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Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole

This Flavorful Cauliflower Bake Is the Perfect Side Dish for Any Meal

This loaded mashed cauliflower casserole is a delicious dish that can be served as a side to your favorite meals. Loaded with cheese and bacon, it's so tasty that your kids won't even know they're eating cauliflower! You can also use the Instant Pot to help make this tasty side dish but it's not required.

a spoonful of loaded cauliflower casserole
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I hadn’t tried mashed cauliflower until recently. I’m a lover of mashed potatoes so it wasn’t ever in my radar to mash cauliflower instead! About a year ago I discovered that cauliflower can take the place of so many less healthy alternatives. We’ve recently had cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower tacos, and now mashed cauliflower!

An Old Favorite Reinvented

Cauliflower is one of the few vegetables that I’ve actually liked since I was little. I was a picky eater when I was little, not so much anymore!

I’ve recently been eating it a lot more in an effort to eat fewer carbs and get more veggies in my diet. I usually steam cauliflower in the Instant Pot and it’s ready and cooked to perfection in no time. The Instant Pot has made it a breeze to steam veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.

baked cauliflower casserole
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As for this Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole, it’s definitely got some ingredients that are not low in fat, but hey, it’s Ok to indulge once in a while! And if you take into consideration that this is a low carb dish, it’s a good deal!

A Cheesy Bit of Goodness

If you haven’t tried mashed cauliflower, you are missing out! It’s so good, you can literally just mash it and eat it without adding anything to it. It’s creamy and has a natural buttery flavor in my opinion.

But if you really want to please your taste buds, then I highly recommend making this cheesy, creamy loaded mashed cauliflower casserole.

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mashed cauliflower casserole with bacon
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An Easy Side That Will Impress

We’re talking cheese, cream and bacon, you can’t go wrong with that combination! It also looks so pretty in a serving dish with all the different colors on top! Your family or your guests will definitely be impressed.

easy cauliflower casserole
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I was a little worried the kids wouldn’t like it since they had never had mashed cauliflower. Well, they all loved it! Everyone had seconds and we went through the whole dish in no time!

Like I mentioned, I steam my cauliflower in the Instant Pot, but you can make this recipe even if you don’t own one. You just need to make sure you steam it enough to be able to mash it into a smooth and creamy consistency.

Kitchen Prep Tools, Utensils & Appliances

Here is a list of the kitchen prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

Prep Tools & Utensils

These are the items you’ll need to prep and make this recipe:

  • You’ll need to cut the cauliflower into florets so, a cutting board and a knife will be necessary.
  • If you are steaming the cauliflower in the Instant Pot, then you’ll either need a steamer basket or a trivet.
  • A pair of mini mitts is also helpful for removing the cauliflower from the pot after it has steamed.
  • I use my food processor to get the cauliflower extra smooth.
Appliances & Cookware

You will also need the following appliances and cookware to best steam the cauliflower:

Instant Pot Accessories

Make sure to check out my post on Must-Have Accessories for the Instant Pot. You’ll find a complete list of all the top accessories that can be used with your Instant Pot.

Best Bakeware

If you’re serious about baking, make sure you have these Essential Bakeware items in your kitchen. You’ll find a complete list of all the Best Bakeware that you’ll need to properly equip your kitchen for baking.

Now it’s your turn to give this Loaded Mashed Cauliflower recipe a try!

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole

Loaded with bacon and cheddar cheese.

4.58 from 7 votes
DifficultyNot Too Tricky
Cooking Method(s)
  • Bake,
  • Instant Pot
Oven Temp450°
IP Pressure LevelHigh
IP ProgramManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Pressure Release
Total Time
35 minutes
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
This warm and comforting casserole is loaded with flavor and makes a great side dish for any meal.
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Category: Casseroles
Diet: Keto
a small bowl with loaded cauliflower casserole
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  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets, rinsed, and steamed, approx. 2 lbs
  • 2 tbsps salted butter melted
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tbsps scallions chopped


  • Preheat your oven to 425°.

steam the Cauliflower

  • While I prefer using the Instant Pot to steam cauliflower, an Instant Pot is not required for this recipe. You may steam the cauliflower on the stove if you wish. If steaming on the stove, ensure that you steam the cauliflower until it is soft.
  • To steam the cauliflower in the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water to the pot. Place the trivet or steamer basket inside the pot and then put the cauliflower florets in the basket.
  • Close the Instant Pot and set it to 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' High Pressure for 3 minutes.
  • Once cooking has completed, immediately perform a quick pressure release (QPR).
  • Once the pressure has been fully released, open the pot and then allow the cauliflower to sit in the pot while you gather the remaining ingredients.

combine the Ingredients

  • Remove the cauliflower from the Instant Pot and add it to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, garlic powder and salt to the food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Remove the bowl from the food processor base and then carefully remove the blade from bowl. Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 4 strips of crumbled bacon to the mashed cauliflower. Mix in by hand with a spatula.
  • Spoon the mashed cauliflower mix into a 9 x 11 baking dish and spread the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon evenly across the top.


  • Place the baking dish on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and begins to get toasty in spots.
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with the chopped scallions.

Nutrition Facts

While every effort is made to correctly calculate these nutritional facts, they should be used as general guidance as they may not be 100% accurate.

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 260mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 28.1mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 0.5mg
instant pot loaded cauliflower
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