Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole

Totally unconventional and wildly delicious, this Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole is an easy cheesy veggie gratin with a kick!

Totally unconventional and wildly delicious, this Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole is an easy cheesy veggie gratin with a kick!

Sometimes I write recipes that serve a very specific purpose.

A quick and healthy salad for lunch… A super indulgent appetizer for parties… A cozy make ahead dinner recipe…

Sometimes I simply throw caution to the wind and make something because 1. my brain said it was a good idea and 2. my stomach chimed in with a OH HECK YES MAKE THIS NOW!

So yeah… this one makes about as much sense as a goldendoodle in a unicorn tutu but gosh darn it, I needed this recipe in my life.

Totally unconventional and wildly delicious, this Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole is an easy cheesy veggie gratin with a kick!

Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole

The result of my craving-induced mad scientist kitchen experiment was a piping hot casserole dish filled with tender cauliflower blanketed with a cheesy jalapeno-spiked cream sauce and sprinkled with crispy panko crumbs… I KNOW!

It’s so flipping good I *HAD* to blog it.

So if you’re in the market for a scrumptious side dish that’s wildly unconventional and ridiculously tasty all the same, you’re in luck. Print the recipe below and get your butt in the kitchen.

You can even join me in my kitchen if you promise to take over dish duty. I’ll pretty much feed anyone that tackles my sink of shame. I’m pretty sure my new years resolution for 2018 is going to be to stop playing tetris in the sink every day.

Maybe.

Totally unconventional and wildly delicious, this Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole is an easy cheesy veggie gratin with a kick!
5 from 1 vote
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Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole

Totally unconventional and wildly delicious, this Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole is an easy cheesy veggie gratin with a kick!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Jalapeño Popper Casserole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 180 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 TBSP  flour
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1.5 cup milk brought to room temp. or heated
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 4 oz gouda cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeños

TOP WITH…

  • grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko toasted with a little butter or oil
  • parsley or scallions to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the cauliflower florets in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt for about 4-5 minutes until tender yet still firm.
  3. Drain and rinse with cool water to help halt the cooking process. We want tender, al-dente cauliflower… no mushy wilted veggies here!
  4. While it chills, start your sauce.
  5. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add your minced garlic.
  6. Add flour, slowly, whisking constantly to create your roux.
  7. Pour warmed or room temperature milk into the butter mixture and whisk constantly until thickened. Add salt, paprika, fresh and pickled jalapeños.
  8. Remove from heat and grated Gouda cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese melts into the sauce.
  9. Pour the sauce over your cauliflower and toss to coat.
  10. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, and toasted panko crumbs.
  11. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  12. Sprinkle with parsley or scallions if you’d like a colorful garnish and dive in while it’s hot!

Recipe Notes

New to toasting panko? I love pre-toasting my breadcrumb toppings vs. letting them toast on top of an uncovered casserole because everything can easily overbrown that way. To make your topping perfectly golden, simply heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add your panko once hot. Toast until golden, stirring often and adding a teeny drizzle of oil if desired.

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 359mg16%
Potassium 409mg12%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 438IU9%
Vitamin C 52mg63%
Calcium 232mg23%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Totally unconventional and wildly delicious, this Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Popper Casserole is an easy cheesy veggie gratin with a kick!

I’m pretty much crazy in love with this cheesy cauliflower gratin and have no shame in it’s utter ridiculousness. Paul and I adored it and can’t wait to make it again!

Loving this wild and crazy recipe? Try my Bacon Sriracha Cauliflower next!

Jonesin’ for Some More Jalapeño Recipes?

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Comments

  • Jan

    5 stars
    Deeeeeeelish!! I went with what I had on hand, skim milk, 1 medium fresh jalapeño, a little less than 1/3 cup pickled, and 4 oz sharp cheddar. We love spicy food and this was perfect.

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