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Hearty, creamy, cheesy, and guilt-free this cheesy mashed cauliflower bake recipe is a keto approved comfort dish that the whole family will love!
During the holidays, we’re all guilty of over-indulging on carb heavy dishes like mashed sweet potatoes, easy pumpkin pie, and non-alcoholic eggnog. This year, let’s balance our diet by swapping out high-carb ingredients with low-carb ingredients -such as cauliflower!
Cauliflower is an amazing ingredient to use in place of high carbohydrate ingredients such as potatoes or rice.
Zucchini is also another ingredient that is great to replace noodles or rice with too!
This mashed cauliflower bake is inspired by our Christmas cheesy potatoes casserole recipe our family loves.
There are a total of 5 carbs in a cup of cauliflower. Compare that to the 23 carbs in a cup of potatoes and we now know that cauliflower is the wiser choice for a healthier casserole dish!
1 cup of raw or cooked cauliflower contains about 5 grams of carbohydrates. Cauliflower is rich in fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate. Of the 5 grams of carbs present in 1 cup of cauliflower, 2 of those grams of carbs are from fiber. This is good news when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight and controlling your blood cholesterol levels.(source)
Each recipe for cauliflower mash will have a different carb count that’s unique to the ingredients used in that particular recipe. For this cheesy cauliflower mash recipe, the carbs are a low 8 grams per serving.
Cauliflower mashed potatoes tastes like a healthier mashed potatoes. The texture is a bit silkier due to the high water content in cauliflower.
Cauliflower thankfully is like a blank canvas, just like potatoes! Cauliflower mashed potatoes will take on the flavor profile of the other ingredients such as garlic powder, cheese, cream, etc. Taste and season as you go when making mashed cauliflower to ensure the perfect recipe for you.
For this cheesy mashed cauliflower bake, we will be using two heads of fresh cauliflower that has been rinsed and dried.
2. Cook the cauliflower until it is fork tender!
You can also use a steaming basket if you have one.
3. Pour the hot cauliflower into a large bowl and add the butter, heavy cream, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the cauliflower until smooth, or transfer to a food processor to puree.
If by chance your mashed cauliflower is runny when you blend it, you can either try to drain out the excess liquid by using a very fine mesh colander or a new panty hose to manually release excess liquid.
Or you can add a thickening agent such as softened cream cheese, sour cream, or extra shredded cheese (our choice), to your runny mashed cauliflower.
The best way to keep your mashed cauliflower from becoming too runny is by slowly adding in your heavy cream as you pulse or blend your cooked cauliflower. Remember, every head of cauliflower is different, so measurements may have to be customized!
5. Pour half of the cauliflower into a 9×12 glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining cauliflower, then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
We used cheddar jack cheese, but you can use any cheddar cheese blend you desire. (Adding pepper jack cheese to your mashed cauliflower bake adds a nice kick!)
**Pro Tip: For a nice presentation, when you add the top layer of cheese, sprinkle with some black pepper or dried oregano. When the cheese bakes and melts, the black pepper or oregano (or dried parsley too) will combine with the cheese for a nice Italian like cheese topping.**
Because this cauliflower is already cooked, you’ll just bake the mashed cauliflower to heat it through and melt the cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the cauliflower is bubbling around the edges.
Love loaded mashed potatoes? Transform this mashed cauliflower bake into the ultimate cheesy loaded mashed cauliflower bake by adding in:
Cauliflower mash is best stored in the refrigerator in a container with a tight fitting lid for up to 3-4 days.
I would not recommend freezing cauliflower mash.
To reheat mashed cauliflower bake in the microwave you can either serve the desired portion onto a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for about 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.
To reheat mashed cauliflower casserole in the oven you can either serve the desired portion into an oven safe pan or bowl and bake at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, or until mashed cauliflower bake is warmed through and the cheese is bubbly.
Remember to always top your leftover mashed cauliflower bake with extra cheese before reheating! (Completely optional, but why not?)
Mashed cauliflower bake is the ultimate side dish recipe to go along with juicy proteins and crispy veggies. Here are some of our favorite recipes to pair with our mashed cauliflower bake: