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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.
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!
Why You’ll Love This Cauliflower Casserole Recipe
- Cheesy bacon flavors
- Tender cauliflower in a creamy sauce
- Simple, natural ingredients
- Done in 30 minutes
- Can prepare most of it in advance
- Naturally gluten-free, low carb, and keto
- Easy, satisfying healthy side dish for potato lovers!
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 – Obviously you need cauliflower for cauliflower casserole recipes! I use fresh cauliflower (cut into florets), but frozen will also work.
- 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 the cauliflower. If you’ve seen any of my other low carb cauliflower recipes, you know that I’m a big fan of roasting cauliflower. (You can steam or boil the cauliflower instea and then drain it, but roasted tastes so much better!) 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 the 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 cream cheese 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 (or fresh parsley).
Cauliflower Casserole Variations
- 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.
Tools To Make This Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
- Glass Nesting Bowls – In a variety of sizes for easy prep and cleanup.
- Baking Dish – Durable and elegant from oven to table.
cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole
Cauliflower Casserole (Loaded Style, 30 Min!)
Bake this cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole recipe with sour cream, bacon, and cheddar in just 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.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Serving size: 3/4 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Made this tonight as written and it was a big hit with the adults and the kids. I think next time i’ll do like some of the other users and add some rotisserie chicken and zucchini and turn this into a one dish casserole. Easy prep, and easy clean up.
This dish was delish!!! We love and eat cauliflower weekly in our home and I was getting very bored with the usual recipes that I was serving at dinner. This dish hit it out of the ballpark! I omitted the bacon and added chopped roasted chicken (already prepared at Kroger) and I replaced the sour cream with 2% yogurt b/c my hubs doesn’t like sour cream. My 16yo & 17yo who “don’t eat cauliflower, Mom” ate it at dinner and my 16yo daughter took the leftovers for lunch the next day. THAT in itself makes this dish worthy of 5 Michelin stars.
This was SO good-even my Mom liked it and she doesn’t like to try new things!
Dinah Ladnier Stevens0
This is an amazing recipe. I make it frequently and it is requested by my 22 year old Granddaughter. No changes or additions needed – perfect just like it is. Thank you.
I made this for dinner tonight. It’s definitely a 5 stars !
This is a repeat recipe in my house! I used the bacon grease to toss the cauliflower before roasting instead of butter. My husband asks me to make it all the time and he’s picky and not keto or low carb so win for me! One of our favorite sides! Delicious!!
I added ground turkey and a whole lotta extra cheese! Yummy!
I used your recipe as my base. I didn’t have bacon so substituted chicken. I roasted the cauliflower along with zucchini squash and some red pepper. I used a mixed season of oregano, basil, paprika, salt and pepper. I also used 8 oz of cream cheese softened along with the sour cream. I whipped it together and then folded in sharp cheddar. Spread it in a 9X13 pan. Shredded some pepper Jack on top and baked. 400 degrees until hot throughout.
I made this recipe for my family last night. I added 3 diced chicken breasts and turned it into a meal. There was NOTHING left! Even my VERY PICKY 9yr old ate every bite! I’m making the Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole tonight! So excited! Great recipes! Will be sharing this with everyone!
Excellent! This is a sure keeper! Tastes exactly like a family member’s potato casserole which everyone loves but too many carbs. Excellent way to use cauliflower!!! I love it.
I did adjust timing and temp on cauliflower. At 420 with just a bit of butter it started to burn, but I used convection.
Added olive oil and would turn down a bit. Baked the end product for closer to 20 minutes at 400. Thank you for this amazing recipe.
Hi. this recipe sounds delicious. Can you please explain why you use unsalted butter, but then add salt later. Could this recipe be cooked in a slow cooker?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Thank you, Jo! In most of my recipes, I use unsalted butter and add salt separately because this lets you control the salt content better. I have not tested the recipe in a slow cooker to see what modifications would be needed.
This was great! I cooked a bell pepper in the bacon grease and subbed the heavy cream with more sour cream bc I didn’t have any. Turned out awesomee. I love so many of your recipes. They make low carb so tasty!
Absolutely delicious! This was amazing. My husband and I both loved it! I did mix the sauce ingredients together and heat on the stove for a minute before mixing together just to make sure it was hot. I’ll be making this often, thank you!
Great recipe! I was in the process of making the sauce when I realized we didn’t have heavy cream. I improvised – a LOT, haha – with the following: used the sour cream as instructed, then added a few scoops of whole milk ricotta, a couple of egg yolks, a little kewpie mayo, and some grated parmesan. Added a little hot water to thin it a bit, then added the cheese and bacon. I’d roasted the cauliflower earlier then just left it covered on the stove while I cooked a ham (jam+adobo sauce a little dijon for the glaze…so good)! It was all delicious. We made the ham after Christmas since I always do prime rib for that, but the ham sales were too good to pass up. It made for a nice dinner with loads of leftovers for the coming days!
Just started making Cauliflower rice today… wow what a huge success, my wife loves it as well… both of us on Keto and have discovered such creative ways to eat. Your recipe process as shown, is the BEST I’ve ever seen and I appreciate so much all the comments that may or may not be helpful when bringing the dish together…. The next challenge is the cheesy caserole, however I’m confident and again so appreciate your description…
I’ve not tried this recipe but I like all ingredients and will most definitely make it
Easy and Delish!!
Loved this recipe! I was looking for something to take to a potluck next weekend. Did a trial tonight. I substituted some Monterey Jack for some of the cheddar and also did not add any more salt. It would have been too salty for me. My Father In Law said it was a winner. Coming from a man who pretty much only eats meat and rice. I will be making it for my potluck and probably doubling the recipe! Mahalo!
VERY SIMPLE DIRECTIONS
This is my new favorite way to prepare cauliflower! So delicious even the kids liked it.
Journa Liz Ramirez0
I love this cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole recipe! My family likes this recipe and can’t get enough of it. Would probably make it again. Highly recommended!
This is soooo good! I’m always looking for a healthier potato alternative and this one checks all the boxes. So easy to make, too!
This cauli casserole has so much flavor with the bacon and green onions. Yum!
We serve this every Thanksgiving and Christmas.. one of my Family’s Holiday Favorites!! So tasty .. I add a little more cream and cheese we love it gooey .. and oh so full of flavor!
Yes! I was looking for cheesy comfort food that was a little less carby than a potato dish. Perfect recipe and I highly recommend.
What a delicious way to use cauliflower! My kids even asked for seconds of this casserole they loved it so much.
Journa Liz Ramirez0
My family enjoyed this easy cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole recipe. I would love to try it again at our next family gathering. Must-try!
I make this recipe for my family and Church dinners often and it’s always a big hit. Now I get requests to make it at holiday dinners as well. It is easy and yummy. Give it a try.
Keto Me Life0
The information is very useful and impressed me, is very good guideline for the health.
Made this tonight, it was delicious, will make again and again
Very good, thank you. I used turkey bacon but it was too salty, that’s ok I will remember next time to leave the Sea salt out. 😋
Love this! Making again as a Thanksgiving side!
If I premake up until the last bake, how long would I cook for the final bake if I refrigerate overnight before cooking?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Melissa, When I’ve done this I usually start at 15 or 20 minutes and check at that time if it’s warm or needs more time.
Can I make this without heavy cream?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Cindy, You can use any kind of milk you prefer, but the heavy cream makes the richest and creamiest sauce.
Family loved it, even my 14 year old picky eater. Will make again.
Everyone loved this cauliflower casserole!
Thank you, it was an amazing recipe.
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