- Steam the cauliflower at least 15 minutes (10 minutes for a half batch), until it’s soft. No al dente here, because you want to be able to squeeze some water out so you don’t have mac and cheese soup.
- Alternate method for those who plan ahead well: Use frozen cauliflower OR just cut and freeze at least one day before the meal. Thaw on the counter for at least an hour, preferably 2-3 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Tip the cauliflower into a tea towel or cheesecloth and twist the top to squeeze the excess water out of the vegetables. Don’t be afraid to just squish down with all your might; breaking up the cauliflower is no big deal. It won’t turn into a puree or anything. 😉 If no water comes out at all, you could either steam the cauliflower a few more minutes or just keep moving and understand that you’ll have a little water at the bottom of your cauli-mac. (I pressed the water out right in the zippered bag when using the freezer method.)
- Mix the cottage cheese, sour cream, egg and spices right in a 9×13 casserole dish to save dishes. If you’d rather mix quickly, use a deep bowl or even the pot you used to steam the cauliflower. (I like to save on dishes by simply rinsing a pot from steaming veggies and flipping it over on the stove to dry, immediately.)
- Stir in the squeezed cauliflower and shredded cheese. Optionally put some of the cheese right on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated 350F oven. (Frozen version might need 40 minutes.) Optionally broil a few minutes to brown the top cheese.
Servings: A half batch in an 8×8 dish is a perfect side dish for 4 people, while a 2-cauliflower batch is just right as a main dish. Make it a meal with sliced sausages on top or a pound of cooked ground beef mixed into the casserole.
Frozen or Steamed? The steamed version will be as soft or softer as you allow the steamed veggies to get. In 15 minutes, they are very soft. The frozen veggies remain a bit more “al dente” after baking, not crunchy but reminiscent of a crunch. I liked both, but especially as leftovers I preferred the steamed/softer version.
What if I don’t like cottage cheese? The cottage cheese doesn’t really come through in this dish other than as a “creamy” factor, especially if you bake it longer than half an hour to really let everything melt together.
Read the ingredients on the dairy! Many brands of cottage cheese and sour cream have umpteen ingredients. I recommend Daisy brand (milk, cream, salt, enzymes) or Aldi brand sour cream (I think their cottage cheese has other junk in it). I’m sure there are others, but they’re not always easy to find.
- Serving Size: 1/2 head of cauli
- Calories: 505
- Sugar: 4.1g
- Sodium: 1333mg
- Fat: 34.3g
- Saturated Fat: 21.2g
- Carbohydrates: 14.9g
- Fiber: 3.5g
- Protein: 35.6g
- Cholesterol: 135mg