This cauliflower baked ziti is creamy, cheesy, zesty, and DELISH!
Honestly, and I wouldn’t lie to you, I don’t miss the pasta for a second here. And I certainly don’t miss the food coma I used to fall into after eating a serving (or two) of traditional ziti!
Instead, with this low carb pasta, we get to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. PLUS! (despite how decadent it looks and tastes) it’s freggin’ easy to make.
But don’t tell my dinner guests, I’ve gotta justify the wine they brought over.Move over cauliflower pizza crust, everyone’s favorite veggie has a NEW use!
EVERYTHING! Although I bet you’d like me to be more specific…
- It’s LOW CARB! Grain-free, gluten-free, and keto. Whoot!
- Low carb casseroles make for delicious meal prep for low carb dinners and lunches.
- Everything you love about ziti but made from VEGETABLES!
Swapping baked vegetables for pasta makes this baked ziti even easier, and requires fewer dishes. Winning!
1. Bake cauliflower by tossing it in olive oil, salt, and pepper and laying it in a 9×13 casserole dish. Bake in the oven preheated to 350F for 25 minutes.
2. Make the sauce while the cauliflower is cooking by cooking the sausage in oil, and crumbling it as it cooks. Once cooked, place the meat on a paper towel-lined plate, then saute the onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Return sausage to the pan, along with the spaghetti sauce and heavy cream. Allow sauce to simmer until it thickens to your liking. Add cauliflower and toss to coat.
4. Make the white sauce by combining the ricotta, egg, nutmeg, and Italian seasoning.
5. Layer ingredients in the casserole dish, starting with half the cauli/red sauce, followed by half the ricotta mixture, then 1/2 the mozzarella and 1/2 the parm. Repeat, ending with parmesan.
6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Important Ingredients Notes
- Spaghetti sauce is often loaded with carbs. Check labels carefully before purchasing if you’re watching your carbs.
- Cauliflower – I prefer to purchase florets for the ziti noodles! It’ll keep your cauliflower pasta to sauce ratio just right.
Can You Freeze This?
Yes, you can! I like to store individual portions for easy-to-reheat freezer meals — toss a little extra cheese and some freshly chopped basil on top before reheating for bonus points and flavor.
This cauliflower baked ziti is a whole meal on its own! But, if you want to round it out a bit, consider serving it alongside some low carb garlic bread, smashed brussel sprouts, or caesar salad.
This cauliflower ziti is DANG good (if I do say so myself), as is. But if you’d like to add your own twist, here are a few ways to switch things up:
- Use a different kind of meat. Simply sub in ground beef or ground chicken for a ground chicken casserole. If you use something other than Italian sausage, you’ll want to add more Italian seasoning.
- Add more cheese. Take a lesson from my cauliflower mac and cheese — more cheese is always a good thing.
- Make a vegetarian baked ziti by skipping the sausage! If opting for a meatless baked ziti, add a dash more Italian seasoning.
- Make it spicy by using hot Italian sausage. You can also add red pepper flakes.
Isn’t it incredible all the things this veggie can do?! Give me all the cauliflower recipes!
- Cauliflower Stuffing
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Cauliflower Salad
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
Cauliflower Baked ZitiPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 24 Ounces Cauliflower florets
- 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil divided
- 1 Pound Italian Sausage
- 1 Teaspoons Salt divided
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper divided
- 3/4 Cups Onion chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic minced
- 3 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning divided
- 3 Cups Low Carb Spaghetti Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- 8 Ounces Ricotta
- 1 Large Egg lightly beaten
- 1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan grated
- 1 Cup Mozzarella shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Toss cauliflower in 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in a 9x13 casserole dish in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once simmering, add the sausage. Crumble the meat into small pieces with the back of your spoon, as it cooks.
- Once cooked through (no longer pink), transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of grease in the pan (if there isn't that much grease left, make up the difference in olive oil).
- Add the onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Saute until the onion is soft -- about 5-7 minutes.
- Return sausage to the pan, along with the spaghetti sauce, and heavy cream.
- Bring sauce to a simmer, and cook on low as the sauce thickens slightly.
- Once cauliflower has finished cooking, toss the cauliflower in the red meat sauce.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, whisked egg, nutmeg, and the remaining teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
- Layer the ingredients in your 9x13 casserole dish, starting with half the cauliflower and red meat sauce, followed by 1/2 the ricotta mixture, then 1/2 the mozzarella and 1/2 the parmesan. Repeat, ending with parmesan on top.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden. Allow it to cool slightly before slicing, and enjoy!
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