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.
I’ve been making loaded mashed cauliflower often. My family loves it and requests this side dish every chance they get. And I am happy to oblige!
Cauliflower: an ideal low carb substitute
It’s no wonder cauliflower is such a hit in the low carb world. It’s healthy, extremely versatile, and it makes a wonderful substitute for potatoes. A few great examples:
Mashed cauliflower is 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. 😀
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- Butter: I use unsalted butter.
- Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Did you know that garlic has several health benefits?
- 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.
- Chives or parsley for garnish: Not mandatory, but without it, the dish looks kinds brownish…
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 the bacon. First, you need to cook and crumble the bacon.
- Cook and mash the cauliflower. Then, microwave the cauliflower and mash it with butter and spices.
- Assemble the dish and bake. Layer everything in a casserole dish – cauliflower, bacon and cheese- and bake until hot and bubbly.
How to serve loaded mashed cauliflower?
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 garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 medium head cauliflower (1 lb. when trimmed)
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/4 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 1/4 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.