Mississippi, we have fall weather!
This morning. It was here. Did you feel it?
And to celebrate, how about a warm, comforting, cheesy casserole?
I thought so.
Every Thanksgiving for years we have had a traditional broccoli and rice casserole. I have nothing against rice, but I really wanted to remake this to be low carb and more vegetable-y, so I replaced the rice with cauliflower rice and got rid of all the cream of chicken soup to make it even healthier.
We have not done a lot of cheese in the last year or so, but I am splurging on the cheese here, because I am just not into vegan versions of cheese. Yet.
I did cut down on the dairy, though, by using almond milk to replace the whole milk. Everyone loved it. But you can definitely use whole milk too.
This is a real kid-pleaser. Both my grand boys loved it! Read my notes because there is some important stuff I need to tell you.
–Like I said, I substituted almond milk for the whole milk. Let me warn you that when it cools a bit, there was some liquid to ooze out of the casserole, but it did not bother us at all. Also, the almond milk gave it a slightly sweet taste. It was very slight, though, and no, I did not use vanilla or sweetened almond milk, it was regular unflavored and unsweetened. This is just a warning. I did this so it wouldn’t be dairy overload.
–Cauliflower rice is all the rage now, but it really does require a food processor. All you have to do is cut a head of cauliflower into florets, then pulse in the food processor until you get tiny bits like rice. The end.
–I chopped my broccoli up fine too, in the food processor.
–I have used frozen broccoli in this, yes. Not frozen cauliflower, though.
–It’s really important to let this cool for about 20 minutes before dishing it up. It thickens upon standing.
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 3 cups organic whole milk (I used organic almond milk for less dairy)
- 3½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used a combination of medium cheddar and white cheddar)
- 1 large head cauliflower chopped fine in a food processor (“riced”)
- 1 large head broccoli, chopped fine in a food processor
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted. Whisk in the flour with a flat whisk and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly pour in the milk and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until mixture bubbles and thickens, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups of cheese slowly until melted.
- Place the cauliflower and broccoli in a large mixing bowl and pour the cheese sauce over. Stir well, then transfer to a casserole dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup cheese, then bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and casserole bubbles in center.
- Cool for about 20 minutes before serving.
Note: I have figured the nutrition information using almond milk.