Cauliflower Meatball Casserole

If you are looking for a low-carb option for dinner, as well as something different, this is a great one to try – especially if you like meatballs, pasta sauce and cauliflower!  This recipe was thrown together from 3 different recipes, so I don’t have all the ingredients in a picture, but will add those later.

This may seem like a lot of steps but it is so worth it!

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb turkey burger (ground beef or venison would work, too)
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • Sprinkle of salt (optional)
  • Sprinkle of black pepper (optional)

Cauliflower Crust:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (riced – use a food processor for this if you have one!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP tajin seasoning (optional)
  • Other seasonings of your choice

Pasta Sauce:

  • 1- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1- 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 TBSP sugar (or 1/4 cup chardonnay)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP Basil (or 1 drop doTERRA Basil essential oil)
  • 1 TBSP Oregano (or 1 drop of doTERRA Basil oil)
  • 1/2 TBSP Garlic salt
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning (or 1 drop of doTERRA Italian oil)

Directions for meatballs:

  1.  I listed the meatball recipe first because this is what seems to take the longest.  Preheat oven to 350 – you can also make these in the crockpot if you prefer!
  2.  Take a large cookie sheet and spray that with non-stick cooking spray or line with foil and then spray that with non-stick cooking spray.
  3.  With whatever meat you choose to use, put that in a mixing bowl along with the onion, breadcrumbs, egg, chili powder, and salt/pepper.
  4.  Mix with your hands and form the meat mixture into 1 inch meatballs (or bigger/smaller)
  5.  Cook for 25-30 minutes at the most.  Make sure the temperature is over 160.  If you use turkey burger, please note that these are fragile, or at least they were for me.
  6.  Once the meatballs are done, put a couple paper towels down on a plate and place the meatballs on that to soak up the grease.
    1.  If you are doing these in advance, put on a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours.  Once frozen, place in a freezer safe ziploc bag.

Directions for cauliflower crust:

  1.  Grease a 9×13 glass baking dish.  Leave oven set to 350.
  2. While the meatballs are in the oven, prepare the head of cauliflower by cutting off the stem and other leafy parts.  Put in food processor to turn it into rice.  If you do not have a head of cauliflower, a bag of frozen cauliflower will be fine to use – just use 1 egg instead of 2, unless you want the extra protein.
  3.  Once the cauliflower is riced, put in a bowl and add egg(s), parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, and any other seasonings of your choice.
  4.  Mix with your hands and pat down so it is all even in the pan.
  5.  Place in oven for 25 minutes.
  6.  Take out of oven so the rest of the casserole can be put together

Directions for pasta sauce:

  1.  Combine the tomato sauce and tomato paste into a bowl and mix with a whisk.
  2.  Add all seasonings.
  3.  Taste and adjust accordingly.
  4.  You can add the pasta sauce to the meatballs at this time in a bowl.

Directions for the final casserole:

  1. Make sure the oven is still on 350.
  2. Take the meatballs and mix in with the pasta sauce.
  3.  Pour the meatball and pasta sauce mixture on top of the cauliflower crust.
  4.  Place in oven for 25-30 more minutes.
  5.  I placed low calorie cheese slices on top of the meatball and pasta sauce towards the end of the cooking time.  You can really use any cheese for this part, or leave it as is… or sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  If you do put cheese slices on this, once they are melted, take out of oven and you are ready to enjoy!
I was so excited I ate before taking a picture! Do not pay attention to the buns on the right side of the picture – those are for members of the family who aren’t watching their bread intake at dinner. 🙂

This is a great recipe to have with green beans!  Here’s a great recipe that I love.  I have been modifying to leave out the bread crumbs, but will put either a cap of olive oil or 2 TBSP of butter in little squares, along with tajin seasoning and dry ranch dressing seasoning (mixing with hands) and then placing in the oven:  https://foodanddrinklover.blog/2021/08/15/garlic-parmesan-green-beans/

This recipe comes from the following:

  • Venison Bourbon Meatballs:  https://foodanddrinklover.blog/2021/01/02/crockpot-venison-bbq-bourbon-meatballs/
  • Cheesy Cauliflower Cheesesticks:  https://www.centercutcook.com/cheesy-cauliflower-bread-sticks/

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I am a wellness advocate with doTERRA and I love empowering others to educate how these essential oils can really make a difference in your life.  If you are interested, please let me know – Click here to learn more!

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