Sunday, February 9, 2020

Baked Cauliflower Ziti

Calling all Keto lovers! I have another new recipe for you to try... In my prime Keto days, I remember sitting around dreaming about my favorite Italian dishes that are covered in sauce and cheese, but it would ALWAYS involve pasta. This dish is super quick and easy to prep for the week and leaves you feeling satisfied.

Let's Break it Down...

Yep, that's right. Instead of pasta we're going to use every Keto gal's favorite ingredient...Cauliflower. Cauliflower is a staple in Keto diets because of it's simple flavor profile that can be incorporated into just about anything. It easily takes on the flavors of each dish and complements it well all while remaining low in carbs. Otherwise, with this recipe you're able to enjoy those comforting Italian pasta dishes without the extra carbs!

Bring in the Cauliflower

Cauliflower has some awesome macros that allow for volume in your meals meaning you can have double the cauliflower and not feel guilty about it. According to, one cup of cauliflower contains 27 calories, 2 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.1 g of fiber. 

Cauliflower's fiber content is great for weight loss and improves digestion. The only negative I can think of for cauliflower is the bloat effect it can leave on your stomach, but for someone following the Keto diet it can be used in so many creative ways that the positives out weigh the negative by a long shot. 

Fresh vs. Frozen

For this recipe, I recommend staying away from frozen cauliflower. Although it can be quick and easy, frozen varieties contain much more water which make the end result a bit too soupy for my liking. I used a large, fresh head of cauliflower from my local farmer's market and chopped it into florets. It's a super easy vegetable to work with, so there's nothing to be afraid about!

Baked Cauliflower Ziti

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 lb. ground chicken
2 cups low carb tomato sauce (I like Rao's)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tbsp. thinly sliced, fresh basil
1 large head of cauliflower, (about 3 cups) cut into florets
1 1/2 cups ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Start by preheating your oven to 375° F. Meanwhile, in a pan over medium heat, heat oil and add in your diced onion. Cook onion until soft for about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for an additional one minute. Then, add your ground meat of choice (I prefer ground chicken). Don't forget to season with salt and pepper! Cook the meat until no longer pink - about 5 minutes then drain off the remaining liquid.

Return your pan over medium heat and add your tomato sauce with Italian seasoning. Heat up your sauce for a few minutes until bubbling then stir in basil and remove from heat. Meanwhile, boil your cauliflower for 8 minutes until tender then drain and transfer to large casserole dish.

In a large casserole dish, pour sauce over cauliflower and stir to combine. Place the cauliflower in an even layer, dollop with the ricotta, and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake until cheese is melty and golden, about 25 minutes. Then, garnish with basil!

Final Touches...

This dish satisfies your cravings and keeps you feeling full. This was one of my staples when I was following a Keto diet. You can swap out the meat for ground turkey, ground beef, sausage, or leave it out all together if you're vegetarian! Only thing missing is a piece of garlic bread...but sadly that's one Keto item I haven't tested out yet...
Blogger Template Created by pipdig