Do you know what I love? Ooey, gooey cheesy things. I’d take something super cheesy over chocolate or candy any day. Add in some bacon and green chiles? I’m in food heaven. This meal has started a new obsession with using roasted cauliflower as a casserole base instead of noodles. Get ready for a lot of new casserole recipes coming your way. I can’t wait to start experimenting!
This recipe is also a momma meal prepper’s dream. By pre roasting the cauliflower, precooking the chicken and buying the precooked bacon, this went together quickly and easily on a weeknight- it took at the most 40 minutes and only about 10 of that required my attention. You can even buy yourself some bags of steamable cauliflower and cook those bad boys in the microwave if you don’t feel like roasting.
Time: 1 hour
Meal prepped time: 40 minutes
2 medium or large heads of cauliflower
2 T butter
2 tsp chopped garlic
3 T flour
2 C milk
4 oz low fat cream cheese (neufchatel)
1 1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
1/2 C shredded monterey jack cheese
4 oz can chopped green chiles
1-2 chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
6 pieces of precooked bacon, chopped
1/4 C green onion, chopped
2-3 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Chop cauliflower into florets, then place one side of a large sheet pan and coat with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Coat chicken breasts with olive oil, and some salt and pepper, then place on other side of the sheet pan and place in oven until cauliflower is fork soft and chicken is cooked through; about 20 minutes. If you have smaller chicken breasts you may need to pull them out at around 10 minutes.
- While cauliflower and chicken cooks, make the sauce. To make the sauce, melt butter in a large sauce pan, then add garlic and cook 1 minute. Then sprinkle in flour, stirring well for about 1-2 minutes or until golden. Slowly add in milk while whisking and bring to a low simmer. Add in your cream cheese and 1 C cheddar cheese, then continue to whisk until it’s blended together and creamy. Mix in green chiles.
- Lower oven temp to 350.
- In a 9×13 casserole dish mix the roasted cauliflower, chopped chicken, bacon and green onion together, reserving 1 T of both the green onion and bacon for topping. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and toss until mixture is coated. Layer the monterey jack and the remaining sharp cheddar evenly over the top. Then take your reserved green onions and bacon and sprinkle on top of the cheese.
- Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top layer is melted.
Meal prep tips:
Precook your chicken or use leftovers.
Use precooked bacon (it’s not that much more expensive).
Don’t shred your own cheese.
Pre roast your cauliflower or just used frozen bagged steamables.