Cheesy Cauliflower Bites

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable. It can be disguised into mashed potatoes, bread (watch for that recipe post in the future), salads, soups, and side dishes. And a head of cauliflower can go a long way. When I buy a large head I can usually get two recipes out of it, which also makes it a very economical vegetable.

Over the years I have posted many cauliflower recipes including Fake Rice, Brocauli Coleslaw, and Roasted Cauliflower Dip. Today, I just wanted to make a quick side dish for dinner and dress it up a bit. As I was putting the ingredients together I was thinking of other ways to use this recipe. For instance, spacing out raw cauliflower florets for bite-size portions onto the baking sheet and topping with cheese (for vegetarian version) and/or adding the crisp bacon would make an easy appetizer. 

Right now I’m checking the garden for signs of cauliflower heads poking out of the leaves and hoping the winter isn’t too cold or severe so my plants can flourish. Cauliflower is supposed to be a hardy winter over plant – we’ll see! Grow baby grow!

I used a store-bought head of cauliflower for this recipe which was a nice healthy head.

Steamed and ready to bake.

Olive oil and seasonings added.

If you want to make more individual servings or bites, space the florets out to make small bunch or pieces. These can be used for appetizers or a garnished side. 

Layered with cheese and turkey bacon, ready for baking.

Hot out of the oven sprinkled with chives. Oh sooo good!

Cauliflower Cheesy Bites
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups cauliflower florets (1 small head or 1/2 a large head)
  2. 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  5. 2 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (or bacon of your choice)
  6. 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. PREP: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with cooking spray, non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  2. Steam cauliflower in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 5 minutes or until just shy of tender. (NOTE: a little crunch is good or if you like cauliflower on the tender side, cook a little longer.)
  3. Drain cauliflower and add to a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder). Toss to coat.
  4. Lay coated cauliflower in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Top with cheddar cheese and bacon.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with chives and serve.
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