Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese is a delicious and easy way to enjoy cauliflower. It’s a simple dish that transforms a humble vegetable into a cheesy, creamy, and crunchy delight. It’s perfect for a cozy dinner, a potluck, or a holiday meal.
This recipe serves 4-6 people and can be prepared in about an hour.
In this article, I will show you how to make Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.
What is Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese?
Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese is a dish that consists of a whole cauliflower head, coated with a mixture of mayonnaise, cheese, and spices, and baked until golden and tender. The mayonnaise helps to keep the cauliflower moist and adds a rich flavor, while the cheese creates a gooey and crispy crust. The spices add some extra zing and aroma to the dish.
Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese is a great way to enjoy cauliflower, especially if you are not a fan of its raw or boiled taste. It’s also a low-carb and gluten-free dish that can fit into various diets.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:
- Simplicity: With minimal ingredients and straightforward preparation, this dish is remarkably easy to create. No preliminary steps like chopping or steaming are required—simply wash and dry the cauliflower.
- Flexibility: Tailor this recipe to your taste buds by choosing from a variety of cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or a blend) and spices (garlic, onion, paprika, cumin, or curry) for a personalized flavor experience.
- Fulfillment: Not only is cauliflower nutritious, but when combined with the richness of cheese and mayonnaise, it becomes a hearty and indulgent dish. Serve it as a stand-alone meal or complement it with sides like salad, bread, or rice for added variety.
- Flavorful Delight: The fusion of soft, tender cauliflower with a golden, cheesy crust, complemented by your choice of spices, makes every bite a delicious contrast of textures and flavors.
Ingredients Needed to Make Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese
To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 large cauliflower head (about 2 pounds)
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 cup of shredded cheese (any kind you like)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
Instructions to Make Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese Recipe
Here are the step by step instructions to make this recipe:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Rinse the cauliflower head and pat it dry with paper towels. Trim off any green leaves and cut off the stem, so that the cauliflower can sit flat in the baking dish.
Step 2: Mix the mayonnaise, cheese, and spices
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder until well combined.
Step 3: Coat the cauliflower with the mayonnaise mixture
- Spoon the mayonnaise mixture over the cauliflower, spreading it evenly and covering the entire surface. Use your hands to press the mixture into the crevices of the cauliflower.
Step 4: Bake the cauliflower
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork-tender and the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- If the cheese starts to brown too quickly, you can cover the baking dish with aluminum foil halfway through the baking time.
Step 5: Garnish and serve
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle some chopped parsley over the cauliflower, if desired, for some freshness and color.
- Cut the cauliflower into wedges and serve hot or warm, with your favorite side dishes.
What Do I Serve With Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese?
Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese is a hearty and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed on its own, or with some simple side dishes. Here are some ideas of what to serve with it:
- A green salad, such as spinach, kale, or arugula, tossed with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Crusty bread (baguette, ciabatta, or sourdough) for mopping up the flavorful sauce.
- A rice dish, such as basmati, jasmine, or brown rice, adds some carbs and fiber.
- A protein dish, such as grilled chicken, baked salmon, or roasted turkey, makes it a complete meal.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese
Here are some pro tips to make this recipe even better:
- Select Quality Ingredients: Opt for a large, firm cauliflower and full-fat mayonnaise and cheese for the best taste and texture. Adjust spices according to preference for a rich and satisfying flavor profile.
- Test for Doneness: Ensure the cauliflower is perfectly cooked by testing its softness with a fork, aiming for a tender yet firm texture with a bubbly, golden crust.
- Rest Before Serving: Allow the dish to rest for 10 minutes after baking. This helps the flavors to meld and the cheese to set, enhancing the overall taste and presentation.
Variations of Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese
You can easily modify this recipe to suit your preferences or dietary needs.
Here are some variations that you can try:
- Vegan: Use vegan mayonnaise and cheese, such as soy, almond, or cashew-based products. You can also add some nutritional yeast to the mayonnaise mixture, for a cheesy flavor.
- Keto: Use keto-friendly mayonnaise and cheese, such as those made with avocado oil, coconut oil, or grass-fed dairy. You can also add some bacon bits or chopped ham to the mayonnaise mixture, for some extra protein and fat.
- Spicy: Add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to the mayonnaise mixture, for some heat and kick. You can also use spicy cheese, such as pepper jack, jalapeño cheddar, or habanero cheese.
- Cheesy: Use more cheese, or a variety of cheeses, such as cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, gouda, or Swiss. You can also sprinkle some extra cheese on top of the cauliflower, before or after baking, for more cheesiness.
How do I Store Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese Leftovers?
If you have any leftovers of this dish, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, you can either microwave them for a few minutes, or bake them in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
How do I Reheat Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese Leftovers?
To reheat this dish, you have two options:
Microwave Method: Place the leftovers in a microwave-safe container and lightly cover them with a damp paper towel to retain moisture. Heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly warmed, stirring once midway to ensure even heat distribution.
Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer the leftovers to an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil to prevent drying, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the dish is hot throughout and the cheese is bubbly.
Nutrition value per serving (assuming 6 servings per recipe):
- Calories: 192 to 208 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 5 to 10 g
- Protein: 6 to 10 g
- Fat: 13 to 16 g
- Fiber: 2 to 4 g
Baked Whole Cauliflower Mayonnaise Cheese is a simple and delicious dish that will make you fall in love with cauliflower. It’s cheesy, creamy, and crunchy, and can be customized to your liking. It’s perfect for a cozy dinner, a potluck, or a holiday meal.
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Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!