This recipe is pretty easy, but it takes around an hour with the oven time so you may want to save it for a weekend. As a reference for you, with chopping and distractions it took me about an hour and half from start to finish. The flavor in this was so awesome, definitely a keeper!
I don’t typically eat sausage because it is high in fat, but since this recipe only needed half a pound of chicken sausage, I made an exception. If you love sausage, a turkey or chicken sausage is a good alternative with 2g saturated fat per serving vs. 4g+ saturated fat per serving in regular sausage.
One of the modifications I made to this dish was to steam the cauliflower instead of boil it. While boiling is also a healthy alternative, steaming is better. As a rule of thumb, you want your veggies to have the least amount of contact with water because the nutrients leach out into the water. This is because water soluble vitamins (The B-vitamins), as the name states, are water soluble, so they will gravitate to the cooking water and out of the vegetable. If you don’t own a steamer, it looks like this…
All you have to do is pop it in a pot with about 2 inches of water boiling underneath it. Again, try not to let the water make contact with the steamer (which holds the veggies). If you do have to boil the veggies for whatever reason, try to use the cooking water at some point in the recipe so you don’t lose the nutrients :)
Cauliflower & Chicken Sausage Casserole– adapted from TheKitchn
1 medium head cauliflower (I used a pretty large one)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound uncooked herbed chicken sausage, removed from casings
3/4 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Few dashes dried thyme
One 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
- Slice away the leaves and stems from the cauliflower head. Chop cauliflower roughly into bite-sized florets, each about 1-inch across.
- Boil 2 inches water in pot, add steamer with cauliflower and cook 3-5 minutes (note: it may take longer because of large amount of cauliflower). Return the cauliflower to the cooking pot and set aside.
- Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and then, when the pan is hot, add the sausage (it should sizzle). Use a spoon to break up the meat. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through and beginning to get crispy.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the pan with the sausage. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Scrape up any brown bits as you sauté. Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer for about 7-8 more minutes. Turn off the heat and taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cauliflower and mix. Spread the cauliflower and sausage mix in the prepared baking dish and distribute evenly. Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle them evenly over the cauliflower. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs have browned and the sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.