bake for about 8 minutes, until cheese is melted and looks creamy.
- Remove dish from oven then top with more cheddar cheese, parmesan, scallions and cooked bacon. Top with more dollops of yogurt if you’d like. Serve warm.
Keywords: loaded cauliflower bake, cauliflower recipes