Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower

I am constantly impressed by the versatility of cauliflower. I saw this recipe in the Nov 2011 Cooking Light and knew that it was going to be delicious. I was trying to describe it to Brian as I was making it and he was very skeptical, well, actually dreading eating it. His tune quickly changed after his first bite. This is an extremely inexpensive, filling and comforting meal.

Adapted from Cooking Light 2011.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces lean ground sirloin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • 1 15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 2 ounce pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Saute onion until almost translucent then add garlic. Saute for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in beef and olives.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, fennel and crushed red pepper. Saute until browned and stir to crumble. Add in sauce, tomatoes and olives. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until starting to thicken.

Steam cauliflower 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Place cauliflower in a 9×13  baking pan coated with cooking spray.

 Top with sauce mixture.

Sprinkle cheese on top then bread crumbs.


Broil 4-6 minutes or until browned. Serve hot.

I can’t say enough good things about this dish and the leftovers tasted even better than the first time. It’s the perfect warm dish for a chilly night.


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