This Fully Loaded Smashed Cauliflower is an over-the-top cauliflower side dish. It’s filled with bacon, green onion and a a creamy cheese sauce much like a loaded baked potato minus the carbs. It’s certain to delight everyone at you family dinner table.
Cauliflower Is a Rockstar Side Dish
Tips for Making Fully Loaded Smashed Cauliflower
I can’t think of a single way that I don’t enjoy cauliflower.This smashed cauliflower is one of the dishes I refer to as “company worthy.” Easy enough for a weekday but special enough to serve guests. To save time, grate the cheese, slice the onion and prepare the bacon then you’ll have ingredients ready for assembling. In fact, this entire dish can be assembled in advance and chilled then baked when you’re ready to eat. I like to sprinkle the top with crushed fried onions but, this is truly optional if you want to keep this dish as low carb as possible. If you’d like to spice things up, checkout this recipe for Curried Red Pepper and Pickled Cauliflower from Noshing with the Nolands.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Fully Loaded Smashed Cauliflower
- 2 lb cauliflower florets steamed [See Cook's notes]
- 8 oz whipped cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 0.4 oz package dry buttermilk ranch dressing mix
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6-8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese divided
- 1/3 cup crushed garlic-pepper french fried onions optional [i.e. Fresh Gourmet]
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Steam the cauliflower for 8-10 minutes until tender. Drain well.
- Place into a medium-size mixing bowl. Use a fork to chunky smash the steamed cauliflower. Add the whipped cream cheese, sour cream, melted butter, dry buttermilk ranch, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, bacon crumbles, green onions, and 1 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Mix until fully combined.
- Pour into the baking dish. [Reserve 3 Tbsp bacon crumbles and green onions for the top]
- Sprinkle the top with 1 cup of shredded Colby-Jack cheese and a few bacon crumbles. Top with french fried onions, if desired.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.
- Garnish with reserved sliced green onions.
- Serve immediately.
b) 2 lb cauliflower florets would be approximately equal to 2 heads of cauliflower, stems removed.