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This cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole is my go-to dish for weeknight dinners, potlucks, and even holidays — adults and kids alike love it! While I like to sneak this veggie into all kinds of cauliflower casserole recipes, like pizza casserole and cheeseburger casserole, this loaded cauliflower bake is my absolute favorite. It tastes like a loaded baked potato, but is also a lighter take on comfort food.
What Is Loaded Cauliflower Casserole?
Loaded cauliflower casserole recipes taste like a loaded baked potato complete with classic toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and green onions. They just use cauliflower florets instead of potatoes!
Just like cauliflower potato salad, it’s easy to swap the starch and keep all the classic taste. And even though this twice baked cauliflower casserole has heavier ingredients like bacon, cheese, and cream, it’s still healthier than one with potatoes. Don’t fear the baking twice, either — it’s just about half an hour for the whole thing!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Cauliflower – I use fresh cauliflower, but frozen will also work. Cut into florets.
- Butter – Grass-fed butter tastes great in this recipe, but any unsalted kind will do. Melt before using. You can also swap in olive oil or avocado oil if you prefer.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – For seasoning cauliflower.
- Sour Cream – Full-fat versions tastes best, but lower fat sour cream (or even plain Greek yogurt) works as well. You could also use cream cheese instead, but melt it in the microwave first, and you may need a little more cream to thin out the sauce.
- Heavy Cream – Thins out the sauce and makes it rich. You can also use half and half instead. I don’t recommend other milks, such as almond milk or regular dairy milk, as the sauce will be too thin, but you can try it if you like.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic tastes the best here, but you can use jarred minced garlic to save time. If needed, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
- Cheddar Cheese – Shredded sharp cheddar cheese adds classic loaded baked potato flavor. Shred fresh or use a pre-shredded variety.
- Bacon – I typically use leftover oven baked bacon, air fryer bacon, or even microwave bacon, but ready-made bacon bits are an easy time-saver. (Or simply cook about 6 slices of bacon in a skillet!)
- Green Onions – Add a pop of color and flavor. Fresh chives also work.
How To Make Cauliflower Casserole
This section shows how to make a cheesy cauliflower casserole, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Roast. If you’ve seen any of my other low carb cauliflower recipes, you know that I’m a big fan of roasting the cauliflower first. In a large mixing bowl, toss cauliflower florets with melted butter (or oil of your choice), salt, and pepper. Transfer to a casserole dish or sheet pan and roast until fork tender.
TIP: Use a casserole dish to save on cleanup time.
Although roasting on a sheet pan cooks cauliflower faster, the baking dish cooks the veggies in the same dish you’ll use for the casserole. I love this for saving on dishes!
- Make sauce. In the same bowl (wipe it down first but no need to wash), whisk sour cream and heavy cream until smooth. Add garlic, cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. (Don’t add too much salt — the sauce will get saltier as cheese melts later.)
- Mix. Add roasted cauliflower to the cheese sauce mixture and stir to combine.
- Assemble. Return the cauliflower to the casserole dish. Top with more cheese and bacon.
- Bake. Place in the oven and bake cauliflower casserole until the cheese on top is melted.
- Garnish. Sprinkle more green onions on top.
- Trade the cheese – Use any semi-hard melting cheese instead of cheddar, such as Monterey Jack cheese or mozzarella.
- Add other meats – Shredded chicken, leftover turkey, ground beef, or sausage can add more satisfying protein to this dish and turn it into a meal. You’ll need to increase the sauce ingredients if you do this.
- Swap toppings – Besides bacon, top cauliflower casserole with diced ham, blue cheese crumbles, grated parmesan cheese, or a panko breadcrumb topping.
- Store: Place cheesy loaded cauliflower in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Meal prep: Assemble, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge up to 2 days ahead. Bake as directed, but it may take longer if you place in the oven directly from the fridge.
- Reheat: Warm leftover casserole in a 350 degree F oven or in the microwave.
- Freeze: Most cauliflower casseroles, including this one, can be frozen before or after baking. Wrap tightly and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before heating, or bake from frozen at 325 degrees F, until hot.
More Cauliflower Casserole Recipes
Cauliflower works so well in casseroles! Here are a few more of my favorites.
cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole
Cheesy Loaded Cauliflower Casserole (30 Min!)
Bake this cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole recipe sour cream, bacon, cheddar, and green onions in 30 minutes. Tastes like loaded potatoes!
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C).
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with butter. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Transfer the cauliflower to a small 1.5 quart (1.4 L) casserole dish in a single layer. (Roasting in the baking dish saves on dishes, but you could also roast on a sheet pan to make it faster.) Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes if using a sheet pan, or 25-30 minutes if using the baking dish (stir halfway through if using this method), until crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, in the same bowl, whisk together the sour cream and heavy cream, until smooth. Stir in the minced garlic, half of the cheddar cheese, half of the bacon, and half of the green onions. If desired, season sauce with sea salt and black pepper. (Don't over salt — it will get more salty as the cheese melts later.)
When the cauliflower is done roasting, take it out and leave the oven on. Add the cauliflower to the bowl and mix with the sauce.
Return the cauliflower mixture to the casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bacon.
Bake for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Top with remaining green onions.
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Serving size: 3/4 cup
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