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  • Lindsey, EDRD

Easter Prep

OH guess what? My birthday falls on Easter this year! I feel like over the course of, ahem, 30-something years, this has happened a fair amount. Am I mad? Not at all! I love Easter.

I have all the Easter eggs and candy set. Initially I just bought one pack of empty eggs, but then I realized it's pretty lame for each kid to only get three.

Sometimes I can be a fun mom...sometimes.

What do you usually have for Easter dinner? Around here it's typically ham, cheesy potatoes, and a veggie. While cheesy potatoes are delicious, I felt like trying out a new recipe that gives all the vibes of cheesy potatoes, but with a nutritional twist. We're making baked cauliflower. Ranch cauliflower. CHEESY ranch cauliflower, with a creamy sauce made with...cauliflower. You get me?

Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower

-3 cups water

-2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon or 2 bouillon cubes

-3 12 oz bags fresh cauliflower florets (or two heads of cauliflower, cut into florets)

-4 oz cream cheese

-2 teaspoons ranch dressing mix

-1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

-8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add bouillon and one bag of the cauliflower florets (or 1/3rd of florets if you chopped it yourself). Let simmer over medium high heat for at least 10 minutes. Remove from heat and either get out your food processor to puree that, or be lazier like me and just stick in an immersion blender and go to town 'til it's smooth.

Return pan to heat, turn down to medium heat, and stir in cream cheese. Whisk it until it's melted and smooth. Stir in ranch mix and pepper, then lastly half of the cheddar. Stir until sauce is smooth and cheddar is melted.

If your pot is big enough, you can toss in the remaining two bags of cauliflower, or, just put the cauliflower in the dish in which you're going to bake it- I used a pan that's about 8x10. Either way you do it, mix the florets with that cheesy sauce, cover, and bake for an hour. Also, I just realized that I could've made the sauce in my Le Creuset and put the whole dang thing in the oven. Oof.

I don't add any extra salt to this recipe since bouillon has a fair amount already. If you don't have any bouillon to use, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Remove foil, sprinkle on remaining cheddar, then kick oven up to a low broil. Place the baking dish in the oven and check every minute- when the top is deep golden brown, remove from oven and serve!

Pictured with baked salmon and roasted green beans with tahini.

My kids devoured this. It is an incredibly kid-friendly recipe that feels fancy for some reason, but really it's a snap to put together. Yes it takes awhile in the oven, but that just means you have no excuse for not folding your laundry and giving the bathroom a wipe-down, er, maybe that's just me.

Makes six servings. Per serving: 223 calories, 5 grams carbs, 18 grams fat, 10 grams protein, 473 mg sodium. Compare this with typical au gratin potatoes, where a similar serving is 400 calories and 27 grams of fat.

Consider making these as a side dish on Easter, or really any day of the week. You could easily make this into it's own meal by adding a protein or additional veggies- cheesy chicken broccoli ranch hotdish might be coming to our menu rotation!


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