Creamy Cauliflower Cheese n Cheese with Bacon

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Fresh cauliflower topped with a creamy sauce and then topped with a pinch of bacon and baked until bubbly with sticky melted cheeses; This creamy cauliflower and cheese with bacon gets the go-ahead from all my kids every time I make it.

It never ceases to amaze me that my children, who would be highly unlikely to choose to eat cauliflower on their own, will happily devour multiple servings when prepared in this manner. Of course, what you don't love about vegetables topped with a spicy cheese sauce and topped with bacon, right?

While there are plenty of amazing pasta dishes that my family loves, this creamy cheese and bacon cauliflower definitely won't leave you thinking that something is missing. This creamy bacon and cheese cauliflower is an amazing accompaniment to almost any meal, but it is hearty enough to be a main course as well. For my meat-loving family, I usually serve this with baked or fried chicken drumsticks.

If you're looking for more fabulous cauliflower recipes to try, this garlic and paprika roasted cauliflower and this spicy caramelized cauliflower go away almost as fast as I can cook them! Old Bay Cauliflower Salad and Crispy Cauliflower Tacos also sound amazing.

Cooking tip: I use this baking dish, this saucepan, and this flat whisk to make this recipe.

Creamy Cauliflower Cheese n Cheese with Bacon

Preparation time: 15 minutes.

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Cook time: 20 minutes.

Total time: 35 minutes

Servings: 6 servings as a garnish or 2-3 servings as a main course

Calories: 351kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded minced cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups grated Pepper Jack cheese set aside about a cup to cover
  • Optional: 4 slices of bacon cut into 1/2 "pieces and cooked until crisp

Instructions

  • Rinse and dry the cauliflower. Remove all the sheets. Cut from top to bottom stem, into 1/4 ā€thick slices. The cauliflower should basically fall apart. The idea is to create thin bite-size pieces. Place the cauliflower in the bottom of a baking dish, use a 10-inch square or round. Season the slices liberally with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the starch and beat to combine. Add milk and continue beating until smooth and hot. Add half of the cheese and stir to combine. Continue beating until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth again.

  • Add the rest of the cheese (reserving the value of a cup to cover) and stir again until the sauce is smooth and the cheese has completely melted. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and top with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with bacon, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 165mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 537 mg | Iron: 0.5mg

{originally published 02/24/14 – notes and photos updated 01/28/18}

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