Cauliflower, Pancetta and Mushroom Bake

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Mushroom Bake (2)

Ever fancy comfort food, but not heavy carbs? Pasta is always my go-to when I want a warm, filling meal at the end of a long, cold day, but I decided to try this – a non-carb version of a macaroni cheese, to see if it could really be just as comforting.

It was!

The mixture of a rich cheese sauce with salty pancetta, earthy mushrooms and soft cauliflower really worked. You could easily make it veggie by ommitting the pancetta and swapping the parmesan, but I loved it like this. If you did want to leave the pancetta out, I’d advise using a couple of porcini mushrooms too to add the depth of flavour.

Cauliflower, for some reason, has become really popular recently as a carb replacement (e.g. cauliflower rice) and I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon, but really, in a meal like this, I can see why!

This took just less than an hour to cook, and will serve 3-4 with a side salad.

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Mushroom Bake (1)

Cauliflower, Pancetta and Mushroom Bake

1 cauliflower

1 onion

200g cubed pancetta

200g button mushrooms

20g butter

20g flour

1 pint semi-skimmed milk

150g cheddar cheese, grated

20g parmesan, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Chop the cauliflower into florets and add to a pan of salted, boiling water. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until soft, then drain and leave to one side.

3. Put a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the pancetta and sizzle until starting to crisp, then add the chopped onion and halved mushrooms. Cook for around 5 minutes, then take off the heat.

4. In another saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat then stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and gradually whisk in all of the milk. Put back on the heat and cook, whisking all the time, until it thickens. Remove from the heat again, stir in the grated cheddar and season with salt and pepper.

5. Take an oven proof dish and pile in the cauliflower. Drain any liquid from the pancetta and mushroom mix, then add the mixture to the dish. Pour over the cheese sauce, sprinkle over the parmesan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.


23 thoughts on “Cauliflower, Pancetta and Mushroom Bake

  1. kristelfaye February 4, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    I really want to try this! I love mac n’ cheese, but it’s so carb heavy. THIS is something I can super get down to!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy February 4, 2015 / 10:23 pm

    Ah my goodness, this looks so delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Girl and the Kitchen February 4, 2015 / 10:40 pm

    OMG I love this!!! I make my mac n cheese in a cauliflower sauce like this… this is to DIE for!


  4. Kristel February 5, 2015 / 1:11 am

    I love cauliflower! There is so many different things to do with it. Have you tried cauliflower pizza crust?! It is SO good and very easy to make.


  5. Feast Wisely February 5, 2015 / 6:25 am

    Wow – love it! I use cauli as a potato substitute all the time and will be making this very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. fabfood4all February 5, 2015 / 8:47 am

    The perfect comfort food, love this dish – just wishing I had a cauli in the fridge as I’d make this today if I did! Thanks for sharing:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. evolvewithmary February 5, 2015 / 10:24 am

    Yes please! I think this might be what’s for dinner tonight!!!


  8. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours February 5, 2015 / 4:39 pm

    I quite often swap half the pasta for chopped cauli. I am convinced cauliflower is the new kale. Lovely comforting recipe.


  9. foodforasuperhero February 9, 2015 / 11:20 pm

    I made this over the weekend and substituted the pancetta with chopped, uncured hot dogs. I actually like pancetta but I had been wanting to try an uncured meat product. It was divine! Just a suggestion you may want to try — I sprinkled the top with some panko bread crumbs before baking and it gives the dish a nice crunch. Cheers!


    • harrietyoung38 February 10, 2015 / 8:01 am

      Glad you enjoyed it! Panko breadcrumbs sounds like a great addition


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