This easy, low-carb baked cauliflower casserole is smothered with homemade meat sauce, gooey blobs of fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with fresh basil. Baked Cauliflower Casserole With Meat Sauce makes for a delicious dinner even the kids will enjoy. Serve with a mixed green salad and you have a perfect week night meal that is great for leftovers too!
One bite of this baked cauliflower casserole with sausage meat sauce and you’ll have a new go-to recipe!
This casserole is an absolute family favorite in our house. Loaded with sausage, which packs a ton of delicious flavors, this baked cauliflower casserole is similar to a cheesy meat lasagna but you can save yourself a bunch of time and ditch all the carbs and layering fuss!. Easy enough to whip together for a weeknight dinner but also special enough for your next dinner party; serve as the main entree or side dish.
What makes this Baked Cauliflower Casserole so delicious? Homemade sauce of course!
This quick and flavorful sauce will have you ditching your go-to jarred sauce. Easy, fresh flavors simmer together in less than 30 minutes. Did I mention you’ll have a new go-to recipe? It took me a few tries to find the right brand of tomatoes that gave me the sweet flavor I was looking for. La Valle D.O.P San Marzano tomatoes are my absolute favorite! Paired with sausage, onion, garlic and fresh basil – they make this dish simply irresistible!
How to make the sauce
- Brown the sausage, onion and garlic season with Italian seasoning
- Mix in La Valle D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes, break up the tomatoes to release additional juice
- Add chopped basil
- Add sweetener of choice to cut the acid
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Simmer and enjoy!
Preparing the cauliflower
- Cut and remove the stem – once removed the cauliflower should naturally break into large florets
- Break down the larger florets into medium bite sized pieces
- Prepare a pot of boiling water add sea salt and cauliflower – you can either boil or steam (5-7 minutes, slightly tender but still has a crunch)
- Remove from heat/ strain and set aside to assemble casserole
- TIP: If you are preparing pasta as a second option use the steamer for the cauliflower and cook at the same time.
Preparing the casserole
- Spread a little sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish
- Add cauliflower florets and pour meat sauce on top making sure you have a good layer on all florets
- Sprinkle fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese and place in the oven
- Bake and garnish with fresh basil
If you are not big into cauliflower but still want to keep this dish low-carb, keto-friendly here are other variations that are delicious and hearty:
Simply cut your squash in half length wise, rub a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash flesh side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 375º for 30-40 minutes. I like the squash to get a nice golden brown roast on the outer flesh. Allow to cool a bit before handling, then scrape the squash with a fork to give you long strands – similar to that of spaghetti.
Cut the zucchini into quarters and sauté using extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Top the zucchini with meat sauce add some parmesan and mozzarella cheese, heat to melt -Yum!
Traditional Baked Ziti
In our house not everyone eats low carb so having both pasta and a low-carb alternative keeps everyone happy and on track. If you want to make a more traditional baked ziti I would suggest using ziti which is a pretty common pasta but you can sub penne pasta if you can’t find it. You want to use a short pasta shape that has places to hold the meat and sauce. You can assemble this dish ahead of time and pop it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to do the final baking.
This easy, low-carb cauliflower casserole is smothered with homemade meat sauce, gooey blobs of fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with fresh basil. It makes for a delicious dinner even the kids will enjoy. Serve with a mixed green salad and you have a perfect week night meal that is great for leftovers too!
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 1 lb. (16 oz.) ground sausage
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 can (28 oz.) La Valle D.O.P. San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tbsp sweetener of choice (swerve)
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or 1 mozzarella ball cut into cubes
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Preheat oven to 350º.
Heat a sauté pan over medium/high heat. Coat with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add sausage and Italian seasoning, cook until mostly brown. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Sausage should be browned at this point.
Mix in La Valle D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes, break up the tomatoes to release additional juice. Add salt, pepper, sweetener and basil. (Optional - if you like a little heat add red pepper flakes to taste).
Turn heat to low and cover. Simmer for roughly 25 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering prepare the cauliflower. Cut and remove the stem – once removed the cauliflower should naturally break into large florets. Break down the larger florets into medium bite sized pieces.
Add sea salt and cauliflower to boiling water – you can either boil or steam (5-7 minutes, slightly tender but still has a crunch)
Remove cauliflower from heat and strain, set aside to assemble casserole. Coat bottom of casserole dish with sauce, add cauliflower. Carefully pour meat sauce mixture over cauliflower. Generously sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
Garnish casserole with chopped basil. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Nutrition: Per Serving - Serving Size 6
Calories: 309 | Fat: 21 | Protein: 18 | Net Carbs: 11