This broccoli cauliflower casserole is an oven-baked version of classic risotto using riced veggies! Make it for a low carb side or main dish.
Here’s a kid-friendly way to add more veggies to your meal plan! Oh, and it’s quick to make; the healthy comfort food meal is ready to eat in just 35 minutes!
Risotto is a creamy, delicious rice dish, and it’s so versatile! It can be enjoyed as a side dish (obviously), but if you add in a bit of protein, it transforms into the perfect meatless dinner.
But, there are some negatives to traditional risotto.
- Long cooking process.
For starters, making it is a major time investment… aka, risotto is needy. The traditional cooking process requires standing over the stove for almost 30 minutes, stirring broth slowly into the rice, 1/4 cup at a time *YAWN*
- Doesn’t hold well.
Another pain point is, risotto is practically impossible to keep warm without the dish becoming over cooked and mushy. As a result, traditional risotto really needs to be served immediately after you make it.
- Not very nourishing.
Not that rice is the worst thing in the world for you. But, when you pair it with dairy products like heavy cream and cheese, it turns into a less than nourishing dish.
Well, my friend, I have a solution to the risotto woes, and it is so much easier! Plus, it has additional nutrients for your bod, and it’s delicious!
Risotto-style broccoli cauliflower casserole
This recipe is easier to make, freezer friendly and reheatable, and better for you!!
Swapping the stove top method to bake it in the oven means, you’ll be saving time. So, go ahead and fold a load of laundry while you wait, or read a few pages from that new book you’ve been wanting to read.
It’s also a wholesome dish, with riced broccoli and cauliflower rather than white rice, so it’s full of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals.
The oven baked version makes for a crispier texture, but the veggies are still creamy on the inside.
So you see, simple swaps are what make the dish low carb, grain and gluten-free, and kid-friendly.
It is packed with nourishment too.
- Vitamin C
- Healthy fats
Quick dietary preference tip —>
To make it Whole30 and paleo-friendly, simply omit the cheese! Want to keep it vegetarian? Skip the bacon. Easy peasy.
Now the question remains….
How to make healthy risotto a balanced meal?
The dish gets another gold star for versatility!
Alright alright, let’s get to the real point here. Meal prepping tips, risotto ingredients, and more!
Ingredients in Cauliflower and Riced Broccoli Casserole
Here’s what you’ll need to make this wholesome side dish:
- Cauliflower or ready-to-use cauliflower rice
- Broccoli– you just need a few crowns. The majority of the veggie is cauliflower
- Bacon– Be sure to use uncured bacon. Of course, if you want a meatless meal, feel free to leave it out
- Shallot or red onion
- Garlic– I prefer to mince fresh cloves but the jarred variety is fine too
- Chopped asparagus (celery works as a substitute)
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Stock or broth– Vegetable or chicken broth or stock
- Thyme leaves– I love the flavor thyme adds to the dish! To take it up another notch, quick fry it in oil (instructions are in the recipe card)
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese– Omit for Whole30, vegan and paleo. Or, you can use nutritional yeast as a substitute
- Butter or olive oil
- Finely chopped fresh herbs
- Lemon slices
IGTV Recipe Video
Check out this Instagram video I made! It’ll show you exactly how to make this delicious risotto-style broccoli cauliflower casserole.
Before we jump in to the recipe, let’s address some commonly asked questions:
- Can I freeze cauliflower casserole?
Both riced broccoli and cauliflower rice freeze really well. So, go ahead and make this dish part of your healthy meal prep for the week.
- How long does cauliflower rice last in the freezer?
The best way to freeze your cauliflower and riced broccoli casserole is to make sure that it is completely cool first.
Then, transfer it to Ziploc freezer bags and press out as much air as you can before closing the bag. Lay the bags flat in the freezer (to save space!) and the casserole should keep well for 3 to 4 months.
The day before you want to serve it, transfer the bag to your fridge so the casserole can thaw.
- How to reheat leftover broccoli and cauliflower casserole
You can reheat one of three ways:
- In a covered dish, in a 350° F. oven, it should take about 20 minutes to reheat.
- Reheat in a skillet or pan over medium heat, stirring gently until it warms through.
- Microwave- Place the cauliflower rice risotto in a covered microwaveable container. Then, reheat on medium power in 3-minute intervals, stirring in between each one, until the dish warms through.
Mmm k, who’s hungry now?
Risotto-style broccoli cauliflower casserole is an oven baked, low carb side dish recipe, for a lighter version of classic risotto that’s kid-friendly and healthy!
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3–4 small broccoli crowns, bottom stem and leaves trimmed off
- 2 slices uncured bacon, cut into small pieces (see notes for vegetarian option)
- 1 large shallot or 3/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tsp minced)
- 1/4 cup chopped asparagus (celery works as a substitute)
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock or broth
- Thyme leaves, plus oil to fry it in (optional)
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (omit for Whole30 and paleo)
- Finely chopped fresh herbs
- Lemon slices
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In small batches, put the cauliflower florets into a food processor. Process until the cauliflower has the consistency of rice. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with broccoli florets. Combine the two in the bowl. You should have 5 to 6 cups total of riced broccoli and cauliflower. Set aside. See notes for how to rice veggies.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces. Bacon is optional. If you don’t want to use bacon, replace with olive oil or refined avocado oil.
- Add bacon, shallot, and garlic to a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté until bacon becomes brown (crispy edges) and onion is translucent and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. If the bacon hasn’t released enough fat, add a little bit of olive oil or butter to the pot.
- Add the asparagus and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the riced broccoli and cauliflower to the pot. Stir ingredients together over medium heat.
- Stir in the stock/broth and place a few sprigs of fresh thyme on top. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 13-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fry your herbs, if desired. Simply place the thyme in a pan and cover with oil. Cook (fry) on high for 45-60 seconds. Remove and pat dry. Your herbs will be crispy and perfect for garnishing!
- Take the risotto out of the oven and place on stove over medium heat. Stir in generous amounts of grated Parmesan cheese, the fried thyme, and a squeeze of lemon.
- Garnish with lemon slices and peppercorns.
- This dish can be stored in airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days. Or freeze for 2 months.
- For Whole30 option, omit cheese.
- For vegetarian option, omit the bacon and use cooking oil or butter instead.
- See HOW TO RICE VEGGIES post for tips on making broccoli and cauliflower.
- Category: side dish
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: riced broccoli, cauliflower rice, cauliflower rice risotto, broccoli cauliflower casserole
What’s YOUR favorite type of risotto?
Mine is this one (duh), or chili garlic cauliflower risotto bowls. YUM!
Have you made anything spectacular lately with cauliflower rice or riced broccoli? PLEASE share in the comments!