This creamy, cheesy Cauliflower Casserole with bacon gives the loaded baked potato treatment to cauliflower au gratin.

Creamy cauliflower casserole in a baking dish with bacon and cheese

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If you’re looking for a single side dish to serve at your next holiday gathering or family dinner that pleases just about every taste preference and diet under the sun, look no further than this easy cauliflower casserole.

  • The Vegetable Haters. Tender, caramelized roasted cauliflower florets are hidden amongst indulgent, melting pockets of cream cheese, gruyere, and crispy bacon, a.k.a. you’ll question whether or not this dish actually contains vegetables (same goes for this Broccoli Bake).
  • The Health-Conscious. Healthy swaps, like Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese, cut calories without sacrificing flavor in this creamy cauliflower casserole without mayo or sour cream.
  • The Vegetarians. This recipe is easy to scale. You can easily divvy it up into a second smaller (or larger) casserole dish to make a vegetarian cauliflower casserole without bacon (this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese can also be easily adapted).
  • The Carb Counters. No need to make a separate low-carb option. The recipe, as it is written, is already an excellent side dish for the carb-conscious at your dinner table.

It’s easy to prepare (it can even be made ahead) and offers that sought-after WOW factor from the very first bite.

easy cauliflower casserole in a baking dish with bacon and chives

5 Star Review

“OMG! This was amazing! EVERYONE raved about it! I will definitely make it again!”

— Renee —

How to Make Cauliflower Casserole

So, how do you make a healthy cauliflower casserole bake?

A handful of simple ingredients and a few straightforward steps and you’re on your way to creamy, cheesy cauliflower casserole nirvana.


The Ingredients

  • Cauliflower. Unlike raw cauliflower (which is bland), roasted cauliflower (like in this Roasted Vegetable Salad, for example) is complex, caramelized, and rich. For maximum ease, I roasted the cauliflower in the same baking dish that I used for the final casserole; no need to wash in between.

Cauliflower Health Benefits

  • It’s no secret that cauliflower is good for you. Cauliflower is packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and countless antioxidants.
  • Additionally, cauliflower is a low-calorie superfood loaded with dietary fiber, folate, and choline.

All of that nutritional benefit does not mean that we should have to sacrifice taste. In fact, this cauliflower casserole (as well as these Grilled Cauliflower Steaks) is so stand-out delicious, you’ll forget that what you are eating is good for you.

  • Garlic Powder. All the garlic flavor without the fuss of actually chopping garlic.
  • Ground Black Pepper. Kicks up the cauliflower and jives well with the bacon.
  • Ground Nutmeg. My nod to the traditional flavors in a classic cauliflower casserole au gratin recipe.
  • Reduced-Fat Cream Cheese. Lends the ultimate creamy texture that ramps up the “loaded” factor of this dish.
  • Greek Yogurt. My sneaky swap for mayo or sour cream that keeps this cauliflower casserole creamy. I opted for nonfat plain Greek yogurt to keep the recipe on the lighter side.

Substitution Tip

You may also make this cauliflower casserole with low-fat sour cream.

  • Bacon. Turns this casserole into the stuff of dinner legend. For maximum ease, I use my easy Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon method.
  • Cheese. Gruyere and Parmesan are the perfect nutty combination here! (This Brussels Sprouts Casserole is another side dish crowned with this tasty cheese combo.)

Substitution Tip

If you don’t have Gruyere, any similar melty, alpine-style cheese will work wonderfully.

  • Chives. A beautiful addition of color and fresh flavor.

Recipe Adaptations

I adore this healthy cauliflower casserole just as it is, AND I adore the different delicious spinoffs it can create. A few ideas:

  • Loaded “Baked Potato” Cauliflower Casserole. Swap the Gruyere for sharp cheddar and the nutmeg for cayenne.
  • Fontina and Herb Cauliflower Bake. Swap the Gruyere for fontina, add 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme to the cauliflower prior to roasting, and top the final casserole with chopped, fresh parsley. Bacon optional…or not.
  • Italian. Swap the Gruyere for shredded provolone or mozzarella, omit the nutmeg, and add 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning plus a pinch of red pepper flakes to the cauliflower prior to roasting.
cauliflower casserole ingredients including chives, cheese, pepper, and garlic.

The Directions

  1. Lightly coat a casserole dish with nonstick spray, and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Toss the cauliflower florets with the oil and spices, then roast until tender.
  3. Cook and crumble the bacon. Mix together the cream cheese, yogurt, and shredded cheese.
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven, dollop with the cream cheese mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
  5. Bake the cauliflower casserole at 425 degrees F for 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Pop under the broiler to brown the top. Sprinkle with chives and additional bacon. ENJOY!

Dietary Note

  • To Make Gluten Free. No changes! This casserole is naturally gluten free.
  • To Make Vegetarian. For a vegetarian cauliflower casserole recipe, omit the bacon.
  • To Make Vegan. This would honestly be difficult. Since there are few ingredients, each is important, and I’m not as comfortable with the dairy-free options in this case. Instead, I’d look for a recipe that’s already vegan, like my Mashed Cauliflower Colcannon (so good!) or Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole.
Loaded cauliflower casserole bake served in a baking dish with cheese, chives, and bacon

Make Ahead + Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store creamy cauliflower casserole in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also gently rewarm leftovers in the microwave until heated through.
  • To Freeze. Place leftover casserole in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Here’s how you can make this cheesy cauliflower casserole ahead.

  • Roast the cauliflower 1 day in advance, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare the cream cheese mixture 1 day in advance and store in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to cook, warm the cauliflower in a baking dish in a 350-degree F oven until hot.
  • Let the cream cheese mixture come to room temperature.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F, then dollop on the cream cheese mixture, top with cheese, and bake as directed.
cauliflower casserole with bacon, cream cheese, and Greek yogurt garnished with chives in a casserole dish

What to Serve with Cauliflower Casserole

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Casserole Dish. These white casserole dishes are classic, elegant, and look beautiful with any table setting.
  • Sheet Pan. Not just for cookies, I love this sheet pan for baking bacon and roasting veggies too.
  • Cheese Grater. Preshredded cheese may be convenient, but sometimes you just cannot beat freshly grated cheese.

My Everyday Casserole Dish

I love this Le Creuset casserole dish with its lid that doubles as a serving dish. Plus the stoneware is unmatched in durability and even heat distribution.

Loaded cauliflower casserole in a baking dish

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Whether you are looking to please picky eaters (hi, cream cheese and bacon), try new easy cauliflower recipes, or are among those who *think* they don’t care for baked cauliflower recipes, I hope you give this loaded cauliflower casserole a try.

It’s sure to be a fast favorite at your table!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cauliflower Casserole Keto?

While cauliflower is a keto-approved food, I’m not as familiar with the specifics of that diet, so I would recommend checking other resources if you’re looking for a keto cauliflower casserole or keto cauliflower recipes.

Is Cauliflower Casserole Healthy?

Yes. Or, at least this recipe is. Some cauliflower casseroles are made with copious amounts of cheese and heavier ingredients like mayo or sour cream. My version opts for Greek yogurt, reduced-fat sour cream, and less cheese to cut calories but still yield an impressively creamy and cheesy cauliflower casserole.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower?

I have not personally tried this swap, and I don’t think I would recommend it. I fear the frozen cauliflower would make this casserole too watery so I would stick to fresh, if possible. If you decide to experiment and make a frozen cauliflower casserole, I would love to hear about your results.

Loaded cauliflower casserole in a baking dish

Cauliflower Casserole

5 from 36 votes
Creamy and cheesy cauliflower casserole with cream cheese and bacon is an easy, low-carb side dish perfect for holidays and gatherings.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 50 mins

Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • medium heads of cauliflower cut into bite-size florets (about 3–4 pounds cauliflower, prior to being cut, or 5–6 cups florets)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Gruyere or similar melty, nutty, alpine-style cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives chopped

Instructions
 

  • Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a wide 3-quart (9×13) casserole dish, with nonstick spray, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared casserole dish and spread it into an even layer. Keep the bowl handy. Roast cauliflower on the lower rack for 30 minutes, until the florets are tender and begin to brown.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the bacon strips in a single layer on the prepared foil-lined baking sheet. Bake on the upper rack until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the bacon and cauliflower from the oven. Stir the cauliflower, spread it back into an even layer, and place it on the upper rack to continue cooking until the end of its baking time.
  • Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and lightly pat dry. Once cool enough to handle, roughly chop or crumble the bacon into small pieces.
  • In the same bowl that you used to toss the cauliflower, beat together the cream cheese and Greek yogurt until combined. Stir in 1/3 cup Gruyere cheese, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and half of the chopped bacon.
  • Remove the roasted cauliflower from the oven and dollop the cream cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup of Gruyere and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  • Return the pan to the upper third of the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and gooey, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Broil the casserole until golden on top, 1 to 3 minutes. Do not walk away, and watch carefully to make sure the cheese does not burn.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh chives and remaining bacon. Serve hot.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO FREEZE: Baked cauliflower casserole may be kept frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before warming.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm the cauliflower casserole in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F until steaming and heated through.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: The cauliflower can be roasted 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The cream cheese mixture can be prepared 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, warm the cauliflower in the baking dish in a 350-degree F oven until hot. Let the cream cheese mixture come to room temperature. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F, then dollop on the cream cheese and bake as directed.
  • TO DOUBLE: This recipe is easy to scale! Feel free to double it (bake in two separate 9×13-inch pans) or halve it and bake in a 1 1/2-quart casserole or gratin dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 8Calories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 11gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 34mgPotassium: 529mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 266IUVitamin C: 70mgCalcium: 208mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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79 Comments

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  1. A couple of comments. First, for religious reasons, I don’t eat bacon. I discovered Light Life’s vegan crumbles at a local Whole Foods. I substituted one for one in the recipe and they were tasty. Second, the recipe calls for two heads of cauliflower. At the store I noticed a purple and an orange variety of cauliflower; and I used one of each. It made the dish more interesting visually. Third, there was not enough of the cream cheese & yogurt topping; plus the cream cheese, even at room temperature, was not easy to mix things with. If I make the recipe again, I would double the amount of cream cheese and yogurt and substitute all yogurt for the cream cheese. Finally, it tasted great and got “very tasty” reviews from my eaters. Thank you !5 stars

  2. I made this for my son’s family as he and his wife are on a low carb diet. I tasted it before I took it to their house and it was delicious! Unfortunately, my husband decided to place it on top of our cooler to carry it into their house. I was in their kitchen and heard a loud crash. My daughter-in-law and I ran into the entryway and there was my husband standing there holding the cooler – with the cauliflower casserole on the floor and my beautiful casserole dish broken into the food. Grrr. It definitely was a time consuming dish, even though I did buy cauliflower florets, but worth the time. I guess I’ll make it for them again this weekend! But this time I’ll do the carrying. I had made a good chicken cheese and bacon dish and veggies with Uncle Dan’s so my son scrambled a bunch of eggs so we had another dish.  ?5 stars

    1. Oh NO! I’m so sorry about the crash, Jill. Thank you for leaving this review, and I hope you get to enjoy it next time!

  3. Great recipe! But my husband doesn’t eat meat so we used veggie based bacon and we also used a hickory smoked gruyere cheese which made it even more flavorful. Definitely will make again. We paired it with grilled artichokes and that was dinner!5 stars

  4. OMG … THIS!!! I made this today to ‘try’ before making for a family picnic this weekend. Wow, this is amazing! Not only is it easy to make it is absolutely DELISH! I’m glad I made it up ahead of time so I can have this one to myself without sharing = ) Thank you for an AWESEOME recipe. Even my SO who claims not to like cauliflower had a second helping of it.5 stars

  5. I made this last night and was told by my wife it was the best cauliflower dish that she has ever had. I agreed. Simply delish!! There is a good reason I follow Erin and Well Plated, and have for some time now!! Great dishes and ideas.5 stars

    1. YAY! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Chris! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  6. I’m adding this to my holiday/special occasion list. This is comfort food at it’s best. Kids and husband devoured it. It tastes like 500 calories per bite. Another great recipe.5 stars

  7. Cauliflower stew is very delicious and attractive. I really like the way you prepare food. The food is quite simple.5 stars

    1. Hi Debbie! I have not tried this recipe with frozen cauliflower, and I’m afraid it may make the dish liquidy. If possible, fresh cauliflower will work best for this recipe. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  8. I love this recipe…absolutely delicious.  I made the Cauliflower  Casserole as a mail course along with a salad.  This recipe is a keeper.5 stars

  9. Can I put it together and freeze it or should I cook it all the way and freeze it? Will this change the flavor or consistency? Just trying to get ahead with all the cooking before thanksgiving, red all the comments but didn’t see this being asked 
    Thank you

    1. Hi Claudia! I have not tried to freeze this recipe, but I think cooking it first and then freezing it will be the best method. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  10. Made this for Thanksgiving and it sure didn’t last long at all ! The only thing I would change would be to make the cream cheese sauce a bit thinner so it could be easily spread over the cauliflower rather than making dollops of it. Other than that – just delicious!5 stars

  11. This recipe is great made it for Christmas with Cornish game hens, I used smoked cheddar cheese instead of the Gruyere cheese  and added chopped onions to the bacon while it cooked what a great flavor everyone loved it , will definitely make it again . Thank you for the recipe 5 stars

  12. My entire family (including non-keto bunch) absolutely demolished this casserole, we all loved it! I’m not a domestic kitchen pro or anywhere near but since on keto diet i have been making interesting and easy meals, this looked easy to me – yes, i base it on quick, convenience before taste, lol! I used two full large cauliflower, generic spices, the gruyere cheese i’d never heard of but got it at the deli whole (they only had smoked), and pretty much x1.5 the whole recipe. I did the bacon in a pan and only used one rack and it turned out. What a delicious meal! We had it with garlic butter fried chicken. For a simpleton like myself, it was so easy to make for getting off of work and going to the store quick to buy cheese, and prepping, it was absolutely scrumptious! Thank you! Will definitely be having this again and again!5 stars

  13. This is absolutely the best! I substituted sour cream for the Greek yogurt as I didn’t have any available and did not add the nutmeg as I forgot lol, but best recipe ever!5 stars

  14. Just made it & everyone in family loved it.  My teens not big on casseroles but Recipe sounded great. I did not use bacon but sprinkled breadcrumbs, and used Gouda(that’s what I had). Under baked a little but it stayed in oven warming 20 min extra and cauliflower still had great bite to it; so it would be easy to do ahead and reheat. I would thin out cream cheese mixture with milk maybe next time as personal preference but everyone loved as it was written. 5 stars

  15. Hi there, can this be made ahead of time, cooled and then frozen to be thrown in the over at a later date?

    1. Definitely, Melissa! You can freeze the cooked casserole for up to 3 months, then let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. I hope you enjoy it!

  16. A small suggestion.

    When starting out making this delicious dish, I set my cauliflower to roast on a half sheet pan because ….that’s how I always roast my vegetables? I was thinking I would roast the whole hug head of cauliflower I had purchased and then turn it into two separate casserole dishes.

    My daughter took one look at the roasted cauliflower on the sheet pan after learning the next step was to smother it in a cheese sauce and exclaimed that was so wrong! Make more cheese sauce and smother each delectable bite in it!

    And so we did. And so delicious! We had some crusty cheese skirt and incredible levels of flavor. I had roasted it on a parchment covered sheet pan, so stickage was not an issue.

    Normally cauliflower anything is not something the family will tolerate two days in a row. They DEMANDED this again tomorrow night with a different protein.5 stars

  17. Thanks for this post! I had forgotten about this cauliflower recipe. It’s perfect for cooler weather. We really like it too. I’m going to make it tonight since I have fresh cauliflower in the fridge! Guess it’s time to transition to more oven cooking. Just put the grill away this week. Thanks again, keep the emails and instagrams coming!5 stars

  18. I’ve made this recipe before and love it. Can I prepare the casserole and instead of baking right away, can it be frozen to bake at a later date?5 stars

    1. Hi Jan! If you check out the “Make Ahead + Storage Tips” and “Freezing Cauliflower Casserole” sections of the blog post, you can find some ideas for making this ahead and freezing it. I hope this helps!

  19. This was incredible! My fiance isn’t big on “health food” and was skeptical while we were cooking, but we both LOVED it! His family was shocked I got him to eat cauliflower and he said don’t count on enough left over for tomorrow’s dinner because he’d eat it throughout the day and for a midnight snack! Every recipe of yours we’ve tried, we’ve loved.5 stars

  20. Can you substitute something for the bacon? I have some vegetarians in the family but I know that bacon usually adds fat flavor so I don’t want to just cut it out.

    1. Hi Sarah! You can simply omit the bacon (the casserole will still be delicious). I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  21. My goodness this was delicious!! A keeper for sure. I made this for family Easter dinner and there wasn’t a bit left in site. Everyone loved it, even all the children devoured it. Will make again no question. I roasted the cauliflower, did the bacon and seasonings and prepped the cheeses all the day before. It was super simple to put together and heat up in the oven the next day. Thank you for the fantastic recipe.5 stars

  22. Excellent recipe. I substituted a red pepper spiced humus for the cream cheese and a shredded Mexican blend cheese for the Gruyère. I also bumped up the bacon by a couple slices. I kept everything else the same. I was very pleased with the outcome and will definitely repeat this meal.5 stars

  23. I’m leaving 5 stars although my dish was in the 3-4 star range. The ingredients & idea are excellent, but you may need to adjust depending on taste. I only had about 4.5 cups cauliflower, and i’d prefer twice as much (2 heads-ish). The end result was way too cheesy and rich for me. My 4.5 cups cauli only took up about half of the 9×13 casserole dish. Also, I had 3 slices of leftover bacon from breakfast, and that was more than enough. Even with 2x the amount of cauliflower, 3 bacon strips would work fine. I subbed sour cream for greek yogurt & dubliner cheese for gruyere. I’ll def make again, with 2x the cauliflower.5 stars

  24. we love this cauliflower casserole. I’ve made it a few times and have passed this recipe on to others. My mouth is still watering from just eating it.5 stars

  25. ‘Just wondered how you would adjust cooking time to half the recipe since I’m normally cooking only for 2. Thanks in advance for your help. ‘LOVE your recipes and all the wonderful tips you include. :)

    1. Hi Jaycee, I haven’t tried it myself, but you should have to adjust the cooking time, just the amounts of the ingredients. Hope you enjoy it!

  26. A great recipe for cauliflower. My family announced it was the best cauliflower they have ever eaten!5 stars