Home Low Carb Air Fryer Recipes Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

by Karly

This CHEESY CAULIFLOWER BAKE is a simple, hearty low carb side dish that the whole family loves! It cooks quickly in the air fryer and comes out cheesy and loaded with bacon!

A white bowl full of cheesy caulilfower on a white serving tray

Frequently when dieting side dishes become a sticking point. It is hard to find substitutes for the potatoes that we have been eating all our lives. I mean, you don’t realize how often you eat potatoes until you try to stop eating potatoes!

So you mix things up and eat a whole lot of other types of sides, like air fryer asparagus, air fryer mushrooms, and air fryer zucchini.

Then you get into the caulilfower. It’s not a 100% replacement for potatoes, but oh man…if you treat it right, it’ll be delicious!

This cheesy cauliflower is one of those tasty dishes that we did right. We roast the cauliflower in the air fryer with bits of bacon and then we top it all with cheese and green onion. You could even dollop some sour cream on top before serving, if you like.

Ingredient Notes:

ingredients for loaded cauliflower all spread out

Cauliflower – You can buy a bag of florets to save time, or you can buy a head of cauliflower that you will cut into florets yourself.

Bacon– We’re using thick-cut bacon and sprinkling it right in with the cauliflower. No need to pre-cook it.

How to make:

Prep- Chop your cauliflower into florets and add them to a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to make sure you’ve coated the cauliflower in the seasoning.

Raw bacon pieces on top of cauliflower in an air fryer basket

Cook the cauliflower– Place the cauliflower in the air fryer basket and cook at 360 degrees F for 5 minutes. Remove the air fryer basket and stir the cauliflower. Sprinkle the raw, chopped bacon on top of the cauliflower and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the bacon is at the crispness you like. Stir this every 5 minutes while it is cooking.

unmelted cheese and green onions piled onto cauliflwoer in an air fryer basket

Load the cauliflower– Dump the cauliflower and bacon into a small casserole dish that will fit inside your air fryer basket. Sprinkle cheddar and most of the green onion onto the cauliflower. Cook for another 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from the air fryer and garnish with the remaining green onion.

Pro Tip:

Transferring the cauliflower and bacon to a baking dish before topping with cheese isn’t necessary, but it does make for a prettier final dish to bring to the table. You can absolutely leave the cauliflower in the air fryer basket and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve directly from the air fryer basket or transfer to a dish after it’s finished cooking.


Can I make the loaded cauliflower ahead of time?

Sure! This will reheat well in the air fryer at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. If possible, leave the cheese off until you’re ready to heat and serve.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, of course, but depending on the size of your air fryer you might need to cook this in batches.

Does this taste like potatoes?

While the flavors are similar to that of cheesy potatoes, the texture of cauliflower is a lot different from potatoes. This dish is similar, but you won’t fool anyone into thinking they’re eating potatoes.

A baking dish of cauliflower and cheese in an air fryer basket

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

You aren’t a huge fan of bacon?

While rare, I do sometimes come across a person who doesn’t like bacon. You can either leave the bacon out of the recipe, or you can substitute pepperoni, ham, or even taco meat into this recipe.

Also, if you don’t have cheddar available no worries. Just use a cheese that melts easily.

Overhead view of a serving tray with loaded cauliflower and two forks on it

More low carb air fryer recipes:

A wooden spoon with a scoop of cheesy cauliflower on it.

Let us know your opinion!

We’d love to hear what you think of this recipe! Leave a comment and star rating down below! And don’t forget to pin and share!

Overhead view of a white backign dish full of loaded cauliflower

Air Fried Loaded Cauliflower

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This cheesy cauliflower is a great low carb side dish. The bacon cooks right along with the cauliflower making for easy prep.


  • 1 fresh cauliflower head, around 2 lbs (note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped bacon
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, sliced, divided


  1. Use a sharp knife to remove the stem and leaves from the cauliflower, then break apart the florets with your hands into similar sized pieces.
  2. Mix the cauliflower with oil, salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer the florets to the basket of your air fryer and cook at 360°F for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir, sprinkle with chopped bacon, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until cauliflower has reached desired softness and bacon desired crispness (note 2). Stir everything once or twice during that time.
  5. Transfer cauliflower and bacon to an oven-safe dish that fits the basket of your air fryer. (note 3)
  6. Sprinkle with cheddar and ¾ of the green onion and bake for another 3 minutes on 360°F until cheese is melted.
  7. Garnish with remaining green onion before serving.


Note 1: You can also use frozen cauliflower but let it thaw completely and cut the florets into similar sizes. 

Note 2: Cooking time depends on the model of your air fryer, size of cauliflower florets, and desired doneness. I recommend checking in after around ¾ of the suggested cooking time to see if the food is already cooked to your liking.

Note 3: You can absolutely skip the step of transferring the cauliflower to a baking dish and just sprinkle the cheese right over the top. It just makes for a messier air fryer basket. You can either serve directly from the air fryer basket or transfer to a dish to bring to the table. It just won't be quite as pretty once transferred to another dish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 1086mgCarbohydrates: 12gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 18g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

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