Cheesy Baked Bacon and Cauliflower

Anyone who has attempted to be halfway healthy has learned that cauliflower is a miracle vegetable. Floating around the internet you can find recipes for cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower bread, and other types of witchcraft. But did you know that you can use cauliflower as a thickening agent in sauces and gravys instead of a roux? Because you totally can!

That’s the magic to this recipe. You get all the warmth and gooiness of a bacon mac and cheese (cooking the cauliflower in bacon grease doesn’t hurt), but you’re also doubling down on the veggie goodness. Is it the healthiest thing on the planet? Not quite. But can you feel relatively guilt free about this? Of course! It makes an awesome side or main dish.

Ingredients:

  • 10 slices of bacon cut into lardons
  • 3 heads of cauliflower cut into quarter-sized florets
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups of the sharpest cheddar you can find grated
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere grated
  • 1 cup parmesan grated
  • 5 Velveeta singles
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Add the oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and saute until the bacon gets the way bacon’s supposed to be, about seven minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.

Pour the bacon grease over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Divide the cauliflower among two sheet trays, hit with 1/2 tsp of salt, and bake for 20 minutes.

Once the cauliflower is done baking blend 1/4 of it with the milk and add the mixture back to the saute pan over medium heat. Stir in and melt the cheeses. Season the sauce to taste. Stir in the bacon and the rest of the cauliflower. Dump into an 8×8″ baking dish, top with the paprika, and bake for 35 minutes.

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