Cheesy Cauli Hash Brown Breakfast Bake (Gluten Free with Keto Option)

4.67 from 3 votes
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This deliciously Cheesy Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole is an easy side dish recipe that’s packed with veggies and plenty of cheddar cheese. With a golden brown top and crispy edges, everyone will be ready to dig into this breakfast bake first thing in the morning, or for brunch or dinner. Made with only a handful of ingredients, it is naturally gluten free and one simple swap makes it low carb and keto-friendly, as well!

Disclaimer: This recipe was developed through a sponsored partnership with Cabot Creamery Co-operative. As always, all opinions are my own.

Cheesy Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole Recipe Image with title text

I personally don’t have anything against potatoes.

I like to pop some fries in my air fryer or have Broccoli Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes with my steak. And I’m not against digging into a pile of Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.

But as more and more people are adopting a keto lifestyle, they are swapping the spuds (and lots of other things) for cauliflower.

Even though we may not be strictly low carb in our house, I do just love cauliflower. I’m happy to enjoy your basic roasted cauliflower. But its magical powers to transform into almost anything make it a great way to not only cut down on some of those extra carbs, but also to get the kids to eat more veggies.

I’m all about that.

Take Shepherd’s Pie and give it an extra dose of vitamins with Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash. Make a vegetable-infused pizza crust.

And, of course, the favorite in our house – Cauliflower Tots!

But when you are short on time or patience, those little buggers can be a bit much to make. All that scooping and pressing into mini muffin tins and such.

So I just dumped the entire mixture into a pan and baked it. Voila! All that crispy, cheesy, golden goodness with a boatload of sneaky veggies. But much less time, work, and cleanup.

That’s a winning mom strategy if I ever heard one!

Serving Cauliflower Hash Browns Breakfast Bake from a rectangular pan with a spatula

Cheesy Cauliflower Breakfast Bake

Let me present to you what I originally called Baked Cauli-Tots Casserole. However, that name just came from the fact that it has all the taste and crispness of Baked Cauli Tots, but it is so much easier to make.

As I made it over and over, I realized that it’s more like a hash brown casserole. So the same deal, just a more accurate name. And it is double the size of a batch of cauliflower tots. That means it is perfect to whip up for company or as a potluck dish.

Or, if you’re in my house, you don’t have to ration it out to two tot-loving kiddos just to make sure you get at least a couple for yourself.

Ingredients

Here is a quick list for you. See below for the details and the recipe card for the full amounts:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Eggs
  • Cornmeal or almond meal
  • Dry ground mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cauliflower

You’ll need about one medium-sized head of cauliflower that gets shredded to yield about six cups of shredded cauliflower. You will want to remove it from the core. But since you are shredding it, there is no need to cut off just the florets. You can toss the stems right in there too.

The important thing is to squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. I do this by wrapping the shredded cauliflower in an old kitchen towel and squeezing and twisting until it starts releasing liquid. Then squeeze more. And then a little more.

You can even do this in batches if it is easier for you.

Cheddar cheese

Whether you prefer sharp or mild, yellow or white, you can choose your favorite cheddar to make this recipe. Personally, I like the Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese from Cabot Creamery Co-operative. It adds a ton of flavor to the neutral base of the cauliflower. And I usually use yellow cheddar because I love the color it gives the dish. But white cheddar tastes equally delicious.

Eggs

These act as a binder to help hold the cauliflower casserole together.

Cornmeal or almond meal

When I first started making all of my favorite cauli tots recipes and cauliflower hash browns casserole, I used cornmeal. It is a naturally gluten free binding ingredient, and it also gave that little bit of texture similar to frozen tater tots.

However, as more people began looking for low carb options, I tried replacing it with almond meal. This particular recipe works really well by replacing all of the cornmeal with almond meal because it is baked and cut into pieces. So it doesn’t have to hold together on its own.

But for a firmer texture, using half the amount of almond meal and a bit of coconut flour to absorb the excess moisture works perfectly. You can use either of these options to make these cheesy keto cauliflower hash browns.

Ground mustard

Dry mustard powder is an essential ingredient in many recipes with cheddar cheese. It helps enhance that cheesy flavor by giving it a little extra sharp bite.

Salt and pepper

It’s always essential to season your food while preparing it.

Equipment

  • Food processor with shredding disc – I find using the shred attachment for a food processor is the fastest and easiest way to shred the cauliflower. It also makes quick work of that large block of cheese, though you can use a regular box grater for both if you choose.
  • Large bowl
  • Kitchen towel – an old, dingy one is fine because it is just for squeezing the moisture out of the cauliflower.
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Fork
  • 9×13 inch baking pan – I used to always bake this in a glass baking dish. However, I have recently tested it several times in a metal pan and it works perfectly too. It does brown on the edges a little faster though. But either will work. I still prefer the glass because I can let it bake a little longer to dry out and crisps up a little more.
Squares of Cheesy Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole on a plate with sausage, eggs, and fruit

How to make Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and coat your baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Shred the cauliflower and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  3. Add to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Toss together with a fork until well combined.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down firmly.
  6. Baked until golden brown and crispy.
  7. Cut into pieces and serve immediately.

Pro tips

Preparation tips

  • I don’t always use nonstick cooking spray when cooking or baking, but this is one case where it is important to be able to remove the pieces from the pan without it sticking or falling apart.
  • Yes, you are reading the recipe correctly – you do NOT cook the cauliflower before shredding it. 
  • As I already mentioned squeezing out the extra liquid from the cauliflower is the key step to get cauliflower hash browns that don’t fall apart.
  • Also, pressing it down firmly into the pan will make everything hold together well.

Make ahead and reheating

This recipe can be made up to two days in advance and reheated before serving.

You can throw the entire pan back in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or cut individual squares and place them on a baking sheet. This will get you the browned edges on all sides.

The squares can also be crisped up in an air fryer at 400°F for 8-10 minutes, or until hot and brown and crispy on the edges.

Gluten free and low carb variations

As mentioned, this dish is a naturally gluten free casserole. But do be sure to read the packaging on your cornmeal, as some are processed on shared equipment with wheat ingredients.

For the keto cauliflower hash brown recipe, you can use almond meal in place of the cornmeal or a combination of almond meal and a little coconut flour.

All of the other ingredients are low carb and gluten free, including the Cabot cheddar cheese.

A piece of Cauliflower Hash Brown Casserole being picked up ona spatula from the baking pan

About Cabot Creamery Co-operative

Cabot is a co-operative owned by farm families throughout New England and New York and 100% of profits go back to the farmers. They have been making high-quality dairy products since 1919, and with a 100-year history, you know their award-winning cheddars will make this and any recipe extra delicious. You can use your favorite Cabot cheese, from Vermont Sharp to the Legacy Collection Farmhouse Reserve. Whatever cheese you choose, you’ll taste Cabot’s commitment to making the best products in every bite.

Plus Cabot is dedicated to communities, the environment, and volunteers. Learn more about not only the products, but also their B Corporation certification and the Reward Volunteers program by following them on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Cheesy Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole in a baking dish with packages of Cabot cheddar cheeseCloseup of Baked Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole on a plate with package of Cabot cheese blurred in the background

Serving suggestions

For breakfast or brunch, serve this breakfast casserole with:

Or enjoy cauliflower hash browns with one of your favorite easy dinner recipes, like:

And don’t forget your homemade ketchup!

Keto Cauliflower Hash Browns on a plate with sausage, eggs, and fruit

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A piece of Cheesy Cauliflower hash Browns Casserole on a spatula in a baking dish
4.7 from 3 votes

Cheesy Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole

An easy, cheesy, crispy side dish packed with veggies. Move over tater tots and hash browns and make room for this casserole.
Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 57 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, shredded to yield about 6 cups
  • 8 oz. shredded Cabot cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or almond meal (or 1/4 cup almond meal plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour)
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 glass or ceramic casserole dish or metal baking pan with oil or cooking spray.
  • Using a knife, remove the core from the cauliflower. You can keep the stems with the florets. Using a box grater or, preferable, the shredding blade on a food processor, shred the cauliflower.
  • Place the uncooked shredded cauliflower in a kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  • Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and add the cheese, eggs, cornmeal or almond meal, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Toss with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and press down firmly until it is even and packed down.
  • Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into 24 squares and serve.

Notes

Note that Nutrition Facts are based on using cornmeal. If replacing with almond meal, there will be approximately 4 grams of carbs per serving.
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Cauliflower Hash Browns Casserole
Amount Per Serving (2 squares)
Calories 126 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 338mg14%
Potassium 195mg6%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 234IU5%
Vitamin C 23mg28%
Calcium 151mg15%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

56 Comments
  1. Lisa

    I bet this would be good adding chicken, peppers and onion as well for a full meal type of dish! Thanks for posting!!!

  2. Leigh Anne Farrell

    I bought a simple human paper towel holder and it has changed our lives! It was spendy ($29?) but ooooooh, so worth it!

  3. Hello cute lady! This looks so amazing. I would love some right now. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to stop by and party with us. It wouldn’t be a party without you! I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

  4. Heather

    LOVE anything cauliflower & MUST try this…any ideas on how to reduce amount of cheese? Lactose intolerance but can handle a little, 2 cups too much per serving 🙁

  5. You crack me up! I would do the exact same thing with the orange paper towel holder. Look over functionality…at least in this case.

    I love that you made this casserole using only cauliflower as the base. I was a tad nervous that the frozen tater tots were going to make it into the dish. Nothing wrong with them but I LOVE the freshness of your recipe.

  6. Your paper towel holder story has me in stitches!! Thankfully we haven’t had anything like that happen (yet), but my guy definitely loves function over looks, and I definitely fall into the “everything should match” category. We’re moving again in the next 6 months, so we’ll see what happens when I try to rearrange everything then! 😉 Pinned!

  7. I have to admit our current paper towel holder drives me a little nuts. When I pull it the paper towels do not turn easily. It takes to hands to get a paper towel. Ugh! This casserole would not drive me nuts. I would love every bite of it.

  8. Love the paper towel holder story! My hubby and I actually disagree over how to take eggs out of the carton, especially the dozen-eggs cartons. I say you take them from each side, on opposite corners and move your way in, because that way you keep the center of gravity in the center. If you take the eggs out his way, working from one side to the other, then once the carton is half empty, it’s too easy for someone to pick up the carton from the mostly empty side while expecting it to be heavier than it is, and potentially crack eggs. I guess if these are the things we argue about, things are pretty good! 🙂

    This casserole looks wonderful! Cauliflower and cheddar are just meant for each other.

  9. Love the paper towel holder wrangling. Myles and I also do not see eye-to-eye on ours. I’m all about having it be out of the way, as inconspicuous as possible, but he refuses to allow the roll of paper towels to be kept in a cabinet. So we’ve had quite a path of negotiation in our 8 !/2 years of marriage + 2 years of living together. And I love this casserole. I want to make it for dinner!!!!

  10. Haha I love this story! I’m pretty sure that when Dave and I finally move in together, he will be trying to ditch a ton of the stuff I have. He is certainly a function person, and I like to be more matchy like you 🙂 This cauliflower casserole is making me seriously want to go buy a hunk of cheese and turn on the oven – how yummy! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Pinning!

  11. Another tasty cauliflower recipe from the Cauliflower Queen. Yes, I’ve dubbed this as your new nickname and can’t wait to see you again so I can call you it in person 🙂

  12. How funny, we’ve been married 12 years now and my sweet husband has thrown in the towel on such matters 😉
    I painted our first little kitchen a pretty burnt orange in a faux paint with gold accents (I love Tuscan colors). You made me miss my first little kitchen 😉
    I honestly have to have this cauliflower casserole! I just know it will be a big hit!

  13. It’s funny what we battle over with our spouses, isn’t it? I lost the bar soap war in our house; I used to collect these cute little soaps – in all different shapes, sizes, and scents. But as I am not the bathroom cleaner, my husband objected to the slimy soap trail and dripped from dish down the sink. I lost…no more cute soaps. Bar soaps have been permanently banned from my house. But, at least, I haven’t had to clean a bathroom in 17 years! I’ve never made cauli-tots. You have me convinced. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Your paper towel war is to funny! My husband loathes our paper towel holder as well… lol! We just got into using cauliflower as a substitute for rice over here so I’ll be sure to check out your savory casserole recipe! Yum!

  15. 5 stars
    Well I’m totally intrigued and will be making this one! My kiddos love veggies so this is an easy one for my house!

    Oh, and subtle orange IS a thing!! My hubs LOVES and I mean LOVES construction orange. You know the blindingly VIVID and NEON orange? Yeah, that one. So when it came time to pick out the color of KitchenAid Mixer after our wedding, I chose tangerine since we were going for, to use your words, subtle but vivid, warm and cheery colors for our kitchen (not necessarily coordinating but colors that would make us smile when we stepped into the kitchen), so the color is called “tangerine” and its just a mellow orange. He’s come to accept it over the years but still loves his construction orange. Oi.
    oh and 10-15 minutes, I’d just use it to hold a “stunt” roll of papertowels and probably have another roll on the counter. but to be fair, our papertowel holder has this cute carrot center that you put the roll on and a little white rabbit that spins when you pull the roll and totally bought it based on super cute factor and when we got it home, realized the base is SO light that when you go to pull a piece off the roll, its a three handed job, one hand to hold the base so you can pull a sheet off and another hand to tear it since you cant tear it off without taking the entire thing with you. Functionality? 1 out of 10. Cuteness? 10 out of 10! but the hubs and I cringe every time we have to rip a sheet off the super cute bunny paper towel holder. LOL 🙂

  16. LOL about the paper towel holder! I’m glad your orange one found a home in your new house! As far as your casserole, I had a weak spot for Tater Tots as a kid, but I love your healthier casserole version even more!

  17. So funny about the paper towel holder because it is the same thing with our kitchen trash can. I love it and my husband hates it so he avoids taking out the trash (or when he lets out a repeated “ugh” or “sigh”).
    Anyway, your casserole looks wonderful to me because I love cauliflower and luckily so does my husband.

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