Here I am, with another cauliflower recipe.
But seriously, though. Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? It can be made into waffles, waffle sandwiches, muffins, biscuits, fried rice, tots, pizza crust, breadsticks, risotto, alfredo sauce and the list goes on. Cauliflower can be basically anything it wants to be, and I’m envious of that. But I’m also psyched because these days, there are endless ideas and possibilities for vegetables. Vegetables are now considered really cool, and I dig it.
What a time to be alive.
Our cauliflower recipe of the day happens to be a cheesy pizza casserole. I know you’re already sold (I did say pizza and cheesy), but imma tell you a little bit about it. It’s roasted cauli layered with a homemade creamy tomato sauce (featuring Jennie-O’s Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast), loads of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, spicy pepperoni, fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes.
Anything else you need to know? I mean, YOU GUYS! It’s absolutely delicious, and once baked, the mozzarella and pepperoni layer becomes this cheesy crust that is to-die-for. Hooray for cheesy crust!
I just love all of the fun times we can have with vegetables these days, so I’m running with it. P.S., speaking of pizza casseroles, I will be sharing my mom’s recipe for spaghetti pizza style (the grown up version, sans vegetables) real soon. Real, real soon.
- 2 medium heads cauliflower, cleaned and cut into florets (about 5 cups)*
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 lb. ground turkey or Italian sausage
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ Tbsp. dried basil leaves
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano leaves
- 2 tsp. dried fennel seeds (optional)
- 2 (28 oz.) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, thoroughly drained
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. each coarse salt, ground black pepper, granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup pepperoni slices
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and basil, for garnish
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet. Coat with two tablespoons olive oil and toss with a generous pinch of coarse salt and black pepper. Roast cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the oven.
- In the meantime, heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot to medium heat. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add ground turkey or Italian sausage and break it up with a spatula, cooking until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, basil, oregano and fennel. Add tomatoes, crushing with the spatula, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer at medium-high heat and allow to cook 15-20 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in heavy cream. Optional: Use an immersion blender to puree, if desired.
- Grease a glass or ceramic casserole dish. Layer half of the cauliflower, tomato cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, tomato cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees, until cheese is bubbly and brown. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with parsley, basil and red pepper flakes.
- *If using frozen cauliflower florets, allow to thaw, then thoroughly dry with towels.
- *Homemade tomato cream sauce can be substituted with 2 (24 oz.) jars marinara sauce.