Loaded Cauliflower & Chicken Casserole

May 1, 2013

It is rare that I would guess a recipe with the word “loaded” in the title is something healthful and packed with veggies. But this is that rare case! There’s bacon. There’s chicken. There’s lots of cheeses. And there’s a lots of freshly boiled cauliflower to keep things in perspective.

This is a casserole I can stand behind.

Loaded Cauliflower and Chicken CasseroleLoaded Cauliflower & Chicken Casserole
Serves five to six

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup bacon pieces (about 2.8 ounces)
6 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange chicken in a 9×13, foil-lined baking dish. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. Slice chicken.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 6 minutes. Strain cauliflower.

In a 9×13 baking dish, stir together cauliflower, chicken, 1 cup monterey jack cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon pieces, green onions, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with remaining 1 cup of monterey jack cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Head of CauliflowerLoaded Cauliflower and Chicken CasseroleLoaded Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole

4.8 from 16 reviews
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup bacon pieces (about 2.8 ounces)
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange chicken in a 9×13, foil-lined baking dish. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. Slice chicken.
  2. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 6 minutes. Strain cauliflower.
  4. In a 9x13 baking dish, stir together cauliflower, chicken, 1 cup monterey jack cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon pieces, green onions, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Top with remaining 1 cup of monterey jack cheese.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.

Adapted from Louanne’s Kitchen.

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  • Hunky Dinkmore

    I shred the chicken instead of slicing but otherwise follow the recipe. Family and (even discriminating, Cauliflower hating) friends) LOVE it

  • Celie Crandall

    Awesome! I put lots of spices in both chicken and cauliflower and use pepper Jack. LOVE THIS RECIPE. My non-Keto hubby will love this.

  • Jennifer

    I halved the recipe and it made a lot! I’ll probably need to freeze a few portions for later lunches. I added some sour cream, dry Hidden Valley Ranch mix, and poached the chicken breast. Delish!

  • Kim

    Generally, when I make a recipe for the first time, I follow the recipe to a ‘T and make any desired changes the next time I make it. But, after reading comments, and from personal preference, I made some changes the first time today. First, I took out a 12 oz pack of bacon, cut it up and cooked it until crispy. I had dry brined my chicken breasts and then I cooked them in the same skillet as I had cooked the bacon. I only partially cooked them, leaving them with a little pink in the center, knowing that the time in the oven would finish cooking them and they wouldn’t be shoe leather afterwards. Since I vacuum seal my boneless chicken breasts in packs of two, I had 4 breasts. After slicing and adding 3 to the ingredients, I realized another one would be fine so added all 4. I also planned to use about half the bacon, but as I mixed it I saw that adding all the bacon would be perfect. I also lightly sauteed the green onions in the chicken/bacon skillet then added them to the mixture. I cooked the cauliflower in steam bags in the microwave just until they were crispy soft. The oven time took care of making them perfectly soft without being mushy.I put all the ingredients in a large bowl to mix instead of trying to mix it in my casserole dish(which I had sprayed with PAM). As I mixed everything I thought it looked like it might turn out a bit dry as some had commented, so I added some canned cream of mushroom soup to the mixture. For the topping cheese, I mixed some cheddar and the pepper jack i had grated for the filling, and sprinkled them over the top. They equaled more than a cup, but a nice cheese topping never hurts.So, although I made some changes, they really weren’t much different in ingredients, just in amounts. This casserole is de;icious!

  • Stefanie

    Second time making this deliciousness. This has to be our new fav way to make chicken, first of all! Love the golden, roasted outcome.
    If you’re just feeding 2-3 folks, I would highly recommend halving this recipe. It’s a LOT of prep work but just so tasty! Definitely a keeper.

  • Kathryn


    How would I turn this into a freezer meal? I’m gonna make it and then ffreeze it. How long would i bake it for at what temp?

    • Stacey

      Yes, also wondering how to turn this into a freezer meal?

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  • Anonymous

    I used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon, and also added about a cup of cooked quinoa and a cup of mushrooms. Also added 1 can of condensed cream of chicken and half a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. It was AMAZING!

  • Anonymous

    This was absolutely delicious!!!! Thanks for the recipe ❤

  • Jason

    Looks great, will try it soon. Mixing in some fresh herbs would go a long way. You’ll probably want to up the salt and pepper as well. I’d cook the chicken with some Paprika if you wanted to amp it up. Seems like a good start … very basic. So many other cheeses out there to us … MJ is pretty boring IMO.

    • Donna

      Yes, I was thinking pepper jack would be good.

  • Crissy

    Delicious casserole! I added maybe a half cup of sour cream! We loved this and will definitely make it again!

    • Rachel Schultz


  • Mark

    I tried this tonight. I cooked the chicken in the bacon drippings, added cream cheese and used only cheddar, I used less chicken to lower the protein and used more cauliflower. Lot of garlic on the chicken, sprinkled a bit of basil on the top after cooking. I think I will try it with either a taco seasoning or enchilada sauce next time. Keeps well for left overs and take to work dish,

  • Jenn

    I think this would be a decent dish, but you can’t roast chicken for 45 minutes…I took it out at 25 minutes and it was still over done

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes you definitely have to take into account how you like your chicken and how large your pieces are cut.

    • Terri Adder

      roasting chicken for 45 minutes has to be an error.

  • Nancy

    Made this in a half recipe, used half a white onion (diced small then sauteed in the bacon grease) instead of green onions. It was delicious! I’d make it again but probably use more cheese

  • jan

    Delicious. Thank you. It’s a keeper.

  • Oh my goodness, my family loves this so much!! We actually added Buffalo sauce to it to spice it up, but seriously, so delicious!!

  • Megan

    I made this tonight and it was delicious, but seriously only need to use about half the amount of cheese this recipe calls for. I used about 3/4 of it and it was plenty.

  • Cara

    His is the cauliflower rices in this dish it looks rices but it doesn’t say in recipe

  • Steve

    This went over very well. I sub’ed the Monterrey Jack for a package of cream cheese. Also didn’t have chicken so used some cubed/chunked ham. I’m going to make this for the next potluck and bring in a crock pot.

  • Katie

    I’m just a middle school student and this was so easy to make! A bit time consuming ’cause it was only me, but it was worth it! I added sweet potato and carrots to mine, and it was delicious!! Thanks for the great recipe, definitely making it again sometime!!

    • Lorie Bonnette

      I love that Katie is in middle school and cooking!! Great❤️❤️❤️

  • Shelli

    I was wondering if the chicken and bacon is already cooked before you put it in the casserole dish? Also, how much sour cream did everyone use?

    • Katie

      Hi Shelli – I actually didn’t use sour cream, and it was still good! You should definitely cook the bacon and chicken first, or it’ll probably turn out raw in the end and contaminate the entire dish!!

    • Patricia Venator

      Yes the chicken and bacon are cooked before adding it to the cooked cauliflower. It goes into the oven to warm it up and melt the cheese. Hope this helps.

  • Sonda

    I made this earlier in the week. We used two heads of cauliflower, cubed 3 chicken breasts and added a cup of sour cream. It was delicious although I could have used 3/4 cup of sour cream and that would have been fine too! This is our new go to side dish for BBQ’s instead of potato salad!. Thanks!

  • I made this tonight and added celery, sage, cream cheese and a tiny bit of Jimmy Dean’s hot sausage along with some Jane’s Crazy mixed up salt. It was absolutely DIVINE!

  • Heidi Parker

    I made this tonight and its wonderful!! I did pulse the cauliflower in the food processor until it resembled mashed potatoes. For the bacon, I used a container of Real Bacon. I will definitely be making this again (just with less green onion). Thank you for the amazing recipe!

    • So glad to hear that! I had ALREADY turned my cauliflower into rice and wondered if I could still make this recipe. GR8 2 KNOW!

  • Kate

    Looks super tasty, and I’m following the tips posted. Not sure if you keep close track of this sort of thing, but this recipe is posted in its entirety with no credit at this site:


  • Stacy

    Wow this was delicious. One would not know potatoes were not in this. I took the recommendation of others and added an 8 oz container of sour cream. One large head of cauliflower was perfect. My kids thought it was potatoes and chicken. Definitely a keeper!

  • Chris

    I put Sour Cream in mine

  • Anonymous

    I add sour cream to mine and its very good. Im going to try cream of chicken also next time.

  • Claire Niles

    I made it this evening. I cooked the bacon first, used four peices of bacon. half the cheese, one head of cauliflower and poached the chicken breast, I sprayed the bottom of my 11×9 dish. I broiled the top after baking it for 25 min. It dd look chunky, I thought it looked very appealing. It would serve four people.

  • Stephanie

    I would much prefer if the measurements were listed in cups rather than ounces. It’s much simpler than converting and measuring.

  • Debbie

    What am I missing? Is there any liquid in this recipe? I followed the directions completely – – mine didn’t look anything like the picture (cauliflower is still in chunks even though I steamed it first) and the casserole is quite dry.
    I added a little water to my serving and microwaved for a few minutes
    I still don’t think I’d make this again.

    • Megan

      I added one can of cream f celery soup. Much better

    • Andy Deans

      I made this today and it turned out perfect (Banting friendly I’m told). I was concerned at the start that it would be too dry and decided to boil the cauliflower. This really worked and the meal was thoroughly enjoyed. A couple of hints : Once on your plate, add salt to bring out the taste, sprinkle black pepper and a dash of chutney really makes it worthwhile. Simple meal, short preparation and minimal cooking time.

    • Anonymous

      I roasted my cauliflower in advance.

  • Lauren

    This was AMAZING! I altered it a bit though. I made half the dish with cauliflower and broccoli to try it out as i enjoy broccoli. I can’t say that I will be making it like that again. The half where I followed the directions was very tasty. I will be trying it with mushrooms next time. I love that I feel like I’m eating something really bad but it’s actually fairly healthy. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  • Lorraine Norman

    Have made this many times the family loves it

  • Michelle

    I just made this for dinner yesterday and was absolutely fantastic! I took another commenters advice here and added mushrooms that I sauteed with sweet onion (did not have scallions on hand) and used mesquite grilled chicken breasts cubed to add a little more flavor. WOW anyone who likes casserole or cauliflower dishes need to add this to their menu which takes no time to make and for those whop do not like them, I think will after they try it. The bacon gives it a kiev flavor. Just love it!!

  • Patrick

    I put this into MFP (minus the green onions):
    Serving: 1/4
    4 servings

    Calories 520(g)
    Fat 34(g)
    Saturated 17.9(g)
    Cholesterol 147.5(mg)
    Sodium 880(mg)
    Carbs 9.6(g)
    Protein 43(g)

  • Lorrie G

    Do you think I prepare this as a freezer meal?

  • ju91296

    I made it with chicken! So good next time im going to add mushrooms

    • Love this great recipe….using chicken broth, Portobello mushrooms, cauliflower, onions…..cheese ….delicious xoxoox. will make it for family Sunday dinner xoxo Thank you

  • Dorothy

    I made this recipe but how can it be 3-4 servings and use 2 heads of cauliflower? Thanks

  • allison Singleton

    Any Idea the calorie count? It looks fabulous and I want to try it. Or how many servings it will have?

  • Tammy

    I made this for my family and even my daughter who can’t stand cauliflower said that she was impressed! Delicious! I cooked the bacon ahead of time and I was glad I did! For some reason I can’t get it to pin to my pinterest account by clicking on the pinterest emblem at the bottom of the recipe. Thanks!

  • Jim

    Best recipe I have tried in a long time. Everybody went back for seconds and some for thirds. Thank you, Rachael.

  • Tina

    Do you think this could work in a crockpot?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I have not tried it.

    • Andrea

      Did you try this in the crockpot? Please share how your experience went if you did. I am very curious.

  • Haydee

    I had to substitute a few ingredients bc all of a sudden I wanted to search online for a Cauliflower/chicken casserole and did not want to go back out to the store. I steamed cauliflower, carrots, potatoes and peas and added it to my cooked cubed chicken breast. I added a little milk, flour, a touch of butter and Mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper to taste. My oh my was this delicious!!! I will definitely make this again and hope to have bacon and cheddar cheese on hand next time ;)

  • Joy

    I make a simuliar dish ” Mock Macaroni And Cheese” with cauliflower instead of noodles. For preferred texture cook cauliflower to your personal preference, the smaller chopped the softer. THEN…..drian cauliflower and spread it out on a clean dish towel on the counter. As it cools blot with paper towel to absorb extra water. This helps alot to reduce the water in the bottom of the dish.
    Also…. for a creamy texture I use cream cheese instead of jack cheese. Just soften in microwave to stirring consistentcy. I also stir in a couple of teaspoons of dijon mustard, just a interesting flavor twist. It is fun to play around with a recipe and make it your own!
    Tonight I am going to try it with bacon, chicken, and green onion. One dish meals are my favorite.

  • Kim

    Hi. I would love to make this recipe but am concerned about it being dry as I note that there is no liquid in the recipe. Does the use of Monterey Jack cheese make the dish creamy and less dry? We dont get this cheese in South Africa so any suggestions on what I can use in its place? Thanks. Kim

    • E

      I actually had the opposite problem – my cauliflower brought too much liquid to the dish.

  • Mary

    So good!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Cheese is so not paleo.

    • Anonymous

      I do a pale plus dairy diet and it works well for me. We just eat entirely too much of it in modern society.the brain reacts to cheese similar to how it reacts to drugs. It becomes an addiction.

  • I just saw cooked and cubed on the recipe. I don’t know how I missed that. Question answered.

  • Is the chicken raw or pre-cooked? The recipe sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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  • lorraine

    Made this tonight..the whole family loved it… nothing left over for the family dog!

  • Amiebrae

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! In an attempt to get rid of an extra stalk of celery, I threw that in as well and OMG it made it taste amazing! it was just the right amount of crunch. It complimented the rest of the ingredients well, and hey, more hidden veggies for kids! Next time I make this, I will be adding a few stalks of celery. Thank you for this great casserole dish that did not need a can of cream of something!

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  • Carol

    I made this last night, but I must have done something wrong. I found it very dry. Perhaps I didn’t have enough cheese? Maybe I didn’t cut the cauliflower small enough? It didn’t look as good as yours. It tasted great, but it was dry. I had shredded chicken leftover so I used that. Would that be a contributing factor, do you suppose? Thanks anyway. :)

  • Lisa

    Made this – halved – as directed and it was awesome! Great low-carb comfort food.

  • Julie

    Absolutely amazing dish!!!!

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  • Lynde

    Made this last night. Subbed a bag of frozen cauliflower & a bag of frozen broccoli, used garlic powder, and jalapeno flavored bacon bits-everything else per recipe. Was ok last night, but today it is really really really good! Super for Adkins-especially to have prepared ahead of time, so not tempted to grab junk to eat! Thanks for a super recipe!

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  • Lisa

    My teenage boys loved it! I only used 1 large cauliflower (chunky) Swiss & cheddar & lots if garlic!!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yum! Great additions.

      • Lisa

        I copied & shared on Facebook. Friends are sharing it now too

        • Rachel Schultz

          Great. Thanks Lisa!

  • nancy

    Thank you! Thank you! I gave up bread, rice, noodles and potatoes over six months ago (lost 50 lbs without trying) but I miss casseroles… This tasted like real wholesome food without the guilt!

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  • meredith

    Have you ever substituted broccoli in place of the cauliflower? I’m not a fan of the cauliflower but, the recipe looks great so, I’m wondering about subbing broccoli-yay or nay?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Sounds interesting. Try it and let me know!

  • erin

    Hi there…do you see any problem with assembling this and making the next day?

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  • Jessica

    OH GOOD GLORY. This was sooooo gooood!! Definitely going into rotation! Thanks!!!

  • Marisa

    Great recipe! My kids all had 2 servings…that means it’s a winner!
    Thanks again for another great recipe.

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  • MJ

    This was a very good recipe. I know it aggravates people when posters compliment a recipe and then say how they changed it, but since I was just making this for my husband and me, I couldn’t imagine using 2 heads of cauliflower. I used one med-to-large head of cauliflower, three chicken breast halves, and only three green onions. I used the amount of cheese and bacon called for in the recipe but I increased the garlic to about 2 teaspoons of minced garlic.

    This still made enough to fill a 2-quart casserole dish and could easily feed 4-5 people. I cooked the cauliflower to be “fork tender” but not mushy. During the course of stirring the cauliflower into the cheese mixture, the cauliflower still held its form–it did not “mash” down, so my casserole didn’t look like the picture. However it did look good and taste good!

    One last note…cauliflower holds a lot of water, so after I dished out dinner, a lot of water started to accumulate at the bottom of the casserole dish. It did not do that on people’s plates and I simply drained the dish before I put away casserole for leftovers. Don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks for the tips!

  • Cherie

    This looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Loved it! It didn’t look appetizing before cooking but tasted great! Full of flavor!

  • Debbie

    I was wondering if you have the nutritional value of this dinner? I just made it and everyone(including the kids) loved it.

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  • Lori

    Do you have the nutritional information for this recipe? I am trying to eat low carb and would like to know. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    sounds yummy.. must try it

  • Rachel

    What do you do after you steam the cauliflower, do you chop it? Mash it? What? It goes from steaming to stirring it into the cheese mixture so I am unsure what to do… Thanks!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Sort of a mash, but it happens pretty well while stirring the cheese in.

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  • Rachel,
    I thought I hated cauliflower until I made this recipe. See my post on it here: http://www.savingmoneylivinglife.com/2013/06/cauliflower-casserole.html

    Thanks so much…linked back to you!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Heather!

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  • How small did you cut your cauliflower? Because I made this for dinner tonight with small pieces, and there is no way I could cut it into nice squares. It was yummy, just different looking!

    • Rachel Schultz

      The florets were probably still a couple inches in size. Although it shouldn’t matter since you mash them up eventually anyway. I’m glad it was still yummy!

      • Melody

        Where does it say you mash them up…? My cauliflower was too firm to mash.

  • What an exciting dish! I am on Atkins diet and this has virtually no carbs thank you,

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great, Derek. I’m glad.

    • Lynn

      Cauliflower does have quite a few carbs.

      • Moe

        One cup of cauli only has about 5 total carbs…2 grams of fiber, leaving 3 net carbs…that’s low carb.

  • Deb

    I just made this for dinner. It was delicious! Thanks so much!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Great! You’re welcome.

  • Vanessa

    Do you cook the bacon before putting in the dish to bake?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes! I used store-bought bacon bits (the big, crumbled kind).

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