This rich and cheesy jalapeno popper cauliflower casserole with bacon is a great low-carb choice for dinner. It’s simple to prepare and reheats well so you can enjoy it for lunch the next day! Naturally gluten-free and keto-friendly.
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What you’ll love about this recipe
- It’s simple! This casserole is pretty darn easy to prepare. Although it does take 45-minutes to make it ready, most of that time is hands-off. You don’t need any special kitchen equipment to make it either!
- It’s gluten-free, vegetarian adaptable, and low carb! This casserole is great for those following a low-carb, keto, or gluten-free diet. Additionally, it can easily be adapted so that it is vegetarian-friendly.
- It’s just as good the next day! Because my kids won’t eat cauliflower when I make this casserole I have to eat the entire pan myself. Since there is no way I could finish it off in one sitting, I end up eating it for lunch and/or dinner several days in a row. Typically, I hate eating the same thing day after day, but this dish is so delicious and reheats so well that I don’t even mind.
Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)
- Cauliflower: A medium-sized head of cauliflower, about two pounds, is perfect. It will need to be cut into small florets. For convenience, you could certainly use frozen cauliflower florets. You will, however, need to thaw it completely prior to use. You’ll need three to four cups total.
- Bacon: I highly recommend thick-cut bacon if you have it.
- Onion: A white or a yellow onion will work for this recipe.
- Jalapenos: You’ll need three medium-sized jalapenos for this recipe. For less heat, make sure to remove the seeds and membranes.
- Cream cheese: It will melt and incorporate better if it is softened to room temperature first.
- Heavy whipping cream
- Ground mustard: A little mustard powder adds tang and brings balance to this dish. If you don’t have mustard powder, you can sub for one teaspoon of yellow or Dijon mustard.
- Ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Cheddar cheese: I prefer to use extra sharp or sharp cheddar but any type of cheddar will do, including smoked.
How to make jalapeno popper cauliflower casserole (+ tips)
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9×9″ baking dish and set it aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the cauliflower for ten minutes then drain and set aside.
3. Place the bacon in a cold medium skillet and cook over medium-high heat for approximately 10-minutes until brown and crispy, stirring occasionally. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined surface using a slotted spoon. **You will likely need to pour out the excess grease a couple of times so that it will crisp up. If you don’t already do so, I highly recommended reserving it in a jar for future use. Check out this article, 10 Reasons You Should Save Bacon Grease.
4. Add the onions and jalapenos to the skillet and sauté for two minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. In a large pot (it can be the same one you boiled the cauliflower in) over medium heat, add the cream cheese and heavy whipping cream and stir until fully melted and combined. *** You may need to use a whisk to remove any clumps of cream cheese. Stir in the ground mustard, black pepper, and salt. Sprinkle in a cup of shredded cheese a little bit at a time and stir until melted and fully incorporated.
6. Stir in the cauliflower, sautéed onion and jalapeno, and the bacon.
7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake for about 25-minutes until the cheese is melted, slightly browned, and the casserole is bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and rest for 10-minutes prior to serving.
Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.
All of the ingredients used to prepare this casserole are keto-approved so yes, it is keto-friendly.
Yes!!! There are no gluten-containing ingredients included.
To make it vegetarian, all you have to do is skip the bacon. Omit step three and sauté the veggies in step four in a teaspoon or two of olive oil rather than bacon grease. Follow the remaining steps as written.
More jalapeno popper inspired recipes you may enjoy:
- Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese with Bacon Onion Jam: It ain’t your standard sandwich; this mouthwateringly tasty jalapeno popper grilled cheese is elevated with the addition of sweet and savory bacon onion jam.
- Wonton Jalapeno Poppers: These simple wonton jalapeno poppers are filled with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar, jalapenos, and green onions + bacon if you choose. Deep fryer and air fryer instructions included!
- Cauliflower Jalapeno Popper Soup: Enjoy all the goodness of a jalapeno popper, but in a bowl, with this simple low-carb jalapeno popper cauliflower soup. It’s simple to prepare in one pot or an Instant pot in just over 30-minutes and gluten-free.
If you make this jalapeno popper cauliflower casserole I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 1 medium (~2 pounds) head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 4 slices bacon, preferably thick-cut, sliced lengthwise then cut every 1/4-1/2-inch
- 1/2 medium white onion, diced
- 2-3 jalapenos, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, could sub for colby jack
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9x9" baking dish and set it aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the cauliflower for ten minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Place the bacon in a medium skillet and place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Cook for approximately ten minutes until brown and crispy, stirring occasionally. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined surface. *You will likely need to pour out the excess grease a couple of times so that it will crisp up.
- Add the onions and jalapenos to the skillet and sauté for two minutes then add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large pot (it can be the same one you boiled the cauliflower in) over medium heat, add the cream cheese and heavy whipping cream and stir/whisk until fully melted and combined. Stir in the ground mustard, black pepper, and salt. Sprinkle in a cup of shredded cheese a little bit at a time and stir until melted and fully incorporated.
- Stir in the cauliflower, sautéed onion and jalapeno, and the bacon.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake for 25-minutes until the cheese is melted, slightly browned and the casserole is bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and rest for 10-minutes prior to serving.
Storage: Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 604mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 18g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc