Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower 2

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower

I’m a little preoccupied with college football as well as high school volleyball lately.  I love watching my kids play ball!  They all have worked so hard over the years to get to do what they love to do; that brings a lot of pride and satisfaction to a momma’s heart.  Let’s keep it going!

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower 1 All this frenzied fun this fall has taken a toll on the frequency (or lack therof) of my blog posts, but I wanted to share a delicious dish I discovered and modified a few weeks ago when perusing recipes on my favorite online cooking site:  You can find the best recipes that are quick to prepare with easy to find ingredients; that’s my kind of cooking.  This is a fabuloso (spoken with a thick accent while I kiss my fingertips) Italian-style dish which uses cauliflower in place of pasta.  I modified it significantly from the original, but we loved it and shared it with friends on another occasion with great reviews.

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower 3

I’m not a big cauliflower eater although I love that cauliflower is somewhat mild in flavor, but high in nutritional value so it can hide in a number of ways in traditional dishes while bringing tons of vitamin C and K, both super power anti-oxidants.  But the benefits of cauliflower go well beyond the traditional nutrient profiles.  The phytochemical properties of cauliflower are impressive.  Beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol are among cauliflower’s key antioxidant phytonutrients. This broad spectrum antioxidant support helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells, which contribute to cancer.

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower 4

The rich sauce starts with low fat ground meat flavored with onion, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings.  Marinara or spaghetti sauce as well as Italian stewed tomatoes are added and allowed to simmer while the cauliflower is steamed or microwaved.  The sauce is poured over the cooked cauliflower and baked for 20-30 minutes followed by a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  So memorable!

One Year Ago:  Creamy Butternut Squash Ravioli

Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (26-ounce) bottle spaghetti sauce (I like Classico Traditional Tomato and Basil)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Italian-seasoned ready-cut stewed tomatoes
  • 3 pounds cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in beef. Sprinkle with basil, salt and peppers, and sauté 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in sauce and tomatoes.
  3. Place cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Drain any excess fluid.
  4. Place cauliflower in prepared baking dish; top with sauce mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Add cheese and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

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Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash

Italian Style Spaghetti Squash






Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

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