Keto Au Gratin
For Thanksgiving this year, we decided to keep things as keto as possible. That meant removing our long-time favorites (like Sweet Potato Casserole and Green Beans) from the menu. I was kind of sad about it at first, but the more I planned out our low-carb menu, the more I didn’t mind the missing side dishes.
When it came time to actually sit down and eat the meal I spent all day preparing, I was actually glad that those things were missing from the table. My tastes have changed significantly since cutting out carbs and sweets, and the only thing I really missed was a fluffy dinner roll (because I will never not love bread).
The surprising thing I’ve noticed since switching to a primarily ketogenic lifestyle is that my body handles dairy much better. I try not to go too heavy on it, but let’s be honest, cheese is delicious. So while dairy gave my stomach problems pre-keto, it really doesn’t when I maintain a diet of 70%+ fats and minimal carbs. Which means dishes like this Cauliflower Au Gratin aren’t a problem for me.
I love the creaminess of this dish, and rather than boiling or steaming the cauliflower to soften it up before baking it in the oven, roasting it really brings out the flavor and gives it a little extra crispiness on the edges. And of course, the addition of bacon crumbles pulls everything together, as bacon always does. This cauliflower dish, paired with our family’s favorite veggie, Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, made for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner this year.
- 2 heads (8 cups) Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1-2 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- 5 slices Bacon, diced
- 2 Tbsp Grass-Fed Butter, + extra for pan
- 2 cloves Garlic, peeled & minced
- 1/4 cup Pork Panko, or finely-ground pork rinds
- 1 1/4 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Freshly Grated Sharp Cheddar, not pre-shredded stuff
- 4 oz Mascarpone, or cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper, or to taste
- 2 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1/4 cup Freshly Grated Sharp Cheddar, not pre-shredded stuff
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9x13" (or 3qt) baking dish. Set aside. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cauliflower florets on it in a single layer. Drizzle very lightly with avocado oil and roast in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until fork-tender. When the cauliflower is cooked, place them in the prepared baking dish.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, place the bacon pieces in a skillet and turn heat up to medium. Cook until bacon is crispy (but not overcooked), stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pork dust and whisk to combine for about a minute. Pour in the cream, whisking the entire time. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 6 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the mascarpone, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Continue whisking until all the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower in the baking dish. Gently stir to coat all the cauliflower. Sprinkle the cooked bacon pieces on top, as well as the parsley and the additional 2 Tbsp cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the top has slightly browned. Remove from oven and server hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g
Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate