Cheesy Cauliflower and Beef Skillet. It is not sexy. It is definitely NOT photogenic. Scratching your head wondering why you should give it a try? Well, I have this saying I came up with (wink wink) which sums it up perfectly. “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”
Ha Ha! Obviously, I didn’t come up with the saying, but it truly represents this dish. Maybe it is not pretty, but once you take your first bite you will forget all about what it looks like.
With food, looks and smell usually come first so it can be difficult to not judge. Thankfully, this Cheesy Cauliflower and Beef will fill your kitchen with smells reminiscent to a taco night meets enchilada night.
Ingredients needed for Cheesy Cauliflower and Beef Skillet
As you will find with most of my recipes, you don’t need anything fancy. You can also change ingredients based on what you have in your fridge.
- Ground beef
- Red Bell Pepper
- Green Onions
- Cheddar Cheese
- Sour Crean
- Taco Seasoning
See? Nothing too complicated. You could easily switch out green for red bell peppers. Or, you could use a rainbow of colored peppers to give dish more vibrancy. Craving a spicier version? Add in some serrano peppers or jalapenos and some cayenne for an added kick.
The world is your oyster with this dish. Make it into what you are craving. Even better make it into whatever you can scrounge out of your fridge on that night when you need a comfort dish.
How could you not love this taco inspired concoction? While I am not claiming this to be a “healthy” dish according to any one diet, the skillet is packed with nutritional value. Healthy fats and protein from the grass-fed beef, Dubliner cheese, and sour cream. Vitamins and minerals from the colorful mix of veggies. If nothing else, your soul will be nourished.
It’s easy to put together!
Being this is an easy recipe, I don’t have too many words of wisdom to share with you. I used our family favorite, Dubliner white cheddar cheese. Regular old orange cheddar should work, too. Pepper jack cheese would also be a great option.
For the meat, you can use any ground meat. Beef, bison, chicken, or turkey. Depending on your selection, the flavor will vary. The beef and bison will provide the most robust flavor.
When I made this recipe, I used a Beef Boost from Buy Ranch Direct . The boost mixture is 90% beef and 10% ground liver. I promise you can’t taste the liver. You get all the nutritional benefit of the grass-fed beef and super nutritious liver, without the taste that turns many people off. If you are curious about nutritional benefits of liver, check out my post here.
Even though the cauliflower is disguised by all the other ingredients, it’s the co-star of the dish. It provides texture and consistency. Another bonus is it’s usually undetectable by picky eaters.
Adding in my favorite part of the dish, the cheese! It combines with the tangy sour cream melting and holding everything together. You can add as much or as little cheese on top. More cheese equals more ooey gooey deliciousness.
For the other veggies, I used what I had in the fridge. You can follow my lead, or you can switch it up. Trust your gut. Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you do make this and add your own flare, I would love to hear about it in the comment section below.
Food almost always has a story
Everything about this dish screams comfort and love, especially the story of its creation. My parents were visiting shortly after we had gone through a miscarriage. We were devastated. Naturally, food and my blog were on the back burner. The way, way, way back burner.
All I really wanted was my family. My heart wasn’t in cooking or food. Then, surprisingly, something switched. My family was here. Life was little bit better. I wanted to cook.
Working with what we had in the fridge, Beverly (my step-mom) and I were fixing dinner Chopped (The Food Network show) style. The first version of Cheesy Cauliflower and Beef Skillet.
Although my Dad’s choice description of the dish was not flattering, he liked the flavor and potential. Beverly’s intuitive suggestion to use sour cream really tied the dish together. The sour cream gave a creamy feel which worked naturally with the cheese and the taco seasoning.
Listeting to my Dad’s advice, we added carrots and red bell pepper for color. The orange and red gave the dish vibrancy and zest. Let’s just say the first draft was dull and monotone. Not reminiscent of something you’d want to consume upon appearances.
Three days later and lots of cooking behind us my parents left, and my heart ached much less. The healing power of family, food, and laughter was priceless. The hurt was still there, but I was more confident things would be better again…eventually.
The best part is every time I make or eat this Cheesy Cauliflower and Beef Skillet I think of my family. I think of spending the evening in the kitchen with Beverly and the love I felt surrounding me.
There is more to the story…
When I take a minute to look at my life, I realize the connectedness of everything. Blogging. Cooking. Mothering. Here is a bit more to my story. It is not short, so I appreciate you sticking with me and reading along. I hope you find some value in it as I have.
As my youngest fell asleep this afternoon, I found my hand holding onto his sweet little foot. His tiny toes still so small yet growing by the minute. Even though he turned three a week ago, he is still my baby.
He has always been our stronger child. Our braver child. Our independent contractor as we like to call him. Ever since Halloween, though, he has been afraid to fall asleep on his own. We tried seemingly everything to make him feel safe. Rearranged beds so he would be closer to his brother. Bottles of “protection spray.” Angels. Prayers. Safety lights. New bunk beds. Seriously, everything.
Finally, he is more confident and secure when he goes to bed at night. He still needs someone to lay with him while he falls asleep for naps. Although more of a want now than a need, I give into it. I curl up next to him with my book and I watch his eyes fight sleep. Coincidentally, I am reading Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meeker and she discusses how boys will eventually need to leave their mothers, at least for a short while. I find my hand wrapping more tightly around his foot wanting to hold off the inevitable. Knowing it is impossible.
In that moment I thank God. I am thankful to be this little dude’s mother. Also, to have the privilege of being what I have always really wanted: a mom. So, even on the days I am frustrated because I can’t get one thing done for myself, I try to re-center on being a mom.
Oddly enough, being a mom is what has motivated and enable me to develop this food blog. Being a mom is what inspired me to complete my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Certificate a couple years ago. Being a mom (and a wife) is what drives me to create flavorful recipes making my family smile. Being a mom made me realize the power of bringing our family and friends to our table to share a meal.
As always I hope you find love at your table whether with my recipe or another. Enjoy the moments.
Cheesy Cauliflower and Beef Skillet
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 cauliflower, small to medium riced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- ½- ¾ cup green onion chopped (plus extra for topping)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 oz sour cream
- 3 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne optional
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Allow 10-12-inch cast iron skillet to warm over medium heat. Cook ground beef in skillet until browned. Season with taco season. Stir to coat meat. Remove from heat.
- Add cauliflower, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, and green onion to beef. Stir to combine. Add in sour cream and 1 ½ cups shredded cheese. Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Bake in oven for 40-60 minutes until hot through and bubbling on top. Remove from oven. Top with remaining ½-3/4 cup shredded cheese. Return to oven or place under broiler until melted and golden.
- Top with chopped green onions. Serve with additional sour cream and hot sauce if desired.