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close up of loaded cauliflower bake in a blue and white casserole dish with a spoon.

Loaded Cauliflower Bake Recipe

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 492kcal
This loaded cauliflower bake recipe is super cheesy, creamy, and delicious! Like a loaded baked potato, it's filled with cheese, bacon, and sour cream. Make this cheesy cauliflower casserole for an easy side dish that everyone will love!
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Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower about 6 cups, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ stick
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese ½ block
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • cups shredded Monterey jack cheese divided
  • 5 slices bacon cooked and diced
  • cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon diced chives

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    overhead view of ingredients for loaded cauliflower bake.
  • Prepare the cauliflower. In a large saucepan, add 1 ½-2 inches of water over medium-high heat. Once hot, place the chopped cauliflower into a steamer basket and add it to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Lift the steamer from the pan and drain well. Set aside.
    1 head of cauliflower
  • In a separate saucepan, make a roux. Melt the butter, add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour to make a paste, followed by the milk. Cook until it begins to thicken.
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 cups whole milk
    cooked roux for loaded cauliflower bake in a saucepan with a whisk.
  • To the roux, add the cream cheese, stirring to combine as it melts. Turn off the stove. Stir in the salt and pepper and add 1 cup each of cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
    4 ounces cream cheese, 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1½ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
    cheese added to loaded cauliflower bake sauce in a saucepan with a whisk.
  • Place the steamed cauliflower in the prepared casserole dish and pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower.
    loaded cauliflower bake sauce poured over cauliflower in a white bowl.
  • Add dollops of sour cream over the cauliflower.
    ⅔ cup sour cream
    cheese and dollops of sour cream over loaded cauliflower in a blue and white casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the cooked bacon and remaining cheese.
    5 slices bacon
    bacon and cheese added to loaded cauliflower in a blue and white casserole dish.
  • Place in the oven and bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.
    1 tablespoon diced chives

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Reheat to serve. I don’t recommend freezing this casserole as milk products and cheese sauces can separate when frozen and thawed.
  • Cauliflower: Instead of steaming the cauliflower on the stove, you can use the microwave. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and add ¼ cup water.  Cover with a plate and cook for 5 minutes. Drain out all of the water and pat dry.
  • Cheese Sauce: When making the cheese sauce, don’t overcook it. Turn off the burner after the cream cheese has melted, before adding the shredded cheese. Use immediately for best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 789mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1187IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 583mg | Iron: 1mg