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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, of course, but depending on the size of your air fryer you might need to cook this in batches.
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.
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.
More low carb air fryer recipes:
- Easy Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Buffalo Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Frozen Shrimp in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Steak Bites
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Air Fried Loaded Cauliflower
- 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
- 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.
- Mix the cauliflower with oil, salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated.
- Transfer the florets to the basket of your air fryer and cook at 360°F for 5 minutes.
- 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.
- Transfer cauliflower and bacon to an oven-safe dish that fits the basket of your air fryer. (note 3)
- Sprinkle with cheddar and ¾ of the green onion and bake for another 3 minutes on 360°F until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with remaining green onion before serving.