Bacon-Topped Cheesy Cauliflower & Lentil Bake

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Total time: 45 Minutes

Servings: 4-6

Mac & Cheese fans will love this vegetable-centric bubbling dish of pure comfort food. It is nourishing winter fare that requires just a handful of ingredients and bakes up in a flash. Serve it with a light green salad or round out the casserole with shredded chicken. This dish can be conveniently prepared a day in advance and baked when needed.

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Recipe by

Aimee Wimbush-Bourque

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    1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

    1 large orange cauliflower

    1 cup (250 mL) 15% cream

    1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper

    2 cups (500 mL) grated Colby or Cheddar cheese, divided

    2 1/2 cups (625 mL) cooked split red lentils

    6 slices cooked bacon, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Lightly oil a 3 qt (3.38 L) casserole dish.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets with plenty of stem. Place in a large pot and add 1 inch of water to the bottom. Bring water to a boil over high heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and steam cauliflower until tender, about 7 minutes.
  3. Drain cauliflower in a colander. Reserve half of the florets. Place the other half into a blender, add cream and blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower cream back into the large pot and add salt, pepper, and 1 cup (250 mL) of cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until the cheese is melted.
  4. Stir lentils into the cream sauce and taste for seasoning. Add a little more salt if necessary. Spread 3/4 of the lentil mixture over the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
  5. Add reserved whole florets to the pot. Stir gently to coat in remaining cheese sauce without breaking apart the cauliflower.
  6. Arrange cauliflower on top of the lentil mixture, using a spatula to scrape all of the sauce out of the pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top, followed by the chopped bacon.
  7. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until casserole is bubbly around the edges and cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Quick Tip: Use white cauliflower instead and pair with a sharp white cheddar.

Aimée Wimbush-Bourque is a Montreal award-winning food writer and cookbook author. She is mother to three children, two cats, and six brown hens and is passionate about family food culture, world travel, and modern-day homesteading. She writes at Simple Bites ( and her second cookbook, The Simple Bites Kitchen, will be released in Fall 2017.

Nutritional Information

  • Serving Size: 2 cups (500 mL)
  • Per serving:
  • Calories 370
  • Total Fat 9 g
  • Saturated Fat 4 g
  • Cholesterol 20 mg
  • Carbohydrates 42 g
  • Dietary Fibre 12 g
  • Sugar 12 g
  • Protein 32 g
  • Sodium 990 mg
  • Potassium 1229 mg
  • Folate 350 mcg