Enjoy loaded mashed cauliflower with bacon and cheese and you won't miss the potatoes! It's scrumptious, delicious, very filling, and keto/low carb.
It's no wonder I have so many cauliflower recipes on this blog! It's such a tasty and versatile vegetable. Mashed cauliflower is especially delicious and surprisingly similar to mashed potatoes. This makes it an ideal low-carb and keto substitute.
Loading the mashed cauliflower with bacon and cheese makes it even better. But hey, bacon and cheese make everything better! 🥓🧀
Cauliflower: the ideal keto substitute for potatoes
It's no wonder cauliflower is such a hit in the low carb world. It's extremely versatile, and it makes a wonderful substitute for potatoes. A few great examples in addition to this tasty recipe:
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make loaded mashed cauliflower. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Butter: I use unsalted butter. I especially like creamy European butter, but any butter will be great.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work equally well. Garlic powder works too - I would use ½ teaspoon in this recipe.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of regular salt.
Bacon: You can cook it yourself or use store-bought bacon bits. And if you'd rather avoid processed meats, you can simply omit it.
Cauliflower: You should definitely use fresh cauliflower in this recipe. I don't think frozen will be as good.
Shredded cheddar: Sharp cheddar is so flavorful. Sometimes I even use extra-sharp cheddar.
Chives or parsley for garnish: Not mandatory, but without it, the dish looks kinds brownish… so while I mostly use these herbs for garnish, I do recommend including them.
How to make loaded mashed cauliflower
It's easy to make, although this recipe does have a few steps. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Cook and mash the cauliflower. Then, microwave the cauliflower and mash it with butter and spices. You can also steam the microwave if you wish. But the microwave is fast and convenient.
Assemble the dish and bake. Layer everything in a casserole dish - cauliflower, bacon, and cheese- and bake until hot and bubbly. This should take a mere 5 minutes in a 400°F oven.
How to serve this dish?
While it's very versatile and can be served with pretty much anything, this is a very rich side dish. So to balance it out, I serve it with simple, lean main courses such as:
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. The bacon does lose its crispiness, but the dish is still very rich and flavorful. Reheat the leftovers in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Loaded Mashed Cauliflower
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 medium head cauliflower (1 lb. when trimmed)
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
- ¼ cup chopped chives or parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the butter, garlic, kosher salt and black pepper in your food processor bowl.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then crumble. Set aside.
- Trim the cauliflower and cut into chunks. Place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add ¼ cup water. Cover, and microwave on high until very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and transfer to the food processor.
- Process the cauliflower until very smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides with a spatula.
- Transfer the cauliflower puree to a small casserole dish. Top with the shredded cheddar and the crumbled bacon. Bake just until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Top with the parsley and serve.