Easy Cauliflower Casserole

This quick and easy veggie casserole is an OUTSTANDING alternative to mac & cheese. Ten minutes prep and 30 minutes to bake means you’re staying RELAXED in the kitchen!

Looks & tastes like mac & cheese!

Easy Cauliflower Casserole is an excellent veggie-loaded alternative for mac & cheese lovers. Your kids (including “big” kids) may not even notice there’s no pasta. It’s creamy, cheesy melt-in-your-mouth goodness covered with crispy breadcrumbs. I added diced ham to make it a little more substantial to serve as lunch. You can skip the ham or, if you prefer, substitute chicken. Like all my recipes, this one is really flexible. Zhoosh it up by adding some chopped onion and/or a pinch of cayenne. Plain or decked-out, this is a quick and easy side dish.

image of ingredients

Most ingredients, aside from the head of cauliflower, are probably already in your fridge or pantry. This includes the sour cream, butter (or margarine), and shredded cheese for cold items. Any shredded cheese will work from plain cheddar to fancy mixed varieties, be as creative as you choose. Pantry items include panko breadcrumbs; however, regular breadcrumbs are fine. The only other ingredient is a can of cream of chicken soup. The beauty of cream soup is regardless of the flavor you choose, it works. Cream of mushroom, celery, broccoli, shrimp, or onion will all be delicious. Adding a protein, like ham, is entirely optional. I grow parsley in my herb garden, so I used fresh for a garnish. I’ve used dried parsley in the past, and it does the trick too.

image of prepped ingredients
Easy prep

The prep is quick as spraying an 8×11 pan with non-stick, cutting the cauliflower into bite-size florets, and measuring out other ingredients.

Kitchen hacks

pan, spray on on inside dishwasher door
Kitchen hack: spray pan inside the door of the dishwasher. Excess spray gets washed away. No fuss – no muss!

The butter needs to be cubed. It’s easiest to cut the butter when it’s cold and pop it back into the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Cold butter is easier to cube than warm butter!

Steam the cauliflower

The first step is to steam the cauliflower until tender. Cooking it in the microwave is quick and easy. Just put the florets in a microwave-safe bowl with a quarter cup of water, cover with plastic wrap, and nook for about 5 minutes.

Steam the cauliflower in the microwave for 5-6 minutes

Steaming in a little boiling water in a pan on the stovetop is also an option. Salt isn’t required. While I usually like cooking veggies in salted water, there’s more than enough salt in the canned soup, so more is not needed.

Mix the soup, sour cream and ham with the cauliflower. Pour into the prepared baking dish

Assemble & bake

Drain any excess water from the cauliflower and stir in the soup, sour cream, and ham. Pour the mixture into the sprayed baking dish and top with the shredded cheese and panko crumbs. Take the cubed butter out of the fridge and dot over the cheese and panko.

Butter dotted on casserole
Dot the top of the casserole with the butter and bake for 30-35 minutes

Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven for 30-35 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Garnish with the parsley. Enjoy! Easy Cauliflower Casserole is a great way to get your family to eat their veggies – without even knowing it!  It’s a great mac & cheese substitute packed with great nutrition with the same creamy, cheesy texture and taste.

baked casserole in pan

Easy Cauliflower Casserole

Recipe by Jane BruceCourse: Side Dish, LunchCuisine: Keto-Friendly, Kid-ApprovedDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Easy Cauliflower Casserole is a great way to get your family to eat their veggies – without even knowing it!  It’s a great mac & cheese substitute packed with great nutrition with the same creamy, cheesy texture and taste.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 (10.5-oz.) can cream of chicken soup

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • ½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Colby jack, Mexican blend, Italian blend)

  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, cubed

  • Optional: 8 oz diced ham

  • Chopped parsley (garnish)


  • PREP: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a 8×11 baking dish with non-stick spray. Trim cauliflower into florets. Cut butter in small cubes
  • Place the cauliflower florets and water into a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 5-6 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Drain excess water
  • Add the soup, sour cream and ham to the cauliflower. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Transfer mixture to the prepped baking dish. Sprinkle casserole with cheese and panko; dot with butter slices. Bake in preheated oven until casserole is bubbly and panko is golden, about 30-35 minutes. Top with parsley.


  • Cream of Chicken Soup: Substitute any “cream of” soup (celery, mushroom, shrimp, broccoli)
  • Microwaving cauliflower: You can also prepare on the stove top (boil salted water, add cauliflower and cook for 4-5 minutes)
  • Ham: Diced chicken is also delicious
  • Panko: Substitute regular breadcrumbs if necessary
  • Parsley: Fresh is best but dried is fine
  • Zhoosh: Add chopped onions and/or a pinch of cayenne,

More easy cauliflower recipes…

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