Cheesy, saucy, Chicken Pepperoni Cauliflower Casserole is a dreamy weekday meal your entire family will devour. Easy prep, and bakes in less than 30 minutes with only 5 main ingredients!
Am I the only adult out there that doesn't love her cooked veggies? Is it so wrong to like my veggies to not really taste like vegetables when they are cooked? Especially things like cauliflower or broccoli? Do you feel me on that at all, or do I need to grow a pair and learn to eat my vegetables like a big girl?
If you are like me at all, meals just like this chicken pepperoni cauliflower casserole will be one of your go to meals. It is such an easy, quick and deceivingly delicious way to get your veggies in. If I can find a way to eat a vegetable that makes me think I am eating something sinfully bad for me, well then that's a huge win in my book. And if you don't feel that way I bet most of your kids do!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with tricking your kids into eating vegetables. It's basically mom commandment number 2, thou shall trick kids as needed to eat nutrients that sustain life. Or in this case, trick me as well.
"Its basically mom commandment number 2, thou shall trick kids as needed to eat nutrients that sustain life"sweet rustic bakes
How do your family dinners usually go? Mine are stressful AF. Not gonna lie and pretend they aren't. My two older kids are so picky, they think it's a fun game to gag, and drink as much water as possible when forced to eat meals that don't consist of bread or noodles. Their palates just haven't gotten used to mixing food together. So I rely on mom commandment 2 a lot.
What makes this dinner awesome
This keto casserole is awesome because when it is baking it smells amazing! It smells like a mix of chicken Parmesan and pizza.
It is also the perfect casserole to make on a weekday because you can throw it all together with very little chopping. Just pop it in the oven, and then walk away to do the other 1 billion things we mom's do in the evening.
You can even make this dish ahead of time, cover it with some foil, then keep it in the fridge until you are ready to make this cheesy gooey awesome dish. As a stay at home mom, I love a meal I can prep earlier in the day and then have it ready to go when it is dinner time. This meal is actually a ton of the flavors from this recipe....but a chopped up, faster version.
Let's make Chicken Pepperoni Cauliflower Casserole
- Frozen cauliflower rice
- Boneless and skinless chicken breast
- Mozzarella cheese
- Natural pepperoni (see note below)
- Spices- oregano, basil, garlic powder
- Marinara sauce- a no sugar added sauce
Pepperoni Note: Be sure to get a natural pepperoni. Read the labels and make sure there are no nitrates or nitrates. Hormel and Applegate have natural brands.
Step by step instructions
- Prep the chicken: Start with cutting your chicken into 1 inch chunks. After it is cut place it into a large bowl.
- Prep the cauliflower rice: I have made this two ways. You can cook the frozen rice per the directions and add to the chicken or just add it to the bowl with the chicken, still frozen. You choose.
- Chop the pepperoni: Chop the pepperoni slices into bite size pieces. Add it to the bowl.
- Add your spices to the bowl and the marinara sauce. Stir until well combined. And then add it to a 13x9" casserole dish. I have made it in a 9x9 casserole dish but the cooking time needs to be increased by about 10 minutes to get the chicken done.
- Bake: Cover with foil and bake the casserole at 400°F for 25 minutes if using a 9x13 pan. Check chicken for doneness (internal temp of 160°F). If using a 9x9 check chicken for being done at 35 minutes. When chicken is cooked through, remove foil and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Broil: Once topped with cheese broil for 3-5 minutes until your cheese is bubbly and beginning to turn golden brown. Keep an eye on this the entire time it is on broil.
How many net carbs
Be sure to calculate this on your own with the type of sauce you use, but for the sauce I used this keto chicken cauliflower casserole has only 6.5 net carbs.
Can I make this paleo or whole30?
You can turn this awesome cauliflower casserole into a Paleo and Whole30 friendly meal by leaving off the cheese! I have made this like a half and half pizza too! My husband doesn't like to eat a lot of cheese so I just put cheese on half of the casserole.
How to store or Prep ahead
While I have not tried freezing this meal ahead of time I have a feeling it would freeze well. If you decide to give it a try just leave the cheese off until you are going to make it!
You can definitely prep this casserole the night before too! To do that I would be sure to use cooked cauliflower rice so you don't get extra moisture sitting in the mixture. Just assemble all in the casserole dish and again leave off the cheese.
After you have made this casserole store in the fridge up to 3-4 days in a sealed container.Print
A few tips
After a few reader comments I am updating this post (5/20/20) to say that depending how watery your sauce is may depend on how the finished product turns out. If your sauce is really thin you may need to reduce the amount.