This cozy cauliflower casserole is filled with chewy gnocchi pasta pillows and Parmesan cheese, and it’s seriously easy to make. Double win!
If you’re anything like us, you’re obsessed with cauliflower. Ten years ago we didn’t even have the know-how to consider the words obsessed and cauliflower in the same sentence. But fast forward to today, and cauliflower has gotten a major makeover. The internet and cookbooks are brimming with delectable recipes like buffalo cauliflower wings and cauliflower risotto. Turns out, cauliflower is cool again. This cauliflower casserole is a recipe from the most gorgeous new cookbook, The Forest Feast Mediterranean, and goodness does it make this humble veggie tastier than ever. And this book: well, it’s one of our favorites all year. Keep reading for the recipe and more about the book!
About the book: The Forest Feast Mediterranean
The Forest Feast: Mediterranean is the latest in a series of cookbooks by our dear pal Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast. Erin moved to a cabin in the woods and started creating vegetarian recipes and painting layouts of the recipes. It was so unique and gorgeous that people all over the internet took note, which led to her first book The Forest Feast. Now she’s back with another book and it’s truly a jaw-dropping masterpiece. The Forest Feast: Mediterranean chronicles a trip Erin took through Europe with her two young children! You might remember Alex and I took Larson on a much shorter dream trip to Italy, Croatia and Spain around the same time, so Erin capturing this region we love so dearly makes this book extremely personal to us as well.
The book has 100 vegetarian recipes and lush illustrations that transport you to this beautiful part of the world. Whether it’s this cauliflower casserole from Italy or patatas bravas from Spain, the artwork conveys so much of the feeling of the place, we feel like we can save the money on plane tickets just by cooking from this book. It’s a fantastic coffee table book, and at the same time a practical cooking manual for fresh, veggie-forward Mediterranean recipes.
Get the book: The Forest Feast: Mediterranean
Why make this cauliflower casserole?
This cheesy cauliflower casserole is cozy and flavored with Parmesan cheese. The best part? Chewy gnocchi pillows are mixed in with the cauliflower, making for a surprising mix of satisfying bites.
Gnocchi are a pasta that are soft dough dumplings, typically made of potato and flour. You can find packaged gnocchi next to the pasta in most grocery stories and MAN are they good. We make gnocchi often: our gnocchi with romesco or easy creamy gnocchi are quick dinners, and our baked gnocchi is a fall crowd pleaser. It’s also great in soups: our Italian gnocchi soup and tomato basil gnocchi soup are favorites.
Tips on this cauliflower casserole
Before you head to the recipe below (because we suggest you do!), a few notes on this cauliflower casserole to consider:
- It’s light and comforting, not heavy and cheesy. When we saw “Cauliflower casserole” in Erin’s book we imagined it would be super gooey and heavy, like mac and cheese. But after making it, it surprised us: it was much lighter than we expected! The Parmesan cheese isn’t a gooey sauce but rather a flavoring throughout. It was different than we originally thought, but very satisfying!
- The portions are moderate if serving as a main. If you eat vegetarian and want to eat this as a main dish, we easily polished this off between Alex, my sister and I and had room to spare. So make sure to serve it with several sides. Or double the recipe! You can also serve this as a side dish, in which case it easily makes 4 servings.
- It’s a crowd pleaser! Our 2 year old saw this and exclaimed “mac and cheese!” He proceeded to eat the cauliflower just as if it was the pasta.Because both the pasta and cauliflower are white, it gives the allusion of mac and cheese.
How to cut cauliflower into florets
Do you know the best way to cut cauliflower? Alex and I use a genius method for cutting cauliflower that doesn’t end up with crumbles all over the counter! (Anyone have that issue?) We use this method all the time, like when we make our crispy cauliflower tacos or our party favorite buffalo cauliflower. Using this method really changed the game for us, and we hope it will for you too! Above is a quick video of me cutting cauliflower in our kitchen to show you how to do it!
This cauliflower casserole recipe is…
Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free gnocchi.Print
This cozy cauliflower casserole is filled with chewy gnocchi pasta pillows and Parmesan cheese, and it’s seriously easy to make.
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 17-ounce package gnocchi
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Cut the cauliflower into florets.
- In a large pot of water, boil the cauliflower for 3 minutes, then throw in the gnocchi. Cook for 2 more minutes or until the gnocchi floats, then turn the burner off and strain everything.
- Put the cauliflower and gnocchi back in the hot pot and stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese plus the butter, olive oil, several grinds of black pepper and a few pinches of kosher salt until the flavor pops.
- Spread the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese on top, plus a bit more salt and pepper.
- Boil for 3 minutes until the top is golden.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Cauliflower Casserole, Gnocchi Casserole, Vegetarian Casserole
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.