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Creamy Cauliflower Casserole (Keto)

Creamy Cauliflower Casserole made with just a handful of basic ingredients is a delicious low-carb side dish for all your feasts and gatherings!

This keto-friendly recipe is quite the crowd-pleaser!

Creamy Keto Cauliflower Casserole - an easy casserole recipe for a marvelous side dish for any occasion! Gluten-free and grain-free.

When it comes to all things creamy and cheesy, I’m the easiest person on the planet to impress. Douse it in sauce and/or cheese, and I’m sure to be ecstatic! 

This Creamy Cauliflower Casserole is no exception. It’s devilishly creamy (yet cream-free…we’ll get to that in a second), cheesy, and tickles your taste buds for a healthier, low-carb side dish.

Keto Cauliflower Casserole - easy creamy low-carb cauliflower casserole is a perfect side dish for any gathering

Cauliflower is roasted, then swaddled in that cream-less creamy sauce, then sprinkled with cheese and baked together into gooey deliciousness. If you need more convincing, just add bacon…in fact, bacon is highly encouraged!

For those of you entertaining guests during the holidays, I find this to be a marvelous addition to any feast. It is compliant with many types of lifestyles (or diets), and is just all around great.

Let’s discuss the details so you know what you’re getting into!

Cheesy Keto Cauliflower Casserole - healthy low-carb casserole recipe - delicious side dish for any occasion

 

A Note About Dairy:

I’ve found many folks who are sensitive to dairy like me can tolerate certain types of cheeses (or all cheese) while staying away from fresh dairy, like milk, cream, butter, etc.

For this reason, I use full-fat canned coconut milk for the sauce in this creamy casserole. 

If you tolerate dairy well, you can easily replace the coconut milk with half & half or heavy cream! On the flipside, if you are entirely dairy-free, you can replace the grated cheese with your favorite vegan grated cheese.

The ingredients for this casserole are simple and straightforward. Let’s chat!

Two heads of cauliflower for casserole

Ingredients for Cauliflower Casserole:

Cauliflower: Two medium-sized heads of cauliflower, or around 5 to 6 cups when chopped, is what goes into this casserole. Cauliflower is subtle in flavor, making it an all-star vegetable for picky eaters, and/or dishes where you want specific flavors (in this case: cheese) to shine. It is also low in carbohydrate and high in fiber, making it suitable for those who follow a low-carb diet, and/or those trying to keep it clean.

Avocado Oil: Used for roasting the cauliflower and sautéing the onion, I like using avocado oil because it has a high smoke point, subtle flavor, and won’t burn during the cooking process.

Onion & Garlic: Onion and garlic add marvelous flavor to any dish, and works wonders in this cauliflower casserole. We sauté the onion until it is nearly caramelized to bring a huge flavor infusion to the dish.

Coconut Milk: Instead of using half & half, heavy cream, sour cream, or cream cheese for the sauce, I use full-fat canned coconut milk. It makes for an ultra silky-smooth sauce with a touch of natural sweetness. The cider vinegar (see below) provides the tangy flavor you would get from sour cream or cream cheese so you aren’t sacrificing that authentic cheesy flavor.

Cider Vinegar: While optional, cider vinegar adds tang to the “cream” sauce, mimicking the flavor of sour cream to produce an extra decadent flavor. You can also use lemon juice or rice vinegar, or skip it altogether.

Egg Yolks: Egg yolks help thicken the sauce, making it extra creamy and sultry. Save the egg whites in a glass tupperware container for an omelet or a scramble so they don’t go to waste!

Cheese: The cheese is everything in this cheesy cauliflower casserole! It helps bind the roasted cauliflower together, gives the casserole an irresistible flavor and goo. Grated cheddar and jack cheese are my cheeses of choice here.

You can easily use mozzarella, gouda, gruyere, parmesan, or any of your favorite fancy cheeses! Just be sure the cheese you use is freshly grated (rather than packaged pre-grated cheese), as pre-grated cheese doesn’t melt as well as freshly grated!

Make the recipe entirely dairy-free by using store-bought vegan grated “cheese” in place of the regular cheese.

Sea Salt: Per usual, we use sea salt for roasting the cauliflower and in the sauce to ensure all of the flavors come together like magic. 

Now let’s make it!

How to Make Creamy Cauliflower Casserole:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil a large casserole dish.

Wash the cauliflower well and pat dry. Remove the green stems, chop cauliflower into florets and add to the prepared casserole dish. Roast cauliflower in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until it begins turning golden-brown.

raw cauliflower in a casserole dish for casserole

While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the sauce.

Make the Sauce:

Pour 2 tablespoons of avocado oil to a large skillet and add the chopped onion. Sauté onion, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes.

Sautéing onion in a stainless steel skillet

Add the garlic and coconut milk and bring to a full boil. Cook at a full boil, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes, until thick and the sauce pulls away from the pan when stirred.

Creamy dairy-free sauce for casserole

Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool for 3 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, add into the sauce mixture and stir well.

egg yolks in cream sauce to make thick

Place the skillet back on the stove top and heat over medium-high again and heat until mixture is steamy but not boiling. Stir in the cider vinegar and 1 cup of the grated cheese and stir until melted and thick.

Add grated cheese to cream sauce

Remove sauce from the heat. Taste sauce for flavor and add more sea salt and/or cider vinegar to taste.

Finished creamy sauce

Make the Casserole:

By the time the sauce is ready, the cauliflower should be out of the oven (or close to it).

Roasted cauliflower in a large casserole dish

Pour the sauce over roasted cauliflower.

Creamy sauce poured on roasted cauliflower

Stir the sauce into the cauliflower very well until everything is well-coated in sauce.

Roasted cauliflower in creamy sauce in casserole dish

Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. 

Sprinkle creamy cauliflower with more cheese

Bake at 425 for for 5 to 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Place oven on the high broil setting and move the casserole to the second-to-the-top shelf of the oven. Broil for 1 to 3 minutes, until cheese is golden-brown and slightly crispy.

Cheesy Creamy Keto Cauliflower Casserole is a low-carb side dish great for any feast

Sprinkle cauliflower casserole with green onion and black pepper and serve.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Does your family love bacon?? Cook up 4 to 6 slices of thick-cut bacon until it’s nice and crispy. Add half of it to the sauce once it has finished cooking, and sprinkle the other half on top of the casserole once it’s out of the oven.
  • Use your favorite melting cheeses for this casserole. I suggest gouda, gruyere, and/or parmesan! White cheddar also works well.
  • If you’re a broccoli lover, swap one of the heads of cauliflower with a large crown of broccoli.
  • Replace the coconut milk with 1 ⅔ cups half & half, heavy cream, or a combination of cream, sour cream, and/or cream cheese. If using cour cream or cream cheese, I suggest using 4 to 6 ounces (or about ½ to ⅔ cup) along with half & half or heavy cream to ensure the casserole isn’t overly rich. 
  • Make recipe entirely dairy-free by replacing the grated cheese with vegan grated “cheese” of choice.

Cauliflower Casserole with creamy cheese sauce - low-carb and keto friendly

 

More Healthy Side Dish Recipes:

Get that cheese!

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Cheesy Creamy Keto Cauliflower Casserole is a low-carb side dish great for any feast

Keto Cauliflower Casserole

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Low-carb cauliflower casserole made dairy-light and keto friendly. Creamy, cheesy, delicious!

Ingredients

For Serving:

  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Roast the Cauliflower:
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil a large casserole dish.
  3. Wash the cauliflower well and pat dry. Remove the green stems, chop cauliflower into florets and add to the prepared casserole dish. Roast cauliflower in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until it begins turning golden-brown.

Make the Sauce:

  1. While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the sauce. Add 2 tbsp avocado oil to a large skillet and add the chopped onion. Sauté onion, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and coconut milk and bring to a full boil. Cook at a full boil, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes, until thick and the sauce pulls away from the pan when stirred.
  2. Remove Sauce from heat and allow it to cool for 3 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, add into the sauce mixture and stir well. Place the skillet back on the stove top and heat over medium-high again and heat until mixture is steamy but not boiling. Stir in the cider vinegar and 1 cup of the grated cheese and stir until melted and thick. Remove sauce from the heat. Taste sauce for flavor and add more sea salt and/or cider vinegar to taste.

Make the Casserole:

  1. Pour the sauce over roasted cauliflower. Stir the sauce into the cauliflower very well until everything is well-coated in sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  2. Bake at 425 for for 5 to 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  3. Change oven to the high broil setting and move the casserole to the second-to-the-top shelf of the oven. Broil for 1 to 3 minutes, until cheese is golden-brown and slightly crispy.
  4. Sprinkle casserole with chopped green onion and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 of 10
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 16gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

Keto Cauliflower Casserole - a creamy, cheesy delicious low-carb casserole recipe perfect for serving friends and family

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Jennifer Dawson

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

It’s in the oven now and smells so good. The only change I made was to add a dash of cayenne . Thanks for the great recipe

Julia

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

My pleasure! I hope you love it! xoxo

Tricia

Friday 4th of December 2020

I'm really excited to try out this recipe! I'm wondering why it calls specifically for 2 egg yolks, and not 1 or 2 full eggs? Especially considering you commented above that we could omit the egg altogether.

Julia

Friday 4th of December 2020

Hi Tricia,

The egg yolks make the sauce thick. As an option, you can omit them and simply cook the sauce longer to condense it in order to make it thick. I wouldn't recommend using a full egg, as the egg white will become gritty, so the texture will not be smooth. Let me know if you have any other questions! xoxo

Kathy

Saturday 31st of October 2020

What can I use as a replacement for the egg? Also do I drain the coconut milk and use just the fat part of the coconut?

Julia

Sunday 1st of November 2020

Hi Kathy,

You can either omit the egg altogether or add an additional tablespoon of flour. Use the full can of coconut milk. So if there's separation between the fat and water, you'll still use the whole thing :D xoxo

Charlie

Saturday 24th of October 2020

Thank you for this delicious recipe! I made it yesterday and utilized some of the additions you suggested such as a cauliflower and broccoli mixture, a nice Gruyere and Swiss cheese mix, a can of coconut milk from the Indian store; I already had all of these things in the pantry/freezer so it was a breeze. The only thing I didn't have were green onions and I regret that as I can see how they would have really set it off even more so. This is an excellent recipe, my wife and I both really enjoyed it, and the best thing is we'll have great leftovers for a few more days! Thanks again!

Julia

Saturday 24th of October 2020

I'm so happy you and your wife enjoy it, Charlie! I love the gruyere and swiss cheese mix adaptation...it sounds so lovely! Thanks so much for the sweet note and feedback! xoxoxo :D

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