Get them to eat their veggies with these yummy baked cauliflower bites au gratin with pancetta. With all the cheese, they may not notice its a veggie.
I’m always looking for new ways to get in my daily low carb vegetables. And cheesy dishes always seem to be what I gravitate to.
I decide to rework a Ham Stacks Au Gratin recipe I found at Pork Be Inspired. That recipe used potatoes so I replaced them with cauliflower.
You could use ham like the original recipe. But I liked the idea of using thinly sliced Pancetta in these baked cauliflower bites instead.
I also changed up the cheese to use a blend of mozzarella and cheddar. They are more every day cheeses and easier to find.
You’ll need some cauliflower rice for this recipe. I riced two large heads of cauliflower. The easiest way to make cauliflower rice is to cook it in the microwave.
An egg mixture is used to bind the cauliflower together into small thin rounds. These are the mock potato slices used in the low carb baked cauliflower bites au gratin stacks.
It is a bit of extra work to make the small cauliflower rounds. But, the stacks are really cute and are a great way to sneak in some veggies.
You can make up the rounds ahead and just put the stacks together when you are ready to serve them. You’ll want the cheese to be nice and gooey when serving.
These baked cauliflower bites au gratin make awesome appetizers too. So, you may want to keep the recipe for those game nights with family and friends.
There’s a variety of spices added to these cheesy stacks which really enhances the flavor. To make these your own, you can always change up the seasonings, cheese, and meat used.
I think bacon would also taste amazingly good in these yummy cauliflower stacks if you don’t have pancetta. And, all long term low carbers should have a stash of bacon in the fridge or freezer.
You don’t even need a fork to eat these tasty cauliflower bites. Just pick them up with your hands and eat them like a sandwich. Of course, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t too hot.
The rounds in this baked cauliflower bites recipe reminded me a little of potato tots. So, I may try baking them in mini muffin pans similar to this recipe from my friend Kalyn.
With all it’s cheesy goodness, these little au gratin stacks are sure to please. You won’t be sorry if you decide to give them a try. It’s a nice change from the regular casserole.
If you want a more traditional casserole, you can check out my cauliflower au gratin recipe here. It’s also super delicious and loaded with cheese.
I’d like to make up a large batch of these baked cauliflower bites to serve the next time we host a party. I will make up the rounds early and then assemble them quickly before baking.
I do think I could probably assemble them before hand and get everything ready before. It all depends on how much time I have on my hands. Friends usually don’t mind helping out in the kitchen for quick food prep.
I’d love to know what you think of this recipe. And, if you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you.
Baked Cauliflower Bites Au Gratin with Pancetta Recipe
Baked Cauliflower Bites Au Gratin with Pancetta
Get them eating their veggies with these yummy baked cauliflower stacks au gratin with pancetta. With all the cheese, they may not notice its a veggie.
- 2 medium cauliflower
- 8 pieces pancetta
- 8 slices cheddar cheese
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese grated
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon ground sage
- fresh parsley minced (optional)
- 2 whole eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried cayenne
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream use up to 5 tablespoons if needed
- 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese grated
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Cut cauliflower into florets. Discard excess leaves and base. Rice cauliflower by using a food processor. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, you can use a microwave or steamer. Allow to cool.
Pre-heat oven at 450°F.
Strain cooled riced cauliflower by wrapping in cheese cloth or kitchen towel. Set Aside.
Egg mixture. In a bowl, add two whole eggs and sprinkle tarragon, basil, mustard seed, marjoram and oregano. For a little heat, add cayenne.
Season strained cauliflower with thyme and sage. Mix together. Toss grated cheedar, grated mozzarella and egg mixture. Mix well.
In a greased baking sheet, create thin cauliflower rounds using a small ring. Fill 1/4 of the ring with cauliflower mixture and flatten with a back of a teaspoon.
Bake cauliflower rounds for 5 to 8 minutes. Let it cool and set aside.
Fry pancetta in a skillet for 1 minute on each side. Drain oil and let it cool.
Cream mixture. In a bowl, pour cream and season with thyme, sage, oregano, pepper and cheddar. Mix well.
Arrange the stacks. In a greased pan, lay cauliflower rounds. Spread 1/4 tsp. cream mixture onto each round. Fold cooked pancetta to the center and top on the cauliflower rounds with cream. Add the second layer of cauliflower rounds, spread cream mixture and place cheddar and mozzarella slices.
For the third layer of cauliflower rounds, spread cream mixture and top on cheese slices (cream side facing the cheeses). Cover with foil and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese starts to melt.
Sprinkle the top layer with grated cheddar and mozzarella then continue to bake for 5 minutes without cover or until cheese is melted.
Let it cool for 3 to 5 minutes and slowly transfer on a serving platter.
Garnish with minced parsley as desired.
*Cauliflower makes 21 thin rounds. 7 servings. **No salt added since cheddar and pancetta are salty. ***The third (top most) layer may slide a little once the cheese at the second layer has melted, just slowly slide them back up. Optional: Use of a large individual silicon cupcake mold for the stacks may make it easier to take the stacks out than using a muffin pan.