Here's a recipe for nutritious Cauliflower Casserole that satisfies like mac and cheese. There's plenty of healthy kale and quinoa in the mix and just enough sharp cheddar cheese to give it rich flavor and irresistible melted cheesiness.
I'm a big fan of recipes that turn vegetables into crave-worthy comfort food.
True comfort is greatly enhanced when you know that the dish you are enjoying is also good for you.
I'm not averse to the occasional indulgence in all-out mac-and-cheese with noodles, creamy béchamel sauce and buttery breadcrumbs. It's one of my favorite splurges. But for the regular dinner rotation it's great to have a healthier recipe in the repertoire.
And honestly, this dish is so delicious, once you try it you may never go back to mac and cheese.
Cooked cauliflower is a great 'mac' substitute. It's so delicious in this casserole, you might need to remind yourself that you're eating vegetables. And there's no need for breadcrumbs here. The quinoa gets brown and crispy on top when baked.
There's plenty of ultra healthy kale in this cauliflower casserole, which also gets nice and crisp on top, and there's just enough sharp cheddar to achieve a wonderful melted, oozing, cheesy deliciousness.
How To Make This Cauliflower Casserole
- Start by boiling a cup of quinoa in a large pot with extra water because you'll be adding the cauliflower to the same pot.
- Cut a head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
- When the quinoa is half cooked, after about 7 minutes of simmering, add the cauliflower to the same pot. After another 7 minutes, drain the cauliflower and quinoa in a colander.
- Meanwhile, remove the stems from a bunch of kale. Toss the leaves with olive oil and roast them in the oven until they're soft and crisp on the edges.
- In a big bowl, toss the quinoa, cauliflower and kale with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, milk, mustard, salt and pepper.
- Pour the whole mixture into a casserole and bake for 30 minutes.
This Cauliflower Casserole comes together in about an hour, with only 20 minutes of hands-on time, a great dish for busy weeknights.
If you want to save even more time, you can do most of the prep a day ahead. Cook the cauliflower, kale and quinoa and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Just before baking, toss the quinoa and veggies with cheese, milk, mustard and spices.
Freezing and Reheating Instructions
I've cooked this cauliflower casserole many times while testing the recipe and ended up with more than we could eat. So I threw a batch in the freezer and was pleased to learn that this dish freezes and reheats beautifully.
- If you want to freeze this, transfer it to a freezer-friendly plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
- To defrost, pop the cauliflower casserole out of the container and place it in a heavy casserole dish. Warm in a 350ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until it's heated through. Tent with foil if it starts to get too brown for your liking.
What to serve with cheesy cauliflower casserole
All you need is a side salad to round out the meal. Even though there's no pasta here, it feels like a pasta and salad supper. I like to serve this simple green salad on the side or this Italian tricolor salad.
Other Delicious Vegetarian Casserole Recipes on Panning The Globe:
Here's the Cauliflower Casserole Recipe. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print