Are you ready to take your taste buds on a flavorful journey to Vietnam? As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have the perfect recipe for you: Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower! This comfort food side dish is quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker, and it’s a low carb alternative to traditional mac and cheese.
The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen tool that can help you make instant cauliflower dishes, like this cheesy cauliflower recipe with only a few simple ingredients. You’ll love the creamy texture and savory taste of this loaded mashed cauliflower that’s perfect for any occasion or weeknight meal. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak some veggies into your diet without feeling like you’re missing out on your favorite comfort foods.
Get ready to impress your family and friends with this delicious Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower recipe that will transport you straight to the bustling streets of Vietnam with every cheesy bite!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you’re looking for the perfect comfort food while still sticking to your low-carb diet, look no further than this Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower recipe. Trust me, there are so many reasons why you’ll love this dish.
First and foremost, this cheesy cauliflower recipe is quick and easy to make in your Instant Pot. With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a creamy and indulgent dish that will satisfy your cravings without ruining your diet.
But don’t be fooled by its simplicity; this dish packs a flavorful punch. The combination of colby-monterey jack cheese, cream cheese, and Dijon mustard results in a rich and tangy taste that will have you coming back for seconds. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, toss some chopped chives on top for an added pop of flavor.
Plus, this recipe is incredibly versatile. While it makes for a delicious side dish at any dinner party or family gathering, it can also stand alone as a main course on its own. Add some cooked bacon or shredded chicken on top for a heartier meal.
With its creamy texture, indulgent flavor profile, and low-carb ingredients, this Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower recipe is truly the best of both worlds. So go ahead and indulge in a bowl of cheesy goodness without any guilt – trust me, you won’t regret it!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this creamy and delicious Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower recipe:
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or colby-monterey jack cheese
- Chives for garnish (optional)
If you want to add some extra flavor or texture, here are some optional ingredients you can include:
- Cooked and crumbled bacon (5 slices)
- Shredded Colby-monterey jack cheese (1/4 cup)
- Roasted cauliflower florets
- Garlic Parmesan chicken
All the ingredients listed above are easy to find in any grocery store. You can also adjust the amount of salt and black pepper according to your preference.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have our “cheesy cauliflower” ingredients ready, let’s start cooking our dish in the Instant Pot. This recipe is very easy and quick to make, perfect for a weekday dinner or any get-together occasions you have. In this section, I will walk you through the step-by-step process to achieve perfect and creamy Instant Pot cheesy cauliflower.
Step 1: Cut the Cauliflower
Firstly, take one head of cauliflower and cut it into florets, around 1-2 inch size pieces. Remove the core while cutting, and wash the florets well in running water.
Step 2: Add Water and Cook The Cauliflower
After this, pour 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot and now add the cut cauliflower into the pot. Close the lid of your Instant Pot and ensure that the valve is set to “sealing.” Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
Step 3: Quick Release And Drain
Once the Instant Pot beeps, perform a quick release of pressure by turning the valve to “venting.” Now open your Instant Pot carefully, using oven mitts if necessary, and drain any excess water from it. Remove cauliflower from Instant Pot and put it aside.
Step 4: Cheesy Sauce Preparation
Now it’s time to prepare the cheesy sauce for our cauliflower dish. In a small saucepan add 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 2 oz of cream cheese, 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk everything together over medium-high heat until all ingredients are well-combined.
Step 5: Add The Cheese And Mix
After combining ingredients on step 4, add 1 cup of shredded Colby-Monterey jack cheese into your saucepan and stir it well until it melts and turns into a smooth, creamy mixture.
Step 6: Add The Cheesy Sauce To Cauliflower
Next, take the cauliflower from Step 3 and add it back into the Instant Pot. Now, pour the cheese sauce over your cauliflower in the pot. Mix everything together well.
Step 7: Garnish And Serve
Finally, finish off with some herbs of your choice such as chopped chives, and voila! Your Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower recipe is ready to serve. This dish is perfect as a side dish or main course on its own.
Enjoy your delicious and healthy low carb comfort food!
Substitutions and Variations
One of the great things about this Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower Recipe is its versatility. There are many ways to tweak the recipe so that it suits your taste preferences, dietary restrictions, or special occasions. Here are some substitution and variation ideas that you can try:
– Use different cheeses: While the original recipe calls for a combination of Colby-Monterey Jack cheese and cream cheese, you can swap them with other types of cheese. For example, you could use cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, or blue cheese, depending on what flavors you like. You could also add shredded cheese on top of the cauliflower before broiling it in the oven for an extra cheesy crust.
– Make it low-carb: If you’re on a low-carb or keto diet, you can make some adjustments to reduce the carb count of the dish. Instead of heavy cream, you could use unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. Instead of Dijon mustard, you could use mustard powder or turmeric. Instead of mashed potatoes or mac and cheese, you could make cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles as a side dish.
– Add more veggies or meats: While the cauliflower is the star of the show in this recipe, there’s no reason why you couldn’t jazz it up with some extra veggies or proteins. For example, you could add chopped broccoli, sliced bell peppers, diced onions, or minced garlic to the Instant Pot along with the cauliflower. You could also top the cauliflower with cooked bacon bits, sliced ham, crumbled sausage, or shredded chicken before serving.
– Experiment with spices and herbs: If you want to give your cheesy cauliflower a twist of flavor, try adding some spices and herbs to the mix. Some popular options include black pepper, cumin, paprika, chili flakes, rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, or chives. You could also sprinkle some garlic powder or onion powder on top of the cauliflower for an extra kick.
– Make it creamy or crunchy: Depending on your texture preferences, you can adjust the consistency of the cheesy cauliflower. If you prefer a creamier and smoother sauce, you could blend the cooked cauliflower and cheese mixture in a blender or food processor before serving. If you like a crunchier and crispier topping, you could broil the cauliflower for a few minutes longer or sprinkle some breadcrumbs or crushed nuts on top before baking it in the oven.
Overall, don’t be afraid to play around with this Instant
Serving and Pairing
Now that your Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower is ready, it’s time to serve and pair it. This versatile dish can be served as a side for chicken, steak, or even seafood. The creamy texture and cheesy flavor make it a perfect comfort food addition to any meal.
For an extra burst of flavor, top it with chives, black pepper, or a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese. You can also add some cooked bacon slices on top to give it a smoky flavor.
If you’re looking for a low-carb option, the Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower is perfect just by itself as a light lunch or dinner. It’s also brilliant as part of a healthier alternative to traditional mashed potatoes.
This dish pairs well with salads, roasted vegetables, or even roasted cauliflower dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some Dijon mustard to the recipe for an extra tangy kick.
Overall, this Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower recipe is both quick and easy to make, yet absolutely delicious. Enjoy the creamy cauliflower mash with all its cheesy goodness!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
If you’re looking for a dish that can be easily prepared ahead of time, this Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower Recipe is the perfect solution. You can make it and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze it to enjoy later.
To store the dish in the fridge, all you need to do is let it cool down completely, transfer it to an airtight container and put it in the fridge. When you’re ready to reheat it, simply take it out of the fridge, place it in a microwave-safe dish and heat it for about 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it on the stove in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
If you decide to freeze this cheesy cauliflower recipe, make sure to cool it down first before transferring it into a freezer-safe container. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer. To thaw it out, simply move the container from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Once thawed, reheat using one of the methods mentioned above.
Whether you’re making this recipe ahead of time or looking for a quick and easy dinner throughout the week, reheating this cheesy cauliflower recipe is simple and hassle-free.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you know how to make Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower, it’s time to dive into some tips that will ensure your dish comes out perfectly every time.
First and foremost, use fresh cauliflower. When choosing your cauliflower, look for a head that is firm to the touch and has tight, white florets. This will ensure that your dish has a great texture and taste.
When cutting your cauliflower into bite-size pieces, be sure to make them as uniform as possible. This will help them cook evenly in the Instant Pot and prevent any large chunks from being undercooked or overcooked.
Next, don’t skimp on the cheese! Be sure to use high-quality Colby-Monterey Jack cheese and shredded cheddar cheese for the best flavor. You won’t regret it!
To take your Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower to the next level, consider adding in some chopped chives and/or bacon bits before serving. These add-ons provide an extra dimension of flavor and texture.
If you’re looking for a low-carb option, this recipe is perfect for you. However, if you’re not too concerned about carbs or are serving this dish as a side dish with roasted meats or mashed potatoes, consider adding in a few tablespoons of Dijon mustard or heavy cream for a creamier texture.
Lastly, be sure to follow the instructions carefully when using an Instant Pot. While they are incredibly easy to use, it’s important to understand how they work so that you can achieve perfect results every time.
With these tips in mind, you’ll have delicious and creamy Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower every time!
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a quick and easy comfort food side dish that’s low carb and keto-friendly, this Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower recipe is an excellent choice. The intense cheesy flavor with a subtle mustard undertone makes it perfect to pair with any main dish of your choice. It’s also incredibly versatile that you can quickly turn it into a soup or even use it as a base for mashed cauliflower or roasted cauliflower and au gratin.
By following the steps in this recipe article and taking advantage of the substitution options available, you’ll find yourself enjoying a pot full of cheesy cauliflower soups or sides like never before. Whether you’re cooking for the family or entertaining dinner guests, this dish is perfect for any occasion.
So grab your Instant Pot and some fresh cauliflower, give this recipe a try, and see for yourself why so many people love it as much as I do! Happy cooking!
Instant Pot Cheesy Cauliflower Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into medium pieces
- 1 small head purple cauliflower, trimmed and cut into medium pieces
- 4 slices thick-cut pepper bacon, diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups shredded colby-monterey jack cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Insert a vegetable steamer into a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot. Pour in the water and then place the cauliflower on top of the steamer, evenly spread out. Lock on the lid, making sure the valve is set to seal. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes and then do a quick release.
- Carefully open the lid and transfer the steamer basket full of cauliflower to a plate and set aside. Discard the water from the inner pot and return to the Instant Pot. Set to sauté on high. Once hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate, lined with paper towels.
- Drain off most of the bacon grease and then stir in the cream, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. Stir until the cheeses have melted through and the sauce is smooth and has thickened somewhat. Turn off the machine and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Stir in the cauliflower and reserved bacon until evenly combined. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chives before serving.
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