I’ve really been loving cauliflower lately. When I saw it was on sale last week at my local grocery store, I was all over that! I debated making a batch of my favorite cheesy cauliflower soup, but knew I should crawl out of my comfort zone and come up with something new. I decided on a cheesy cauliflower bake. I wanted it to be super cheesy and creamy in the center with a crispy panko topping. That is exactly what I got; it was perfect!
After browsing quite a few recipes for inspiration (on pinterest, of course), I settled on a recipe to use as a template for my delicious creation. I started with this cheesy cauliflower bake recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe, added onions, changed out the topping, and made a few other adjustments.
I like to use sharper cheeses for dishes like this or homemade mac and cheese; I absolutely love that sharp taste when the cheese is melted. I used a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella (about 1 1/2 c cheddar and 1/2 c mozzarella), because it was what I had in my fridge, but of course, you could use any cheese you like. I wanted to cut some calories so I stuck with 1% milk for this dish. You can substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth as Mel did) for the milk, and it might turn out thicker/creamier. Don’t get me wrong, this cauliflower bake was creamy; but it wasn’t terribly thick. Overall, I’m super happy with this side dish and will definitely make it again! It will be perfect for family get-togethers over the holidays or an easy potluck dish!
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk, slightly warm
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used sharp cheddar + mozzarella)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and flour and cook until golden and fragrant.
- Slowly whisk in the milk. Add cauliflower, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and all of the grated parmesan.
- Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes until topping is golden brown.
You may substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth) for the milk to make it thicker.
I love orzo. I love it even more when it’s smothered in cheese. This was an easy and delicious dish that I see reappearing on my table in my future, maybe with some more vegetables thrown in.
Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli (serves ~3)
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ~1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water and sea salt to boiling. Add orzo and cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli cuts and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until orzo is tender.
- Drain thoroughly.
- To the now empty pot, add butter and heavy cream. When butter is melted, add cheeses and orzo/broccoli mixture and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste and additional cream (or milk) if necessary.
This stuffed bread was fantastic! I love the combined flavor of fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella! Definitely something I will make again because it was super easy to whip up. I used a loaf of homemade crusty bread, but you could obviously use any type of bread if you don’t like a hard crust. The one thing I would change would be to use freshly shredded cheese as opposed to pre-shredded, it just doesn’t melt quite as nicely. Otherwise, perfect!
- Round loaf of bread (I used a loaf of mozzarella-basil crusty bread)
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp green onions, diced
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cut the loaf in half and hollow it out just a little bit.
- In a bowl, combine garlic, basil, green onions and mozzarella cheese.
- Spread the tomatoes over the bread in a layer.
- Cover it with the cheese mixture.
- Place the top of the loaf on top and cover with foil.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
I’ve only recently discovered the wonder that is a slow cooker. It is the easiest way to make anything…ever! It only gets better now that it’s cold out, and soup seems like an acceptable meal seven days a week. I had two heads of cauliflower that I wanted to use up, and as soon as I started thinking about it, I decided cheesy cauliflower soup would be perfect. I looked at a couple recipes to get an idea of what I wanted, and ad-libbed the rest. It turned out really great, and you could easily adjust the ingredients to fit your taste or the vegetables you have on hand.
Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
- 2 heads of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 med potatoes, chopped (2 c)
- 2 med carrots, chopped (1 c)
- 1 med onion, chopped (2 c)
- 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
- 2 cans of vegetable broth (4 c)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- few dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 8 0z sharp cheddar, shredded
- Place all of the vegetables in a crock pot.
- Pour the vegetable broth over the vegetables, and add salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix it up a little bit.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.
- In a blender, food processer, or magic bullet, process soup in batches until smooth (I left mine a little chunky).
- Return it to the slow cooker and stir in cheese and butter.
- Cook on high for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.
To make a breadbowl:
- Start with a round loaf of bread. Cut a circle into the top of a round loaf of bread, angled in.
- Remove the piece that you just cut.
- Scoop out as much as you want from the inside of the loaf, just be sure not to go too deep or you risk the soup leaking out.
- Fill with soup!
Crockpots are the greatest thing. Nothing beats coming home to a prepared meal, still warm, after a long day!
I had a bunch of produce from the farmer’s market that I wanted to use before it started to go bad, so I threw it all in a crockpot and added some tomato sauce, more or less. My husband said it was one of the best things I had ever made – quite the compliment! He had devoured most of it before I got home from working a night shift, and we packaged the rest for him to take to work for lunch. So unfortunately, there are no pictures of it after it was cooked.
Crockpot Vegetable Casserole
- 1 24 oz jar tomato sauce
- 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 large carrots, sliced (~2 1/2 – 3 cups)
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (~2 cups)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (~1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
- 1 cup frozen beans, thawed
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a blend of mild cheddar and white cheddar)
- In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Spray the inside of your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the potatoes on the bottom; they can overlap (if you use a smaller crockpot, you could use half of the potatoes and add another layer of potatoes later).
- Do the same with the onions and half of the carrots.
- Pour half of sauce over the veggies and top with half of the cheese.
- Layer the broccoli, beans and the remaining carrots.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
- Program crockpot to cook on high for 3 1/2-4 hours.
My husband loves baked macaroni and cheese, so whenever I find an interesting looking recipe, I have to give it a go. I came across this on pinterest and have never seen mac & cheese made like this before! Continue reading